Orson’s Game

May 19, 2011 | 95 comments
By

Orson Scott Card is a longtime expert in making the fantastical seem almost real. He’s done it over the course of his decades-long literary career, bringing to life child generals at war with alien insects; magic-wielding prophets in the American West; spooky child ghosts living in video games; planet-ruling musician kings; Mormon colonies scrabbling for existence in a post-apocalyptic waste; worlds populated by talking heads and fascinating failed copies of humankind. Card did grim and dystopic before it was cool. Not one but two of his books have won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in the same year — which is kind of like winning Best Picture and Best Director the same year, except awesomer.

Recently, to the puzzlement of some observers, Card has directed his prodigious talent into the production of political punditry. Like his novels, Card’s political columns are often masterpieces of speculative fiction. For instance, there is the one about how gays with pitchforks and torches are coming to end democracy in America — an apocalyptic horror story that rivals The Folk of the Fringe.

And then, there is Card’s latest column. He primes readers for the fantastic right away, launching quickly into a declaration that Mitt Romney is properly seen as “a man of solid convictions, who does not temper his core beliefs according to the prevailing political winds.” That gem alone would be more than many writers could pull off. But Card is a true master of the craft, and is able to work in another whopper before the column ends. After chronicling his own openness about his faith, Card concludes:

“The result is that I am not invited to speak or teach at most universities, despite the popularity of my fiction on college campuses; I am rarely mentioned for awards in my field. Few are the fellow writers who list me on social networking sites, or make positive references to my work (though I admire the courage of those who do).”

Given the weight evidence against this claim,* Card’s unironic assertion is nothing less than a tour-de-force of fiction writing. Forget about the giant bugs, the living computers, the tribal tree-monkeys. This is the good stuff.

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

*Selected evidence:

-New York Times bestselling fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss gushing about Card repeatedly.

-Campbell- and Hugo-winning author and SFWA President John Scalzi stating that Card is one of his favorite authors (though he disagrees with Card’s politics).

-Award-winning author David Louis Edelman writing positively about Card (e.g., here).

-Fantasy superstar Brandon Sanderson frequently mentioning Card (such as here). Of course, Sanderson is Mormon, so he might not count. (The same applies to Hugo-nominated SF writer Eric Jame Stone.)

-Author Nancy Werlin starting an interview with a quote from Card.

-Both Cory Doctorow (who compares another work to Card’s as praise) and Neil Gaiman (who writes good-naturedly about how Orson’s Mormonness limits his ability to autograph female bodies) mentioning Card in positive ways.

Here’s a basic rule of the universe: If both Cory freaking Doctrow and Neil freaking Gaiman are saying positive things about you, you are officially Not An Outcast.

-Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist listing Card in the “what should I read next?” column..

-Locus Magazine praising another book by calling it the best young reader’s book since Card’s Ender’s Game

-SFFaudio naming Card as “among the Pantheon” of great SF authors (plus a variety of positive reviews of Card’s work — his name is tagged often in the tag list).

-Tor.com frequently mentioning Card (e.g., this very positive post). He is also frequently discussed at sites like io9 and SFFsignal.

-And of course, Card is such a pariah in the field that he can launch a new SF magazine and immediately fill it with new work. Many of the authors in the magazine explicitly mention how Card influences them. The Booklist review notes that “the authors’ afterwords . . disclose the remarkable diversity of ways writers reach the Web or the page and how Card influences new writers.”

95 Responses to Orson’s Game

  1. Alison Moore Smith on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Scott and will be until death do us part. Or maybe longer. That’s all I’m saying. Carry on.

  2. Andrew S. on May 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    This is a rather unexpected post, Kaimi. Definitely not, as you said elsewhere, “low hanging fruit”

  3. Wraith of Blake on May 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    According to last September’s The New Yorker profile on Facebook (um, co-?)founder Mark Zuckerberg, Z’s Facebook page then had Card’s “Ender’s Game” listed as one of Z’s faves.

  4. Brad Kramer on May 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I’m shocked, shocked, that Card admires those with the courage to praise his work.

  5. Russell Arben Fox on May 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Everyone needs to believe they’re being persecuted in order to maintain their cred, I guess. Consider us Mormons, for example.

  6. jks on May 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I have read several of Card’s books. I like him. I have read a few of his online articles. I often agree with him.
    I admire his courage to write down and publish online his actual political views or his opinions and beliefs. I live in an area where having my beliefs is progressively unpopular.
    My husband suspects his beliefs sometimes negatively affect how he is viewed at work. It wouldn’t surprise me if Card feels like it has negatively affected his career. Card has been famous for long enough that perhaps he has seen a shift and has an idea of what is behind it.
    Difficult to prove one way or another (no matter how many people I’ve never heard of that you list as selected evidence).

  7. Dave on May 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Pariah — that word does not mean what you think it means.

    I really enjoyed reading Folk of the Fringe, and listened with rapt attention to a CD book version of Ender’s Game on a long drive once. Maybe I’ll have a try at his Alvin Maker series (the western prophet stories).

  8. Dan on May 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Is it really an aspect of Christianity that we must declare ourselves constant victims of whatever?

  9. Gina on May 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I’m no Romney fan, and I have no desire to defend his record (or Card, for that matter), but to be fair to Card you should at least quote the entire sentence from the article:

    “At the same time, Romney has gained, I believe, from being — and being seen as — a man of solid convictions, who does not temper his core beliefs according to the prevailing political winds (though he does change his mind about specific political issues, as all of us should, whenever we learn better).”

    It is entirely true that Romney has never equivocated his relationship with the church. Card’s point is contrasting this with Huntsman’s recent “hard to define” statement.

  10. Wraith of Blake on May 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Can’t believe Prof. Wenger neglects mention of Card’s service for years on board of NOM. There’s zero, zilch, nada, naught, aught, cipher negative reepreecurssions in Hollywood, Manhattan publishing-house HQ’s, homey bar-and-grills nearest deans houses in college towns across the land?

  11. Ben S on May 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I’m fairly certain Card is more aware than Kaimi of his citations, invitations, etc. or the lack thereof (which doesn’t necessarily make him wrong, of course.)

    Since he mentions it explicitly, did you find any examples of him being “invited to speak or teach at [any] universities” ?

  12. DavidH on May 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I have liked his fiction. I like his political writings with which I agree (e.g., his pro-immigrants, including undocumented, writings) and dislike those with which I disagree (his unflinching support of GWB). I am purely objective on the matter.

  13. Marie on May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    It’s funny how I either shout “amen” after a Card Mormon Times column or find myself leaving a cranky online comment (back when comments were allowed). He also needs to steer clear of discussing Islam. Boy howdy, he got me mad.

