Books by Orson Scott Card

EARTH AWAKENS by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 10, 2014

"The weakest installment so far; still, fans will devour it."
Third in the Ender's Game prequel series (Earth Afire, 2013, etc.) featuring the invasion of a wholly unprepared Earth by alien Formics. Read full book review >
EARTH AFIRE by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 4, 2013

"Another solidly engrossing installment, where the aliens are really just a sideshow: What we're witnessing is how and why Ender's child armies came to be."
Second entry in the prequel series (Earth Unaware, 2012), set many years before the deeds of the Ender's Game novels. Read full book review >
Released: April 2, 2013

"Most of Card's fans will agree with writer John Brown's assertion that trying to winkle out a literary work's "true meaning" kills it, but this tribute may have some appeal to readers with an analytical bent. (thumbnail author bios) (Literary criticism. 16 & up)"
A chorus of writers and military experts weigh in on why Card's Ender's Game (1985) is a work of genius. Read full book review >
THE GATE THIEF by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 19, 2013

"And will the world remain safe for the Aesir? This fun, inventive tale holds the answer."
Card weaves another in a chain of satisfying, teenager-pleasing fantasies. Read full book review >
RUINS by Orson Scott Card
Released: Oct. 30, 2012

"Nobody combines gee-whiz, geeky speculation and angst-y adolescent navel-gazing better than Card; this series should prove catnip to his many fans. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
In this sprawling science-fiction sequel to Pathfinder (2011), three time-shifters discover that the secrets of the past threaten their world with imminent obliteration. Read full book review >
EARTH UNAWARE by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 17, 2012

"Like the similarly endless Dune saga, it's impossible to pass up a new entry no matter how unpromising it may seem at first glance."
The beginning of a prequel series to Card's iconic Ender's Game yarns (Shadows in Flight, 2012, etc.), this greatly expands on material from existing backstory and a suite of Marvel comics. Read full book review >
SHADOWS IN FLIGHT by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 17, 2012

Warning: Do not attempt to appreciate this book without at least some familiarity with Card's child-warrior Ender series.

Previously in Shadow of the Giant (2005), military supergenius Bean fled Earth with his three surviving children aboard a starship; at the relativistic speeds of which the ship is capable, time-dilation effects may enable them to stay alive long enough for medical researchers to find a cure. Read full book review >

LADDERTOP by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION
Released: Sept. 27, 2011

"An intriguing beginning; readers will clamor for the follow-up. (Graphic science fiction. 12 & up)"
A high-octane outer-space adventure slated to be the first in a twosome. Read full book review >
THE LOST GATE by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

"An uncharacteristically lumpy series opener, though Card's storytelling skills and devoted audience guarantee success."
First of a fantasy series about overweening magic power, from the author of Hidden Empire (2009). Read full book review >
PATHFINDER by Orson Scott Card
Released: Nov. 23, 2010

A brain-bending bildungsroman kicks off a promising science-fiction series. Read full book review >

MAGIC STREET by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 5, 2010

"An often intriguing story, told with Card's usual impeccable skills—and yet the themes fail to cohere, and this peculiarly off-center fable never quite drags itself out of sheer make-believe and into fictional reality."
Contemporary fantasy (Enchantment, 1999, etc.) set in the close-knit, exclusively black Los Angeles suburb of Baldwin Hills. Read full book review >
HIDDEN EMPIRE by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 22, 2009

"A morality lesson for the video-arcade generation from Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Card (A War of Gifts, 2007, etc.)."
In order to save the United States from a plague decimating Nigeria, President Averell Torrent orders a quarantine of all Africa. Read full book review >
A WAR OF GIFTS by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"A Little League stocking stuffer that nevertheless makes several cogent points. Ender lives on."
Seems that Card (Invasive Procedures, 2007, etc.) can do anything he likes with his monumental child-warrior Ender's saga—except actually end it. Read full book review >
INVASIVE PROCEDURES by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Iffy plotting, shaky science and annoying characters who, despite plenty of clues and warnings, do stupid things at critical moments—would probably work better as a screenplay, but Card fans and diehard futuristic thriller buffs may want to investigate."
Near-future biological thriller, from Card (Empire, 2006, etc.) and screenwriter Johnston. Read full book review >
SHADOW OF THE GIANT by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2005

"A neat wrap-up, if short on the brilliance of the first in the series."
The eighth installment in Card's Ender series (Ender's Game, 1984, etc.). Read full book review >
SHADOW PUPPETS by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 19, 2002

Card's child-warrior saga (Shadow of the Hegemon, 2001, etc.) goes on . . . and on. Read full book review >

MASTERPIECES by Orson Scott Card
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 6, 2001

