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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Novels Similar To OSC's

   
Author Topic: Novels Similar To OSC's
motoeric
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Are there any novels out there that make you think of OSC when you are reading them? Books that are similar in style or topics?

Eric

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Steve_G
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John Scalzi's Old Man's War (and sequels)
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Jake
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The feeling of truth that I get from many of the characters in Card's earlier works (say, Pastwatch and earlier)--the utterly believable rightness of them, even when they're horrible people--is something that I find in virtually all of Octavia Butler's work.
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Scott R
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Ray Bradbury (especially "Something Wicked This Way Comes).
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Jake
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Yeah, definitely.
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Zotto!
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The usual suspects have been mentioned already (Butler and Bradbury)

Some others might include Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow), M. J. Engh (Arslan, Rainbow Man), Susan Palwick (Shelter), and Pamela Sargent (The Shore of Women, Farseed).

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adenam
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quote:
Originally posted by Jake:
The feeling of truth that I get from many of the characters in Card's earlier works (say, Pastwatch and earlier)--the utterly believable rightness of them, even when they're horrible people--is something that I find in virtually all of Octavia Butler's work.

I find that in Sherwood Smith, particularly the Inda series. However, in most other respects, her books are very different.
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Zotto!
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Oh, also, I think there is a tragically unremarked comparison to be made between some of Card's darker work like Wyrms and Hart's Hope and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series, in regard to the degree of rigor implied in the world-creation and the intensity of the moral dilemmas faced by the characters.

Neil Gaiman's oeuvre, too, is reminiscent of Card's contemporary fantasies like Enchantment, with modern characters interacting with mythical ones.

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Herblay
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David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series reminds me a tad of OSC. Not that the novels are alike, by any means -- the Harrington books are a very long series of sci-fi naval books. But they deal with extremely clever people, an ever changing cast, and have a well thought out future. Characters die in both worlds, and the unexpected happens.
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Scott R
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quote:
Neil Gaiman's oeuvre, too, is reminiscent of Card's contemporary fantasies like Enchantment, with modern characters interacting with mythical ones.
Boy, I disagree with you. The only similarities between the works are that both authors draw on myth and folklore. In all other ways, they're completely divergent.
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Herblay
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Neil Gaiman's oeuvre, too, is reminiscent of Card's contemporary fantasies like Enchantment, with modern characters interacting with mythical ones.
Boy, I disagree with you. The only similarities between the works are that both authors draw on myth and folklore. In all other ways, they're completely divergent.
They're about as similar as OSC and Stephen King.
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Zotto!
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Really? Hmm, well, to each his own; I can certainly respect people disagreeing. I suppose it depends on what each person places more emphasis on. I mean, (Spoilers!) Shadow and Mack Street's true identities are mythical. I remember thinking some of Mack's experiments with the Skinny House were reminiscent of what's-his-name's experiences in Neverwhere. Both authors are intensely focused on relationships ... Shadow's big conversation with Sam could be straight out of OSC ... and of course Sandman has so many parallels with so many of OSC's short stories [Changed Man and the King of Words, etc] that I wouldn't know where to start.

... well, I think they're similar, anyway! In what ways do y'all think they're so wildly different?

(And, uh, I don't think a comparison between Stephen King and some of OSC's short stories [Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory, etc] and even novels [Treasure Box] would be completely off-base. Less gore in OSC, maybe, but certainly similar levels of psychological tension.)

... oh, and to continue on the topic of the thread, some of Charles de Lint's stuff [The Little Country] is kinda OSC-y.

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docmagik
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Card is actually a lot like King. Believe it or not, early in his career, there were rumors that Card was another pseudonym King was using, like Richard Bachman.

The difference between Gaiman and King to me, where Card breaks down on the King side is the emphasis they both put on developing fully-realized characters who tightly control the narrative flow.

I'm about halfway through American Gods, and I don't get the same feeling from Gaiman. There was none of that in Neverwhere. His protaganists, like so many British protaganists, are just "Arthur Dents," bland canvanses of so little actual personality that at any given moment, they can react any way he pleases and you won't question it. Both Card and King draw their characters more carefully than that--you come to a point where you know how the character will react in any given situation.

Not to say Gaiman can't handle distinct character personalities. He wrote my absolute all-time favorte takes on both the Riddler and the Penguin for DC comics, and they were fantastically spot-on. He can do it when he wants to. It's just not his consistent goal the same way it is for Card or King.

But, like Zotto! said, I think disagreements are more based on what aspects of the fiction matter the most to US. Some people by "similar" just mean "show the same restraint in terms of language and other 'ratable' content." Others might be looking for gifted, intelligent protaganists. Others might be looking for strong characters. Others might be looking for characters with an inclination towards sarcasm.

I agrew with Jake about Card's work and Butler's. I'd also say they both have a tendency towards being very dialogue-driven stories, for the most part.

But I don't get the Bradbury connection as well as a lot of people in this thread do. And I'm huge fans of both. But what I get from one isn't what I feel like I get from the other.

It's really interesting to think and talk about. And lets us know about what aspect of our stories matter to us. [Wink]

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Zotto!
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Spot-on, doc, exactly. I agree with most of your take on the distinction between Gaiman and Card's characterization. (And I'd add Gaiman's version of Death to the list of "knowing the character so well you can predict how they'd react in a given situation.) The place I'd quibble a smidge characterization-wise is when Sam shows up and gives her great soliloquy in American Gods - but maybe you're not there yet, so I'll shut up. *grin*

As far as the Bradbury stuff, it's most evident for me in Songmaster, where the book begs to be read aloud. (Though, uh, Songmaster is dark enough you probably shouldn't until the kids are asleep.) Just something in the flowing cadences, which in Songmaster make the music a metaphor for power, whereas in Bradbury it's just the sheer joy of the language. But although it's usually not as prominently displayed as in a book like Songmaster where it's part of the rhetorical point, I think Card's work is to this day much more suited to being heard that read internally. Among my favorite Card stories is 'Feed the Baby of Love', which I'm sure you're aware was part of a tribute to Bradbury, so it's all connected, man. [Big Grin]

Edit: Oh, and I'm not sure how we've gotten this far in the thread without a Dune reference. [Smile]

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Yozhik
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I just read Brandon Sanderson's latest, "The Way of Kings," and the Kaladin sections in particular reminded me of OSC. The same emphasis on how people relate to one another and how a viable community can be formed (or not).
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docmagik
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Lol. Zotto!, I almost said in my post, "except for Songmaster." [Wink]

ETA: I think by the time Way of Kings actually comes out, there will be like a half dozen people who haven't read it. And I'll be one of them, of course.

Lucky Yozhik.

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