Visiting with an Old Friend
Favorite authors. Do you have one? I mean the one you read over and over and over again. I have two. First is JRR Tolkien. I cannot say how many times I’ve read through the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it is many. Of course, because Tolkien no longer walks the earth, he’s not producing any new fiction, unless you count The Children of Hurin, the unfinished epic that was edited and brought to publication in 2007 by his son Christopher Tolkien. But Frodo and Sam will not grace the page again for any of us. If Tolkien had any other stories to share with us sadly, we will never know them.
My other favorite author, who is alive and well, is Orson Scott Card. When I discovered his work in my young adult years, I rejoiced. I have subsequently read everything he’s written. While I don’t universally like all of his work, I always enjoy reading his stories – because he is such a craftsman when it comes to creating a science fiction/fantasy story. So whenever any new Card comes along, I am pleased as punch. I confess to not always keeping up with what’s new, so when I found TWO new Card books while Christmas shopping, I nearly salivated. I immediately added them to my order.
Pathfinder is a new science fiction story that debuted in November of 2010. It has all the classic Card features fans have come to love: space travel save-the-earth plans, young heroes with exceptionally special mystical talents, corrupt government officials bent on keeping or gaining power, good people who act selflessly, and fantastic technology.
The Lost Gate, which arrived on my doorstep in early January 2011, is more straight fantasy. It borrows from legends of old and reminded me of Rick Riordan’s books with the “orphaned god who doesn’t understand his destiny” set in today’s America.
I‘d give Pathfinder my nod for favorite between the two stories, although Card fans, or any science fiction/fantasy fans, would like either of them. A good audience for either of these books would be junior high and up. I was quite pleased to be able to spend a couple of afternoons reading them. It was like catching up with an old friend. I hope their sequels get here soon – I can’t wait for another visit.