Professor Collings' absorbing study is the first full-length treatment of Orson Scott Card, the only writer thus far to receive the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards two years in a row. The author examines the unique vision and literary achievements of this writer, a consummate storyteller who uses the medium of science fiction and fantasy to give shape to his deepest religious beliefs and moral convictions.
Collings begins with an overview of Card's personal history, including his Mormon background, and suggests some guidelines for approaching the writer's work. The chapters that follow look at Card's exploration of spiritual themes in the context of alien worlds and landscapes. Among the subjects woven into his narratives are the future Christ as potential savior or destroyer, the archetype of the hero, immortality, and the realization of the kingdom of God. His major novels, including Seventh Son, Songmaster, and Wyrms , are discussed, together with many of his short stories and his critical articles, poetry, and plays. Orson Scott Card, who has been compared to C. S. Lewis, brings a depth of moral and spiritual insight to his fiction that is unusual among writers currently working in the science fiction/fantasy genre. This sensitive introduction to his work will be appreciated by scholars, students, and general readers with a specific interest in the genre or in contemporary literature, literature and religion, or epic and heroic narrative.
Table of Contents:
Guidelines for the Critickal Reader: Some Backgrounds to the Fiction of Orson Scott Card
"To See the World the Poet's Way"
"Farther In and Farther Up": Mormonism, Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card
Imago Christi: Penetrating to the Gentle Heart
The Child-God with Life and Death in His Hands: Characterization, Heroism, and the Hero Monomyth
Time and Vast Eternities: Landscape, Community, and Intimations of Immortality
"The King's House Is All the World": Building the Crystal City
[from publisher's web site]
Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy, v. 42