cover image Wyrms


Orson Scott Card. Arbor House, $16.95 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-87795-894-9

With his recent novels, Ender's Game (winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards) and Speaker for the Dead (a nominee for this year's awards), Card has joined the front rank of SF writers. His new fantasy adventure is again a progress toward enlightenment that severely tests its protagonist. Teenage Patience has received a worldly education beyond her years but it may not save her when she belatedly learns that she is ""seventh seventh seventh daughter,'' the person who has been prophesied to save or destroy the world of Imakulata. Her journey to the Unwyrm, the native lifeform that has waited thousands of years for her, is by turns a romantic, comic and nightmarish education/final exam/rite of passage in a world of noble goblins and idiot savants, where the dead guide the living and where human and alien have intermingled in bizarre and now inseparable ways. A wonderful, textured fable. (July 22)