This is topic What OSC novel is this? in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by ChromePlated (Member # 13906) on :
Hi everyone,

Years ago, I read a sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card, but I cannot remember the title, nor was Reddit able to help me. I would like to read it again, or at least pin down the title.

This is my first post here! I hope you afficianados can help.

It was about some people on a much-ravaged earth defending against attack from other humans from outside our solar system. The others had previously left earth long before to some colony, and came back as a militaristic fleet intent on destroying earth.

Earth had been ravaged previously and the remaining folks had banded together into a modest society in North America. Due to how barely Earth still survived, they had a sort of group think where there was little allowance for anyone not entirely honest.

It was a pretty complex story, to put into a few sentences. But I am vague on details. I ask for your help!

I remember that the "ambassador" from the military fleet to old earth was a woman who remembered how to use a keyboard, as if it was completely archaic.

I don't want to give away the whole plot - is it even possible to do that on an OSC forum? smile - but here is more that I remember:

* There is ***NO*** Ender, and no extraterrestrial aliens at all (though there were some fierce beasts on earth in this future). It is not part of the Worthing series.

* There is ***NO*** space travel to other systems; it all takes place in earth's solar system. The attacking fleet came from some previously-colonized system, but the story never goes there. Also: NO time travel.

* I read it maybe 15 or 20 years ago. I used to pull tons of books from the library and go through them like water.

It's strange ... I've never wanted to remember one like this so much. Then found I couldn't, even with help! (Read on.)

* It was a single paperback story. Maybe 200 to 300 pages long. Not a collection. Not part of any series that I recall. Maybe it was some off-shoot, but if it was, it must not have been prominently stated. (You either get into a series or not, right?)

* I remember that there was a place in western North America where some military action took place, and the area had a Mormon type of name. Sadly, I can't remember the exact name. (Pretty sure not Zion. Started with an L??)

In December, I asked on Reddit. No one could help me, which amazes me! So I came here. The Reddit thread is here if you want to read it. It goes into more details (spoilers!):

The reason I am asking is because, in retrospect, I really liked the way this book handled dealing with a ravaged earth, and attempts to harmonize with it peacefully. It sort of strikes a chord nowawadays.

I ask you to please read all my points carefully before you reply, so we don't waste each other's time.

THANKS if you can help!
Posted by Zotto! (Member # 4689) on :
I'm not sure this is an OSC story at all, actually.

If it is, I think you might *possibly* be mixing up elements from "I Put My Blue Genes On" (colonists return to earth to find a North American settlement ravaged by genetically modified diseases), "The Monkeys Thought 'Twas All In Fun" (female protagonist and strange objects in space), and "Holy" (protagonist goes native and opposes military intervention), which were all from the short story collection "Maps In A Mirror."

(I know, you specified that it wasn't a collection, but those are the only stories I can recall that have the elements you describe, and I've read everything OSC has written).
Posted by Piefka (Member # 13216) on :
Some of these elements remind me of "Folk of the Fringe". Post-apocalyptic/mormons.
Posted by ChromePlated (Member # 13906) on :
Thanks, both of you. Zotto, now I'm wondering if it really was OSC or not.

It didn't have anything Mormom prominently. In fact, that one part of North America with an LDS-based name was the only thing dropped into it, and I remember thinking to myself, "I see what you did". [Wink]

"The Monkeys Thought 'Twas All In Fun" doesn't sound right ... it had a hollow Mars moon?

A serious problem I'm having is that ALL sc-fi authors have TONS of Google results, because there are many reference and commercial sites or lists of work by authors that track most any sf book ever written - but almost none of them have any details on the story itself.

So I can find lots lots and lots of long lists of OSC works. And I get lots of hits on "The Monkeys Thought 'Twas All In Fun",

But I had to hunt and peck a lot to find even a mention of anything in the story itself. There's even a wikipedia page for this story - but it too does little else than to point to other stories in the OSC bibliography. No plot summaries on the net, even with a wikipedia entry!

Anyway, thanks everyone ... maybe I'll never figure it out! Sad. [Cry]
Posted by DustinDopps (Member # 12640) on :
This doesn't sound like any OSC story I have read, and I think I have all of his books.

You should try asking on I once asked about an obscure arcade game I had only played one time 30 years ago and they found it within an hour.
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
After reading the additional details you mentioned on reddit, I'm pretty positive this is NOT OSC.

Of course I have been unable to identify what it might BE. I think you'd need to come up with the names of specific characters or places (other than Deseret, since that yields nothing promising on Google).
Posted by odouls268 (Member # 2145) on :
Try this Wikipedia page:
Posted by ChromePlated (Member # 13906) on :
Thanks so much, everyone ... wow scifibum I wish I could remember some (any!) specifics on this book. Alas. Maybe something will come to me.

Dustin, I'll give metafilter a shot I guess. Getting kind of stoic at this point, lol.

odouls, that's quite a list! I looked through it (hundreds) but nothing stood out. Thanks for trying to help.

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