Just finished Folk of the Fringe, a collection of five Orson Scott Card stories written a number of years ago. They are set in post-nuclear America, specifically a renascent state of Deseret struggling to re-establish civilization in the intermountain West under the umbrella of Mormon solidarity. It's my first foray into what one might call Mormon fiction. This wasn't Mormon soap opera fare of the type one sees on the shelf at Deseret Book; while some of the characters were LDS and there was a Mormon cultural background, these were not LDS-themed plots. But an LDS reader will read a richer story than one not acquainted with things Mormon. And that's what makes the book worth reading, perhaps.
At first, the Mormon setting might make some readers a bit squeamish. One the other hand, I've read stories that revolve around Christian themes (Scarlet Letter) or Jewish characters (Asher Lev) or rebellious atheists (Portrait of the Artist) without seeing those backgrounds as in any way being negative or parochial, and without thinking that my reading of the story suffered materially because I wasn't Congregationalist or Jewish or atheist. Seeing another's worldview from the inside is, after all, part of the fun of reading fiction. It expands one's mental horizons a bit. Perhaps non-LDS readers feel the same way when they read the stories grouped together in Folk of the Fringe (several of them were published independently in periodicals before being collected here).
One can't help but take some pride in the implicit prediction behind the alternate timeline seen in these stories: America could conceivably fall to pieces in the chaos of a post-nuke society, but the Mormons would still hang together. Yes, that's a virtue that Mormons have perfected, hanging together through tough times, and I really do think that the Mormon sense of community runs deeper than anyone outside the Church is likely to realize. I have attended LDS services in ten countries and a dozen states, from wards liberally dotted with academics to branches full of peasants, and I always felt welcome. More than that — I always felt like I was at home, and I think I was. I know of no other denomination that has successfully fostered this degree of worldwide community. Bottom line: OSC is not overstating plausibility in the general setting of these stories.
I don't know that I'll run out and look for other Mormon fiction anytime soon, but I'm glad I took a chance on Fringe. Sci-fi is sort of an unexpected place to find LDS characters and context; no doubt there are a few attempts in mainstream fiction as well, but I have not stumbled across them yet. I suppose there are always those short fiction pieces in Dialogue that are such a hit with Bloggernackers!