Customer Reviews: Keeper of Dreams
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on November 4, 2015
This is a lovely collection of short stories, but I am compelled to write a review because it is subtitled "Pastwatch Book 2", when in fact the stories in this book do not seem to be related necessarily to the book Pastwatch. There is a wonderful expansion of one of the stories from that previous book, which I vey much enjoyed, but the title is deceptive - this is a COLLECTION, not one story.
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on September 1, 2012
Keeper of Dreams (2008) is a collection of short stories. These tales include six SF stories, eight Fantasies, two literary stories, two Hatrack River tales, and four Mormon stories. Each tale is followed by a note on the origins of the story.

Preface explains the importance of short stories to SF writers. SF is one -- although not the only -- genre that still publishes magazines full of short stories. The numbers of subscriptions has fallen oven the years, but still provides a market for new writers.

The author also describes the origins of these stories in a general way. Originally, the author wrote short works for the SF magazines. Then Ender changed his life. While he has concentrated more on novels since Ender, a few short stories continue to bull their way into his schedule.

Science Fiction:

- "The Elephants of Poznan" (Fantastyka) is about elephants and genetics.

- "Atlantis" (Grails) tells of one man's search for Atlantis. it is a lengthy short story.

- "Geriatric Ward" (Last Dangerous Visions) concerns an investigation into life and death.

- "Heal Thyself" (Amazing Stories) takes a boy into a reservation to gain an understanding of death.

- "Space Boy" (Escape from Earth) involves a boy who wants to go into space and a visitor from another dimension.

- "Angles" (Destination 3001) regards a visitor from an alternate Earth in 3000 AD.


- "Vessel" (BEM Magazine) follows a young boy on a family reunion.

- "Dust" (Doorways) relates the adventures of a boy on the other side of the gap.

- "Homeless in Hell" ( commits a man to Hades after his death, where he meets Santa Claus.

- "In the Dragon's House" (The Dragon Quintet) describes the strange things that happen to a boy at 22 Adams street.

- "Inventing Lovers on the Phone" (Stars) considers a teenage outcast with a new cell phone.

- "Waterbaby" (Galaxy Online) puts a toddler into the nearest body of water.

- Keeper of Lost Dreams" (Flights) brings the dreams of others into the mind of a teenage boy.

- "Missed" (Greensboro News & Record) conveys the feelings of the survivors.


- "50 WPM" (In the Shadow of the Wall) deals with war and clerks.

- "Feed the Baby of Love" (The Bradbury Chronicles) is a strange and special tale.

Hatrack River:

- "Grinning Man" (Legends) introduces Davy Crockett and a bear.

- "The Yazoo Queen" (Legends II) relates the strange events on a river boat.


- "Christmas at Helaman's House" (Christmas for the World) confronts a man with his ambitions.

- "Neighbors" (Vigor) examines the reactions of home town neighbors to the crucifixion of Jesus.

- "God Plays Fair Once Too Often" (Hillcon II Souvenir Booklet) sets God in a losing situation.

- "Worthy to Be One of Us" (Turning Hearts) exposes the fears of some women.

These tales cover a wide span of themes. If you only know the author's novels, the stories will show you the span of his interests. Go ahead and discover more of him. Note: this volume has 656 pages, so don't expect to read it in a day or two.

I was most impressed by "Feed the Baby of Love", but "Worthy to Be One of Us" was close behind. The author has a delicate touch with emotions and feelings. Take it in smaller doses for optimal pleasure.

Highly recommended for Card fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales about humanity and their affections and foibles. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
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on May 12, 2008
There are a few really good stories in the book, but most of them are just okay. The stories don't feel as well developed as those in Maps in a Mirror. The characters aren't terribly compelling. The themes of the stories are repetative. Perhaps some of the problem is that many of the stories are his older work? Disappointing on the whole.
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on December 14, 2015
If this wasn't represented as the continuation of the pastwatch storyline, I'd probably rate this collection higher. The subtitle Pastwatch Book 2 is at best deceptive marketing. There is exactly one story that mentions the pastwatch universe, and it is simply a rebelling on Kemal's introduction, with much of it a direct cut and paste.

The short stories ar okay -- not Card's best, but also not his worst, which makes one wonder if the subtitled was added to make more sales...

Both the author and publisher should be ashamed of this.
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on March 11, 2016
This one was a tough one for me.

See, about 16 years ago I was at a book signing for Ender's Shadow and as part of the talk OSC announced that there would be a follow-up novel to Pastwatch. Now, Pastwatch is one of my favorite OSC novels so I was thrilled. Judging by the crowd response I wasn't alone.

So after that point I kept my eyes open for a new Pastwatch novel. Years passed and I never saw anything. Last week I was in the mood to read Pastwatch again but didn't want to dig for my old paperback. On to I go to buy the Kindle version. "What's this? Pastwatch 2 was released and is available on Kindle?". Click to buy without reading any reviews.

Ok, why this is a tough one for me. This collection of short stories is in no way, shape, or form a continuation of Pastwatch. The only short story that touches on Pastwatch is an extended version of the search for Noah tale from Pastwatch itself. Shame, shame, shame on the author and publisher for selling this as Pastwatch 2.

