Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Worthing Saga” as Want to Read:
The Worthing Saga
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Worthing Saga (Worthing #1-3)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  6,654 ratings  ·  240 reviews
It was a miracle of science that permitted human beings to live, if not forever, then for a long, long time. Some people, anyway. The rich, the powerful--they lived their lives at the rate of one year every ten. Some created two societies: that of people who lived out their normal span and died, and those who slept away the decades, skipping over the intervening years and ...more
ebook, 488 pages
Published December 15th 1992 by Tor Books (first published 1978)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Worthing Saga, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Worthing Saga

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

Welcome. This is Sprockets und I am your host, Dieter. Tonight our guest is North American writer und author, Orson Scott Card. Orson, tonight we discuss The Worthing Saga.

Card: Thank you, Dieter, it’s nice to be here, thank you for inviting me.

Dieter: The book is delicious. There is sleeping, thousands und thousands of years of sleeping und dreaming.

Card: Yes … well a prominent element of the book was the fictional drug somek, whereby a person could go to sleep and effectively completely hibern
I love so many things about this book, its hard to know where to start. The basic premise is a bit complicated, however while reading it, everything makes perfect sense. Instead of trying to type up a plot summary, I'll discuss some of the wonderful themes and devices used in the book.

Since The Worthing Saga is a compilation of a few different stories tied together, it actually describes two different dystopias and their eventual collapses. I find that many people tend to overlook the dystopic
Apr 04, 2013 Eric rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Personally, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, but the book's rating tells a different story
Recommended to Eric by: Nick Bozenko
I am filled with reader's rage. No preamble for this review:

Problem 1: Just because Somec, a drug/technology where people could sleep for years without aging, exists, doesn't mean everyone would agree to take it -- which is exactly what happens on Capitol. Everyone in society is okay with skipping through years and decades of life and watching their peers and families grow old while they age unnaturally simply because either a) it is good for society or b) it is an honor to be given Somec. And t
Aaron Wolfson
I read this several times as a teenager, at which time I was neck deep in a massive Card phase. It's a collection of several of Card's earliest stories, all set in a future world where the planet is one giant city, people take a drug that allows them to "hibernate" for years without aging, and which has basically no culture, art, or any other redeemable quality.

At the center of it are two men, Jason Worthing, who is the last descendant of a race of people who can read minds, and Abner Doon, who
Doug Cannon
I just finished re-reading this book, and I enjoyed it much more this time around. I began thinking about this book because of the opening chapter, "The Day of Pain". People often say "How can a loving God allow good people to suffer?" Or the more cynical version when people say, "I do not believe God exists, because if he did, there would not be so much suffering in this world."

Card does an excellent job of describing what a world might look like if people were not allowed to suffer. No pain, n
Mormons in space. I think. I really know nothing about the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A friend of mine recommended the book, and I read it, but I was seriously underwhelmed.
Kevin Xu
The first book basically he has ever written, which provided the foundation for all the other books he has ever wrote since.
The Worthing Saga reaches further back than you might imagine, the blurb on the back suggests the scope of time, but does nothing to describe the moral scope of the novel. Reading reviews, after reading the book, I have to agree, that for long stretches you forget this is a sci-fi story, and focus on the oh-so-human element Card brings forward.

I've only begun reading Card this past year, and the strength of his stories amazes me. This story in particular, rings with truth. The story is rife wit
Amanda Morris
This book has so many intricacies in it, so many complexities. I read this book wondering what one thing had to do with another and when I got to the end, it all tied up, it all made complete sense and fit so well together and left me with a very satisfied and amazed feeling. There were so many issues in this book and it left my mind swirling in thoughts.

I loved the distinct, different societies in this book. From the society that looks like it came straight from "Little House on the Prairie" to
Card goes back to some of his first science fiction writing and melds the early tales into a compelling saga. Jason Worthing, blue-eyed mind reader, is sent from Capitol on a colony ship. His ship is attacked and his colonists memories are erased. He has to raise them as children in adult bodies. He creates a 'utopian' society. This book collects stories of Jason's childhood and Jason's children both before they leave Capitol and after, as well as a time far, far into the future when Jason retur ...more
April Brown
This book needs it’s own blog post, or two. As a writer – just reading this book you learn so much abut the writing process and how to see other characters through one character’s eyes. You can also learn how to weave, I think it was 20,000 years of history into a story, and literally thousands of characters as well, and the story still makes perfect sense. Not only that, he also picked a current time, and wove the telling of the ancient story within the current storyline in an excellent manner. ...more
Steve Walker
I have to say I am really enjoying Orson Scott Card. A big fan of the Ender series, particularly the first book Ender's Game (masterpiece), I never read much more of his stuff. Recently been reading the Alvin Maker series and stumbled on this book. Just a wonderful writer.

