Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.
Orson Scott Card first presented his interpretation of Moses in the 1973 musical drama "Stone Tables" (the title comes from Exodus 24:12). This 1997 novel expands that story and reflects not only the book of Exodus, but the Mormon Book of Moses, and works of both history and speculation. As Card points out in his Preface, the account in Exodus says nothing of the life and achievements of Moses as a prince of Egypt and barely touches on his private life. Indeed, most scripture tends to be long on narrative and short on characterization. Card uses his formidable writing talents to make not only Moses, but his brother Aaron, sister Miriam, wife Zeforah, father-in-law Jethro, and the Pharaoh Tuthmose come alive as characters. "Stone Tables" is speculation. The genesis for this speculation is Card's questions about the convoluted relationship between Moses and Aaron. In thinking over the life of Aaron, who watched his younger brother lead his people out of bondage, witnesses first hand the miracles of the plagues upon Egypt, and made a golden calf for the Israelites while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the 10 Commandments from God, Card believed he saw a pattern of envy. However, "Stone Tables" goes well beyond providing a rationale for Aaron's actions.For non-Mormon readers, such as myself, there are two major differences between the stories of Moses told in "Stone Tables" and that related by the book of Exodus (and the movies "The Ten Commandments" and "Prince of Egypt"). The first is that characters in the novel refer to their foreknowledge of Christ, which Card clearly states is part of the worldview of the Latter-day Saints.Read more ›
Even if you loved "Ender's Game" or some of Card's other science fiction or fantasy, you might have no interest whatsoever in this book. But if you love the subtle and overt religious themes in Card's writing, I highly recommend this book. (His "Saints" is good too.)
"Stone Tables" is a novelization of the life of Moses, using what we "know" about Moses from the Bible and other sources and creatively filling in the details. (I especially liked Card's explanation of Moses's speech impediment.) I found this a spiritually nourishing book, particularly Jethro's discussions with Moses about prayer and Moses's advice to Aaron on being a servant of God. Thank you, Orson Scott Card!
OSC's book "Stone Tables" is an incredible book in the way that it presents a human face to such characters as Moses, Aaron, and the Pharaoh of the Exodus--characters that over 80% of the people in the world, if they don't believe actually existed, know of. Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike understand the incredible importance of Moses to each of their religions. Card has, as is stated many times with many of his other books, influenced these well-known characters with his incredible talent of realistic characterization. The result is a story of people we can, as normal people in a normal time in normal circumstances, understand and empathize with. Card derives influence from the Old Testament, and popular belief and tradition (Josephus in one instance). However, his largest influence by far is his use of LDS theology, which differs in many ways from most Christian theology when it comes to Moses. Probably most readers not familiar with such theology will be a little confused or puzzled because such events and ideas are not explained, but are simply presented along with the rest of the story that the everybody knows. The reader is forewarned. OSC's introduction describes this book as unashamedly religious and Mormon. It is an adaptation of a play he wrote while on a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil. Thus, I cannot understand why some of the reviews on this page are accusing Card of being 'insulting' or '[farcical]'. His book, in my opinion, clearly states at the beginning that his book will be deeply religious in nature. If you don't like that, don't read it. Also, it needs to be noted that *I am also biased in my own opinion.* I admire the writer of the review who stated in his review that he was atheist, and therefore didn't like the book.Read more ›
I'm sure most of the non-LDS readers of this book are drawn to it because they're Card fans. I know that's what happened with me. I am not particularly Christian, but I do have a firm belief in morality and humanity's duty to separate right from wrong. Card has an astounding ability to demonstrate through his characters how a person can be fundamentally good (even Great) yet still be flawed and very very human. This book does not disappoint on that score. Stone Tables is populated by men and women who struggle to do good in the world while fighting their own wrong-headed impulses. What a joy it is to watch them triumph! Also, by the time Card wrote this book, he was beyond the point of being a master storyteller. This epic is paced just right and held my interest tightly throughout.Nevertheless, I have to turn back to the characters. Some are not as fully rounded as I might have liked. For example, Miriam comes to realize she needs to phrase her declarations of Truth more diplomatically, but we never get to explore the repurcussions of that (basically, to me it seemed she needed a little more humility). Also, Joshua stayed a little too flatly Pure. But, of course, they're not the main characters. Moses is the important one here, and Card gives him remarkable vitality. Aaron and Tuthmose are also amazingly drawn. Card made me believe that these people once lived and breathed just as he has described them, even though this is a fictional account.The only people I imagine might have trouble with this book are those who cling to their own versions of Christianity enough to be offended by the LDS touches (foreknowledge of Christ, multiple worlds, etc.), or those who are turned off by Christian righteousness (too bad for them to be so closed-minded). Everyone else, I think, can only gain from reading this.