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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let’s Call a Jackass a Jackass

posted by on July 29 at 16:02 PM

I’ve known for a long time now that Orson Scott Card is a homophobe. It’s why I haven’t read Ender’s Game, despite the recommendation of literally dozens of readers whose opinions I respect.

But this story informs me that things have escalated a bit on the Orson Scott Card front:

According to science fiction author Orson Scott Card…recent court decisions in Massachusetts and California recognizing same-sex marriage mean “the end of democracy in America.” As such, he advocates taking down our government “by whatever means is made possible or necessary.”

The article links to a hate-filled essay by Card in the Mormon Times. Here is his explanation why gay marriage is an abomination:

There is no natural method by which two males or two females can create offspring in which both partners contribute genetically. This is not subject to legislation, let alone fashionable opinion.

Human beings are part of a long mammalian tradition of heterosexuality. No parthenogenic test tube procedure can alter what we, by nature, are. No surgery, no hormone injections, can change X to Y or make the distinction nonexistent.

That a few individuals suffer from tragic genetic mixups does not affect the differences between genetically distinct males and females.

All of which means that Orson Scott Card can go fuck himself, of course, but people need to know about Card’s essay. I appreciate that some people say that it doesn’t matter what an author thinks if the books are worth reading. I tend to agree—a lot of authors are insufferable assholes—but Card is getting more attention than ever, and people need to know about his views. From the After Elton article:

…Card is definitely a major figure in the science fiction community, a three-time winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and a winner of both the World Fantasy and Locus Awards. His novel, Ender’s Game, is considered a classic, one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time. A major movie version is in the works with a screenplay written by Card himself. Wolfgang Petersen and Warner Brothers had both been involved, though it’s unclear if either still are.

Additionally, at this month’s Comic Con in San Diego, Marvel Comics announced that this October they are publishing a six issue miniseries based on Ender’s Game.

I’m never in favor of banning books, of course, but I do think that more people need to understand that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe. It needs to become common knowledge that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe. If Marvel Comics and Warner Brothers knew that more people know that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe, they might be less likely to give Orson Scott Card (who is a hateful homophobe) a shitload of money.

In conclusion, Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe. Please make a note of it, and tell your friends that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe.

RSS icon Comments


Methinks someone is talking to google-bot.

Posted by Jeremy from Seattle | July 29, 2008 4:06 PM

I completely agree, makes me ashamed to have read his books.

Posted by Edward | July 29, 2008 4:09 PM

You aren't missing much by not reading Card. Ender's Game is 1/3 interesting (mostly the parts that predict what the internet will look like) and 2/3 tedium.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | July 29, 2008 4:10 PM

Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe. Ple
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 29, 2008 4:13 PM

So, who wants to update his wikipedia page? Not graffiti, just a factual update with a link to that essay.

Posted by A | July 29, 2008 4:13 PM

*-Ple. Oops. Whatever. Fuck you.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 29, 2008 4:14 PM

Ender's Game sucked donkey balls.

Posted by AMB | July 29, 2008 4:15 PM

Not to belabor the obvious, but old people can't produce offspring either. Which raises the question, since Scott Card's wife is probably post-menopausal, should she and Card be executed, or just forcibly divorced from each other?

Posted by Fnarf | July 29, 2008 4:16 PM

As somebody who babysat his kids, I can't say that his being a homophobe was very noticeable.

Seriously, though, not everything people write in books is about you ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 4:17 PM

The Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the Supreme Court Second Edition,1990 states on page 1001;


I'd like to fuck up the courts for a moment by reminding you that it doesn't have to be a prison felon out on haiatus vamping for night clerk work for his cop whos on prosecutorial leave for shenannigans at space jam 101 to read this list into my marijuana court case in Federal Jurisdiction give my music to Peter Gabriel....

#52 through #71 should tie it up just long enough for you to know ther was a scene collusion back in the military...a nd if you think they'd kill bobboy and john and martin and malcolm and leave us bedtime for bonzo and gw goat reader for first graders maybe you'd all take it a little more ...

" and I double quote...

' awww just give him his cash and he'll go away .... {fuck i can't stand it any more...} as you hear the sound in your inner ear .... '

the sound of Interim county book club reaserchers side betting on lotto tickets waiting for the Social Security Ticket that says they can work."

