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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:

  • 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.


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