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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:14 AM

Orson Scott Card Has Always Been an Asshat

I'm new to this forum and impressed with the quality of discussion here. I've been a Science Fiction fan for most of my life. I read my first book of science fiction at 12 and never stopped.

Due to some information I found here I started doing a little research on Orson Scott Card thinking he was involved in scientology and LDS and who knew what else...and I ran across this very interesting piece and thought some here might find it as interesting as I did.

So here it is, written in 2005...

As I write this there are enormous threads on DailyKos and Fark about This article by Orson Scott Card. Card is known to most people for his science fiction, including one of the most popular SF novels of the late 20th century, Ender's Game.

Many people are astonished to learn that the man who wrote about "that poor little boy" is such a rabid Fascist. But Card has always been a rabid Fascist, as well as several other species of asshat, and none of his works demonstrate that better than the sad tale of Ender Wiggin itself.

Here is a very respectful article by SF writer John Kessel which is suspicious of Card's motives. You should read it; it's pretty good. I'll wait.
Back in the mid 1980's I knew a struggling SF author who managed to get a few stories published and breached the threshold for membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (or SFWA), the SF writer's union. She joined thinking it would help her fledgeling career.

In 1985 the big news in SF was Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game, which had swept both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Accordingly, my friend read it and passed it on to me, as she often passed on books and magazines. I read it and saw how it would be compelling to a certain mindset, but I didn't think it was all that good.

"So what did you think of it?" she asked me later.
"I think I see why it's so popular, but the guy really doesn't write that well."

"Well all it is is an apologia for Hitler. Sorry, but I don't buy that argument. When I was a kid I heard every Sunday how Jesus would forgive Hitler if he really really repented, but I say fuck that. Some things can't be forgiven or redeemed."

She could get a bit passionate about stuff like that, so I let it drop. As it happened, though, SFWA members vote on the Nebula awards, and Card's sequel Speaker for the Dead was out. Card's publisher helpfully sent all SFWA members a free copy to help its chances of getting the Nebula like Ender's Game had.
One day I spotted it on her coffee table.

"Have you read that?"
"No, I don't plan to. It'll just be more of the same."

"Buzz is it's going to get another Nebula."

"Well if it does, my colleagues are idiots."

So I took the book and read it. She was like that; if someone wanted to write about forgiving Hitler she wasn't the type to complain. It's a free country and all that. Just don't ask her to read past the point where she figures it out.
About fifty pages into Speaker I gave her a call.

"You are not gonna believe this," I said. "Ender ends up on a planet settled by Brazilians."

"And he's angling to prevent the genocide of the badly misunderstood aboriginal natives of Planet Brazil. And it's hinting that he's gonna pull some Buggers out of his ass before the end of the story."

"Wait a minute. You are telling me that if I wrote a story where Hitler escapes to Brazil, prevents a massacre of some Native Americans, and then raises a bunch of Jews from the dead, that this would be about parallel?"

"Well I'm only fifty pages in..."

"And they're going to give this crap a Nebula Award?"

"Well, it certainly looks that way."

"I think I'm going to need the book back," she said very evenly.

You can finish the piece and read the comments here..

I look forward to reading your comments....and Hello!!

On edit..
I realize this may be off the wall but I thought it might interest some here.

8 replies, 4361 views

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Orson Scott Card Has Always Been an Asshat (Original post)
haikugal Jan 2013 OP
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #1
Codeine Jan 2013 #5
Exultant Democracy Jan 2013 #2
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #3
mzteris Jan 2013 #4
Exultant Democracy Jan 2013 #6
jambo101 Jan 2013 #7
Moe Shinola Mar 2013 #8

Response to haikugal (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:08 AM

1. No, Card wasn't always a fascist

Oh, and welcome to DU!


Two decades ago, a saint came before us to preach the American values of a secular nation in the humanist tradition.

His name was Orson Scott Card. He called his preaching the Secular Humanist Revival Meeting. He was a Saint of the Latter Day.

And as time went on the warnings he gave came true. Religion crept into our science classrooms. Children were told how to pray by bureaucrats. Churches were corrupted by government money, corrupting themselves in the process.

Now we are engaged in a great World War, a Crusade between the Christian and the Muslim world, bomb matched by bomb, atrocity by atrocity.

And in that conflict, where are we? For that matter, where is Card? Gone to the other side, Iím afraid, writing plays and books where only those of the One True Faith find redemption, where only the Chosen are heroes, where action is motivated mainly by belief.

Do you hear me? Am I talking loud enough?

Thatís how Saint Orson began his preachings, and how he grounded them too. Because he could never talk loudly enough to shake the soul on behalf of what made America great.

You can listen to Card's Secular Humanist Revival and make your own determination of what you think, this link is to a podcast of it, it takes about a minute and a half before his talk actually begins.


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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:34 PM

5. I remember hearing that sometime in the late 80s

on a KPFK radio science fiction book program called Hour25. It was fantastic, and in hindsight a clear expression of just how far Mr. Card has fallen.

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Response to haikugal (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:26 PM

2. The Card of today would have never written the Songmaster.

I for one loved Ender's Game but unfortunately I'm not sure I can justify seeing the movie and supporting Card at this stage. I had the misfortune of reading his book Empire which is when I put down Card forever.

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Response to Exultant Democracy (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:10 PM

3. That narrows his change down date wise

In his 1996 novel Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, Card tells a remarkably humanistic and liberal story.


And Empire was published in 2006.

I'm starting think that 9/11 may have been the trigger for his sharp change in attitude and tone.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:24 PM

4. Nope - he was over the edge well before that.

I met him in the Spring of 2001.

I used to love his work. He was a total jerk. A warmonger. A conceited asshat who believed all the bullshit he wrote. He believed in having an excuse to beat the living shit out of other human beings. Or kill them. Whatever. They deserved it.

He's an extremely creepy self-centered degenerate who writes some pretty obscenely gross scenes in his books.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:50 PM

6. I also get a feeling from some of his more homophobic

that something turned him around on that issue too. If songmaster was semi-autobiographical it wouldn't be surprising if he was what we would consider a closeted gay man. That in conjunction with his religion could lead to significant self hating behaviors.

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Response to haikugal (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:12 AM

7. Just read the book

I try not to get into the authors life as it has a way of destroying the book i'm reading, i thought Enders Game was a good read and left it at that, i'm not really interested in whether the author was a fascist i'm just into the book.
If we start analyzing the personal lives of all the Authors,musicians,actors it gets rather complex and you can then miss much creativity,, as an example my brother is an extreme rightwing nut job and refused to go see the movie Avatar because the director was a liberal..Think i'll give him all my Ted Nugent albums

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Response to jambo101 (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 04:03 AM

8. Agree with the previous poster

I'm several chapters into Songmaster and I'm not seeing anything obviously sexual in there yet as another poster was implying. Maybe later on in the book. I like the story, it's beautifully written, the characters seem very real. I also read Ender's Game and liked it very much. I don't know how this could be the same person who's views I found so offensive when he guested on the Rusty Humphries radio show a few years back, but I can look beyond that and be grateful for the gift of his writing.

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