Posted by Cheif justice cherokee got your bot bot google shareholder yahoo simonaut | July 29, 2008 4:18 PM

Card only gets it right once in that whole essay:

"The laws concerning marriage did not create marriage, they merely attempted to solve problems in such areas as inheritance, property, paternity, divorce, adoption and so on."

Which is central to the need for gay marriage law imho. Anything else is dogma.

Posted by Jimmy | July 29, 2008 4:19 PM

At the end of Ender's game you discover the simulated training is in fact the real war, and the boy Ender is the unsuspecting military genius behind humanity's victory over the insectoid alien menace. Only too late does Ender discover that his unsettling sympathy for the enemy was actually a psychic truce broadcast by the hive queen. It haunts him.

No need to read the book now Paul.

Posted by Bubbles | July 29, 2008 4:24 PM

I have a question.

Is Mr. Card using Whitehouse book of the month press kit polyamourus infiltration techniques designed by Karl Rove for use against Senator John McCain in 2000 ti then be used again in 2008 for a wedgie into OBAMAS backside while aces and spades dupe the internet to pull in illegal gambaling or taxes finacial freeword trader widgets from the subprime mortgage scandal tied to the horrendous pattern of spend the Democratic cycle ito the next .000000000001% top super elite bracket for the UBER UBER TUBER GOOBER geberation?

Posted by danielbennettkieneker | July 29, 2008 4:26 PM

Yeah, I know he's a complete and total dick. It was a tremendous disappointment to find that out. However, I enjoyed Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead to such a degree, that I'm really relieved that I didn't find out until after I'd read them. I was able to enjoy tremendous pleasure from them, and then not have to bother with his other books, which I hear are shit.

Now, what's this about sedition?

Posted by Gitai | July 29, 2008 4:26 PM

I've known of OSC's superficial and vocal homophobia for a long time. Haven't read _Ender's Game_ since maybe my mid-20's, before I became aware of OSC's superficial and vocal homophobia, but it struck me at the time as quite homoerotic (naked warrior youths in a barracks situation with lots of dom/sub overtones, and all that). So I think that OSC is just like a lot of other semeniferous and oral homophobes, who tend to get raging boners when they're strapped down with sensors attached and shown gay porn. Just sayin'.

Posted by rob | July 29, 2008 4:27 PM

go trask with a shower in guam and you'll soon find out that general pouty without a r equals ti with out a i and a o instead.

Posted by dankieneker | July 29, 2008 4:29 PM

Ender's Game sucks.

Posted by AMB | July 29, 2008 4:30 PM



Posted by michael strangeways | July 29, 2008 4:31 PM

@9 Will: What the fuck are you talking about? I honestly can't understand the second sentence in your post and the first—that you babysat for the man and he didn't try to nail any gay people to trees during the time that you saw him-has nothing to do with anything.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 29, 2008 4:33 PM

Whenever I hear someone express anti-gay sentiments with such sentiment, I assume that they're deep in the closet.

Posted by Tiktok | July 29, 2008 4:34 PM

authors insufferable assholes? dan savage anyone?

Posted by william shakespeare | July 29, 2008 4:34 PM

Orson Scott Card does not write science in SciFi settings. I'm glad I hated Ender's Game so much.

Posted by toasterhedgehog | July 29, 2008 4:37 PM

it's more likely Orson Scott Card is a hate filled closet case.

Posted by jeffg166 | July 29, 2008 4:41 PM

Ender's Game is worth reading no matter what dickhead wrote it (and no matter what Kiley says), and Speaker for the Dead even more so. Xenocide, not so much, and that's where I got off the bus.

Triumph of the Will is also worth watching. You won't get cooties from either source.

Posted by Nat | July 29, 2008 4:42 PM

Wow. I guess this is why the right thinks the left is SO INSANE. Yes, I've long been aware of card's deplorable views on gay rights/homophobia. And yes, that's truly horrible. But I thought the time we started condemning artists and entertainers for their PERSONAL political views ended a while ago--or is the McCarthy Era back (if you read the guy's books, they're not at all homophobic propaganda). If you're so concerned about homophobic people being rich, why don't you turn to someone like, say, our president who is both rich and, well, actually affecting policy.

And hey, while I'm at it I think I'll never watch Mission Impossible again because Tom Cruise is such a douchebag. And before I go to a new film in the theater, I'll make sure to vet all the actors and writers to make sure we're on the same page on gay marriage--no matter what the content of the actual film! Great policy.

Posted by sara | July 29, 2008 4:42 PM

I really should get around to reading Enders Game sometime.