That said, this book does not get 5 stars. This is one of Card's early novels. It started as a handful of short stories set in the world of Capitol. The stories had the same backdrop and explored similar issues, but they weren'
Note: My audiobook review is at the end of this review.

Orson Scott Card never ceases to amaze me in the questions he tackles in his writing.

In The Worthing Chronicle, Jason Worthing comes to a small village where Lared resides and asks him to write his story. As Lared writes we learn of two worlds - Capitol and Worthing. It is through Jason's story that Card explores the reasons why a god would leave their children unprotected when they have the power to provide lives full of happiness and devo
Bruce Freedancer
Possibly one of the greatest books I have ever read. A collection of linked short stories, set in two different time zones and places, yet with a thread that connects them both.

What makes this book so special to me is that it attempts to answer the riddle of Joy and Pain, by exploring what life might be without pain, and whether it would even be worth living.

The feeling that without pain we have something precious taken away from us, a certain loss of our own claim to humanity, but really only b

I expected a lot from the author of "Enders game", and I was not disappointed. The theme of a savior figure that the people don't understand or appreciate is woven throughout this story just like in Enders game. It made me think about how we believe in and treat God. There are so many different layers to this book, from the simple medieval world where Lared lives to the cold world of the Capitol, where billions of people live in massive metal structures that are all connected. Card in his maste
A fairly disjointed collection of stories in a shared universe that even Card says in the afterword was not among his best work. This collection contains some of Card's first published works and the quality is middling at best.

All the stories feature "Somec"--a substances that allows people to live nearly forever by entering into years long periods of 'sleep' and come awake for short periods to manage their affairs/finances/etc. Those that stay under the longest are the most powerful (though it
Jon B
Pretty much my dream book. This book details what would happen if you crash landed on a different planet and had to remake civilization. A very very interesting read. The main character goes into cryo so he is able to witness the world evolve over thousands of years.

This book gripped and captivated me, a pure 5 star rating.
SciFi Kindle
This novel is collected together with a number of earlier-written short stories from the same narrative universe, some featuring common characters or locations. One can clearly see Card's improving craft if one compares them chronologically, with the novel demonstrating a more intricate structure and higher-stakes drama. The novel takes a wider timescale perspective and has more recognizably SF elements: FTL space travel, time dilation, interstellar empires, etc. While a few of the short stories ...more
My favorite OSC book.

OSC really shows his Mormon roots in this tale without hitting the reader in the face with morality. He uses the setting of the book to explore the relationship of Justice and Mercy. In the Abrahamic religions, the idea of sin and reconciliation are applied as the balance between Justice and Mercy in Mormonism. If a judge forgives a criminal mercy is served but not justice, etc. These themes are brilliantly woven into the book in the simple life of an innkeepers son in an a
It's obvious these were three books that got mixed together. The bouncing around made it hard for me to invest in any of the characters and not skim over sections of the book. The best part of it, and the reason I didn't give it one star, was Tales of Capitol. There isn't a bad story in that section.

On a personal level, it was hard for me to be okay with the LDS message of why God allows suffering and is a good guy for doing it. It was obvious that Jason Worthing was pushing that message. Unlike
Carrie Fitzgerald

A book about near immortality and its consequences. Ideas somewhat reminiscent of Asimov's Naked Sun, but explored in a way that only Card could pull off. Excellent!
Justin Thrash
Best Card book that I've read so far.
This book is a compilation of a novel and short stories previously published that center on a family with special gifts. The first is a novel that tells the story of Jason Worthing, which was written years after the short stories. There is a author's explanation at the very end that explains the compilation and the when the different parts were written. If I'd read it first, I would not have wondered about the differences in the stories and the novel.

The novel tells a fascinating story, spannin
The main story in the book, that of Jason Worthing, is five-star good. It shares many elements with Ender's Game--an extraordinarily gifted individual is forced into making crucial, species-altering decisions, and lives out his life across the millennia, popping in and out of normal time.

