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Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card
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Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  2,823 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
46 short stories 1977-1990. Many heroes are manipulated by unstoppable powers. 10 essays on motivations, autobiography, faith. Some titles are: Ender's Game, Kingsmeat, Lost Boys, Elephants of Posnan, Unaccompanied Sonata, Freeway Games, Quietus, Best Day, Fat Farm, Eye for Eye, Sepulchre of Songs, Monkey Thought Twas All In Fun, Saving Grace, Clap Hands and Sing ...
Paperback, 675 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Orb Books (first published 1990)
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5.0 stars. I have not read all of the stories in this collection, but have read the following:

The Elephants of Posnan - 5.0 Stars
Unaccompanied Sonata - 4.5 stars
Freeway Games - 4.0 stars
Lost Boys - 5.0 stars (wish I could give it 6)
Quietus - 3.5 stars
The Best Day - 4.0 stars
Fat Farm - 5.0 stars (superb)
Ender's Game - 4.5 stars

Lost Boys is one of the most chilling short stories I have ever read and stayed with me long after I had finished it.
Jeff Walden
Mar 29, 2012 Jeff Walden rated it it was amazing
How do you review a collection of short stories? Honestly, I have no idea. Every collection has its high points and its low points. And it's not like iTunes where you can pick and choose what to buy, or where you can realistically read only the good stories and skip the stories you know you won't enjoy (for who knows your tastes as well as you do?). Pretending to be able to derive some aggregate rating for all of them seems nearly impossible. Keeping that in mind, I rate this as a five for two r ...more
Feb 09, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, 2015
5 stars is a rating I offer to books that are superb. They might have flaws, but they are completely overwhelmed by the whole achievement. Awarding a star rating to a massive short story collection (40+ hours of unabridged audio) is a difficult task. There are 46 short stories, and not all of them are good. However, most of them are good or decent. There are a few duds that I could count on one hand, and those are heavily outnumbered by the masterpieces in the collection.

My favorites include:
Christie Skipper Ritchotte
Nov 14, 2010 Christie Skipper Ritchotte rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
It's a very cool thing to have all of Orson Scott Card's short stories compiled in one place. I'm not sure what it would be like to read this from cover to cover without having read his short stories before. I've read and owned the individual collections as they came out through the years, and they're all here. So many of these stories are perfect examples of what's great about short stories. My favorites are the risky tales filled with the palpable sense of dread the author seemed to have a dir ...more
The best all-around short story collection I've ever read.

Card's stories have so much meat and human emotion in them, they're a joy to read over and over. I'm hard-pressed to find other stories that equal the strength and directness of Card's short work, and with such skill and intensity. In addition, Card's many essays - one per story, plus a few longer ones introducing each section - add lots of great personal insights - about writing, about reading, and about life in general.

This one isn't j
Jul 30, 2009 Hallie rated it really liked it
This short story collection is a) satisfyingly large, b) well organized and c) has copious amounts of forewords and afterwords explaining the inspirations behind stories, the author's opinion on science fiction as a genre, random trivia, etc. Not all the stories in it are masterpieces, and in fact a good number of them (especially the pure fantasy ones) are kind of hilariously bad, but some of them really stood out. Particular favorites include "Quietus," "A Sepulchre of Songs," "The Monkey Thou ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
This is a very interesting collection of short stories. They span Orson Scott Card's career and represent many different genres. Some stories are great and some are not so great. Card's commentary on how the stories came about and got published make even the not-so-great stories well worth the read. In the commentary, he mentions writers that inspired him or gave him ideas. I find it interesting to see what authors another writer reads. I added several books and authors mentioned in the commenta ...more
Oct 25, 2008 Cherie rated it it was amazing
My longtime favorite. I think that the short story form sometimes helps to pare the idea down to it's meat, and it does so here. One of the short stories (Lost Boys) later became a much less wonderful novel. You will find elements and ideas and glimpses of all his following work here too. Forty six stories, arranged by genre into 5 books and Card adds a little biographical sketch to most, explaining where he was in his life and how that informed, formed, the story. If you read Card at all you wi ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
This collection is mostly excellent but a bit uneven, especially toward the end. This makes sense as it includes Card's early, less-polished work. I was surprised by the number of different genres and story types Card has been able to write in successfully, especially by the caliber of the horror stories in the first section. I also very much appreciated the introductory and closing essays of each section, in which Card talks about his writing process and each story. This anthology is almost wor ...more
Christopher Read
Mar 18, 2012 Christopher Read rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book. Card does an excellent job of writing, as usual, and some stories were quite fascinating. Unfortunately on the whole it just seemed a little too dark and disturbing for me to really get into it. I'm all for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and stories that make you think, and as far as I'm concerned, Card will always be one of my favorite authors. No author will ever be able to rally fans though every single time with every single piece of literature they publish, and this one didn't do ...more
Jul 09, 2009 Mac rated it really liked it
This is a really odd collection of stories. The first one is just flat out weirdly badass. There's another one about a music genius that's amazing, and another one about this guy that continually clones himself that is absolutely fantastic and there's another about a guy who's killed like 20 times that will make science fiction nerds drool.

