The Ships of Earth

The Ships of Earth

Card, Orson Scott

language: English

Publishing date: Dec 15, 1994

Words: 122680
Pages: 454

Description:

From Publishers Weekly The third volume of Card's Homecoming Saga continues the epic tale begun in The Memory of Earth . After 40 million years, the artificially intelligent guardian computer (the "Oversoul") of the planet Harmony--created to keep the human colonists at a relatively low technological level so they don't repeat the devastations wrought on Earth--has begun to fail. In order to repair itself and avert disaster, it has gathered a group from the city of Basilica, hoping to guide them through the desert to the place where the ancient starships wait, eventually to return to Earth. From the start, however, the band has been riven by internal conflicts. Some, such as Nafai and his wife Luet, can hear the Oversoul's voice in their minds clearly and follow its plans willingly, while others, such as Nafai's older brother Elemak and his followers Mebbekew and Obring, are not so cooperative and seek a way to return to the comforts of civilization. At times the conflicts even erupt into violence, but gradually each obstacle is overcome, though the participants are left with emotional scars. Throughout, Card weaves thoughts on such matters as religion, tradition and the needs of the community versus those of the individual, using Biblical allusions to drive home his points. Though the text is at times a bit preachy, Card posits no simplistic answers, and the series continues to be interesting and provocative. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From The third book of Card's Homecoming Saga takes the prophet Nafai and his oddly assorted band of pilgrims across the deserts of Harmony as they flee from ruined Basilica and its conquerors. Fumbling their way toward workable social arrangements for their new existence as they go, they are guided by the Oversoul and its vision of the need to return to Earth. There seems to be a bit of fumbling, or at any rate a good deal of talk, in Card's handling of this philosophical journey, but in its final stages, the book rises to great power as the little band of prophets approaches its goal. Even as good a writer as Card--one of the genuinely towering talents working in science fiction today--is not immune to middle-book-slump syndrome, but overall, this volume carries forward a superior story. *Roland Green