Wiggin, Ender (Fictitious character)--Fiction; Space warfare--Fiction; Science fiction, American; Ghost stories, American; Horror tales, American; Fantasy fiction, American; Short stories, American
"Far beyond the usual fare of science fiction" is how Ben Bova, Executive Editor of OMNI, describes Orson Scott Card's work—and these eleven stories richly bear out that opinion. The title story, a Hugo and Nebula nominee, says as much as can be said about the nature of creativity, the artistic impulse, and pure human stubbornness; "The Porcelain Salamander" is a brilliant and moving fable that will be read and reread; and "Kingsmeat" touches on a truly original horror in the tale of a necessary treason and its consequences.
Orson Scott Card demonstrates the dazzling range of his versatility in this collection, from the harsh depiction of merciless training for interplanetary warfare in "Ender's Game" to the tenderly elegiac mood of "Mortal Gods" and the bitter inventiveness of "The Monkeys Thought 'Twas All in Fun"—a "hard science" story that is at the same time more bizarre than the farthest-out fantasy. No one story is any preparation for the next: the sardonic views of jingoism in "I Put My Blue Genes On" seems worlds apart from the uncompromisingly eerie look at the ultimate punishment presented by "Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory"; and only the sheer outsanding quality of imagination and writing connects the treatment of the supernatural in "Deep Breathing Exercises" and "Quietus."
Most short stories, especially in what are called "category fiction," are destined to be enjoyed—if possible—and forgotten. Orson Scott Card's tales will invade and enrich the reader's memory like the work of few other writers. [from book jacket]