    But violent reader reaction is what you want in a columnist, no? Especially as newspaper subscription rates drop off?

  14. Rob Perkins on May 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I remember a Slate article written by some young woman, a number of years ago, about how a personal phone interview she had with Card turned into a horrible experience for her, since she disagreed with him about the definition of marriage. After that point in time, Card’s rhetoric started to look more and more like what Kaimi describes here. And, a lot of people forgot about Ansset and Zdorab and how he depicted them.

  15. Mommie Dearest on May 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    OSC is one of my favorite curmudgeons.

  16. Dan on May 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    dunno how many watch Survivor, but in this last season, we had a young man named Matt and he was highly open about his religion, yet he never considered himself a victim because of his religious beliefs, and everyone there respected his religion.

    The difference between Matt’s openness about his religion and say, Mr. Vidmar, is that Mr. Vidmar used his status to support a religious position that was controversial and negatively affected another group of people. Thus he put himself in a position to be attacked. I can’t think of any examples where Orson Scott Card was victimized because of his religious beliefs.

  17. Kaimi Wenger on May 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    AMS (1),

    I like his work, too. I own seven or eight of his books. I wrote an article on this blog about Ender’s Game as Mormon literature.

    I’m not complaining about his novels. I do think that his political columns can be overwrought.

    And, as a reader of several SF/F blogs and author blogs, I think that if Card really believes that few authors say positive things about him, then he either isn’t bothering to read what people actually say, or he has a very strange definition of “few.”

    Andrew (2),

    Hey, thanks.

    WoB (3),

    Good point. Card has few friends on social media, except for the founder of Facebook.

    Brad & Russell (4-5), I’m in agreement.

  18. Kaimi Wenger on May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    jks (6),

    It’s absolutely true that some critics have called for Card boycotts (e.g., Daily Kos). I’m sure that has affected his book sales in some way.

    But it’s one thing to say, “I have some vocal critics, and their efforts have had some negative effects on my career.” It’s another to claim that few fellow authors say positive things about Card’s work.

    Dave (7),

    Take a look at it, absolutely. Also, take a look at _Wyrms_, which is criminally underread.

    Dan (8),

    I feel attacked and victimized by your comment.

    Gina (9),

    Busted.

    Yep, Card is writing about Romney’s unequivocating Mormonness. He just chose to use language that’s likely to elicit giggles from most readers.

    WoB (10) and Ben (11),

    Well, rumor is that EG is going to be a movie soon. I don’t know how Card’s political views have affected that.

    I’m not saying that his views have no effects. I’m making the narrower statement that it’s silly to claim that few authors say positive things about his work.

  19. Kaimi Wenger on May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    David (12),

    Me too!

    Marie (13),

    You have a point.

    Rob (14),

    I remember reading that one, too. That can’t be good publicity for OSC.

  20. Wraith of Blake on May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    The fact that it remains a rumor and hasn’t attracted a producer and stable of artists of the craft might be an indication of this, since nothing has been heard about the project since Card’s joining NOM in the spring of 2009. The print division of Marvel did some work with Card though in the last year or so, if I remember my reading of info about that correctly.

  21. Adam Greenwood on May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I’m not complaining about his novels.

    Not even Empire? C’mon.

  22. Brad on May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    “Not even Empire? C’mon.”

    Snort.

  23. palerobber on May 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Card’s article is deceptive when he claims that Vidmar “came under fire because of the LDS position on the definition of marriage.” sorry, no, it’s wasn’t “the LDS position” on marriage equality that got him into trouble — it was his own direct and enthusiastic advocacy for giving the church’s “position” the force of law (at no small cost to his fellow citizens).

    be that as it may, if Card is in fact shunned in elite circles it would certainly be well deserved. there’s no place for anti-gay bigots in polite society — whether they consider themselves faithful mormons or not is of no consequence.

  24. Raymond Takashi Swenson on May 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I have a copy of ALL of Card’s books. When he first got published in science fiction magazines in 1977, when he was still working as an editor at the Ensign, my brother and I took him to lunch and got his signature on our copies of the stories. There is no question he has attained the status of a major author in the genre, and his books take up a full shelf in the Barnes and Noble here in mostly non-Mormon eastern Washington. At the same time, every story about him, including in SF encyclopedias, mentions his LDS affiliation and its influence on much of his work (such as the Call of Earth series, based on the Book of Mormon, and the Alvin Maker series, a fantasy series about Alvin Maker, who is to Joseph Smith as Aslan is to Christ).

    At the same time, the academic world and the world of SF writers are two societies that are very conscious of in-group and out-group status, and I am inclined to give Card the benefit of the doubt when he says that there is an undercurrent of discrimination against him because of his LDS identity. We certainly know from objective surveys that academics have an even higher negative view of Mormons than average Americans. And Card has not made a secret of how he views the way English departments teach literature as something that is inaccessible except to elites. Among SF authors, there are many that pride themselves on their freedom from conventional ideas of morality, and characterize people of conventional religiosity as less than intelligent. Just refusing to drink alcohol can exclude you from a lot of typical SF convention activities.

    I would say I agree with much of his political rhetoric as well. I grew up in a blue collar household, with a waitress mother and a dad who was a letter carrier, working with the father of the late Senator Ed Mayne, head of the Utah AFL-CIO, who grew up down the street from us. If the Democratic Party had not tipped over into the knee-jerk pro-abortion, anti-military party, I could find myself supporting a conservative Democrat or two, like many other Utahns used to. A careful reading of Card’s past political observations would, I think, keep him open to supporting a moderate, McCain-like Republican like Huntsman. So I think Card’s observations about how Huntsman has explicitly distanced himself from the straight arrow Mormonism of many other Utahns, including his dad, really are about religion and not politics.

    Card’s Mormon Times column did not mention Huntsman by name, or current or past political office. At the same time, another Mormon Times columnist wrote a column sympathetic to Huntsman, arguing that sometimes it is hard to say something about one’s Mormon beliefs out of fear that you will be misunderstood. Between the two columns, I am afraid I agree with Card’s take. If one is committed to Mormonism and the LDS Church, one can say that, and leave the issue what that means for further conversation. In all of the negative attacks that Romney got about his LDS membership during the 2007-2008 primaries, he never gave anyone a reason to doubt that he is fully committed to being and identifying as a Mormon.

    The first paragraphs of the Newsweek cover story about “Romney: the Mormon Candidate” demonstrated the Newsweek reporter’s total cluelessness about the difference between the structure and operation of the all-volunteer LDS Church and its Protestant neighbors, as the author expressed puzzlement when Romney failed to wax nostalgic about his hypothetical former pastor at the old building where his family attended church in Detroit when they first moved there. Newsweek didn’t know that there are no professional pastors among Mormons, who tell wise stories which Mormon candidates can later quote as heart-warming vignettes to political reporters on the campaign plane. Like most Mormons, Romney’s stories about growing up Mormon center in his relationship with his father as his primary teacher and example.

