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Ender’s Game Over

I’m interested in science fiction, on the whole. Speculation about worlds that could be is fun, and it stimulates imagination about the way we could begin to live right now.

Of course, not all science fiction is worthy of attention. Much of it is unnecessarily violent. Some of it is cheesy. Some science fiction seeks to confirm and extend the worst aspects of our own culture, rather than inspiring us to do better.

This November, a science fiction movie called Ender’s Game will be released in cinemas.  I won’t be going to watch it, though. 

An organization named Geeks Out has identifies the author of the Ender’s Game story as Orson Scott Card.  Card is a member of the board of the ironically named National Organization For Marriage, a right wing group that seeks to stop loving couples from getting married by denying same-sex couples equality under the law as promised by the Constitution.

I don’t want to encourage movie studios to release films made by anti-equality zealots, but I have a more selfish motivation for boycotting Ender’s Game.

Orson Scott Card wrote, “Those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens in that society.”  Card also wrote, “Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”

These aren’t just ugly thoughts. They’re also poorly written, and reflect a mind incapable of summoning coherent thought. I find it difficult to believe that a man who would write such things would be capable of creating a story worthy of my time or money.

A revolution by a populace intent on bringing down a government just because that government allows people to get married?!? Whatever kind of idiot would think that up, I don’t want to read his books or watch his movies.

6 comments to Ender’s Game Over

  • Bill

    When I was a man-child (never you mind how long ago) I really enjoyed Ender’s Game. First, the writing was so much better than most sci-fi (not that that’s a real high bar or anything, excluding Ray Bradbury). And second, it so accurately captured the angst and the internal life of the adolescent geek who, like me, was just sure that sooner or later the world would discover my moral and intellectual superiority and come beating down my door to beg me to lead us all to the Holy Land.

    Then, much later, I read the first sequel (I can’t recall its name). Boring. And I even tried reading the next (would that be the threquel?), but couldn’t. It was like watching paint dry…in cold wet weather. I soon realized that Card was one of those authors who had just one good book in him…a one-trick pony.

    Many years later (and not too long ago) I became aware that Card is a venomous homophobe. Ah well, many another giant of sci-fi is (or was) a complete jerk (consider Robert Heinlein). Suffice it to say I won’t be paying to watch it, either.

  • Jim Cook

    I read Ender’s Game last year after my son recommended it. I got really, really tired of the whole “I’m so special and nobody understands me” theme of the book. I mean, OK, you’re going to have it in any adolescent book (Bill’s right, it’s an adolescent dream), but this book was soaking in it. It was embarrassingly clear that this was Orson Scott Card’s psychotherapy book in which he could seethe about his genius not being recognized. It was also pretty clear from events in the book that the author had gotten beat up by some gay guy in his youth and couldn’t get over that. Maybe that event informs Card’s hatred.

    • Bill

      Interesting point, Jim. I hadn’t connected that particular dot, but you’re right…a careful reading would suggest that Card seems to have gotten the snot smacked out of him early on by someone he regarded as a ‘swish,’ and has spent the rest of his life failing to come to terms with that. HARR! Poor booby.

    • Peregrin Wood

      Why, Dredd? Science fiction is MUCH more about politics than it is about science. The science stuff is just an opportunity to talk about culture and politics.

    • Bill

      The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger In a Strange Land, Stand on Zanzibar, The Forever War, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Dune, Wool, Ender’s Game…I could go on and on listing sci-fi classics that are as much about politics as they are about science. Science is all about how to do stuff. Politics is all about what stuff to do, and who to do it to. In practice, the two are inseparable.

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