In the Image of God

Theme, Characterization, and Landscape in the Fiction of Orson Scott Card


In the Image of God: Theme, Characterization, and Landscape in the Fiction of Orson Scott Card by Michael Collings represents the first book-length study of Card’s fiction, though numerous shorter articles have appeared. As such, it deserves particular attention, not only for its own sake, but also because it sets an agenda of sorts for future Card studies. Each of the seven chapters stands almost as a separate essay on some aspect of the broad triple focus of the title (theme, characterization, landscape), but together they create a suggestive, carefully drawn picture of Card’s writing as a whole, as well as provide interesting observations on a number of individual works. Throughout, Collings focuses attention on elements that are clearly central to a proper understanding of Card’s work, yet not so obvious as to preclude the possibility of fruitful and intriguing commentary. For someone who is interested in exploring the manifold implications and ideas in Card’s work, this volume is a good place to start.

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