    Romney was even being true to his Mormon heritage when he failed to capitalize on his service as a “Christian minister” in Boston, both as bishop and stake president. The fact is that Romney served more years as a minister, and without pay, than Huckabee served in his Southern Baptist congregation, but Huckabee modestly advertised his status as a “Christian minister” in order to contrast himself with Romney.

    You can disagree with how Romney personally connects his LDS faith to his political positions, but I never saw him distancing himself from Mormonism during the 2007-2008 campaign.

    Frankly, if Huntsman were my home teacher, and he made the kind of statements to me that he has made to reporters, I would ask him to clarify what he meant. That does not mean he should be disqualified from being elected to government office; the people of Utah elected hard-drinking Jack Mormon Calvin Rampton three times as governor. I just would not ask Huntsman to give me a priesthood blessing when I was sick, or ask him for informal spiritual advice.

  25. Kaimi Wenger on May 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Good point, Adam. I haven’t yet read Empire.

    On the other hand, I have on my shelf at home Ender, Speaker, Xenocide (which reminds me of this xkcd every time I see it http://xkcd.com/304/ ), Lost Boys, Folk of the Fringe, Wyrms, and a couple of others.

  26. Ilyan Kei Lavanway on May 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    As elections and sociopolitical issues heat up, have you ever wondered what the second coming might really be like? I mean, aside from the usual discussions we have in church. One bold author dares to take a stab at describing intricate details of what the world may experience at the coming of the Lord. Earth Sink is a new LDS fiction book of profound depth, offering insights and details not likely to be found in other works of fiction. Also contains a dream the author had about scripture that does not exist yet. Search Earth Sink Book on Google. It’s a difficult read, but well worth the effort.

  27. Ilyan Kei Lavanway on May 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I have always wondered why Romney did not take a firm stance against gay marriage and abortion in Massachusetts. I am all for a true, active, LDS politician gaining the presidency, and I hope it happens at least once in US history. I sincerely hope he stands firm on the moral issues, difficult as that is to do in today’s liberal political climate.

  28. Christopher on May 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Ben S. (#11)

    Since he mentions it explicitly, did you find any examples of him being “invited to speak or teach at [any] universities” ?

    Yes. He spoke at Christopher Newport University, just down the road from me, last fall.

  29. Wraith of Blake on May 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    There’s been quite a bit of professional backlash received by people who just donated a few dollars one day, let alone Card’s opinion piece writings (which I assume to exist) on this topic–but, IMO, that’s part of the bailiwick of such a thing. And people don’t want to hear uber successful people complain about bias. Many think publicly airing such a thing, whether true or not, a bit tone deaf. (Cf. Michelle Obama’s “For the first time in my adult life…” alleged-to-be “gaffe.”)

    I think Mormons tend to downplay the very subtle (and perhaps ultimately quite slight) disparagements or being the butts of jokes as they pretty routinely experience in mainstream culture–and there are few official groups that have an essentially “defensive” mindset and that champion this cause in the name of the members of this religious minority, at least to my knowledge. Well, I’ll take some of the foregoing back. I have read lots of hurt feelings expressed in letters to the editor expressing essentially a “we’re being victimized here” complaint. ……

  30. Matt Evans on May 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Nice comment, RTS.

  31. Ben S on May 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Though it’s not entirely within the scope here, his perception probably goes back to his days writing a semi-regular column for Sunstone, until he wrote his “Hypocrites of Homosexuality” piece. After that (according to his postscript, which begins with “some observations”), Signature Books threatened to pull their financial support if he ever published with Sunstone again. That was in 1990, I believe. For a good while, the piece was missing from the Sunstone website, though it’s there now.

  32. Aaron B on May 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I can’t believe no one’s yet asked the truly pressing questions about Card that need to be asked:

    1) At what point does the mainstreaming of gay marriage trigger Card’s promise to overthrow the U.S. Government? Are we there yet?

    2) Once the overthrow begins, what sorts of weapons and tactics will card use? Bombs? Guns? Hattori Hanzo swords?

  33. Chris on May 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hey Kaimi, don’t forget my recent measured defense of Card in the March 2011 issue of Sunstone! :-)

  34. Chino Blanco on May 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    If his remarks have got Orson Scott Card and Robert P. George in a snit, Jon Huntsman, Jr. must be doing something right.

    And all apologies for the copy pasta, but aren’t these next few grafs somethin’ else?

    Orson Scott Card:

    Let me point out my own sorry example. The election of 1968. Nixon vs. Humphrey — but with George Wallace spoiling things by mounting the most important third-party challenge in my lifetime (I was born in 1951).

    Fall of 1968, I had just turned seventeen. Definitely not a senior. I was a white kid raised in communities where I never saw black people, and while I had been aware of George Wallace as a segregationist governor of Alabama, I was ignorant of what that really meant in people’s lives.

    Segregation was over, I figured — the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts had determined that — and now Wallace himself was declaring that he was no longer in favor of segregation, implying that he’d just been doing what the people of Alabama elected him to do. So in my youth and ignorance, all I saw was a populist candidate running a third-party challenge.

    I completely bought into the “not a dime’s worth of difference” slogan and yes, on my college campus I took part in the Wallace campaign, manning the American Independent Party table by the student union building for a few hours one afternoon and attending a couple of meetings.

    But the non-student adults working with his campaign creeped me out. It made me uneasy that people like that were Wallace’s supporters. By the time of the election I had drifted away.

    Within a couple of years I had learned a little more and was deeply embarrassed at my naivete and stupid enthusiasm. I changed my mind completely. Now I have a deep aversion to bigotry-centered populist demagogues — one thinks, for instance, of the leaders of the anti-amnesty movement. (I’m thinking of Pat Buchanan and, to my disgust, my fellow-Mormon Mitt Romney.)

    But if you look at what I was doing in college, there’s no denying it, I was a Wallace supporter in September and October of 1968.

    Does that youthful stupidity mean that I cannot ever get credit for growing up and changing my mind? I hope not.

    For what it’s worth, I’m guessing there’s a whole bunch of who’d be more than happy to give OSC credit when/if he ever decides to grow up and change his mind about teh gay (or at least stop failing to recognize “the bigotry-centered populist demagoguery” that is NOM).

  35. Christopher Bigelow on May 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Wow, Wenger really distorted what Card said about Romney by failing to include “(though he does change his mind about specific political issues, as all of us should, whenever we learn better).”

