Ender's Game (mild spoilers)

Megan Knight m.a.knight at ru.ac.za
Mon Mar 17 06:51:39 EST 2003

Oh, I never know how I feel about Card. Some of his short stories are
excellent, especially the earlier stuff (anyone here remember Omni
Magazine?). I liked Ender's game (both the novel and the short story), and
some of the sequels, about I am finding him less and less interesting as
time goes on.

His religion seems to be interfering in his writing as far as I am
concerned. I hated the earth-bound series (I cannot remember what they were
called, one was Ships of Earth, I think), which were just a rehash of the
Mormon trek to Utah. I am really not interested in the novelisation of the
life of the biblical Sarah which he has recently published, and his
pontifications on the nature of god, etc, rather bothered me (as in

As for his women characters, Petra is one of the few women in Ender's Game
(Valentine and Ender's mother are the only others, I think), and she is OK,
as a characterisation. But in the more recent books, which started with
Ender's Shadow, and purport to be about the other kids in Ender's Army, he
proved unable to write about Petra, the book which was supposedly about her
(Shadow of the Hegemon) rapidly became about Bean, and his desperate mission
to rescue her. The book about Bean, Ender's Shadow, was largely about Bean's
relationship with a perfect woman, Sister Carlotta, who was, surprise,
surprise, a nun. For a mormon, Card definitely has a thing about nuns, and
perfect celibate women (The Children of the Mind of Christ, who show up in
several of the Ender books).

Card has also been criticised extensively for his defense of his church's
homophobic stance, and for his own writings on the subject of homosexuality.
Although he claims to simply be following his church's teachings, and tries
to downplay his homophobia, he has himself written some nasty stuff, meant
only for the eyes of his fellow mormons
(http://www.bibble.org/gay/phobia/orson_scott_card_hates.html). The material
on this subject on his website, www.hatrack.com seems to have disappeared.

All in all, I think he is losing it as a writer, which is a pity, his short
stories remain some of the best and creepiest I have ever read.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dwj at suberic.net [mailto:owner-dwj at suberic.net]On Behalf Of
Rebecca Ganetzky
Sent: 15 March 2003 17:03
To: dwj at suberic.net
Subject: Ender's Game (mild spoilers)

How do people on the list feel about Orson Scott Card's _Ender Game_?
In many ways, I find the book very powerful, and yet I always feel
vaguely uncomfortable.  Obviously 1)it's NOT appropriate for small
children (and I strongly object to them publishing it YA -- what were
they thinking?  6 year olds *kill* people.  And it's described.
Graphically in one point.  Small animals get tortured.  Sorry...but,
the book is just not appropriate for younger kids.  It gave me
nightmares when I was in high school (the Giant's Drink)), but 2) I
keep finding things that make me twitch and say 'misogyny,'
'anti-semitism.'  I mean, Card makes his one female equal very
competent (Petra), but he also says there are very few women being
trained, because they've evolved to be bad fighters.  And then again,
with Rose the Nose, when the reader is told that all of the Jewish
generals always win fights, and we're told that almost everyone in
power is Jewish...Am I just overly sensitive?
ObDWJ: Although Ender's Game has a vaguely similar setting to A
Sudden Wild Magic, I have never thought of comparing them, until I
had to come up with an ObDWJ.
Rebecca D. Ganetzky
"...and do not say that a thing is impossible to understand, for
eventually it will be understood."-Rabbi Hillel
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