The Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card

“The Folk of the Fringe” by Orson Scott Card, a collection of interconnected stories set in a post-apocalyptic America, offers a unique take on survival and community rebuilding. Published in 1989, this book takes readers through various narratives that converge to paint a picture of a society trying to hold onto its humanity amidst chaos.


Originality: 3.5/5
Card’s approach to the post-apocalyptic genre in “The Folk of the Fringe” is noteworthy for its focus on community and rebuilding rather than on the collapse itself. The book’s structure as a series of interconnected stories rather than a single narrative arc gives a broader perspective on the post-disaster world. However, some of the themes and scenarios may feel familiar to avid readers of the genre, slightly impacting its originality score.

Thoughtfulness: 4/5
Orson Scott Card excels in creating deeply human and morally complex characters. The stories in “The Folk of the Fringe” are rich with religious and philosophical undertones, exploring themes of faith, community, leadership, and morality in times of crisis. The character-driven narratives offer a thoughtful exploration of how personal beliefs and values are tested and reshaped in a world where societal norms have been upended.

Entertainment: 3.5/5
The book’s segmented structure provides varied and intriguing insights into the post-apocalyptic world Card has created. While each story is engaging and emotionally resonant, the collection’s diverse narratives might not provide the cohesive suspense or pacing that some readers prefer in their post-apocalyptic fiction. However, those who appreciate character development and moral dilemmas will find the book highly engaging.

Overall Rating: 3.7/5
“The Folk of the Fringe” is a thoughtful and introspective addition to the post-apocalyptic genre. It offers a unique perspective on how individuals and communities might strive to rebuild society on the fringes of a collapsed world. While it might not have the constant thrills of more action-oriented post-apocalyptic stories, it compensates with depth and moral complexity.

Orson Scott Card’s “The Folk of the Fringe” is a compelling read for those interested in the human aspect of survival in a post-apocalyptic setting. The book’s strength lies in its exploration of the resilience of the human spirit and the complexities of rebuilding civilization. It’s a recommended read for anyone who appreciates thought-provoking, character-driven narratives in their science fiction.

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