    I don’t agree with Card on everything, but I like much of what he says. The fact that Sunstone couldn’t accommodate him in that community is, to me, the biggest indictment against Sunstone being a true “open forum.”

  36. Chris on May 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I suspect that if Card wrote something for Sunstone today, they’d print it. Even if #31 is accurate, these things have a way of blowing over.

  37. Chris on May 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Note that the fact that Sunstone printed “Hypocrites of Homosexuality” in the first place– despite its rather awful rhetoric– was a pretty remarkable demonstration of editorial openness.

  38. Zen on May 19, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    #32 – Orson SC never called for overthrow of the govt. Read exactly what he said.

    As for persecution, try reading a more mainstream SF site when his name comes up, like, Io9.com. People revile and condemn him in the most harsh terms, while admitting that Ender’s Game is classic Science Fiction.

    As for his support of Romney, if I can put up with Democrats and Liberals as brothers and sisters in the Gospel, Romney is not an issue.

  39. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 12:33 am

    What OSC said about overthrow of the government:

    “What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them.

    How long before married people answer the dictators thus: 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, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”

  40. Alison Moore Smith on May 20, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Just want to say that the short story version of Lost Boys was the best. Total creep out.

    Did I mention that I’m an OSC fan? Except maybe Freeway Games. Ahem.

  41. Aaron B on May 20, 2011 at 1:07 am

    “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”

    This is the most ridiculous piece of hyperbolic ranting I think I’ve run across in the entire gay marriage debate, so I thought it deserved some good mockery. Thus, my comment above. Perhaps I myself was a little over-the-top, but not much.

  42. a man Zed on May 20, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Card clearly feels that his acclaim would be much wider if not for his supposed honesty and the presumed bias of his peers and editors.

    Hey, persecution complex is a difficult habit to break.

    I used to love him but after the NOM stint, he is contemptible.

  43. Aaron B on May 20, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Would someone, anyone please tell a joke involving OSC and NOM, whose punchline involves OSC being a New Order Mormon? Cause that would be funny, but I don’t want to be the one to do it.

  44. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Watch out, Aaron B. Your comment has made you my mortal enemy, and I will act to destroy you and bring you down. I’m an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordnance to the ground. There’s a new sheriff in town, and he has an army of assassins.

  45. Wraith of Blake on May 20, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Wait, you mean LDS doesn’t refer to So. Africa formula-1 racecars by L.(-ouis) D.(-ouglas) S.(-errurier)?

  46. john f. on May 20, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Raymond, you would not have Jon Huntsman give you a priesthood blessing because of his “it’s complicated” response? I’m dumbfounded. Is anyone actually claiming to know something about Huntsman’s church membership or religious convictions or are we Mormons so hard-hearted that we eject one of our own based on a statement like that? What is wrong with us that we take offense so often that we take a comment like that as some kind of attack or denigration? Let the man be — I highly doubt he is any less LDS than you or I.

  47. stacer on May 20, 2011 at 7:26 am

    JKS, just because you haven’t heard of those authors doesn’t mean they’re not good examples of some pretty hard-hitting names. Every single one of those authors Kaimi lists are best-selling/award winning authors right now, including Nancy Werlin, who writes really awesome young adult fantasy.

    As someone inside SFF, I’ve seen some Card backlash (btw, people call him Scott, not Orson), particularly at conventions. But it has nothing to do with him being a practicing Mormon. Heck, we took a contingency of 30-some people to World Fantasy in 09, most of whom were practicing Mormons, and no one batted an eye. I think it has everything to do with his outspokenness about his conservative politics, though, which is an unpopular thing in both academic and SFF circles. Those of us who are more moderate tend to leave professional connections and religion separate.

  48. Adam Greenwood on May 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

    RTS, that’s very well put. I think its pretty clear that OSC’s views on things are fairly idiosyncratic and show that his expertise is writing science fiction, not playing understudy to George Will. But Kaimi Wenger is definitely taking a pretty extreme and uncharitable reading of Card–not coincidentally, he’s on the different side of these issues from Card. It’s a little weird to really rip into a guy for his political views on the basis that he falsely claimed that people rip into him for his political views.

  49. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

    John F.,

    I personally don’t want my ordinances performed by anyone with any sin whatsoever.

    The downside is that I have to wait a really long time for priesthood blessings . . .

    Stacer,

    Thanks for the backup. I had totally missed that part of JKS’s comment.

    I find it odd that JKS hasn’t heard of any of these folks, because as you mention, they are all SF/F stars and superstars. Rothfuss’s book just debuted at #1 on the NYT fiction list. The recent Tor survey on best SFF of the past decade started with Scalzi, then Gaiman, then Rothfuss. Scalzi is President of SFWA. Sanderson has a string of NYT bestsellers and is finishing the biggest series in fantasy today. I started typing in people’s awards as I was writing the post, but I quickly just switched to saying “award-winning” because I just ran out of patience. Just Scalzi’s awards and nominations alone would be a small paragraph. And, as you mention, the names really speak for themselves.

    I didn’t dig deep for out-of-the-way authors. My methodology was this: 1. Think of big-name author. 2. Look up that author’s site. 3. Find positive mention of Card. I looked up half a dozen authors and several SFF websites. All but one mentioned Card in a positive way. (Tobias Buckell didn’t mention him.)

    These are the biggest names I know in SFF. (Hmm. There’s also George R.R. Martin. /runs to Martin’s site. Okay, all but *two* mention Card.) (I guess there’s also that woman who writes Sexy Vampire Crime, but I don’t read her stuff myself, and I can’t remember her name, and I don’t know whether that’s really SFF, though it’s often shelved that way at the bookstore.)

    Eric isn’t a big name, but I like him, and he guest blogged here. And hey, I put him in parentheses. :)

  50. stacer on May 20, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Eric and Brandon are friends of mine, so hey, Eric counts! Not to mention he’s actually pretty big in the short fiction world. He’s a Writers of the Future winner and was nominated for a Hugo this year.

  51. jks on May 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    #47 & #49 Too Funny! I really didn’t mean to say I didn’t recognize any of the names listed. I love Brandon Sanderson. I even know Eric James Stone, but I always figured I knew him because he is my brother, not because he is famous (good luck at the Nebula Awards tomorrow, Eric!).
    However, I was clueless about everyone else listed so in my comment I was saying that Kaimi could cite all the evidence (evidence that I didn’t have a frame of reference to get most of so I was trying to admit that) he chose, but I suspected that OSC had his own evidence to support his views.

  52. stacer on May 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Small world, jks. I’ve been reading your posts on FMH probably longer than I’ve known Eric, which has been a while (05? 06?).

  53. Jonovitch on May 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Kaimi, I’m officially calling shenanigans on this post. Gina had it right (comment 9). You selected, out of context, a single phrase from Card’s recent article to prove your point, but the rest of the article makes his opinion pretty clear, and does exactly nothing to prove your point.

