Sunday, November 10, 2013


Wyrms was published in 1987, and the cover looks like it! Wyrms is written Orson Scott Card, who's name is back in the public's eye because of the movie version of his SF novel Ender's Game, 1985, the first in a series of Ender stories, which also spawned the Shadows, and The First Formic War stories, all in the Ender universe.

Orson Scott Card has won a number of book prizes, including the Marget A. Edwards Award for Ender's Game, and has been the editor of some SF anthologies. I read one of them at some point. The last thing I read was a series of short stories which were okay. Wyrms was not what I was expecting, and I'm not sure I understand the cover graphic of this paperback I found at my library's book sale. I certainly don't remember monkeys with clothes in the story.

Wyrms is basically a thought experiment about politics and religion. It takes place far into man's future, some 7000 years after man colonized a new planet called Imakulata. The story centers on a young girl/woman who is trying to find her way in the world in which she lives, as the daughter of a slave to the king. The history of the King, or Heptak as its called in this story, extends back to the very ship that brought the colonists to Imakulata. And our girl Patience, is wound all up in it.

Its a story of intrigue, murder, inter-species relationships and prejudices, religious tolerance and intolerance, the birth of myth and religion, and how various forms of the same story can mean many things to different people after so long. Given Card's political and religious writings--he's a right-wing Mormon--I would guess that if you were a follower, you'd find his philosophies laced throughout. I guess I'm not a real thoughtful or analytical reader, so I couldn't see the point as much as hear the discussion. I'm sure that if I thought about it more, I could tell you, but I'm reading for entertainment over here!

Was it good? Yeah, it was pretty good. If you're interested in what an author's religious and political views are, when he uses the position he has established in the community as a writer and the livelihood he makes from his book sales to advance those views, and you're trying to decide if you want to support such an author's mission when his views on issues such as democracy and gay marriage are so conservative, you may want to take a look before buying his books.

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