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The Folk of the Fringe

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  3,703 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Only a few nuclear weapons fell in America-the weapons that destroyed our nation were biological and, ultimately, cultural. But in the chaos, the famine, the plague, there exited a few pockets of order. The strongest of them was the state of Deseret, formed from the vestiges of Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. The climate has changed. The Great Salt Lake has filled up to prehist ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Orb Books (first published 1989)
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Spider the Doof Warrior
I am trying to re-read this book for some reason, but I just might re-read Walk This Way by Aerosmith instead having already finished that book recently.
This book BUGS me. I think it's because half the characters are just so dang self-righteous. Like in the first story, how did they know the Mormons would have everything running in Utah? I reckon it's supposed to be about faith and such and just leaving things to faith but as I get older I become more of a skeptic and all I can think is, really?
Doc Opp
Apr 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A relatively obscure Orson Scott Card, but one that may be the most revealing about the author. A tale of post-apocalyptic America, that has some interesting characters and ideas and is well told through a set of short stories.

Card's Mormon roots come through heavily in this book. There is a lot of Mormon theology and not too subtle proselytizing. There's also some fairly new age mysticism in the last story, which could turn off a lot of sci-fi fans who are excited by the world in other ways.

This was not what I expected. It's a well-known fact that Orson Scott Card is LDS. He uses LDS-themes and culture throughout his books. His series about Alvin is based on the Joseph Smith story. His series Homeward Bound is based on the Book of Mormon (and was so badly done, that I couldn't finish the first book).

This is an interesting beginning: American has been attacked during World War III and several large cities were bombed. Post-Apocalypse themes abound. The first story involves a group o
Nov 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in '99--a year of uncertainty--like the world is on the brink; and the very year of the "Six Missle War". Jamie and Deaver Teague are unforgettable--so honest, so perceptive, so true--and so real. The eerie image of the flooded Temple--the painful truth of human failings magnified by the breakdown of civililization--the fringe a symbol of the tenuous hold thereon--and a very compelling and startling ending, albeit controversial. Reader beware--contains some disturbing elements. Also, some M ...more
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the Mormonest book I've ever read and I was totally not expecting it.

I know OSC is Mormon and everything, but this book is written from the shifting viewpoints of a half dozen people, all of whom are completely fucking devout and guilty-feeling Mormons living in a newly formed pseudo-theocracy in what used to be Utah. It kinda sorta follows the life of someone born a few years before the big collapse but he is conspicuously not involved in the last part of the book... As a post-apocalyp
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A couple of loosely connected short stories about an apocalyptic USA after a nuclear and biological war. Scruffy loner helps clueless group of Mormons get to Utah. They find a kid along the way whose parents have been killed by baddies who the next short stories are about. Child in rebellious get rich quick scheme and Child as a man helping a group of players realize how badly they need each other. One of Card's earlier pieces stuff from what I can gather in the writing. He has a very long last ...more
Mar 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm about halfway through and I really dislike this book strongly. If I didn't need it for a book club, there is NO way I'd finish it.

Finally done. I read it in one day while I was home sick. If I hadn't needed it for book group, I wouldn't have made it through the second story. I really liked the first one, though. Hated all the rest, but I liked the first one. Definitely not one I'd recommend to anyone, though...
Esta es una colección de relatos con una premisa común: en una América post apocalíptica la civilización resurge (apenas) en Utah, de manos de los mormones. Eso suena muy proselitista, pero Orson Scott Card es mormón y está muy metido en su comunidad, y su religión es así, proselitista, qué le vamos a hacer. Podemos discutir si los mormones son los únicos que mantendrían la cabeza sobre los hombros en semejante situación (lo dudo), pero yo prefiero atenerme al valor de los cuentos y dejar eso ap ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i saw this at a library book sale and got so excited over the cover, thinking it was going to be some science fiction story about some conspiracy theorists living in the desert, or maybe on another planet, or perhaps some area 51 stuff. i didn't know. but i was imagining something along those lines.

and that's not at all what i got. and i was hugely disappointed. here's the deal, some of the imagery in this book was cool. huge towering skyscrapers almost completely submerged in ocean waters and
Apr 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition This is some weird Mormon apocalypse book. The author is a conservative Mormon whose books I've read before--Ender's Game being his most famous--but this one is just weird. America is destroyed and the LDS are going to claw us back into civilization. Who knows, maybe there is some truth to that, right? I mean, I just read a book about the Mennonites coming out on top after society falls, so maybe the Mormons would be well positioned to survive due to the nature of their community. I'm ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to start reading all of OSC's lesser known books after I fell in love with a kid named Andrew Wiggin. I would love to LOVE this book. I did enjoy some of the characters, they gave off a very good "real" feel. I could imagine myself having to deal with some of those issues had this happened.