    Here’s a bit more from the article, just because it’s worth reviewing:

    “All I’m talking about here is how public figures define their relationship to the church. I think of Mitt Romney, a politician with whom I often disagree. He has never waffled on his Mormon faith, and it has cost him.”

    And the full quote is worth repeating again, too, this time in context:

    “At the same time, Romney has gained, I believe, from being–and being seen as–a man of solid convictions, who does not temper his core beliefs according to the prevailing political winds (though he does change his mind about specific political issues, as all of us should, whenever we learn better).”

    It’s pretty clear that using the one little snippet is omitting way too much context. Kaimi apparently has something against Card and needed a little extra fodder to sustain his grudge. Plus, as others here have stated, I think Card is pretty aware of how often his colleagues are invited to speak vs. how often he is. The whole premise seems to fall apart upon closer inspection.

    Like I said, shenanigans.

  54. jjohnsen on May 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    “I suspect that if Card wrote something for Sunstone today, they’d print it.”

    Maybe as long as it wasn’t fiction. The Card of 10-20 years ago is not the Card of today. You don’t have to know anything about his politics to realize most of what he publishes now is garbage. Have you read Empire or A War of Gifts? Wow are they bad. I’d be willing to blame every problem he’s had in the past five years on some of the stinkers with his name on it. And his retelling of the series that made him famous (with the Ender’s Shadow stuff) is clumsy and boring compared to the way John Scalzi did it with his Old Man’s War series.

    I think he exaggerates how much people care about his politics, it would be forgotten in a second by most sci-fi readers if he put out something as good as Folk of the Fringe or Speaker for the Dead again.

  55. Adam Greenwood on May 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    JJohnsen,
    Empire stinketh but I just listened to a recent work called SpaceBoy that I thought was pretty good. Not mindblowing, but tapping a vein.

  56. Wraith of Blake on May 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Well stated, Adam Greenwood’s #48 (w/regard to Card’s versus Wenger’s political philosophies).

    * * *

    I tried to find a short description on line of Card’s political philosophy and came up with– <blockquote…the young Card volunteered to do what no one else would: represent the political views of Lyndon B. Johnson. It was an act which foreshadowed Card's later philosophy: that one's enemy has an agenda and moral belief structure that is good and worthy when looked at from their point of view, although the corollary to this might be that the cruelty and ferocity of one's enemy (and indeed their very enmity) can take us by surprise if we have failed to glimpse their point of view.
    Don’t know if this characterization holds true–or, rather, the degree it does–in Card’s present punditry “school of one,” though.

    Hey, myself, I like that he doesn’t so much rally this or that school so much as explain the inner derivation of his own. I find it odd he’s still a Dem tho. Talk about idiosynratic. […Isn’t Card the oppo from his fellow religionist Dem Harry Reid in that Reid is Eco Non-libertarian / moderate on the main political issues of traditional morality and Card’s perhaps somewhat vice versa?]

  57. Chris on May 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    A War of Gifts and Empire were lackluster, but they were hardly the atrocities they’ve been made out to be. Besides, every big name author publishes some dreck. Pathfinder, now… that was a fun read!

  58. bbell on May 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I am also calling BS on this post. Kaimi intentionally edited out the full Card quote on Romney.

    I have read most of Card’s books and some are really good and others are not so good. I really enjoyed Folk of the Fringe.

  59. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    That’s too funny, Stacer and JKS. (I had never made the connection between you and Eric, JKS.)

    I’ve been a fan of Eric’s work for years. Several of his short stories were really good. (The tabloid reporter story comes to mind.) I liked his novel, too — err, Heir to the Throne? It’s been a few years since I read it, but I thought it was a great read — likable heroes in Geradin and the young magician woman, plus cool touches with the unbreakable glowy swords, expanding scorpion creatures, evil witch queen, and the like. I had lunch with him a few years ago, when your sister was in town for MacBeth, and it was a lot of fun. (She was great in the show, too, and was also a nice and articulate lunch companion).

    I’ve never had lunch with Brandon, but I did interview him for T&S a few years ago, back before he went bigtime with the Wheel of Time. He was a great interviewee: http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2007/06/mws-brandon-sanderson/

    Also, in two fun coincidences, I met Dan Wells last year when he visited town and showed up in Elders Quorum (which was way too cool). We need to interview him for T&S.

    And, my former mission companion Josh Perkey is doing his darnedest to hit the big time (http://joshuajperkey.blogspot.com/). Go, Josh!

  60. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Sheesh.

    The Romney snippet was a throwaway line for a laugh. This post does not engage in any substantive discussion of Mitt Romney.

    The topic of this blog post is Card’s claim that “few are the fellow writers who . . . make positive references to my work.” I believe that that claim is factually inaccurate.

  61. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Adam (48) writes:

    “It’s a little weird to really rip into a guy for his political views on the basis that he falsely claimed that people rip into him for his political views.”

    But he’s not making that claim, Adam. He isn’t saying, “I have enemies.” He’s saying instead, “I have no friends.” Inaccurately, I believe.

  62. Kaimi Wenger on May 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm
  63. jjohnsen on May 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    #55 Adam, I listened to Space Boy as a book on tape. I thought it was a clever idea, but didn’t really do anything for me. Keep bringing the suggestions though, I haven’t read everything he’s done in the past ten years, but what I’ve read hasn’t been good. I’m not looking for excuses to dislike his work though, so I’d love to find something new that I like.

    #57 They are the atrocities they’ve been made out to be. I suppose it’s possible to find a way to defend Empire, but War of Gifts? You’ve got to be related to the guy to defend that. I haven’t read Pathfinder though, I’ll see if the library has it.

    #58 Folk of the Fringe is one of the best works of LDS fiction I’ve ever read. I’d love to read more in that universe and with those characters.

  64. Chris on May 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Aside from the fact that it was a throwaway, what didn’t you like about A War of Gifts? I can understand hating Empire, which was a piece of patently partisan propaganda.

  65. a random John on May 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Kaimi,

    Ender’s Game has been about to be made into a move for roughly 15 years now. In fact there was a lot of talk about it right after The Phantom Menace as Card thought that the kid that did Anakin as a child didn’t “Culkinize” the role and it gave him hope that they’d be able to find a suitable Ender.

    In any case I really enjoy Card’s fiction and continue to buy his books, but I cringe when I read his columns and wonder how one of my favorite writers in one format can be so annoying to me in another.

    I’ll add that the Slate stuff about Hitler the horse from Treason is probably still stuck in his craw, and was really an attack job that Slate should be ashamed of.