Mostly I think Card is goofy and overly (almost forcibly) religious in his work...but his imagination makes up for it a I guess we're cool.
Nov 25, 2012 Noelia rated it really liked it
Mapas en el Espejo 1: 5 estrellas. Son cuentos de terror, horror y espanto. Excelentes!
Mapas en el Espejo 2: no lo conseguí todavía...
Mapas en el Espejo 3: 4 estrellas. Son cuentos de fantasía. Muy buenos!
Mapas en el Espejo 4: tampoco lo conseguí todavía...
Mapas en el Espejo 5: 3,5 estrellas. Hay tres cuentos cortos en los que se basaron sus novelas más famosas. El resto del libro son cuentos mormones que me parecieron un poco aburridos y pacatos. Eso bajó el ritmo de la lectura.
Jen Jenson
Mar 25, 2013 Jen Jenson rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like their heads messed with!
Yeah, I'm finished with this. I normally like Orson Scott Card, I didn't read what this was about, before starting. If I had realized it was a bunch of short scary/mentally messing with you stories I would have not started it. I had insane dreams last night! I'm good. I think the ones I read will give me enough psychotic nightmares to last me a lifetime.
Jun 13, 2011 Cirque rated it liked it
Some stuff in here is absolutely amazing, alot of it is kinda average. You should google the story "The Porcelain Salamander" because it's very very good.
Jan 10, 2010 Daniel is currently reading it
OSC doesn't pull any punches. Every short story in this volume is packed with thought provoking and interesting elements. Characterization is rich despite the short format.
Sherie Davis
Jan 02, 2010 Sherie Davis rated it liked it
I haven't read all of this as it's a short story collection but the ones I have read are great. Very thought provoking like all of his other work I've read.
Jun 11, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing
I originally read this collection of short stories by Orson Scott Card when I was a teenager. I have read it so many times that I could probably tell some of them to my toddler daughter from memory. I love Orson Scott Card's ability to create tales that read almost as fables; this ability shines through particularly well in short story format. Many people either love Card or hate him. He has received much negativity due to his views on same-sex marriage, or rather, for stating those views public ...more
Brian Gaston
Feb 16, 2017 Brian Gaston rated it really liked it
A good synopsis of Card's early career.
An Odd1
Jun 03, 2011 An Odd1 rated it it was ok
** compromises one 5* with many 1*. Usually intriguing people and impossible places, but sad. Whether or not "like", engaging, root for the good, and admire skill. Most often, a hero (one girl - taught by father) has a single admirable trait. Hoping difficult situations resolve to a happy ending leads to discouraged despair, with strings pulled by unstoppable others, especially unforgettable two: grisly Kingsmeat (I think of as The Shepherd) and my favorite, Ender's Game (written at the start of ...more
Aug 02, 2013 Sophia rated it really liked it
I really liked having so many great short stories in one place. As a whole, this collection was very dark and more than a little creepy, but all of the stories were thought provoking. There were a few I didn't like, but only a 3 or 4 out of 46, and even those were well-written and very interesting.

I particularly loved the introductions to each section of the book describing different kinds of stories, and the afterthought for each of his stories. It is very rare to get into an authors head as w
Deborah O'Carroll
I admit it. I only picked up this book to read "Ender's Game" in it's original novella form before the author decided to turn the story into a novel.

