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Author Topic: Quick question about Homecoming
Szymon
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I just read on Wikipedia, that Homecoming is somehow based on The Book of Mormon. I am not familiar with it, unfortunately. Could you please tell me what how are these two books related? Or maybe give a link? I would be most grateful.

Not knowing about it, I was wondering if this is how OSC is imagining Prophets' communication with God. It was the second time he mentions it (in the books I read). First time was in Ender Saga, when Valentine was communicating with Queen of the Hive, she said this is how she imagined it, that the thought came into her mind like her own.

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Aris Katsaris
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The actions and role of "Nafai" and his family, the protagonist of the series, are pretty much identical to the actions and role of "Nephi" and his family. See for example the synopsis of the First Book of Nephi

If you've read the Homecoming series you'll recognize it's almost identical, as long as we replace some names...

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Jeff C.
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The big machine in space (I forget what it's called) that controls people's thoughts and sends Nafai messages is actually, I think, God, or at least a metaphor for God. In fact, most of the series of books is a representation of events in the book of Mormon.

I'm not a huge fan of the idea of placing religion into science fiction like OSC chose to do here, but to each their own. I think it worked out just fine. You can appreciate these books without knowing they're inspired by Mormonism, and I'm sure some mormons might find them even more entertaining.

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Kelly1101
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Wow, never knew this. LMAO. That's pretty cool. I think it's neat to take religious texts and expand them into fiction.
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Szymon
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Thanks a lot. Yeah, Aris, its almost the same;)
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Stone_Wolf_
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IIRC the Homecoming is vastly unpopular to the LDS community. Something about blasphemy or some such.
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Sala
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Hmmm. I can imagine that there are some members of the LDS church who dislike the Homecoming series. But then, there are some members of the LDS church who dislike ANY fantasy or science fiction, just as there are people who aren't members of the LDS church who feel that way.

As a life-long member myself, I didn't feel that there was any blasphemy in the Homecoming books whatsoever. In fact, the fifth book really helped me make sense of a part of the Book of Mormon that has lots of to-ing and fro-ing with lots of little groups of people. Even more, I thoroughly enjoyed the books!

Vastly unpopular in the LDS community? Not so sure about that.

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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
IIRC the Homecoming is vastly unpopular to the LDS community. Something about blasphemy or some such.

What Sala said. It's not considered blasphemy from a theological standpoint.
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Rodger Brown
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Not so sure the LDS community has an opinion either away. As a member of the church I see it as a work of fiction with an interesting tie to a religious text. Similar to Chronicles of Narnia.
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craig_childs
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I thought the first three books of the HOMECOMING series were excellent. The 3rd book SHIPS OF EARTH in particular contains some of OSC's best writing (note the way he juggles an enormous cast of characters).

The 4th and 5th books did not live up to expectations, however. There were several discrepancies/contradictions (I started a thread about that a few years ago and I won't rehash here) and important threads to the story--at least in my opinion--were never fully resolved.

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Szymon
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Now, the names! OSC has used my mothertongue (or other slavic language, Czech or Slovak or maybe Croatian. But they are very very similar to Polish: first of all velkodushnu or sth - a god, Wielkoduszny in Polish means magnanimous. Then, their destination, vdasdka or vsadku or vysadku or sth, means disembarkment in Polish, quite the same. Then, there are some Polish words, which I think are used as Harmonian (or maybe they are used in English also?) hooy- vulgar for penis in Polish, spelled "chuj", pizdoon, almost as Polish pizdus, meaning looser (pizda is a vulgar word for vagina). There are many many more examples, which were really fin to discover due reading:) Ah, Dostatok, abundance in Polish:)
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Szymon
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And of course, Moozh, in Polish maz (mąż), husband, pronounced: http://translate.google.pl/#pl|en|m%C4%85%C5%BC
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DSH
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Like Sala, I'm a life-long Mormon and didn't have any problems with Homecoming...

However, being very familiar with the Book of Mormon, I kept anticipating events I 'knew' were coming up in the Homecoming series. In the end it kind of spoiled the experience for me.