I almost wonder if it needed to be a little longer, give it more time to go in depth on characters and events that led up to the war. But, alas, the story isn't so much about why or how it happened.
Elle M.
Apr 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book again, I enjoyed it even more. The first time was when I was younger, and still saw much of the world as good or bad, black or white, clean or dirty. Some of the book disturbed me then. I even felt betrayed by Orson Scott Card! How dare he write this! It seemed nearly blasphemous. Now after having put another 10 years behind me, I really enjoyed the portrayal of people trying to be good, making mistakes, having to hang on to their faith by a thread. The whole world being ...more
Feb 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is rather depressing and a bit too graphic for my taste. Probably the worst O.S. Card book I've read. It's a collection of short stories kind of tied together, and I don't like his portrayal of Mormons.
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Eh. Not one of Card's best. I'm not a fan of short stories anyway, and this collection didn't do it for me at all. Lots of focus on Mormons and non-Mormons after an end of the world type event. The characters weren't as well developed as I like, and the stories just didn't grab me.
Jacob Lines
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
This 200+ page book contains 5 stories set in a future in which the world has experienced limited nuclear war. Only some cities were destroyed, but large-scale civilization has collapsed – no manufacturing, no travel, no long-distance communication. The cities that remain are small and getting smaller as the people fight for dwindling resources. The note with the Table of Contents explains:
“In America’s future, when society has collapsed under the weight of war, civilization lives on among thos
Eric Barnum
Out of all Card's writing, this one just did not do it for me. Given to me as a gift, I read it and quickly felt obligated to finish because it was a gift. I loved the Ender's Game stuff... this is a totally different beast, like a collection of short stories tied together in a future where Utah has been wiped out by war and humanity is barely surviving. If you were a Mormon prepper who didn't mind a tongue-in-cheek attitude towards the church, this story might appeal to you.
Orson Scott Card is an excellent writer. This book is completely different from Ender's Game, the only other novel of his that I have read. However, the fact that both of those are great seems to indicate to me that Card is flexible with his writing and very talented.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed it! And I'm still reeling. :-)

The first four sections were quite a fun read, although the juxtaposition of crudity (some mild, some ...not) with such open "Mormon-ness" took some getting used to. (Not least, I'm sure, because I'm not used to reading fiction that deals openly with LDS characters, LOL.) The character development seemed a little two-dimensional at first, too, until I got more comfortable with Card's "sampling" style of describing the characters. There was so much mor
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Folk of The Fringe” is a compilation of stories about the different ways that people react when faced by an event that cannot be undone, a cataclysm that forces every person to redefine their goals, drives every sould to question their values, and the life they are forced to discover/pursue after having done so, and whether such a life is desirable or worth living. The stories are about the different ways in which people respond to survivor guilt, the anguish, the choices.

TFOTF is also abo
Aug 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Folk of the Fringe is Orson Scott Card’s collection of short stories about a post World War III United States. Each story is loosely tied together by different characters or settings. The first follows a group of Mormons being forced out of their homes in the Eastern United States, the second follows a refugee they rescue, etc.

He sets up some parallels between these modern-day Mormons and the people being forced out of their homes two hundred years earlier. Gangs are killing their husband and fa
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My brother recommended this book to me several years ago, and I finally found a copy in the Chicago public library system. I didn't know going in that the book was a collection of loosely connected short stories, but I found the format worked quite well, despite not being what I had expected.

The setting is a post-nuclear United States. The only community that is really thriving, not just surviving, is the Mormon community in Utah and surrounding areas, now called the State of Deseret. The first
The Folk of the Fringe is a collection of short stories, which makes it nearly impossible to rate as a whole. I felt that two of the stories in the book were 5-star material, while the others were a waste of my time. This doesn't mean they were bad; I often feel this way about short stories. Unless an author can get me emotionally invested in a hurry, I don't usually feel that a short story is an especially good use of my reading time.

I picked the book up knowing that it contained short stories
Nov 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like how, generally speaking, Card does not shy away from showing some of the negative traits of Mormons and has plenty of non-Mormon good-guy main characters (only one of whom ends up converting). However, ultimately those are couched within hundreds of Mormon positive traits, and also the criticisms are never directed at Mormonism--only at individuals.

I think one of the biggest flaws in this book is its failure to address the issue of plural marriage. While it's not a part of the mainstream
Mathew Whitney
The Folk of the Fringe is a collection of short stories by Orson Scott Card. Each story is related in some way, usually sharing one or more characters from one of the other stories in the collection, and all dealing with survival and faith in a post-apocalyptic America.

I sometimes find Card's religious overtones to be a bit heavy-handed. Here, many of the religious themes are laid bare, and the overtones are more specific to the Mormon faith. While it might bother some, it is part of the theme t
Carlos Piélago Rojo
Un fix up con tema post-apocalíptico, en el que algunas historias comparten personajes. Es un libro agradable de leer aunque hay algunos relatos más flojos que otros.
Lo tengo que comparar inevitablemente con "Cantico por Leibowitz" porque tratan el género postapocaliptico desde la perspectiva de la religión, incluso en el prólogo escrito por Miquel Barceló compara las dos obras, y yo diría que en el de Cantico si hay algo que no funciona es el planfetismo ultracatólico que predomina en la obra,
L'incipit dei racconti è intrigante così come lo svolgersi degli eventi; si arriva però a punti in cui quasi ogni storia diviene irrimediabilmente stucchevole, ed intrisa di un sentimento religioso che non mi appartiene e che non posso comprendere né spesso condividere. L'ultimo racconto è forse quello che più si avvicina alla mia idea di misticismo, ma è costante la presenza di un sottofondo piuttosto moralista, sebbene voglia apparire illuminato dalla comprensione dell'umana debolezza e dall'i ...more
I've found myself drawn into the, what I'll call the "what-happens-after-Rome(i.e. America)-burns?" genre.For some reason they get lumped in the science fiction section I guess because they're obviously set in the future, but there's nothing technologically advanced about the groups they describe. What makes this one interesting is that Card draws on his own Mormon culture in this set of stories and imagines a crumbling America where only the territory of Deseret and surviving Native American tr ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Card intertwines excellent science fiction with LDS culture. Setting is post Nuclear / Bio war with resulting anarchy. He has a story of LDS migrating from North Carolina to the state of Deseret, escaping groups of 'mobbers' as they go. Another story is about cultural of rural types including a cripple teach who talks through his computer as he attempts to teach some school bullies. The Sweetwater Pagent company travels to these towns and presents roadshows. Card authored the Hill Cumorah pagean ...more
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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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“It's called civilization. Women invented it, and every time you men blow it all to bits, we just invent it again.” 655 likes
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