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Literature / Maps in a Mirror

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Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card is a collection of 46 short stories by author Orson Scott Card. It includes several genres, a poem, and the original version of Ender's Game. This collection is divided into five parts, with an introduction and afterword for each section, giving a rough idea of what type of story to expect.

Works published in Maps in a Mirror:

"The Hanged Man: Tales of Dread"

"Flux: Tales of Human Futures

"Maps in a Mirror: Fables and Fantasies"

"Cruel Miracles: Tales of Death, Hope, and Holiness"

"Lost Songs: The Hidden Stories"

Maps in a Mirror provides examples of the following tropes:

  • And I Must Scream: "Kingsmeat" has a man convince human-eating aliens to eat only pieces of the men and women of a human colony. The people of the colony are naturally pissed about this, but the authorities decide the man was in the right and order the colony to keep him alive as long as medically possible. They do so... after removing all the parts not strictly necessary to survive.
  • Audio Adaptation: This collection has been turned into an audiobook, where Orson Scott Card reads the introduction and afterward, but the stories are read by professional narrators.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The Censorship Board in "Prior Restraint" watches various authors and prevents certain books they think will negatively impact the world from being published. Not to mention arranging a car accident to kill a boy who would have grown up to be the greatest writer alive.
  • Camping a Crapper: In "Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory" the first of the creatures trying to kill the protagonist decides to hide in a public restroom.
  • Dead All Along: The twist of "Quietus" is that the protagonist is actually a ghost who can't move on.
  • Deadly Prank: In "Freeway Games" the protagonist decides to amuse himself on the road by making a woman think he's following her, this leads to her car running out of fuel and fatally crashing.
  • Divided for Publication: This collection was originally published as a single volume, but it has also been published as four books (The Changed Man, Flux, Monkey Sonatas, and Cruel Miracles) and as two separate volumes (Volume 1, containing parts 1 and 2, and Volume Two, containing parts 3 and 4). Only the full, undivided editions contain "Lost Songs: The Hidden Stories".
  • Dystopia: The setting of "A Thousand Deaths"
  • Fetus Terrible: "Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory" features creatures menacing the protagonist that take the form of horribly deformed fetuses that are halfway between this and an Enfant Terrible.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Anansa in "A Sepulchre of Songs"
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: "Quietus"
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: "A Cross Country Trip to Kill Richard Nixon"
    • "Clap Hands and Sing": Instantaneous Time Travel
    • "Closing the Timelid": Unseen Time Travel
    • "Prior Restraint": Unseen Time Travel
  • People Farm:
    • "Fat Farm" has the protagonist be taken away to a building where the obese are essentially kept as livestock.
    • "Kingsmeat" has an alien "king and queen" being convinced by a human they were about to eat to eat only parts of their human livestock and leave them alive rather than kill and eat them all.
  • Time Police: "Closing the Timelid" has Mercy Manwool who apparently works for the Los Angeles division of this trope.