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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Random: Card drawing on L'Engle? 
29th-Aug-2006 05:52 pm
Loyola Faculty Portrait
I just noticed a startling parallel between two books, making me wonder to what extent Orson Scott Card in his 1986 Hugo and and Nebula Award-winning Speaker For The Dead might have borrowed from Madeleine L'Engle's 1973 A Wind In The Door.

In Card's book, the key plot – again, I'm totally spoiling the surprise if you read further – comes from discovering that the alien species being observed is in fact a juvenile form of the species, which has to die in order to transform from a mammal to the adult form of a telepathic tree. It's a killer surprise in the story, incredibly alien to our perspectives, and a persistent mystery throughout the text, where the humans think that the species displays strange violence, murdering their own and planting a tree in the remains, and then acting as though nothing odd had happened. So I was surprised upon just re-reading L'Engle's A Wind In The Door, a "companion book" more than a "sequel" to her Newberry Medal-winning classic A Wrinkle In Time, and discovering essentially the same device, which I had long ago forgotten, and took to be utterly original when I read Card a few years ago. I've been looking online to see if anyone else has drawn out this parallel, but no luck as yet. Has anyone else here ever noticed this?
Comments 
30th-Aug-2006 01:39 am (UTC)
Speaker for the Dead is one of my favorite books of all time. I have never read any L'Engle, however. I will put it on my books to read list.
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