Card (Shadow of the Hegemon, 2000, etc.), science fiction's popular neo-pastoral writer, picks his 27 favorites of the century—most of which are undisputed classics, even if Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe," Brian Aldiss's "Who Can Replace Man?" and Arthur C. Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God" have been included in so many best-of and college textbook collections that they are almost canonical. Read full book review >

SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

Still in the universe of Card's enormously popular 1984 child-warrior yarn, Ender's Game, here's a sequel to Ender's Shadow (1999), which explored the roots of the antipathy between Ender Wiggin and his even more capable lieutenant, Bean. Read full book review >

ENDER'S SHADOW by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

Manfully resisting the temptation to rewrite his successful 1985 child-warrior saga, Ender's Game, Card instead offers a parallel yarn, told from the point of view of Ender Wiggin's lieutenant, Bean. Read full book review >

ENCHANTMENT by Orson Scott Card
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1999

Card's new fantasy (Heartfire, 1998, etc.) reworks an Old Russian variant of the Sleeping Beauty tale. Read full book review >

FUTURE ON ICE by Orson Scott Card
Released: Oct. 14, 1998

"Quality material, if a dollar over and a decade late."
A collection originally intended as a companion to the 1989 volume Future on Fire (not seen), a showcase of 1980s science fiction stories; editor Card remarks on the hiatus but offers no explanation. Read full book review >
HEARTFIRE by Orson Scott Card
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 7, 1998

Another in Card's superior fantasy series about Alvin Smith (Alvin Journeymen, 1995, etc.), set in an alternate world where magic works—people are born with "knacks"—and America is divided among a tiny Union, various European colonies, and inviolable Red territory west of the Mizzipy River. Read full book review >

HOMEBODY by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1998

Another mainstream contemporary supernatural (Treasure Box, 1996; Lost Boys, 1992) from sf/fantasy author Card. Read full book review >

RED PROPHET by Orson Scott Card
Released: Feb. 5, 1998

The second installment of Card's Tales of Alvin Maker (Seventh Son, 1987), about an alternate frontier America where folk magic works (people have "knacks"), Red men are still very much in evidence, and numerous colonies exist alongside a fledgling US. Read full book review >
CHILDREN OF THE MIND by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"A bizarre and poorly planned mixture of dazzling ideas and preachy philosophizing: At present Card simply is juggling too many projects at once, and here he's just overextended himself."
Fourth in the series about former child warrior Ender Wiggin (Xenocide, 1991, etc.) and his long search for redemption. Read full book review >
TREASURE BOX by Orson Scott Card
THRILLERS
Released: July 31, 1996

"Beautifully orchestrated, with above-average characters, but blandly unsurprising and lacking the gritty, discomfiting feel of reality underfoot."
A contemporary tale of the supernatural: fantastic/science- fictioneer Card's second mainstream outing (after Lost Boys, 1992). Read full book review >
PASTWATCH by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Impossibly far-fetched, but set forth with such sincerity and charm that even the most curmudgeonly readers will wish it might have been so."
Time travel/mutable-reality yarn from the versatile and talented author of Alvin Journeyman (p. 904), etc. In Card's medium future, planet Earth is struggling to recover from years of environmental disasters when a method of viewing the past is invented. Read full book review >
ALVIN JOURNEYMAN by Orson Scott Card
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Comes close, though."
Fourth in Card's alternate-world series (Prentice Alvin, 1989, etc.) where magic works (people have "knacks") and continental North America is divided among a small United States, English and Dutch colonies, New England, and inviolable Red territory beyond the Mizzipy River. Read full book review >
EARTHBORN by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1995

"More than parable, not quite allegory, Card's far-future religious saga manages, brilliantly, to be at once entertaining, unobjectionable, and edifying."
The fifth and last volume in Card's sprawling Homecoming saga (Earthfall, reviewed in our Nov. 15, 1994, issue). Read full book review >
EARTHFALL by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Nevertheless, it continues to impress."
Fourth in Card's series (The Ships of Earth, 1993, etc.) about the inhabitants of planet Harmony, whose ruling computer, the 40-million-year-old Oversoul, is breaking down. Read full book review >
LOVELOCK by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 1, 1994