Posted by Art | July 29, 2008 4:44 PM

Ender's Game and its sequels are easily my favorite science fiction novels, and even a short how-to book for writers of his has been a keeper through 20 years and several moves.

No more.  The hate and paranoia spewed in this essay negate any good will he's earned.

It'll be my pleasure to never spend another dime on any work with Card's name on it.  Plenty of other good writers to enjoy.

Posted by lostboy | July 29, 2008 4:45 PM

Really, all you need to know about OSC is the fact that he wrote a 5-book series (The Homecoming Saga) that is a retelling of the Book of Mormon. And he doesn't mention this anywhere in the novels. It makes these a weird, creepy read.

Posted by Chip | July 29, 2008 4:46 PM

I adore Ender's Game. What isn't worth reading is his utterly bland Mormon historical fiction.

Posted by annie | July 29, 2008 4:46 PM


Great, Orson Scott Card is a stand-up guy who happens to be a hateful homophobe. Since it's his hateful homophobic political advocacy which is at issue here, I can't see how the way he treats his household help is relevant.

Posted by John | July 29, 2008 4:48 PM

@19 - I just don't remember him making any comments about gays ever, over a number of years.

I never assume what someone writes is what they think, it's a story, and sometimes you create characters and situations contrary to your true beliefs.

That's all.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 4:50 PM

Not only is Orson Scott Card a hateful homophobe, he's also a Nazi apologist and a grade-A asshole.

Posted by AnonymousCoward | July 29, 2008 4:53 PM

Some of Card's other books reveal his homophobery much more directly than the Ender's Game series did. I was around 10 when I read Songbird, in which a homosexual man is caught by the government and his genitals are surgically removed in punishment. The man has some deep, deep issues.

Posted by Rhiannon | July 29, 2008 4:53 PM

Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack.
Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe and a hack...

....and he can kiss my fat ass!

Posted by yucca flower | July 29, 2008 4:55 PM

Orson Scott Card ate my asshole in a Denver hotel room. He also bought meth from me and paid me to masturbate him on my massage table.

Why can't I get away from these people?

Posted by Mike Jones, Denver Gay Escort | July 29, 2008 4:55 PM

WiS @31:

I never assume what someone writes is what they think...

You know, this may explain a great deal of Will's comment history.

Will, you understand we're talking about an essay, right?  As in non-fiction?  As in opinion and advocacy?

Posted by lostboy | July 29, 2008 4:56 PM

What we need here is some good gay sci-fi. Any suggestions?

Posted by Bubbles | July 29, 2008 4:58 PM

Ender's Game and ensuing umpteen bajillion Shadow books are pretty awesome. I was so happy when the Shadow... books starting coming out, and wasn't disappointed in how they extended the universe. His hate-filled homophobia doesn't diminish how good they were. As stated before, most writers are jackasses.

Posted by NaFun | July 29, 2008 5:00 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't read Ender's Game.

Posted by eustaceia | July 29, 2008 5:05 PM

Don't Ender and Bean get it on in the second book?

Posted by Bub | July 29, 2008 5:08 PM

the Shadow books where Petra becomes a baby-obsessed freak? i literally threw the book across the room.

Posted by ironymaiden | July 29, 2008 5:12 PM

Sara @ 25: You fascinate me.

The difference between Tom Cruise and Orson Scott Card is that Tom Cruise doesn't advocate treating at least ten percent of the American population like second-class citizens. And even if Tom Cruise were somehow a hateful homophobe, he doesn't broadcast that fact. How is it unfair to link to an article that's freely available for anyone to read, and making judgments based on that? Orson Scott Card wrote an essay for public consumption calling a large number of my friends and coworkers aberrations and freaks, and suggested that overthrowing the government would be a good idea because it's too permissive toward these people. Telling people that that he wrote this article isn't unfair, nor is having my own opinion about it. So, really: please tell me what's unfair about this blog post.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 29, 2008 5:13 PM

I read Ender's Game for the first time last week, already knowing about Card's stance on teh gays. Maybe that's why it struck me as depressingly chauvinist. Girls are soft, girls break down in battle, all girls can do is write... pffffft.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | July 29, 2008 5:15 PM

@37, Samuel Delany is a gay sf writer. I took a class with him in science fiction, and he in turn highly recommended the works of Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, and Octavia Butler (who I'm not sure was gay, but at least was a feminist). Some sf authors who have made good use of gay characters include Theodore Sturgeon and Ursula K. LeGuin...