  66. jjohnsen on May 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    #64. Where do I start? Sappy, shallow characters, heavy-handed message and Ender is used as a deus-ex machina without any personality at all.

  67. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on May 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

    kind of a petty and weak attempt to discredit Card…

  68. Stephen M (Ethesis) on May 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I tend to agree with Gina, though xkcd is a favorite, ever since my daughter pointed out to me.

    I’ve missed “A War of Gifts.”

    Kaimi, admit it, your post mirrors Card’s for exaggerations done for effect. ;)

  69. Kaimi Wenger on May 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Few are the fellow bloggers who have made positive reference to this post. But I admire the courage of those who have.

  70. Barb on May 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I like to read Card’s Column’s online. I used to participate at one of his forums and still read there as I enjoy it. I always wanted to buy one of his books but I have such a long wish list of books. I always worry when people talk politics as that can be so divisive. Even reading blogs, I sometimes have been turned off by bloggers who I like a whole lot when they start talking politics. But I still like you, Kaimi. One of the books by card that I really want to buy some day but I can’t even find now is about character development. A friend of mine said it really improved her writing. Maybe I just mixed it up with something else.

    I do appreciate Card’s insights on many subjects under the sun and maybe even some of his political views.

  71. mrsbrittdaniel on May 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Somebody said this post was a “kind of a petty and weak attempt to discredit Card…”, but I thought it was a clever approach to the challenge of analyzing a fiction writer’s non-fiction writings. Very amusing.

    Poor Card. He seems somewhat insulated from reality. I think the tendency among some LDS people (and perhaps other groups) is to feel scorn and derision when there is anything less than full support in the reactions of others. It may well be that many who know him spend very little time thinking about his politics, but because they have not come out in support of his anti-gay marriage attitudes, he feels dismissed. Perhaps. One question for me is, how many universities was he asked to speak at before serving @ NOM and the whole Prop 8 business? Has there been a dramatic shift in the number of his speaking invitations? Was he a popular speaker before … and then the gigs slipped away? Or does he simply wish for more opportunities at pulpits and podiums?

    I remember thinking back when I read Lost Boys that Card was very interested in ‘influencing’ other people. It is a relatively insignificant part, but there is a section in the story (I’m struggling to remember all the details) about the callings held by the husband and wife. One is an auxiliary teacher, one a Sunday School teacher, if I recall. Then the novel adds that because of these callings, these two were particularly well-positioned to have an influence or be able to shape the thoughts of ward members. I thought it was a very strange idea & I wondered how important such influence must be to the author himself …

  72. Wraith of Blake on May 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Wenger’s #69 – hilarious!

    Barb’s #70 – You’re referring to the second of these three (but the other two cover much of the same ground, so I understand): How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy (1990; 2001), Elements of Fiction Writing – Characters & Viewpoint(1999), and The Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy (2010)

  73. Jeremy on May 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I’ve loved several of OSC’s series. Loved all the Enders books, Alvin Maker, and others. But I started disliking many of his non-fiction thoughts when I read his 1993 book about the arts in Mormonism, A Storyteller in Zion. The oppression fantasies that Kaimi has pointed out here were already apparent back then. What turned me off most back then, and still does today, is that his oppression fantasy is self-contradictory. He heaps scorn on all things academic–“literary” fiction as opposed to genre and other types of popular fiction, including fantasy and science fiction. He does the same for contemporary art music and abstract art–populist derision to the point of mockery. But then he whines that the academic world that he dismisses doesn’t appreciate him! Because I’m a music academic, it was easy to see how uninformed and sophomoric his ideas about contemporary music were; I shudder to think, then, how his self-contradictory dismissal of and desire for “establishment” recognition comes across to literary academics.

    So, he was already doing this nearly 20 years ago. But the last ten years of outspoken editorializing on the Iraq war and homosexuality, which he should have predicted would turn off many of his fans, seems to have become the preferred cover for his deep-seated insecurity about the relationship of his work to “serious” literature.

  74. VeritasLiberat on May 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I don’t think Scalzi counts as a friend of Card’s, because one doesn’t describe one’s “friends'” views in public using the term “economy sized jug of crazy sauce.”

    I have to admit, when I first read one of Card’s columns on gay marriage, my first thought was not about the merits of his argument, but rather “My God, he’s not allowed to SAY that, is he? Bad things will come of this.”

    And they have. It seems like every time I read blog discussions ANYWHERE about OSC–or a review on amazon–they either begin with, or are quickly interrupted by, angry posters calling Card a disgusting homophobe and hoping nobody ever buys any of his books ever again.

    When Card won the (ALA) Edwards award for YA literature a few years ago, there was a huge controversy about it in the library world, with extremely critical commentary of his allegedly homophobic views in the library blogosphere and in SLJ (which also printed the ugliest photo of him they could find). There were plans to disrupt his acceptance speech. In addition, the man has been the target of boycott campaigns of all sorts, including by people who place denunciations of him inside the covers of his books in libraries and bookstores. Comics companies that employ him have also been boycotted. He’s gotten picketed at book signings. He’s also received death threats, for crying out loud. If this were happening to me, I might feel a wee bit persecuted too.

    I wonder if he ever wishes that he had just shut up about defending male-female marriage, using his pen exclusively to write more of the stories that have made him rich and famous, instead of essays that he doesn’t even get paid for. Probably not, though. Agree with him or not, the man’s got guts.

    And Card did NOT *call for* overthrow of the government as a response to gay marriage, or even to judicial overreaching (which is the larger issue that really concerns him). He predicted it, which is not the same thing. And then explicitly argued *against* violent overthrow several months later: “I’ve heard frustrated people talk about armed rebellion, about overthrowing the government. Those of you with itchy trigger fingers, put away your guns. We are committed to democracy, not to violence.” He goes on to advocate VOTING, and using, as a last resort against an encroaching judicial dictatorship, a passive resistance movement, like the kind made famous by civil rights activists.

    His articles and positions are rather more nuanced than most of his opponents give him credit for. It’s like they don’t bother to read carefully.

    As for Brandon Sanderson, he’s been tarred with the same brush as Card, for being Mormon and against gay marriage. Samples here:

    http://www.afterelton.com/askmonkey/11-15-2010
    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211055

    Admittedly, because Sanderson’s rhetorical and personal style is lower-key, he hasn’t gotten tarred as often as Card.

    Yet.

  75. Adam Greenwood on May 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I suppose it’s possible to find a way to defend Empire

    I would suppose otherwise.

    I can understand hating Empire, which was a piece of patently partisan propaganda.

    Yes, but for a party of one.

    Veritas Liberat,
    that’s very eloquent. Right on.