I'm a big fan of Card's Ender series, so I was intrigued to see his earlier work. This has all the same hallmarks: thoughtful, well-crafted science fiction with a heavy dose of ethical quandary. Card constantly
I know this will surprise you, but I thought The Worthing Saga was even better than Ender's Game (and I loved Ender's Game)! I don't have time for a real review, but here are my quickest, most concise thoughts on this collection of stories:

1. What does it mean to be a God? To me, this was the central theme of the main story in the book.

2. Though there are certainly sci-fi elements to the book, it did not feel very sci-fi to me (I loved it anyway).

3. How I understand and interpret mythology, pain
Resources for Adults Sci-Fi Selection

After my first sci-fi pick turned out to be less-than-ideal, I chose a more classically sci-fi option: The Worthing Saga, by Orson Scott Card.

I’ve read (and enjoyed) several other works by Card, so this was a relatively safe selection. Because I listened to the audio book and did not examine the chapter structure of the physical book, I did not realize until after I’d finished that The Worthing Saga is actually an omnibus collection of a novel, The Worthing
The first half or so of this book is a novella about the life of Jason Worthing, a telepath born thousands of years before. Jason's world revolves around Somec, a drug that basically puts people into suspended animation and is distributed out based on merit, not money, to preserve the "most valuable" individuals for future generations. The greater the value of the person, the greater the ratio of time asleep to time awake, with the Empress at the highest Somec levels: awake one day for every fiv ...more
The book is actually 3 parts:
- The Worthing Chronicle: Originally named Hot Sleep, his first novel. This is about half the book, and contains the best elements I describe below.
- Tales from Capital: A handful of short stories set in the same universe. They aren't as deep as the novel, but they fill out the back story, and give a better feel for the setting (or, at least one aspect of the setting). Still very enjoyable.
- Tales from the Forest of Waters: Two of Card's earliest short stories, th
H.J. Swinford
Nov 28, 2008 H.J. Swinford rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to H.J. by: close friend and co-worker
Shelves: read-in-2008
I really found this book interesting. I've decided that I liked it, found it thought provoking certainly, but I wouldn't say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some parts were difficult to read simply because the actions of the characters were so terrible that it hurt my heart. I loved the character Justice the most probably. She and Sala were wonderful. I liked Jason as well, but I saw some things in his character and the symbol of it that I thought could be improved. The book itself was well writte ...more
Krystl Louwagie
Review from 2008:

Ok, this was a novel and then like 8 or so short stories after it that still dealt with that same world. The novel was my favorite, but the short stories had charm to them as well. I really enjoyed most of it-it was fun getting into a different futuristic mixed with some magic world. The world was very well developed and so were the characters. It was a story I didn't really want to end. I wasn't satisfied with the ending, though, which will lose it some stars, because I feel li
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Should I keep reading? 1 4 Nov 20, 2014 07:35PM  
What's The Name o...: sci fi called the w---saga [s] 8 74 Apr 01, 2013 09:29AM  
Torn about reading 5 17 Mar 26, 2013 07:29AM  
On the cliffs 2 25 May 12, 2011 07:42AM  
  • Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • The Ghost From The Grand Banks
  • The Practice Effect
  • Orion (Orion, #1)
  • Angelmass
  • The Winds of Change and Other Stories
  • Burning Tower
  • Quest for the Well of Souls (Saga of the Well World, #3)
  • Illegal Alien
  • The Neutronium Alchemist 2: Conflict (Night's Dawn 2)
  • High Justice
  • Eternity (The Way, #2)
  • Berserker Man (Berserker, #4)
  • Metaconcert (Intervention, #2)
  • The Truth Machine
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • Worlds Enough & Time: Five Tales of Speculative Fiction
  • Buying Time
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...

Other Books in the Series

Worthing (3 books)
  • Capitol (Worthing, #1)
  • Hot Sleep (Worthing, #2)
  • The Worthing Chronicle (Worthing, #3)
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet, #2) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4)

Share This Book

“If there were no goodness in people, mankind would still be confined to loping across a Savannah somewhere on Earth, watching the elephants rule, or some other more compassionate species.” 3 likes
“I cut the wood however I like, but it's the grain that decides the strength and shape of it. You can add and subtract memories from people, but it isn't just your memory that makes you who you are. There's something in the grain of the mind.” 2 likes
More quotes…