That's a good start, at least...

Posted by Just Sayin' | July 29, 2008 5:27 PM

@42: Actually, Tom Cruise does advocate treating a big percentage of Americans as second class citizens (i.e. those with mental illness). So, I actually think that from a moral standpoint the difference is not that big (even if the cause of gay rights is a lot more personally relevant to me)--particularly if you weight things by the fact that Cruise's views have been MUCH more publicized.

And look, you can write whatever you want in a blog/have whatever opinions you want, but the reason for comments is so that someone can disagree, right? What's "unfair" about this blog post is that you didn't just link to this article to bring it to people's attention, you advised that they contact Card's business associates and attempt to have his creative work "blackballed". To me, that's stepping over a line, in my opinion. It's a lot more than just saying, hey, did you know what a creep this dude is (you get no disagreement there!).

Posted by Sara | July 29, 2008 5:28 PM

25 - you think this is a right/left thing? really? honey, you need to get out more.

hmmm, let's see... for starters, there's right-wing basketcase michelle malkin, who has championed a number of *hilarious* boycotts, including one against absolut vodka (advert offended her anti-mexican sensibilities), and another attempted* boycott against dunkin donuts (rachel ray's scarf was too muslim-looking for her islamophobic sensibilities.). letters were written. hands were wrung. ads were pulled.

so many others... mcdonald's, ford, and of course disney, all boycotted by conservatives, all because they don't hate gays.

Posted by brandon | July 29, 2008 5:44 PM

Sara @ 45: Well, sure, comments are there to disagree with me. But I can disagree back, too. It's the wonder of Web 2.0. I hope you don't think I'm offended at your disagreement. I was just curious.

The Scientology/mental illness thing is a good point, although I wouldn't call Tom Cruise 'hateful' towards them. He's more 'painfully misguided.'

And, again, I didn't call for anyone to blackball Card. I pulled that quote to signify the attention that Card's getting from major media companies, and I do think that they'd be a little less inclined to promote his material if this was common knowledge, but I'm not a huffy, organize-a-boycott kind of guy. I just suggest that people make an informed decision when it comes to Card, and I think that as many people should know that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe as is humanly possible. He's so sure of his convictions, too, that I think he'd be in favor of more people knowing about it.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 29, 2008 5:45 PM

[* "attempted" because dunkin pulled the ad before the boycott was initiated]

Posted by brandon | July 29, 2008 5:46 PM

Can we be just a little objective here? William Shakespeare was a transparent misogynist, possibly because he didn't enjoy having sex with his wife. Do we avoid reading Hamlet because the Dark Lady sonnets can get a bit gross? Don't buy Card's books if you want to deprive him of royalties, but science fiction is clearly his escape from the white-bread dogma of his religion. Ender's Game isn't homophobic and it doesn't teach homophobia. Check it out from the library or borrow a friend's copy: It's an imaginative and stimulating work of juvenile fiction, and it doesn't deserve to be dragged in the dirt with its author, however despicable his irrelevant personal opinions.

Posted by annie | July 29, 2008 5:50 PM

@47: We seem to be reading your post very differently, but I still fail to see how this:

"If Marvel Comics and Warner Brothers knew that more people know that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe, they might be less likely to give Orson Scott Card (who is a hateful homophobe) a shitload of money."

doesn't indicate that you'd prefer if homophobic writers couldn't find a publisher/film studio to produce their (even non-homophobic) work. And I also fail to see how that isn't a call for judging creative work not by its own merits (i.e. I think that book doesn't merit being made into a film because the plot is crappy) but by the political and religious affiliations of the author. Maybe that's not an official, organized boycott, but it's exactly the same sentiment.

Posted by Sara | July 29, 2008 6:00 PM

@50: It's not the same thing. Do you deny that if Card's political views were widely known, he'd have trouble getting work with movie studios? That's all that I was saying. If someone refused to hire me based on the fact that I said I was ashamed of my government and President Bush, which I have said repeatedly on the record, I'd be willing to accept that.

I do think that if a still-living author is very publicly political, it does affect their work because their work is still in a fluid state, and that's a risk that the author is going to have to take. (That's why Annie's Shakespeare suggestion doesn't work.) I don't have to agree politically or religiously with everyone I read, but if an author loudly calls for something like what Card called for, it's going to color my enjoyment of their work. I'm going to be looking for signs of homophobia and/or hatefulness when I read their books, because I already know that about the author. I can't separate the author's public image from their works.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 29, 2008 6:16 PM

Solution: beg, borrow, or steal the books. They are definitely worth reading, and this way you can avoid supporting Orson Scott Card and the rest of the crazy Mormons.

