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Pastwatch
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About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win these two top prizes in consecutive years. There are seven other novels to date in The Ender Universe series. Card has also written fantasy: The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of fantasy novels set in frontier America; The Lost Gate, is a contemporary magical fantasy. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.

Reviews

Under the auspices of Pastwatch, a 23rd-century organization dedicated to viewing the past, three individuals journey to 15th-century Meso-America. They intend to prevent the European conquest of the Americas by altering the circumstances surrounding Columbus's historic voyage. Card's latest stand-alone novel posits a bold and compassionate alternative history filled with believable historical and fictional characters. The author of Ender's Game (Tor Bks., 1985) and the "Alvin Maker" series clearly demonstrates his brilliance as a weaver of possibilities. A priority purchase for sf collections.

Playing with the time stream isn't new to science fiction, but Card (Ender's Game), who's won both a Hugo and a Nebula, gives the concept a new twist here-with mixed results. His angle is to make the temporal interference not accidental but intentional, as a group of scientists go back in time to alter Columbus's journey. Sponsored by the organization Pastwatch, which uses a machine called TruSite II to view the past in remarkable detail, the "Columbus Project" is headed by Tagiri, whose TruSite viewing of the horrors of slavery has prompted her to revise the famed explorer's agenda. Tagiri sends into the past her daughter, Diko, a Mayan descendent named Hunahpu and a man named Kemal, a prickly sort whose initial skepticism is transformed into a fierce commitment to change the past. Armed with devices from the future, the three return to 1492, determined to transform Columbus from a gold-seeking pirate into a proponent of world peace and global unity. Uniformly well-meaning, the trio is just too sanctified to believe, and in their hands, the complexities of temporal mechanics are boiled down to simplistic cause and effect. Some sparks are generated when the Pastwatchers finally meet Columbus, but even that encounter produces fewer surprises than you'd expect from a master like Card. (Feb.)

"Card makes a strong case for being the best writer science fiction has to offer." --The Houston Post"A bold and compassionate alternative history filled with believable historical and fictional characters. The author of Ender's Game and the Alvin Maker series clearly demonstrates his brilliance as a weaver of possibilities." --Library Journal"Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus is the best book Orson Scott Card has written since 1985, when his Ender's Game won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards." --Philadelphia Inquirer"Readable and engaging, full of likable heroes and unmistakable villains....Pastwatch raises many significant and vital questions about humanity's social development, that mixture of flaws and promise." --Locus

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