Your opinion on Orson Scott Card

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by infinix, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Leppaludi

    Leppaludi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the conditioning of TCOLDS helped form his view of the world. Presumably, it's a view of the world as they would like it to be, and preferably impose on others against their will by force of law if at all possible. Or maybe the possibility would confuse the heck out of their vast database of marriages located somewhere in Utah.
     
  2. Caliburn24

    Caliburn24 Commodore Commodore

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    Card's early works were decent and creative. I liked Ender's Game a great deal. But as already stated sometime in the mid-90s his stuff took a nose dive.

    His inability to write action scenes, and the overly chatty nature of EVERY SINGLE ONE of his characters really drags things to a standstill in his more recent books.

    Maybe it is the fact that I have served in the military and been in combat since I first started reading Card's books, but the way he writes military characters and scenes is laughable bad in particular.

    As to Card as a person, I could care less about his personal views. As Heinlein once said, "There is a word to describe people who think my characters say what I personally believe, that word is 'idiot'" I hold the inverse of that statement to be equally true.
     
  3. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't really care what Card's characters say. I've only really enjoyed the short story version of Ender. However, quoting R.A.H. in any way to defend that bigoted, narrow-minded cretin really sets me off. We all have our opinions, I guess.
     
  4. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, Card's article in the linked thread is just the usual illogical bs of any fundie right winger. I love when people discuss "The Media" as if it were some monolithic organization having secret meetings to decide how to fuck up the world for the sheer amusement of it. Then there's the irony of him berating the Muslims for their riotous protests right after he berates The Media for giving them the information that sets off the riotous protests. And points out how the poor, put upon Mormons endured the same or worse than the Muslims but never fell to such terrible behavior.

    Tell that to the 12 year old child brides in virtual slavery to 65 year old "husbands".

    Not that I think his personal beliefs have much to do with his ability to write. He can be as whacko as he wants and I'll still love the first three Alvin Maker books, because they are enjoyable and clever.

    But Kessel's article is quite interesting and sums up pretty neatly why I find Ender's Game a fairly uninteresting work of fiction. Card's moral beliefs aside (and they are clearly of the more warped Christian variety in which "vengeance is mine saith the Lord, but I love you purely and magnimously all the same" sit happily side by side despite their fundamentally contradictory nature), it makes for crappy fiction to have a protagonist who can do no wrong because he was just born better and purer than everyone else. Add on top of that said protagonist committing horrible crimes but still being innocent (at least the way the author sets things up) - and I just could never buy it. I like that Kessel addresses the popularity of the novel, which has always baffled me - but after reading even the first 3/4ths of the article, it was pretty clear. It's no surprise that young men enjoy partaking of a fantasy where they identify with a protagonist who is both completely innocent and totally badass - and then even gets to be a selfless, self-flagellating guru. Fantasy wish fulfillment of grandiose proportions, which is what a lot of fiction is about. So, to each their own.
     
  5. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are two of my favorite books of all time, but the guy is a total jackass (with a writing talent that appears to diminish exponentially).
     
  6. ebusinesstutor

    ebusinesstutor Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Leaving out his religion and personality, I really liked Enders Game and some of the others he wrote about Ender. The Alvin series was also good.

    But his best work in my opinion, is PastWatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus." I lent it to a buddy of mine and he said he hadn't been that blown away by a book in years.
     
  7. -Brett-

    -Brett- Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Only work of Niven's that I've read is Ringworld. On that basis, I'd call Card a better fiction writer than Niven.

    Ringworld has an interesting premise, but I thought the story was underwhelming.
     
  8. Leppaludi

    Leppaludi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's your view, okay. Ender's Game won a Hugo and a Nebula award; Ringworld won a Hugo, a Nebula, and a Locus award. On those terms, Ringworld wins. However, I haven't really though much of anything Larry Niven has written for the last 20 years or so.
     
  9. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unlike George Orwell and Frank Herbert the man actually manges to tell an interesting story without putting me to sleep with his writing style.
     
  10. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    Occasionally, I'll visit a bread store. These are stores operated by baking companies that sell their wares directly to the public, without selling to grocery stores first. It increases their revenue, and makes it convenient if you need a special kind of bread for some sort of project.

    Bread that doesn't sell by the sell-by date is removed from the shelves and allowed to go stale. It will later be sold as feed for animals, once it's reached the proper un-freshness.