Posted by Mormons are like Scientologists | July 29, 2008 6:23 PM

@50: and conservatives advocate all kinds of loopy boycotts, as explained, so why does the right think the left is crazy for this kind of post?

Posted by Abby | July 29, 2008 6:25 PM

awww someone on slog deleted my comment. i love how you guys let anything go until it cuts too close to home. dumb.

Posted by william shakespeare | July 29, 2008 6:41 PM

@53 Basic hypocrisy?

Posted by Darcy | July 29, 2008 6:42 PM

@53: Because it's crazy to hate gays, period.

Posted by Gloria | July 29, 2008 6:42 PM


Orson Scott Card has made public his homophobia and hatred of gays. You are arguing that we shouldn't publicly disagree with him in order to avoid making the crazy people that hate us think we're crazy. That's crazy.

Posted by toasterhedgehog | July 29, 2008 6:50 PM

I've read Enders Game. My son (11) has listened to it on tape, and loved it.

We are not hateful homophobes, and we do not allow it in our home.

My son also read (at my instigation) Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" which is much more in line with *our* family's values.

I wont prohibit my son from reading Card (or, when they are of age, my daughters). But I will make the Doctorow's of the world available. And at the right times , in the right places, we will discuss the fact that Card is a hateful homophobe.

My kids love Broadway Grill. Some Sunday brunch is a perfect time to discuss how some people, such as Card, would hate many of the patrons and employees. Or perhaps after a basketball game in which my youngest daughter has been coached by the two lesbian mothers of one of her classmates (whom she adores since they are both veterinarians).

Teaching is always better than hating or banning.

Posted by rtm | July 29, 2008 7:06 PM

I loved Enders Game when I was young, reread it (I'm old now) and couldn't remember what all the fuss was about. Its not that good, geez he wrote and got published something like four different versions bound to get something that appeals to people after all those trys. Learned he was a homophobe a few years ago on his web site and was unsurprised, after all he believes some con artist dug up gold tablets in Pennsylvania written by Jesus, lost the tablets and then dictated what they said by sticking his head in a bag with a rock.

On a similar note, Libertarian Sci Fi author James Hogan is a holocaust denier which is so stupid its hard for me to read anything he writes now.

Posted by Mikeblanco | July 29, 2008 7:21 PM

@54: Your comment is still there @21. Nobody deleted it. I don't even know how to delete comments, or if I can. You're not as edgy as you think you are.

rtm @58: I think that's the perfect way to go about it. I also think that buying Ender's Game used is a good way to ensure that the money goes to a local business and doesn't wind up in Card's hands, if you do happen to disagree with his politics.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 29, 2008 7:35 PM

Try reading Creating The Innocent Killer by John Kessel. Not sure if I can post links here or not but just Google it. The book that gave Card his fame and fortune is about guiltless genocide. People who swoon over that book really need to look at that.

His more recent book is about a second American civil war.'s about overthrowing a left wing liberal progressive police state tyranny.

Posted by Bruce Garrett | July 29, 2008 7:41 PM

Oh...and one other thing... That alien race that Ender completely wipes out...what were they called again...?

Posted by Bruce Garrett | July 29, 2008 7:43 PM

Isn't he guilty of sedition?

Posted by Sirkowski | July 29, 2008 8:47 PM

Poor Uncle Orson. He actually believes that he's being logical here. Of course, he wouldn't dare use this same standard of logic on his religious beliefs, but that's a different story.

I loved Ender's Game, and I just feel sad and sorry for Mr. Card that he's allowed himself to become so delusional.

Mormonism (as with most religion) really is a sickness of the mind.

Posted by Timothy | July 29, 2008 9:03 PM

Oh, lighten up, the hardback version of his First Meetings In The Enderverse" (cover price $17.95), is selling at the Dollar Store, I think God has already punished him.
$3.99 on the remainders table would be one thing, but the Dollar Store?

And check out the dedication:

To Eugene England ad Richard Cracroft
two shepherds of LDS literature,
with respect and gratitude,
from one of the sheep.

The guy is obviously "specially abled" and it is not PC to pick on him.

