The Call of Earth

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE MEMORY OF EARTH introduces Nafai and his family, descendants of the survivors of ravaged Earth, and THE CALL OF EARTH continues their story. The society founded by these exiles on the planet they call Harmony reflects the desire to eliminate the violence that destroyed their original home. To effect that change, the colonists installed a far-reaching computer, the Oversoul, which wielded subtle but powerful influence over the minds of the people.

The system worked well for numerous generations, but slowly the computer has begun to deteriorate. At the same time, realizing the computer’s weakness, an unscrupulous warrior named Moozh has rebelled, gaining control of an army through his manipulation of forbidden technology. These forces threaten to capture Harmony’s principal city, Basilica.

As Moozh and his soldiers wreak havoc on the stability of the culture, those citizens of Harmony who are most in tune with the Oversoul hear its plea for help in their dreams. Foremost among them, Nafai begins to realize that the Oversoul needs to be put in contact with the master computer, left behind on Earth millions of years ago, and his growing awareness of the enormity of the required trip to Earth sets the stage for the next volume in the series.

As usual, Card’s ability to create a coherent and complete but alien universe is surpassed only by his knack at developing intriguing, engaging characters whose essential humanity is not obscured by whatever alien guise they may wear.