cover image Keeper of Dreams

Keeper of Dreams

Orson Scott Card, . . Tor, $27.95 (656pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0497-1

Multiple Hugo- and Nebula-winner Card offers short, revealing commentaries on these 22 compelling short stories, novelettes, and novellas, noting that short work has inspired some of his best and best-known long fiction. These short science fiction, fantasy and “literary” stories, along with a handful of Hatrack River tales (related to the Alvin Maker series) and four stories “written by a Mormon, about Mormon culture, for Mormon readers,” illustrate Card's fascination with complex child protagonists, touchingly portrayed in “Inventing Lovers on the Phone”; absorption with moral dilemmas, wrapped up in family love and tensions in “Worthy to Be One of Us”; and new views of old traditions, familiar and discomfiting in “Homeless in Hell” and “Christmas at Helaman's House.” Card intended several of the included stories, like the powerful “In the Dragon's House,” to open novels not yet written, but even on their own they provide significant examples of his perennial themes: morality, salvation and redemption. (Apr.)