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QUESTION:

I am doing my junior thesis on you and the topic is "What is Orson Scott Card's view of the future in the books Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow?" I read the whole Ender's series and when I tried to approach the question, I was dumbfounded. How you have one view where the government is controlling population growth and the Earth seems to be in a rebuilding stage and a totally opposite view where the city is overrun by poverty and there is a serious overpopulation problem. And also, all of the subtle hints that you provoke to the reader, can you just give some in-depth information at what you were trying to aim for in the books?

-- Submitted Anonymously

OSC REPLIES: - February 11, 2002

In a world that wasn't overpopulated, why would you need strict population growth rules? Just because there were strict laws on population size wouldn't mean those laws worked everywhere. Besides, the overpopulation in Rotterdam was a local problem, caused by the open immigration policy. It's possible to have a few cities be vastly overpopulated and other areas be quite empty in the same country, let alone in the whole world.

Any view of possible futures should take into account that the future, like the present, will never be "all one thing," and human society will never be all at the same level everywhere.

What I was trying to aim for was not a prediction of the actual future -- who can do that? -- but an exploration of possible futures and what might result from various possible events. Since I regard an alien invasion as extremely unlikely, and Ender's world is radically reshaped by just such an invasion, Ender's Game is not even remotely a serious prediction of our likely future. But it is a very serious exploration of just how we go about fighting wars; the future setting allows me to clarify and exaggerate things that already happen in the real world.

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