Posted by Epimetheus | July 29, 2008 9:29 PM

It's worth noting that Card is a bit more than a one-dimensional homophobic Mormon douchebag.

One of the Ender's Game sequels contains—as a major subplot—the idea that religion is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, intentionally propagated by genetic manipulation, all for the purpose of keeping an entire planet of people subservient and helpless.

Card's novel Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus is all about people traveling back in time from a ruined future, trying to warn (and train in combat) the indigenous residents of the Americas against the coming ruin of Columbus and his troops.

Card's clever premises always kept me reading, but his prose quality makes Stephen King look like Shakespeare.

Also, he's a dick. But an interestingly conflicted one.

Posted by Organ Leroy | July 29, 2008 10:00 PM

Ender's Game is the most overrated SF novel of all time. When I read it, I was like "...that's it?..?"

Who cares what this hack thinks.

Posted by Big Sven | July 29, 2008 10:23 PM

Sam Delany isn't a homophobe.

But he is a twisted dick at times, especially when he's drunk.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 10:24 PM

But .. Joanna Russ is a nice person. And I say that without qualification.

(aside - I don't follow links to mormon websites and unlike most of you, don't believe everything I read on the Web)

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 10:28 PM

What people who are well-known don't seem to realize is they set themselves up for criticism and in later years will not be known as one of the great sci-fi writers in his obituary, but as a homophobic douchbag that was so full of his own shit and self-importance that he won't even realize it until it's too late.

Posted by itsInTheCards | July 29, 2008 10:50 PM

"...especially the things I haven't read, because they're on mormon websites."

Posted by leek | July 29, 2008 10:56 PM

Will, are you saying that the article that Orson Scott Card wrote, that blatantly outlines his ridiculous viewpoint, the one that you won't view because you refuse to give a page hit to a Mormon website, might not say what Paul said it says?

Posted by Chris in Tampa | July 29, 2008 11:04 PM

I love OSC's works without being a fan of the man. He's the new Harlan Ellison, if you wanna look at it that way- a brilliant prick.

Posted by supergp | July 29, 2008 11:05 PM

I have to take exception to the notion that "Card is getting more attention than ever," a line that, when followed up with "and people need to know about his views," implies that he's getting attention for something OTHER than his views, which is almost laughably absurd.

This "Wolfgang Petersen" EG movie has been in various stages of development with different directors, writers and studios attached for at least a decade. It's clearly not gonna be made any time soon.

His recent novels, including the bizarre blastocyst-rights screed that stood in for the last several "Bean" books, have been torturous to read at least in part because his politics oozes from the page. His brilliant "Alvin Maker" series will, it seems, never be finished because he needed to find the time to write a book about a castrated US soldier framed by "the Left" for the assassinations of everyone in the world, or something.

The fact is that for all Card's popularity in the sci-fi world, it rests almost entirely on the popularity of one novel. His impressive awards streak (he actually won five Hugos, altogether, if you include non-fiction and the Campbell Award, though I only count two Nebulas) ended a long time ago. His last Hugo was in 1991, for a book about writing sci-fi. He hasn't won for fiction since 1988. Both Nebulas (Nebulae?) and the two Hugos he won for novels went to Ender's Game and its sequel.

The man may be the beloved author of a number of truly great novels (I also loved "Wyrms" and the "Homecoming" series, which was unique among Card's novels in presenting a homosexual character who wasn't just a molestor, although this one did magically turn straight through the love a super-dykey geneticist, but still) but he's hardly a significant force in the science fiction community.

And if you want to argue that his foray into the comic book world (surprise, surprise, yet again for a novel he wrote over 20 years ago! He's definitely on the cutting edge!) represents a major public profile, then why didn't you post this back when he was, rather controversially as it happens, writing "Iron Man"?

PS: Does anybody remember the short story he wrote upon which his novel "Lost Boys" (not the vampire one, the serial child killer one) was based? I can't remember if it was also called "Lost Boys" or not, but to me it is the great apotheosis of the extremely queasy relationship Card has not only with homosexuality but also with juvenile sexuality. Forget all those soapy, sexy, shower-wrestling matches between seven year olds on a space station! In this story, unlike the novel he later wrote, he frames it as a non-fiction tale about his own family's move to North Carolina, only his oldest (fictional) son, "Scotty", gets kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered before returning as a ghost. Making up a fictional son just so you have an excuse to write about him being raped and tortured? That's . . . interesting. (Although, in my opinion, a rather effective and artistically succesful kind of interesting.)