  76. Barb on May 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks, no 72, Wraith of Blake!

  77. Wraith of Blake on May 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Institutions and people may find it to their advantage to avoid association with issues that lead to their being boycotted. Eg I’m not saying Dave Checketts supports/doesn’t support such measures as Prop 8 but it’s an interesting that such high profile LDS businessmen did NOT seem to have been caught up in the “name found on donor list” fiascos. And I find it interesting that a Bro.
    Checketts can buy an NFL franchise no problem but not an “overly controversial” pundit like Rush Limbaugh. Can you imagine the fallout if Stephenie Meyer had donated?

    Prof. Wenger’s quick chuckle at pundit Card’s expense worked (for me, at least; I chuckled) but it also seems a little tone deaf itself on a blog for discussion of thoughts of interest to faithful LDS–in that the post didn’t bother to even acknowlege so much of the pertinent undercurrent here, to my ear (that Card no doubt believes the particular advocacy that’s turned out to be the most controversial–and for which he believes himself to have received the most negative professional backlash–a direct expression of his LDS faith)….

  78. VeritasLiberat on May 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Well, there are these:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/07/657069/-Boycott-Mormon-businesses-and-Anyone-else-who-Supported-Prop-8

    http://www.americablog.com/2008/11/seems-you-all-got-bill-marriotts.html

    “It doesn’t matter if Bill Marriott didn’t give to Prop 8. He is a major donor to the Mormon Church. And they use that money to impose their religious views on others, whether you like it or not.
    Second, Bill Marriott may not have given to Prop 8, but people on his staff, who run some of his hotels, did. And we pay their salaries. We pay for those donations every time we stay at a Marriott.”
    —————–

    As for “Institutions and people may find it to their advantage to avoid association with issues that lead to their being boycotted”… apparently *for some,* just *being a Mormon* is enough to get you boycotted after Prop 8, as in the Marriott example above. The brush with the tar is aimed at you, unless you resign your membership or at least denounce the prophets… ?

  79. VeritasLiberat on May 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you, Adam. :-)

  80. Wraith of Blake on May 25, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Per today’s (conservative) Washington Times: “Political science professor Joseph E. Uscinski, one of the study’s authors, said the new analysis shows that the overwhelmingly liberal academic community consistently ranks Republican presidents about 10 spots lower than the public would.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/24/republican-presidents-lag-in-historical-rankings/

    Wenger’s projected response: “What’s Uscinski talking about any ‘overwhelmingly liberal academic community’? Heck, the article mentions the 2010 Siena College poll that ranks Ronald Reagan at ‘number 18, behind Bill Clinton, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Barack Obama.’ Stratospheric, don’t you think?”

  81. Wraith of Blake on May 25, 2011 at 2:57 am

    From Saturday’s Christian Post:

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/patricia-heaton-says-her-politics-have-cost-her-possible-roles-50347/

    “In the interview with PopEater though – during which [actress Patricia Heaton, who played Debra Barone in the smash hit Everybody Loves Raymond] said she is not opposed to gay marriage – Heaton said she gets lumped together with other conservatives and it has cost her possible work.

    “’We know for a fact there are some people who have said they wouldn’t want to work with us because of our politics,’ she said, with her husband Hunt adding, ‘We get lumped in with lunatics.’”

  82. Kaimi Wenger on May 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Veritas (74) writes,

    “I don’t think Scalzi counts as a friend of Card’s, because one doesn’t describe one’s “friends’” views in public using the term “economy sized jug of crazy sauce.””

    I didn’t say that he’s Card’s friend, did I?

    Card claimed that: “Few are the fellow writers who . . . make positive references to my work”

    In the post I link, above, Scalzi wrote that “OSC is one of my favorite authors.” He’s written positively about Card’s work in multiple blog entries.

    Yes, he disagrees with Card’s politics. But he is pretty clearly making positive references to Card’s work.

    Veritas (78),

    I’ve seen the Daily Kos post, and I mentioned it earlier in my comment.

    To repeat what I said in 18:

    It’s absolutely true that some critics have called for Card boycotts (e.g., Daily Kos). I’m sure that has affected his book sales in some way.

    But it’s one thing to say, “I have some vocal critics, and their efforts have had some negative effects on my career.” It’s another to claim that few fellow authors say positive things about Card’s work.

  83. Kaimi Wenger on May 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

    WoB,

    I’ve written on this blog about how popular progressive arguments (“look at all of the stupid Republicans!”) don’t hold water. For instance, I discussed the political imbalance in academia in this post: http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2005/04/krugman-kerr-kleiman/

    Sample quote: “There is no explanation from Krugman or Kleiman why the fact that there are some neanderthals in the Republican party ought to result in there being such minimal conservative representation in academia.”

  84. Wraith of Blake on May 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Bro. Wenger, kind of you to respond to someone who writes as befuddledly me. Anyway, I ellide the crux of my own argument/observation about your parody piece’s (IMO) not getting enough into degree Card has likely suffered bad consequences in some of his professional iterations due to his politics. In that I think the real crux of Card’s Mormon Times (pastoral?… opinion?) column is this:

    But I can’t help feeling a little puzzled about someone who says his relationship with the church is “tough to define.” What can that possibly mean, except that he no longer accepts the church as the sole authorized representative of God? Mormonism has a small but clear set of tenets which you must accept to be a Latter-day Saint. The nature of God, the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ, the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the gospel by Joseph Smith, the authority of the living prophet. / Having these beliefs doesn’t mean we are necessarily good at keeping all the commandments — we all vary in our degrees of righteousness. Nor does it mean that we deny the goodwill of believers in other religions. / But declaring our faith is what makes us part of this community of believers, and denying it removes us from it. In that sense, there are no “cultural Mormons,” and no “varying degrees.”

    I think “big tent” Mormons find such expressions off putting/problematic ’cause they want to subtly move Mormonism to more of the cultural thing that Card mentions. Akin, say, to the type of religious sentiments typical (according to religious belief surveys, anyway) of beliefs of American Reform Jews.

    So, I suspect that this sentiment of Card’s I quoted is the one–or one of the ones–you the most disagreement with? (And, if so, it might be asked, Why?…. ) In any case, I sympathize with such a point of view, as I tried to approximate above. But also, as just an observation, I think Card is more in line with traditional Mormon belief–and “culture, if you will, lol–than such a stance for the simple fact that historical and also existing Mormonism is pretty “hyper-Protestant,” I think, in its form: all about preaching the Gospel–with members communally taking part in that process and taking turns doing so from the pulpit, in front of small classrooms of fellow believers, on proselytizing missions, and in visiting homes of members. It’s not one where one shows up and partakes of the Sacrament piece of bread and cup of water, attends the temple once a month and then is free to be as “liberally Unitarian-Universalist – like” as one wants to be. (At least not generally, IMO…… ) So Card preaches that line, essentially arguing, Don’t be a Peter and deny the Gospel for convenience!