That's not to say I dislike Homecoming, but I think I brought too much baggage/too many preconceptions to the table.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm not a Mormon, I was only speaking from memory (and prefaced my statements with IIRC, or If I Remember Correctly)...so, apparently I didn't...whups.
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DSH
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FWIW Stone, there were a few Mormons who were so offended, they contacted Church leadership in Salt Lake City to report the newest heresy. (Church leadership chose to ignore the whole thing)
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by DSH:
Like Sala, I'm a life-long Mormon and didn't have any problems with Homecoming...

However, being very familiar with the Book of Mormon, I kept anticipating events I 'knew' were coming up in the Homecoming series. In the end it kind of spoiled the experience for me.

That's not to say I dislike Homecoming, but I think I brought too much baggage/too many preconceptions to the table.

I had the same problem, but when I went back and read them again a few years later, I found the entire series delightful.
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umberhulk
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I like Earthborn a lot and a short story about adult protchnu would be cool.
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Graeme
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**** Spoiler ****


Every time I read the series, I keep hoping Elemak will swallow his pride and make peace with Nafai. It never happens, of course, and it makes me sad every time. The Homecoming Series is my favorite out of all of OCS's series, taken as a whole. Perhaps having a narrative to work from allowed him to focus even more attention on characterization and dialog, much like Shakespeare did.

And although I know OSC doesn't consider his novels as a platform for proselytizing, reading Homecoming did inspire me to read parts of the Book of Mormon, just so I could see the comparison.

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Scooter
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They really aren't that similar on a page to page basis--yeah, on the most basic level they were similar, but so many layers over the top were created by OSC. I actually put off reading this series because I was a bit leery about creating awkward associations when I read the Book of Mormon, but found them to be some of the best written and enjoyable books. One could read them and have no clue of the source material and not have the impression that it is based on existing religious writings.
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Emreecheek
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I'm not LDS, nor am I particularly familiar with the Book of Nafai, but...

The homecoming series is my favorite writing by OSC. The end.

Loved them. Have an entire notebook full of quotes from them. They're amazing!

[/fanboi]

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Seatarsprayan
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I enjoyed the first three books but I was so sick of Elemak's evil, people being willing to follow him, and Nafai's refusal to kill him no matter how dangerous he was, no matter how many attempted murders and treasonous acts he committed... really, he should have killed him at the end of book three. Shedemei should have killed him the minute she got that Cloak.

OR they could have knocked him out and put him in hypersleep, so that when he woke up, there was a thriving community that he was too out-of-touch to be leader of.

How many people died and were enslaved in generations to come because they wouldn't stop Elemak?

I just had so many problems with the way the story went. I don't expect all stories to have a happy ending, but I like it when they don't just piss me off at the stupidity and weakness of the "heroes."

When I found out it was based on the book of Mormon, I then wondered if that was why, OSC had to follow the general plot, what would he have written himself if not bound by adapting another work?

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Scott R
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quote:
I was so sick of Elemak's evil, people being willing to follow him, and Nafai's refusal to kill him no matter how dangerous he was
I don't remember why Shedemei didn't kill him, but Nafai's reason is quite plain: he was traumatized from having to kill Zdorab's master (whose name I can't remember; my brain is saying it's Getafix, but I'm sure that's not right...). He swore to the Overseer he'd never do it again, and he never did.
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Yozhik
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Gaballufix.
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Hobbes
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quote:
Originally posted by Seatarsprayan:
I enjoyed the first three books but I was so sick of Elemak's evil, people being willing to follow him, and Nafai's refusal to kill him no matter how dangerous he was, no matter how many attempted murders and treasonous acts he committed... really, he should have killed him at the end of book three. Shedemei should have killed him the minute she got that Cloak.

OR they could have knocked him out and put him in hypersleep, so that when he woke up, there was a thriving community that he was too out-of-touch to be leader of.

How many people died and were enslaved in generations to come because they wouldn't stop Elemak?

I just had so many problems with the way the story went. I don't expect all stories to have a happy ending, but I like it when they don't just piss me off at the stupidity and weakness of the "heroes."

