The Worthing Saga is the best kind of Orson Scott Card fiction, the kind he rewrote from his first days until he got it really right. The germ of the Worthing Saga was Card's first sci-fi-fantasy story, Tinker, but as it evolved into his short story collection "Capitol", building on the ideas of Asimov's Foundation series, the stories gained three key ideas. First, the drug Somec allows individuals to sleep un-aging through vast time periods making possible great achievements like interstellar spaceflight, planet-wide city building, and dissolution of the social fabric of vast empires. Thus Card explains the social-imperial breakdown which Asimov attributed to general stagnation. Beyond the Empire, Somec becomes a plot device for the main character who developed out of his second theme, telepathic (and later telekinetic) powers. Jason Worthing is born a telepathic 'swipe' long after his dead father convinced the Empire that swipes should not exist. Abner Doon, however, the Hari Seldon master manipulator of Card's world, wants to create a fresh society with telepathy in the mix, so he sends Jason to found a remote colony. The rest of the Worthing Saga tells how Jason and his gift influence that world. Eventually, in a very spider-man-esque twist, Worthings descendants use their gift to take greater power and responsibility than even he could have dreamed, but do they wield it with true compassion? In this theme Card's Mormon ideas emerge to create a tender and interesting, but flawed view of Incarnation, how God ought to dwell with man. An excellent work rivaling Card's masterpieces Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead and securing his place among the great sci-fi authors of the past century.
Excellent example of Orson Scott Card's story telling abilities. This one deals with the blessings...and curses...of immortality.