Readers weigh in on favorite LDS fiction writers

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  • Alyssa
    April 7, 2008 5:35 p.m.

    My favorite book by an LDS author is "Freefall" by Traci Hunter Abramson. I couldn't put it down!

  • Romulo Lunares
    April 6, 2008 6:53 p.m.

    I just picked up on Elaine's commentary, and wanted to add my views, which probably parallel hers. I have read three of Harold K. Moon's novels, and they are as good as any mentioned above. His "Ghost Coach" is a prize-winner, and is the best basketball story and coming of age novel I have read.

  • Elaine Bateman
    April 6, 2008 9:28 a.m.

    I wrote a page-long letter to editor David Schneider in which I introduced an author whose work is not well-known, but should be. Harold K. Moons novels are beautifully written and character-driven. Try, for starters, his "The Leah Shadow." It may well nudge opinions a notch or two higher on the scale of respect for LDS fiction.

  • Ted
    March 28, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    Orson Scott Card definitely has the credentials to prove he is the best fiction writer, who is LDS, of all time.

    But his LDS-fiction is another story. In fact, fiction-with-an-LDS-theme does not fare very well at all. The fact the LDS people read it is not evidence that it is good literature of any kind. It only shows the ideosynchratic tastes of the LDS people, which are an anomaly.

  • Californian
    March 27, 2008 11:14 p.m.

    There is both good and bad literature by LDS writers (whether or not intended for a LDS audience). And it is kind of fun to see a ranking. Interesting article!

    But - when referring to Gerald Lund, the author, I think Dessert News makes a mistake in putting his current title of Elder under his picture or in the article (not related to his works written previously). It would be fair to say something like "Gerald Lund, now a general authority, wrote 'The Work and the Glory' fictional series for LDS audiences which focuses on Pioneer history" But his writings aren't endorsed by the church and his authorship should stand independent of his current role.

    One may think of it like when you quote a president of the church who wrote something as an apostle. You refer to their appropriate title at the delivery of their message. "Elder McKay, later sustained as president of the church" at the X general conference preached ..." Yes, the mention of where they end up affects the perception of their role in LDS society but a news organization should be careful in their quotation.

    Lund did not write the W&G as a GA.

  • Anonymous
    March 27, 2008 7:29 p.m.

    One to look for this fall is an LDS author who has moved into the mainstream YA fantasy - J. Scott Savage.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson
    March 27, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    Orson Scott Card is recognized throughout the world of science fiction and fantasy writing and reading as one of the major writers of the last three decades, with highly original stories. His books are in continuous printing years after their original publication, and are popular in many other languages. He has won awards for his short fiction. While the "Ender's Game" series is usually viewed as "hard" science fiction, centered around technology, gaming, and warfare, and a prototype for the virtual reality training that is given to modern warriors, he has written highly original fantasy works, including the highly popular Alvin Maker series. Just having a story that takes place in the universe of "Ender's Game" or "Alvin Maker" will sell an anthology. In addition to highly original stand-alone novels like the haunting "Lost Boys", "Songmaster", "Hart's Hope", and "Magic Street", which combines the worlds of black Los Angeles and ancient myth, Card has written significant works for the LDS audience, including biographical novels about Moses and the wives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in addition to his epic "Saints", set in the Nauvoo period, and the script for the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

  • Sinder
    March 27, 2008 4:15 p.m.

    Brandon Sanderson is currently my favorite on the list with "Elantris", "Mistborn", and "Alcatraz". Orson Scott Card is great with the "Ender's Game" series. David Farland's "Runelords" series is wonderful.

    Those are the top 3 for me anyway.

    Gotta give a hand to Stephenie Meyer too for her "Twilight" Series, thats just plain a fun read.

  • Girl Talk
    March 27, 2008 4:06 p.m.

    Stephanie Meyer is, like, so freaking awesome!!! I have read "Twighlight" like, 4 times now and I cry every time. She rules!!!

  • McKenzie
    March 27, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    I have to throw out some credit to Glen A. Larsen, the man who brought us the original Battlestar Galactica series. So say we all.

  • SF Blue
    March 27, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    Completely agree with Klaus. To place Orson Scott Card as a one trick pony just proves that reading is beyond Ken and Mark's ability. Enders Game is his most popular, but he is a great author with other great books. I disagree with putting Stephanie Myer on the best list. I know a lot of people find her books entertaining, and I will say that Twilight was, but beyond that they went down hill.

  • Klaus
    March 27, 2008 10:37 a.m.

    Ken, Mark. You poor misguided souls. Sure there is some bad mormon writing out there, but come down off the pedestal, please. Card has some excellent works out there; you should give it a try. Read Lost Boys and tell me it doesn't affect you. What other series is there like the Alvin Maker series? Stone Tables, Enchantment, Homebody ... need I go on?
    I would also like to mention one of my favorites who should be on the list, but isn't: Robert Marcum. Great books.
    Speaking of "one trick ponies", John Grishom - nothing but law stories, ugh; Robin Cook, and Michael Palmer - just medical stories. And they all are just about good and evil. They must be highly over-rated... but I enjoy their books anyway; isn't that what really matters in the end? Get over it, guys.

  • Denise
    March 27, 2008 10:30 a.m.

    I am so glad that Ken let us know what is what...glad to know he doesn't throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • Utahn in Ct
    March 27, 2008 10:18 a.m.


    Try Brady Udall--definitely not a one-trick pony. Read his excellent short story collection, "Letting Loose the Hounds" (Norton, 1997) or better yet, his wonderful (first) novel, "The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint" (Norton, 2001).

  • Ken
    March 27, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    LDS authors are all "one trick ponies".

    They "naturally" deal with struggles between good and evil because

    1) their faith makes them simple-minded, black-and-white thinkers; and

    2) they honestly think they have some privileged moral position with superior insights into morality than anyone else.

    But for my money, LDS fiction in general is NOT a good spend, especially Lund's historical fiction nonsense that does such a POOR job of character development.

  • Mark
    March 27, 2008 6:31 a.m.

    Card is good, in that the Ender series was pretty enjoyable. Other than that, I pass on the rest of his books. He is pretty much a one trick pony.

    Lund is a much better author.

    As for the rest, well, most simply aren't worth reading.

  • Mom
    March 27, 2008 6:31 a.m.

    Lynn Kurland would be my favorite--soft romances and the most endearing fantasy trilogy I've ever read!