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Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

Edited by Edmund R. Schubert and Orson Scott Card

      Considering that a majority of people purchasing Intergalactic Medicine Show are doing so because the name Orson Scott Card graces the cover, many readers will face a difficult decision. After reading the four "Enderverse" selections the dilemma is: do I stop here or should I take a chance and read what the other guys wrote? Certainly there is a temptation to sit back and ride what can only be described as an Ender high. However, if you do that you are cheating yourself.

Speaking of cheating, some of you Orson Scott Card loyalists may feel a bit like you are cheating if you enjoy the rest of the book, but remember you are doing so with Uncle Orson's blessing. He wants you to read these stories, otherwise why would he go to the trouble of picking out the best of the best from his magazine (which carries the same name as the book, by the way). For those who are new to the world of Orson Scott Card, you will need to go back and read Ender's Game to fully appreciate "Cheater," "Mazer in Prison," "A Young Man With Prospects" and "Pretty Boy," all of which could be considered prequels to the series.

While you are waiting for your copy of Ender's Game to come in, I suggest starting with one of the most clever and amusing stories in the book: "Tabloid Reporter to the Stars." Next try "Fat Farm" in comic form for a bit of sadistic humor. Then flip to "Taint of Treason," which proves emotionally charged and powerful in a minimal number of pages.

While all the stories fit under the broad classification of science fiction or fantasy, they are surprisingly dissimilar in subject matter. Even though I only mention a few by name here, each story is interesting in a different respect. Commentaries written by the authors which follow each story provide additional insight to the reader and are a wonderful bonus feature. Overall, Intergalactic Medicine Show is a great introduction to some up and coming writers, interspersed with enjoyable interludes with old friends from the Enderverse.

The Book

August 5, 2008
Science Fiction
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The Reviewer

Donna Satterlee Ross
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Donna Satterlee Ross is the co-editor of That's Life with Autism: Tales And Tips for Families With Autism and is currently working on a new book about autism and humor.
© 2008