Thoughts on Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is one of the few famous Christians in the sci-fi writing genre (he’s a Mormon actually). What’s more, he is virulently anti-gay. I can’t think of many science fiction authors who had problems with homosexuality since they usually have held progressive views. Instead its usually like in “The Forever War” where homosexuality is seen as a potential solution to a future problem, and the future government encourages such relationships to prevent over population.

Hard to imagine that you could be an author that’s constantly exposed to the influences of leftist sci-fi authors, atheist fans, and your writing workshop students, while you remain staunchly conservative. When you read Ender’s Game there is a passage where a boy walks into Ender’s room, kissed him and says “salaam” and there’s a scene where Ender soaps himself and then wrestles with a boy in a shower. He’s imagined some pretty homo-erotic imagery for someone despite saying the laws criminalizing homosexuality should remain on the books.

It turns out he on the board for California’s Prop 8 and the LGBT tried to organize a boycot of his movie. Could this be why we had that stupid Hugo awards controversy recently?

The truth is I was thinking about reading Speaker of the Dead since his idea of a sentient AI was interesting, but his religion and politic views would color my interpretation of his story. When I turn to science-fiction I want to hear original thoughts, not religious dogma. The last time I tried to read it I was still a Theist, and the book opened with an AI verbosely teasing Ender while rambling pretentiously about Eden and seduction.I honestly didn’t think that had any place in a secular sci-fi story, and although I don’t remember the details, at the time I felt that he was trying to insert some kind of heavy-handed Mormon agenda & symbolism into the sequel.

I also  didn’t feel as emotionally connected to the characters as in the first book either. The exposition just felt unnaturally rushed, with a quick bask story for his bland new AI friend, a quick description of the new planet Ender is going to spend the rest of the book at, and now we’re off! When Ender decided to go to another planet because of some girl’s face, I really couldn’t suspend my disbelief any longer so I put the book down, hugo winner be damned…

If I do read the book I really don’t want to see the money going to fund anti-gay organizations. So I’ll probably have to read it at a library.

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