When I found out it was based on the book of Mormon, I then wondered if that was why, OSC had to follow the general plot, what would he have written himself if not bound by adapting another work?

Something that bothers me to no end in modern stories (older ones too I imagine, but I don't run into those as much [Smile] ) is villains written by people who seem to be afraid their audience will forget they're evil if they do a single thing that even approaches normal human interaction. It seems that unless we're being set-up for a 'twist' ending the main nemesis is always slapping around his followers and killing people for no reason (or insulting them if this is a romance instead of an action story). It's preposterous, and it shows a weakness in the writer I think. Yet while I was frustrated with some of the choices the characters made I wasn't actually frustrated with the storyline.

The difference to me was actual actions of Elemak and the community to which he belonged. As I read the book I didn't see someone incapable of feeling human emotion (his relationship with his wife helped a lot), rather someone who was used to and liked control. Pair that with a general immaturity and you have both Elemak as well as a lot of people I've met in my life. The community he was in, he wasn't leading a band of followers against the good guys, he was just the most strong-willed of an opposition group. He didn't have a staff of generals in a little insurrection army, nor did acolytes flock to his banner (as happens in the stories I referenced above). It wasn't a cult of personality, rather the community naturally divided into two fractions. I find this tremendously important because it doesn't require him to carefully build-up a following to him as a leader like you often see. Such a set-up is difficult to swallow, why would someone so ill-versed in human communication be able to build up his own army? We don't see that here, rather the following he gets is basically him going around to those who already agree with him and reminding them how unhappy they are.

These things allow me to buy into the premise without that hitch. The why didn't they do anything to hamper him... well first though he tried Elemak hadn't actually killed anyone so it would be iffy to just knock him off. They did try several things to subvert him though admittedly with limited success. I agree there are some unexplored possibilities with the available technology. Here I do 'blame' the source material. The Book of Mormon has a very different underlying moral tone and obviously different technology. Putting the antagonist into suspended sleep wasn't really much of an option so OSC was kind of trapped there. What I saw, though, was a brother who was afraid of both committing violence in general (in the sense Scott mentioned) as well as committing it against his brother. Not that he was afraid he'd be hurt, but that it would let out a part of him he feared.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Szymon
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Have you maybe read Eragon series? Im pretty sure Paolini used Gabalufix name for his main evil characer, Galbatorix. And, he also used Le Guin's magic "system" in his book.
There is hardly anything original in that book. I just read it, I'm disappointed [Smile]

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DDDaysh
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I agree with Hobbes. I found the Elemak/Nafai conflict to be pretty much believable in human terms, even though it was incredibly frustrating to witness much of the time.

I mean, it isn't like bad people always get just punishment for their actions, and honestly Elemak wasn't really all THAT bad. He had his own moral code that he lived by, it just was so firmly rooted in the fact that he DESERVED to be the supreme dictator of everything that it slipped, little by little, over time.

How is believing in Elemak harder than believing in any one of hundreds of people out there who run organized crime rings? Those people are often mercilessly cruel to subordinates, and yet people still follow them. They still have mothers, wives (or mates anyway), and children who love them. It's not that crazy.

And, since when is human behavior logical? How many times to we see the wife that goes back to the husband who beat her? How often do we see the mother crying on TV that her baby couldn't have been the one who did it, despite irrefutable physical evidence to the contrary? How often do we see children crying when they are led away from parents who beat or starved them? I could fully believe that things would play out much as they did with the colony.

If you want to find someone who is hard to believe in, Zdorab's character is the most far fetched. And yet, given the particular set-up that OSC puts him in, even that is possible!

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aragorn64
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I might have to go back and start this series again. I read the first...two or three or so years ago, but put them down for some reason. I remember enjoying the ones I read, so I'll have to give them another shot.
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Hobbes
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Ships of Earth was my favorite, it kind of built and died down as the series went, peaking at that one. For me. But I liked all of them.

I don't know why but I've barely glanced at that series since reading the Book of Mormon (and becoming LDS), I should read them again too. New perspective and all. [Cool]

Hobbes [Smile]

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Emreecheek
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They're my favorite books by OSC.

And so many quote-worthy passages, too!

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