The Tales of Alvin Maker series continues in volume three, Prentice Alvin. Young Alvin returns to the town of his birth, and begins his apprenticeship with Makepeace Smith, committing seven years of his life in exchange for the skills and knowledge of a blacksmith. But Alvin must also learn to control and use his own talent, that of a Maker, else his destiny will be unfulfilled.
. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Cards Intergalactic Medicine Show. Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah.
He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.
Biography Any discussion of Orson Scott Cards work must necessarily begin with religion. A devout Mormon, Card believes in imparting moral lessons through his fiction, a stance that sometimes creates controversy on both sides of the fence. Some Mormons have objected to the violence in his books as being antithetical to the Mormon message, while his conservative political activism has gotten him into hot water with liberal readers.
Whether you agree with his personal views or not, Cards fiction can be enjoyed on many different levels. And with the amount of work hes produced, there is something to fit the tastes of readers of all ages and stripes. Averaging two novels a year since 1979, Card has also managed to find the time to write hundreds of audio plays and short stories, several stage plays, a television series concept, and a screenplay of his classic novel Enders Game.
In addition to his science fiction and fantasy novels, he has also written contemporary fiction, religious, and nonfiction works. Cards novel that has arguably had the biggest impact is 1985s Hugo and Nebula award-winner Enders Game. Enders Game introduced readers to Andrew Ender Wiggin, a young genius faced with the task of saving the Earth.
Enders Game is that rare work of fiction that strikes a chord with adults and young adult readers alike. The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, also won the Hugo and Nebula awards, making Card the only author in history to win both prestigious science-fiction awards two years in a row. In 2000, Card returned to Enders world with a parallel novel called Enders Shadow.
Enders Shadow retells the events of Enders Game from the perspective of Julian Bean Delphinki, Enders second-in-command. As Sam to Enders Frodo, Bean is doomed to be remembered as an also-ran next to the legendary protagonist of the earlier novel. In many ways, Bean is a more complex and intriguing character than the preternaturally brilliant Ender, and his alternate take on the events of Enders Game provide an intriguing counterpoint to fans of the original series.
In addition to moral issues, a strong sense of family pervades Cards work. Card is a devoted family man and father to five (!) children. In the age of dysfunctional family literature, Card bristles at the suggestion that a positive home life is uninteresting.
How do you keep good parents from being boring? he once said. Well, in truth, the real problem is, how do you keep bad parents from being boring? Ive seen the same bad parents in so many books and movies that Im tired of them.
Critical appreciation for Cards work often points to the intriguing plotlines and deft characterizations that are on display in Cards most accomplished novels. Card developed the ability to write believable characters and page-turning plots as a college theater student. To this day, when he writes, Card always thinks of the audience first.
Its the best training in the world for a writer, to have a live audience, he says. Im constantly shaping the story so the audience will know why they should care about whats going on. Card brought Bean back in 2005 for the fourth and final novel in the Shadow series Shadow of the Giant.
The novel presented some difficulty for the writer. Characters who were relatively unimportant when the series began had moved to the forefront, and as a result, Card knew that the ending he had originally envisioned would not be enough to satisfy the series fans. Although the Ender and Shadow series deal with politics, Card likes to keep his personal political opinions out of his fiction.
He tries to present the governments of futuristic Earth as realistically as possible without drawing direct analogies to our current political climate. This distance that Card maintains between the real world and his fictional worlds helps give his novels a lasting and universal appeal.