Posted by Joshua | July 29, 2008 11:48 PM

@72 - no, I'm saying that the book is not the article, and the article is not the book.

And that just because there's K-S fanfic out there, doesn't mean Star Trek doesn't have redeeming qualities.

Sometimes, people need to realize that the best choice is probably not to live in outrage 24/7. Or stop biking.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 12:07 AM

"Lost Boys" was indeed based upon the short story "Lost Boys". The 1990 hardback "Maps in the Mirror" collects this and almost all his other early fiction short stories. There are indeed some good ones (such as Quietus).

While the "Ender's Game" series does go to hell in a handbasket - and then continues digging in the Shadow series - "Prentice Alvin" by itself is pretty good.

Once you start realizing that he's a Mormon Writer, I think it's much easier to see the forced and inane characterizations in his writings, such as Petra's baby craziness mentioned above. He struck gold a couple times, but I for one am an ex-Card fan after reading most of his work and just getting sick of one-note characters. Let alone his homophobia.

Posted by zachd | July 30, 2008 12:28 AM

Frank Miller is also a raging Homophobe and conservative republican. Spread the word.

Posted by Johnny Liverwerst | July 30, 2008 7:00 AM

@33 - I didn't read Songbird, but genital mutilation for gays shows up in one of the Memories of Earth books. A gay character, Zdorab the librarian I think, tells how his boyfriend was killed by a mob by having his genitals cut off and rammed down his throat with the butt of a spear. But Card likes Zdorab so instead of having him killed he goes just has him go on to marry (a woman of course), breed, and in starting a family learn to overcome his gayness (but not necessarily those pesky homoerotic impulses).

@66 - Pastwatch and Xenocide are evidence that Card is sometimes able to detach himself from his opinions long enough to write things he doesn't agree with. I used to think this meant he was thoughtfully considering other points of view, but I think it's just that he's a bit detached from reality in general - probably good for a writer, but bad for a real life person drifting the orbit of Mormonism.

Posted by Nick | July 30, 2008 7:58 AM

I really think there's a point missing here. The author of this article would hope that even if someone disagrees with them that the person would thoughtfully consider his points and take away something. Same with Orson. I don't agree with everything in his article, but shouldn't we ALL be wary when judges can rule by themselves on issues that effect us all without our ability to have a say in the matter? Shouldn't we be wary when the democratic process is suspended? Shouldn't we cringe when we hear of people being silenced because of their opinions? Shouldn't we be concerned when the government forces us to send our children to organizations which will teach them principles that we disagree with? What if the government forced you to send your child to a school which taught them to hate a particular group and become violent against them, then punished you if you took them out of there. Wouldn't you be concerned?

This is what we should take away from this article. Homophobic or not, those are very good points which effect us all, gay or straight.

Posted by Joshua | July 30, 2008 8:47 AM

oh, that's why my mormon friend in high school was always reading his books. i liked ender's game.

Posted by oregonstate | July 30, 2008 8:53 AM

"Many of the above comments have been deemed stupid"

We now return to our usual stupid programming.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 30, 2008 10:22 AM

Will @68, 69 -- you must have completely misread my meaning @44 -- someone asked for gay sf recommendations, which is why I brought up Russ and Delany, two gay sf writers. Delany is the exact opposite of a homophobe. He's a trailblazer.

@77, Miller is not a homophobe, either, though he'd not afraid to include homophobic characters in his work, a lot of which gets misconstrued as being his opinion. I have a British comic anthology he took part in during the Thatcher years called AARGH! (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia), that was protesting institutional homophobia of England's Clause 28.

Posted by Just Sayin' | July 30, 2008 11:40 AM

Paul @60 "I don't even know how to delete comments, or if I can."
Ask Dan or Erica
Either the Slog software is flaky or I am more edgy than I think I am.

Since I don't even get the "comment removed for ..." notice, flaky software might be more likely, but then the _rare_ notice about a comment being removed might just be misdirection.

Posted by Epimetheus | July 30, 2008 2:44 PM

The irony of a Mormon attacking a court over marriage rights is sweet. It was Mormons who argued before the Supreme Court in the nineteenth century that the government had no business regulating marriage. Anti-Mormon hysteria was the "gay marriage" of the nineteenth century.

Posted by Spence | July 30, 2008 3:04 PM

Okay. You're a jackass.

Posted by James A Woods | August 1, 2008 9:38 AM

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