I read the "Ender's Game" novella, and found it a fascinating look at a previous version of a story. It was interesting how a few of the most iconic moments I remember from the novel were in the novella... I also found that, oddly, the movie was in a way more similar to the novella than the novel, since the novella did not yet have many of the side
It's a large collection of stories and it's hard to rate it. Also, I've read it intermittently, mostly between or during other books. The quality, length, tone and genre of the stories varies greatly. In the final part (a short one, thankfully), there are even some dull family/morality stories Card wrote for some Mormom magazines. Otherwise, there are horror (few), fantasy and sci-fi stories (most of them). Many are good, a few are great, many are average and some are shitty. Overall, I'd advise ...more
Pedro León
Feb 09, 2012 Pedro León rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esta colección de 5 libros (Nova lo sacó en un solo tomo), es una antología de relatos cortos escritos por uno de mis autores favoritos, Orson Scott Card.

En esta colección aprendemos quizá más de su persona ya que introduce y apostilla todos los relatos, explicando su origen, las circunstancias, satisfacciones o dolores de cabeza que le dio cada uno.

Me sigue fascinando que una persona mormona practicante y por tanto religiosa, sea capaz de no mezclar sus creencias con lo que escribe. Lo único qu
Oct 01, 2010 Shani rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Most of the stories in this collection are not interesting. Some are very nice, but the majority were unclear and not what I love about Orson Scott Card's books. Many of his short fiction books are written in childish-bad-grammar intentionally, I don't completely understand why (for instance, "Malpractice"). The stories at the end of the collection are completely boring. I understand they must be included in "the complete works of" but this was a little too complete for me... I mostly liked the ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
I "read" (as an audio book) the first volume of this five volume collection of Card's short fiction. The five volumes are divided by theme, the theme of this first volume being "The Hanged Man: Tales of Dread," kind of Stephen King-ish creepy stories. All I can say is, "Wow, what a story teller!" While I didn't like every story, I was continually impressed at the inventiveness of the author. What I enjoyed the very most was that at the end of the audio book, Card himself gave the history of wher ...more
Jordan Munn
Jul 21, 2007 Jordan Munn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dudes and chicks
Took long enough to get through. About one-fourth of this book is strong. Most of it is just mildly good though. The afterwords and introductions for the various sections are good for revealing where some of the stories' inspirations came from. Overall, I'd stick to the highlights of Card, rather than try to wade through all of this. There are stories here that are just too light on concepts. Some of the character voices aren't differentiated and defined enough, so that even though you're readin ...more
Karen Wyle
Jun 02, 2014 Karen Wyle rated it really liked it
I'm rounding up somewhat; and I'm doing something I may never have done before, rating and reviewing a book that I didn't read from cover to cover. But when the book is a massive collection of short stories, I didn't feel I had to read every story before recommending the collection.

There were stories I liked well enough and stories I liked very much indeed. Each set of stories is bookmarked by Card's commentary about the nature and uses of the genre involved and about what he meant to accomplish
Sep 04, 2009 Donna rated it liked it
This is a fascinating collection of sci-fi short stories that Raz shared with me about three year ago. In between books, I often pick this up and select a story at random! I like Orson Scott Card in small doses. (I have had great success in recommending his books to teen boys - ENDER'S GAME, a big hit!)

My favorites from this collection thus far include "Fat Farm," "Clap Hands & Sing," "Kingsmeat," "An Eye for an Eye," and most of all, "Unaccompanied Sonata."

Somewhat wicked, these lines mak
Dec 18, 2007 Skyler rated it it was amazing
Amazing collection that shows so many facets of what Orson Scott Card is capable of. I have heard that his wife will not read his horror, and I now understand why--some of the stories are so chilling and grisly that I refuse to read them a second time. On the other hand, I have read this cover-to-cover, for everything else, four times. This was what inspired me read his book, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. I occasionally have moments of inspiration for my own fiction that are almost ...more
Mar 26, 2008 Garrett rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Card had many great stories in here. And it was delightful to read the stories or novellas that preceded the novels that I happened to have read first.

Equally (if not more) valuable were the essays he wrote about the background and ideas of each story. I really got to see how a master storyteller gets ideas and plays around with them to generate a real story. These essays alone are perhaps the single best "book" on ideas and pre-writing that I have read to d
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card...

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“…I had seen the princess and let her lie there unawakened, because the happily ever after was so damnably much work.” 8 likes
“And then the queen wept with all her heart. Not for the cruel and greedy man who had warred and killed and savaged everywhere he could. But for the boy who had somehow turned into that man, the boy whose gentle hand had comforted her childhood hurts, the boy whose frightened voice had cried out to her at the end of his life, as if he wondered why he had gotten lost inside himself, as if he realized that it was too, too late to get out again.” 7 likes
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