"What really annoys is that, without even a token ending here, this isn't the beginning of a trilogy at all, but the arbitrary opening chunk of a bloated and flabby single yarn."
The first volume of a planned trilogy from Card (The Ships of Earth, 1994, etc.) and hardcover debutante Kidd is set on a huge starship, or Ark, soon to depart from Earth. Read full book review >
THE SHIPS OF EARTH by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"The Homecoming Saga is a well-turned series, with intriguing ideas, well-developed characters and setting, and a plot huge enough to satisfy the most extravagant tastes; this episode comes with a most useful and welcome recapping prologue, although newcomers will wish to start with volume one."
Third in Card's sf series (The Call of Earth, 1992, etc.) set on planet Harmony, whose ruling computer, the Oversoul, is breaking down after 40 million years of service. Read full book review >
THE CALL OF EARTH by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"Slow, but reasonably involving and persuasive after a virtually unintelligible first 50 pages, where readers are expected to instantly recall details from volume one."
Second in Card's science-fiction series (The Memory of Earth, p. 81) set on planet Harmony, whose ruling computer, the Oversoul, is breaking down after 40 million years' service. Read full book review >
LOST BOYS by Orson Scott Card
THRILLERS
Released: Nov. 7, 1992

"Affecting, genuine, poignant, uplifting: a limpid, beautifully orchestrated new venture from an author already accomplished in other fields."
First mainstream outing—a family drama with a touch of the supernatural—from the leading fantasist (the Alvin Maker series) and sf writer (The Memory of Earth, p. 81). Read full book review >
THE MEMORY OF EARTH by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1992

"All in all, an uneven and irritatingly inconclusive starter."
First of a five-book series from the author of Xenocide, the Alvin Maker tales, etc. Planet Harmony, settled 40 million years ago following the destruction of Earth, is overseen by the Oversoul, an intelligent computer able to communicate telepathically with certain of the inhabitants. Read full book review >
XENOCIDE by Orson Scott Card
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 15, 1991

"Card's true purpose here is to preach rather than simply tell a story."
Sequel to Ender's Game (1984) and Speaker for the Dead (1986), exploring the problems of alien contact and coexistence on planet Lusitania, where now three intelligent species dwell: human colonists; "buggers" (an arachnoid Hive Queen reasserts herself after the near extinction of her species in the human-bugger war); and the indigenous "piggies," who, after a horrid flaying-alive ceremony, metamorphose into sapient trees. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 28, 1989

Third volume of Card's Tales of Alvin Maker (most recently Red Prophet, 1988), set in an alternate America where magic works (people have "knacks") and a fledgling US peacefully coexists with various Crown Colonies, republics, and independent Indian nations. Read full book review >

TREASON by Orson Scott Card
Released: Nov. 15, 1988

"Still rather hurried, somewhat mushy and juvenile, but a large improvement over the original."
A rewrite and expansion of Card's early novel A Planet Called Treason (1979), about the descendants of gifted exiles struggling to escape the planet on which they have been confined. Read full book review >
SEVENTH SON by Orson Scott Card
Released: July 31, 1987

"Card has uncovered a rich vein of folklore and magic here, to which his assured handling of old-time religion and manifest love of children is admirably suited: an appealing and intriguing effort, and his best so far."
First of a series from Card (Ender's Game; Speaker For the Dead), set in an alternate-world frontier America (early 19th century) west of the Appalachee Mountains, where folk magic works, a stern Lord Protector still rules in Britain, and Red men live peaceably (most of the time) alongside their colonist neighbors. Read full book review >
SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD by Orson Scott Card
Released: March 3, 1986

"Card's YA appeal is undeniable, but thoughtful readers will be frustrated by his inability to explore the wider implications of his own ideas."
A superficial, intermittently absorbing alien-contact puzzler—and long-range sequel to Card's child-soldier yam Ender's Game (1984). Read full book review >
ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
Released: Jan. 1, 1984

"Still, the long passages focusing on Ender are nearly always enthralling—the details are handled with flair and assurance—and this is altogether a much more solid, mature, and persuasive effort than Card's previous full-length appearances."
A rather one-dimensional but mostly satisfying child-soldier yarn which substantially extends and embellishes one of Card's better short stories (Unaccompanied Sonata and Other Stories, 1980). Read full book review >
SONGMASTER by Orson Scott Card
Released: July 7, 1980

"Something like a promising first draft of a nice though syrupy idea."
Mikal the Terrible, pacifier of the galaxy, has learned of the extraordinary singing children ("Songbirds") who are trained in the Songhouse on the planet of Tew and then sent to a few deserving hosts for six-year sojourns before returning to the austere Songhouse as instructors. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1980

"Again, as in the novels, the impression is one of promising ideas and good intentions undermined by lack of discipline and puerile tendencies—but sf readers inclined toward the cheerfully un-rigorous will find this a reasonably diverting grabbag."
An amiable but mostly toothless first story collection—ten magazine contributions from the past three years plus one original—from the whimsical, rather mushy and juvenile author of A Planet Called Treason and Songmaster. Read full book review >
Released: July 6, 1979

"A few sunny lines, but basically a mess."
A half-baked parody of fantasy/sci-fi formulas. Read full book review >