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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Another story, does anyone know it?

Author Topic: Another story, does anyone know it?
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I asked the Cards if they happened to know the name of this book I'm trying to remember. They didn't, but they suggested I post it to this forum and see if anyone else knows. Thanks for any help.


This is the about all I've been able to remember about the book:

I read this book in the late 90s. I assume the intended audience is teenagers/youth because I think I checked it out of my junior high library.

In the book there is a boy on a plane and the plane is going to crash, but right before it does he is transported off somehow and onto another planet. The planet he goes to, he finds out, is the home of the human-like being that owns and runs the earth. This being is very advanced and is part of a civilization that basically runs the universe. They believe in having complete order and not allowing any bad things to happen, so all the known worlds (except a few) are perfect paradises where nothing bad is ever allowed to happen. But, this guy who owns the earth, he values freedom of choice over order, which is why the earth has so many problems, he let's people make choices.

In addition to the boy from earth, I also remember there being a wild, Amazonian-type woman that the planet-owning guy took off of one of his other planets right before she died. I don't really remember much about her except that she killed a bird at one point because she was hungry and the advanced alien guy got ticked, because his civilization values life very highly. He then brings the bird back to life.

He's allowed to continue his free will "experiment" for a while, but his political opponents constantly threaten to take away his planets. Eventually, they do take away his planets, saying that he has been negligent and allowed things to get out of hand (because on earth there's about to be a nuclear war). He gets exiled and his civilization sends a fleet of battleships to basically subdue the earth and force humanity to be good from that point on. He gets exiled on some planet that's outside the galaxy or universe or something and is really far away from the light of any other stars.

At the end, his biggest political opponent realizes (too late) that her own development as an individual is now going to be halted because she will no longer have anyone to fight/disagree with and that her growth will now be stagnant. Previously, she grew a lot as a person as she struggled to find a way to take out the guy who ran the earth, but now that he's gone she doesn't grow anymore, and she realizes he was right: people need diversity of thought to help them grow and become better.

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