  85. Tachyon Feathertail on May 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    @74: He wasn’t “defending male/female marriage,” he was attacking same-gender marriage on the false premise that allowing it would devalue opposite-gender marriage. In the process, he made a bunch of ugly accusations against people I consider friends.

    Those who persecute others lose all right to complain about being persecuted, especially when “persecution” means that people with consciences are refusing to support them. And increasing others’ awareness of the horrible things they are saying.

    Finally, Card may not have set a date for the revolution in that essay, and he may well have contradicted himself later on. His rhetoric echoed the far right’s talk of secession and armed revolution, though.

    I don’t think he was trying to scare his readers with horror stories, of people who agreed with them taking over the government. I think he was writing with a firebrand’s indignation, about how The Will Of The People will not be ignored. And how those who stand up for the right to marry will be destroyed by the defenders of the One True Family.

  86. Wraith of Blake on May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    You can probably tell I stayed up all night from how my last comment was typed or worded. Sorry. (By the way, my own view on SSM is why not compromise and allow all the legal rights but call it another term.)

  87. VeritasLiberat on May 26, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Bro. Wenger, the DailyKos post I referenced above was not the same as the one you mentioned — it wasn’t about Card. (I was writing in response to the Wrath of Blake comment right above it —
    5/24/2011 at 11:42 am.)

    This DailyKos post was a call for boycotts of all businesses owned by *Mormons* . . . whether the owners donated to Prop. 8 or not:

    “Businesses owned by Mormons, who tithe to the Church, should also be boycotted. Large amounts of Church income comes from tithings. Vote with your wallets! Every dollar less that you give to a tithed Mormon is a dollar less that can be tithed and spent on anti-gay activity.”

    If you’re a Mormon, your livelihood is fair game.

  88. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 1, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Those who persecute others lose all right to complain about being persecuted, especially when “persecution”

    and all of us feel persecuted …

    If you’re a Mormon, your livelihood is fair game. and nothing else is new. Any minority (including gays and mormons) will be seen as fair game.

  89. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 1, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Remember how rapidly gay marriage has become a requirement. When gay rights were being enforced by the courts back in the ’70s and ’80s, we were repeatedly told by all the proponents of gay rights that they would never attempt to legalize gay marriage

    A quote from the article Kami links to.

    What Card complains of is not that his brilliance is not appreciated by some, but that in relation to other authors of the same stature he is treated with more hostility and contempt.

    That’s true. But, I suspect, misses the point.

    Kami, how many times do you give students specific constructive feedback in classes? At least once a week? You have reviewed the pedological science, no?

  90. Wraith of Blake on June 1, 2011 at 11:05 am

    So we have got two issues: alleged treatment of Card with contempt in relation to other authors of the same stature [per Stephen M (Ethesis)’s words] by colleagues and the like, (2) alleged treatment of same-sex couples with contempt by Card. If Card believes himself really not to treat same-sex couples with contempt and bears with his own treatment perceived as contemptuous, then he’s indeed an, ahem, latter-day saint, in the generic meaning of this term! (And if gay activists, media-types and academics types don’t believe they are treating Card with contempt but bear with his treatment of same-sex couples seeking marriage with contempt… well, ditto, by the same turn.)

  91. Kaimi on June 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for that quote, Ethesis:

    “When gay rights were being enforced by the courts back in the ’70s and ’80s, we were repeatedly told by all the proponents of gay rights that they would never attempt to legalize gay marriage.”

    What on earth is Card talking about?

    Where are the gay-rights-enforcing court cases from the 1970s or 1980s? Where? I’m reasonably familiar with court cases dealing with gay rights, and I can’t think of any court cases enforcing gay rights in the 1970s or 1980s. In fact, there are several important cases which do the opposite.

    In _Bowers v. Hardwick_ (1986) the U.S. Supreme Court *upheld* the constitutionality of laws which made gay sex a crime. And a few years earlier in 1979, Dan White received a very light sentence (seven years, five with good behavior) for the murder of Harvey Milk.

    Where are these gay-rights-enforcing court cases of the 1970s and 1980s?

    And who are the proponents of gay rights — “all” of them, Card argues — who suggest that that would never attempt to legalize gay marriage?

    Is there any factual support for these assertions?

  92. Wraith of Blake on June 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I may stand corrected. From a piece posted on April 28 at Deadline dot com:

    Summit Entertainment is acquiring U.S. rights to a live-action adaptation of the Orson Scott Card science fiction novel Ender’s Game, with Gavin Hood set to direct his script. Summit, which is winding down its Twilight Saga series, is co-financing Ender’s Game and eyeing it as an opportunity to hatch another youth-driven series, with protagonists that are slightly younger than the kids in the upcoming The Hunger Games trilogy. … …

    (In my defense, note this headline in today’s Hollywood Reporter): “In clips that will hit the Internet to promote a new book, producers including ‘Friends’ co-creator Marta Kauffman and ‘House’ creator David Shore say Hollywood discriminates against and belittles conservatives” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tv-executives-admit-taped-interviews-193116

  93. Wraith of Blake on June 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Well, I gather from glancing at a few articles in the Hollywood press that they’re selling Game’s German, etc., etc., etc. as we type (“foreign distribution rights”? even before casting?)_ _ _ _ _ _ Btw here’s a Card quote from just this last January. Enjoy!:

    “I left SFWA [the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America] in 1987,” he said, “and haven’t looked back. I have very few friends among sci-fi writers and have no idea at all what their politics might be.”

    “Back when I cared,” he continued, “most of the writers of my generation were so extremely leftist in their formal opinions, and so extremely elitist in their practices, that it would be difficult to discern where they actually stood on anything. It’s as if the entire Tsarist aristocracy fervently preached Bolshevism even as they oppressed their peasants. But that view is based on observations back in the mid-1980s. Since then, my only exposure to their views has been the general boycott of mine. In short,” he said, “I’m their Devil, but I have no idea who their God is anymore.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/is-science-fiction-getting-more-conservative/?singlepage=true

  94. Wraith of Blake on June 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Another dribble: Card, June 2, 2011:

    I have one of the best entertainment lawyers alive, which is the only reason I still have some measure of influence on the making of the Ender’s Game movie. Without him, there would already have been a movie by that name, and it would have been the stupidest piece of junk ever on a screen.

    http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2011-06-02.shtml

  95. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Where are the gay-rights-enforcing court cases from the 1970s or 1980s? Where? You are the law professor. I’m just a simple litigator who has never seen such a case from that era …

    I rather thought of _Bowers v. Hardwick_ which is the opposite, so I’m not going to be of much use to you.