As for the stories themselves, the collection opens with "The Elephants of Poznan". While reading this I was thinking to myself, "jeeze, not only is this not Pastwatch 2 but it's absolutely horrible as well". Yes, "The Elephants of Poznan" is about the worst short story, by any author, that I've ever read. At this point I'm starting to feel that this will be a one star review.

I then move on to Atlantis. Like I mentioned before, this is simply an extended version of material from Pastwatch. Not bad, not great. In fact OSC had a short story on his website that I downloaded several years ago that already covered this ground but by leaving out the Pastwatch background and adding a lot more to it I think he did it better. Meh, maybe it may move the review up to a 1.5 star. About ready to give up on the whole thing.

So far I'm not really happy, right?

Then something happens. The next several stories are actually good. More at the level I'd expect from OSC. A story where wormholes are portrayed as an actual worm? Classic.

Towards the end there's a couple of stories from the Alvin Maker universe. I own a couple of the Alvin Maker novels but never seemed to finish them (fantasy really isn't my thing). These I liked though. Maybe I just need my fantasy in small doses.

So what to say, what to say?

I don't want to give this a four star review because the whole idea of selling this as Pastwatch 2 just erks me and there is the god-awful "The Elephants of Poznan" short story so I don't want to give a false impression. Three stars seems a little harsh because there is some good material here. Let's split the difference and call it 3.5.
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on April 27, 2008
The collection is broken into categories with six Science Fiction entries; eight Fantasies; two Literary; two Hatrack River (short novels related to Alvin Maker); and four Morman Stories. Each entry has notes afterward in which Orson Scott Card provides additional information. The compilation showcases the depth of the author as Mr. Card runs the gamut of the sci fi-fantasy continuum. Many have children especially teens and the lead characters are caught up in complex moral scenarios or questions on ethical choices. The "nonreligious" Morman tales are obviously timely and although Mr. Card explains that he targets Mormon readers as a Mormon writer; other fans might think these are "weird", but many of these others in the audience will still appreciate tales of characters facing personal crisis inside a "ward". Well written throughout, readers will relish the deep yet wide skills of Mr. Card to coax his audience to think beyond his enjoyable KEEPER OF DREAMS.

Harriet Klausner
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on February 6, 2016
I've been a syfi reader since I was a kid in the 50. Clarke is at the top of my list forever and of course Asimov and Zimmer Bradley. Then I took my grandson to the movie Ender's Game a few years back and got curious about the author. The first Pastwatch was fun and fascinating. This collection, while lacking the focus of the first volume and Clarke's eloquence which makes some of the longer stories tend to drag in spots, more than makes up with the unpredictable and logical twists of the stories. It is an easy work to follow if you have to put it down for a few days.
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on March 27, 2011
This collection of short stories was both entertaining and thought provoking. The author's notes at the end of each story was a privileged glimpse into the mind of a creative genius. Even with the explanations, I'm still blown away by Card's imagination. Elephants as gods? Wow.
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on July 17, 2008
I enjoyed the diversity of the short stories in the book, and I really liked that many of the stories fall outside of the more common "Hatrack River" and "Ender's Game" series that everyone reads.

Other have commented that the stories and characters are not as developed as in some of the other short story collections, and that is true for some of the stories included but not all. Part of the beauty in this collection is OSC's detailed notes following each story describing when it was written, what was happening and why it is what it is, and not more or less.
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on June 18, 2012
I read Card's earlier short story collection "Maps in a Mirror" just after it was published and found several pieces powerful, chilling and unforgettable; they've stayed with me for years. I picked this up hoping to see him match (and perhaps best) the previous talent shown in that work, but nothing here comes close. Keep in mind that I am a Card fan, having read the Ender, Alvin Maker, and Homecoming books, along with Treasure Box and Lost Boys. Others who've said "Not Card's best work" are being generous. I'm of the opinion that if these tales had not been written by OSC, most of them wouldn't have been published; he's resting on his laurels with several of these and he knows it.

For example, in his endnotes after one of the stories (I'm not mentioning it so you can read it with an open mind) he explains that he wrote the tale thinking he'd give it as a Christmas gift to friends and family. After sending it to them, he writes: "My memory is that not a soul read it. Or if they did, nobody liked it enough to mention it....I knew it wasn't my best work, because I hadn't dropped sweat on the keyboard while typing was a more personal story...more of a spew....I still liked it when we did a very small printing of it and offered it on our Website....Again the world didn't stop and people didn't beg me to print more copies....You'd think I could take a hint. But...I can't." Since he can't, we have this collection which is mediocre at best.

There are some excellent, brilliant and inventive concepts in this collection, particularly "Angles." When OSC is putting out his best work he can't be matched by many writers. So it's rather sad to see these stories collected and published because IMHO it tarnishes his reputation. You may beg to differ, but I'd call this book a "borrow" rather than a "buy." I picked up my copy for just $1.00 and still feel the money was badly spent.
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