It came near to destroying humanity.
After a long, long time of decadence and stagnation, a few seed ships were sent out to save our species. They carried human embryos and supplies and teaching robots and one man. The Worthing Saga is the story of one of these men, Jason Worthing, and the world he found for the seed he carried.
Orson Scott Card is "a master of the art of storytelling" (Booklist), and The Worthing Saga is a story that only he could have written.
©1978 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
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"Early Work of a Master"
Card was heavily influenced by the Foundation series in this work. I'm not making that up. He says so in the afterward. But he brings his own unique style and perspective to "universe building".
These stories require some patience. Don't expect alot of action and aliens. This isn't Ender's universe.
Card examines the influence of two technological events on the development of human society; the ability to "sleep" for decades at a time, and psychic ability to control the thoughts and memories of others. How do these changes influence the way people act and relate? What happens when whole classes of individuals can skip through time like stones across a pond? The stories are thought provoking and prove that card is a much more interesting writer than the recent "Ender and Bean" novels would indicate.
The production is excellent and the readers are first rate.
"Had to stop halfway..."
I have loved Orson Scott Card in the past, but this "story" seems like a series of parables, and the characters and plot only exist to further the philosophical/social/political musings of the author. Each chapter felt like sitting through a sermon. I don't intend to listen to the last third of the book.
"A very.... human story"
Good sci-fi stories all have one thing in common: they are about us. A good sci-fi story... a good fantasy story... a good fiction story is always essentially about the human experience. Whether it's human nature, human potential, human failings, human strengths...
What I love most about Card's work is his incredible understanding of the human condition. The setting is just a tool to explore ths. The Worthing Saga is a great example of just that. Card uses this setting to explore so many ideas, from how cultures cause their own downfalls to the deep dark depths of jealousy and hatred.
Where do you find a balance between happiness and free will?
If you were God where would you draw the line?
I loved the book and I give it 4 stars.
"Save a credit"
The first half of the book tells a sci-fi/fantasy story that is ok. I was puzzeled why the second half would re-tell the same stories just from a different point of view. Then, Orson Card himself explained it. This is a collection of his attempts to tell a certain story. So, unless you are interested in the somewhat arbitrary collection of variations of the same story - save your book credit for something else.
A "stellar cast" of fine readers make this collection of earlier stories by Card a "must hear" for fans and audiophiles. I was totally captivated and engrossed as a listner. There is no better way than a good audiobook to enjoy this fine writer.
"Marred by odd moral arguments and poor narration"
This is (by his own admission) one of Card's earliest works, and it was written during a lot of his early missionary and bible college times. This explains the heavy morality themes throughout. In fact I would classify this story as more allegory than sci fi. I had trouble understanding the protagonists' motivations at times -- why kill yourselves because you created a utopia? And why are people so much happier when they are suffering?
I found these arguments puzzling but overall they didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story. This is apparently a rewrite of the original tale, and it is structured well. I often found it hard to put down. The collection of short stories afterward are a mixed bag, though. Some were interesting, some dragged on to resolve little.
I would have given this story 4 stars if the narration was better. The narrator's inflections didn't fit the scene most of the time. The narration plodded along and most of the dialogue came out angry. The worst I've heard on an audiobook.
"One Word: Fantastic"
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 devoid of pain, the power of corruption, and the obstacles of creating a peaceful and just human society.
The anthology continues with Tales of Capitol - which introduces more of the world of Capitol and its inhabitants and explores the affect of the sleep drug Somec that allows rich or successful members of society to sleep for years at a time, the corrupt society Somec created and the people people and relationships that are affected by it.
The anthology concludes with Tales from the Forest of Waters, which explores some of Jason Worthing's descendants who live on the world of Worthing.
The stories really made me think and offered some interesting insights on human nature. If you're into this type of thing, it's definitely worth a read.
The audiobook version was narrated by Scott Brick. He is one of my favorite audiobook narrators and he did not disappoint in his reading of The Worthing Saga.
The short stories were narrated by different narrators, whose names I can't seem to locate anywhere at the moment, but they were all well read and realized by the narrators.
"A disappointment when I expected brilliance"
Disjointed, start and stop story without a real sense of a novel, of a story progressing and leading to a satisfying conclusion. If I had read up on this more I would not have bought the book. I was not prepared for a series of short stories based on Mr. Card's creation of the world of Worthing. Perhaps if I were more in the mood for short stories I would have felt differently, but I thought I was getting a novel. I love fantasy and Sci Fi both. I found elements of Worthing very interesting but it did not hold together for me ultimately. It FELT (as Mr. Card states in his afterwards) as if the stories came from different periods in his life - just didn't hang together for me.
"Not for the Lover's of Ender"
First, I love this book. It has a few lulls where multiple story lines are tied up (IMO Nedded if not a little boring).
Second, DO NOT buy this book if you just finished breezing through the Ender or the Shadow books. Yes I know they are fantastinc but, that doesn't mean that this book is for you. Worthing is clasic Card. Like some of his early short stories where he tried to jam deep meaning and some of his religion into every work.
If you loved the kind of book that Ender and the Shadow books are, Worthing is not that type of fiction. This book is not about the sci-fi. It is about Jason Worthing and all of the lives his touched for good or ill.
""...and ye shall be as God.""
The thing I like about Orson Scott Card's books is that he does more than tell a story. His stories often confront "Big Question" issues about life, death, and relationships. In the Worthing Saga Card deals with man's desire for immortality, our seemingly "inborn" character flaws, and the experiences that define us as "human."
All of these explorations are wound into a fascinating and detailed journey over centuries through the experiences and memories of the unwitting Man-God, Jason Worthing. The story cuts back and forth between the futuristic planet of Capital and the back-water worlds of the primitive and distant Colonies to explain how Worthing unwittingly helps topple an Empire and unwillingly becomes the father of a new society which holds him in god-like esteem.
"Fantastic Read. Would Highly Recommend"
The Worthing Saga is a highly original book. The Saga is split into two main parts. The first part take up two thirds of the saga length and is the main story. The last third is a collection of short stories covering interesting key people not full explored in the main story.
Orson Scott Card once again draws you in with a highly original captive story that follows the life of a unique individual from his troubled child-hood through to his part in the down fall and recreation of the galaxy. The narrative is well done and certainly adds to the story.
I listened to this book on a traveling holiday and found myself waiting to get back on the road so i could find out what happens next. It is a must listen for any Sci-Fi fan.
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