    When this stuff is available, it is clearly marked "Not fit for human consumption."

    You ask my opinion on OSC. That's my opinion in a handy little placard right there. He's not fit for reading. I disagree with him on a personal level, I don't think he has any talent as a writer, and he's an overblown egoist. I see no difference between OSC and some of the more extreme talk radio idiots such as Rush Limbaugh.
     
  11. KJbushway

    KJbushway Commodore

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    I love all the Ender's Game series, and I hope they do make the movie like I have read. I didn't like the one book not about ender.
     
  12. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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    I actually just read Ender's Game for the first time last month. I read it in 2 days, couldn't put it down, and was deeply moved by it, in the end. It's a fantastic book, deserving of mention along other great military sci-fi books I've read (Starship Troopers, Forever War, Greg Bear's Anvil of Stars, with which it shares many characteristics.)

    It was my first Orson Scott card book, and even if it's his only great one (which it may not be), he's a very good science fiction writer. I'm looking forward to reading Speaker for the Dead, which I'm sure I will at some point in the next year or so.

    Oh, and I know absolutely nothing about the man personally, other than that he's a Mormon (I think.). I got that from my Science Fiction Encyclopedia, the massive one edited by John Clute. In that encyclopedia, by the way, they say that Orson Scott Card and Greg Bear are the two best American sf writers of the 80's. I agree with them about Greg Bear, whose late 80's books are almost all masterpieces, so I'm looking forward to reading more stuff by Card.

    For the record, I couldn't care less what kind of guy he is. Heinlein strikes me as being an A-one asshole, and it doesn't phase me at all.
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Speaking as someone who's only recently discovered OSC I thought Ender's Game was good, Ender's Shadow was much better (Bean is a much more interesting character IMO) but most of his other work that I've read comes off rather samey. There's usually an extraordinarily talented individual under the yoke of an oppressive and occasionally homicidal family or small community that leaves and embarks on a great journey to change the world...that world often being some abandoned human colony that has technologically regressed to the middle ages. Other than that, I really don't have much in the way of complaints...or compliments for that matter.

    Now, to those of you who appear to have a rather strong dislike for the man, would anyone care to qualify exactly what is rubbing people the wrong way? Seriously, I'm curious to know what they guy has done to inspire such bile and hatred. All I know about the man besides being a Mormon is that he gets on with James Cameron exactly like a house on fire. Given what's been said about both of them, it's even money as to who is to blame for that.
     
  14. Orson Scott Card is a tremendous piece of shit, as a person.

    Also, Ender's Game is a really solid book.
     
  15. He's basically written several essays about a variety of subjects, but it's most prominently his writing and "ideas" regarding gay people that have fostered such a dislike for him. Stuff like (posted earlier in this thread):
    I remember reading a particularly stomach churning one where he suggested all sorts of "criminalization" laws regarding various gay activity, because it would help scare gays back in the closet (his stated motivation). And it wasn't satire.
     
  16. KJbushway

    KJbushway Commodore

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    What was his direction on his papers
     
  17. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Ender's Shadow is also a great book (right up there with Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead). He did an amazing job creating a parallel storyline.
     
  18. KJbushway

    KJbushway Commodore

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    agreed.
     
  19. -Brett-

    -Brett- Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Trying to delegitimize my opinion by unnecessarily pointing out the glaringly obvious fact that it's my opinion? Where's the yawn emote when you need one?

    Appeals to authority and popularity are equally useless. Easily refuted by pointing out all of the stupid things that the majority likes.

    I don't care enough about either author to argue about it, but if you're going to attack my opinion, either do it politely, or do it intelligently.
     
  20. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only books I read were his novelization/ actual novel of The Abyss, which was quite huge, and quite thorough, and worth a read.

    I also read his book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. It is here that I can sense his disdain for Star Trek. He really condemns the show for its use of Warp drive and some other things. His point is that budding writers using things that appeared in Trek is not a good idea. I agree with his point but not his reasoning for his point. To make his point, he implies Trek's technology is ridiculous. However, there is always some context by which it could be said that any made up technology is ridiculous. The point is not the technology itself but how it is used to serve a good story. Trek has told good stories, and instead of coming to terms with that, he wants to pout about it.