I know, I’m subtle. But as the title says, I’m not thrilled with Card as a person. He actively opposes gay rights, and puts his own money into opposing gay marriage. As someone who thinks that human rights are not optional, I think he’s a douche. That’s the part that’s clear, and easy.
The hard part is that Ender’s Game is one of my favorite sci-fi novels. I don’t like that I like his writing. And oddly, the Ender’s Game series has a “why can’t we all just get along” vibe, and lots of messages about not being judgmental. It condemns xenophobia. The irony is deadly.
I’m sure many of you have run into similar conundrums. It happens with not just books, but music and films. Roman Polanski. Chris Brown. Should you separate the art from the artist? Or should you deny yourself the pleasure of a good book or a great film, because you don’t want to make it seem like you tacitly support their behaviour. And you can’t know about the author or musician or filmmaker of every single thing you’ve ever purchased, it’s just not practical. So if you find out later that the person whose book you bought is a lowlife, should you feel guilty?
I can’t come up with any really great answers so far. I’m not going to put Card’s books as my staff pick. I won’t purchase any of his books from now on. This saddens me, because he has ruined something I really enjoyed. Now I have to decide whether to go see the movie – probably not, sadly – especially sadly because Harrison Ford will be in it. Damn you, Orson Scott Card.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that he is going to be writing some issues of Superman, the guy who is supposed to be the “Champion of the Oppressed.” What the hell were you thinking, DC?
image from comicbookmovie.com
Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, has passed away. One of the best children’s books of all time, in my opinion, and the opinions of many others.
In personal news, I have been given a Versatile Blogger Award, nominated by the ever fascinating Lea Jurock, a fellow Canuck. Also a fellow book lover, it’s well worth checking out her blog. I will do my duty to the award in a post soon, honest!
In other, also exciting personal news, MSN news linked to my blog at one point in their coverage of the Fifty Shades of Grey controversy over the library bans. Woot! One predictable outcome of the bans is that even more people are now buying Fifty Shades of Grey at my bookstore, just to see what all the fuss is about. One guy bought it as a mother’s day present. Here’s hoping it’s for his wife, and not his mom.
Okay, I’d better settle down now. Going to go read some more Orson Scott Card. Hoping to make it through the whole series soon.
I’m still on my Orson Scott Card kick, having read Ender’s Game, followed by Speaker for the Dead. Now I’m reading Xenocide, which is also really excellent.
Much mixing of moral dilemmas, exciting storyline, and the amazing ability to have you on the edge of your seat for more than half the book. Now that’s tricky.
Best of all, to me, are phrases like: “…a place that doesn’t even have any placeness to it.” How can you not love that? There is also discussion of “whereness”. Of course, this is from someone who, if possible, would take up quantum mechanics as a hobby – because it is both crazy-weird and true.
There have been a lot of students coming into the bookstore lately, looking for Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. It has been a very, very long time since I read it last, so I decided to re-read it. If you find it starts off a bit slowly, be patient. It will be worth the wait.
The premise of the story is that Earth is at war with an alien species. Earth only won the last battle by a narrow margin, and now is preparing for the next one. Because the technology of war is all computer based, the military powers have found that children are actually better than adults at operating it, their minds more flexible and agile, responding and adapting quickly.
Put a little boy named Andrew, nicknamed “Ender”, into the scenario. He is both mentally and emotionally perfect for the army’s purposes. A genius in every way. In fact, they want him to potentially command the entire fleet. He’s six.
I couldn’t put this story down. I dragged my e-reader with me everywhere I went, in case I might have a spare second to read. There were so many fascinating aspects to the story, the gripping plot, the moral and ethical dilemmas. Is it okay to destroy a child’s life, or even more than one child, in order to to save an entire species? So that there will be future children? I was reading through teared up eyes more than once.
I hear that a movie is planned for next year or so. There’s also a graphic novel. Obviously this book is still relevant, and very very good, despite being more than thirty years old.
Even if you aren’t normally a sci-fi fan, I urge you to give this book a try. I think that the story is good enough to make it’s genre irrelevant.
I am now reading book three of the series. Anyone know of any Ender’s anonymous groups out there?