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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Just Curious... Whatever Happened to Korea in The Shadow Series?

   
Author Topic: Just Curious... Whatever Happened to Korea in The Shadow Series?
Tori
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*nervous grin* Well, this is my very first post here, but I’ve got a pressing, nagging question that hasn’t stopped bothering me since I first read Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets... I did a google search of the site to look for an answer first, but came up empty, so I thought I’d register and post it, in hopes that someone could help me on this.

One of the things I enjoy most (well, that’s actually inaccurate, because there are so many things I enjoy about OSC’s books...) –one of the things I really admire in OSC’s books, (mainly from the Ender’s Shadow series) is his ability to envision and portray an accurate representation of the Earth’s political and geological future, referencing a potential “past” reaching back to our current present, and taking off of events and fears that are relevant today. (does that make sense? ..probably not... oh well.) I’m also impressed by the political/economic/militaristic maneuvers he’s able to plot out and write about, since usually those absolutely baffle me. (I hate battle scenes in books and movies, because I can never tell what on earth is going on, until it’s all over and they just tell you up front who’s dead and who won and whatnot. But OSC’s I can actually understand. It’s wondrous.)

The point of all this ramble being: all of this considered, I’m confused as to what happened to Korea in all the maneuvering that takes place? Meaning the whole Korean peninsula, of course. It isn’t referenced at all – as if it had just…fallen off the Asian continent? Or perhaps in the Enderverse it didn’t exist? Or maybe it got blasted off the planet is some terrible nuclear war? But nuclear war (or the use of nuclear weapons) was specifically mentioned as happening twice in Shadow of the Giant, and neither was in reference to Korea, so that can’t be it...

I’m just an insanely curious person, and *all* I’d like to know is: was it a deliberate thing, leaving it out (for whatever reasons – complications to the plot, or something else) or merely an oversight? (it is a smallish country...) -- just, was it by design, or by error?

I know, this is something of a strange, trivial, and futile line of inquiry, but this is just going to keep bothering me ... My apologies for the overly long and rambling post! I haven’t yet perfected the art of Just Getting to the Question. And much thanks ahead of time for any reply I get to this! And cookies if you actually got this far. ^_~

[ April 16, 2005, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: Tori ]

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Swede
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Welcome!
Perhaps China conquered Korea or something, but thay wasn't your question, so here is what I think. Korea isn't mentioned because there actually nothing happening there that makes a difference in the war. The war is mostly going on in India, Thailand and that area, plus north of Tibet and that area. Then the invasion of China is not anywhere near Korea (as I remember it). Perhaps there just ain't reason to mention the Korean peninsula. Or perhaps I've missed something [Smile]

[ April 15, 2005, 08:15 AM: Message edited by: Swede ]

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neo-dragon
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Forget Korea. I've always wondered how Canada was doing. Were there any Canadian battle-schoolers?

Oh, and before anyone remarks that Canada has probably become part of the U.S. by then [Grumble] , we know for certain that it's still a nation in the time of "The Polish Boy". I recall Graff listing it among the nations that were compliant to the population laws, but nonetheless looked the other way at times.

[ April 15, 2005, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: neo-dragon ]

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Hamson
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Neo, you made me laugh. And then think.
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Papa Moose
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Korea definitely existed in the Enderverse -- it's mentioned in Children of the Mind a couple times at least.
quote:
In Ender's life and wanderings, he had lived in several oriental cultures and even, according to Han Fei-Tzu, spoke Korean. . . .
--Chapter 4
quote:
"As your namesake, the founder of the Tsutsumi fortune, was proud to forget that his ancestors were Korean."
--Chapter 11
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neo-dragon
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With all due respect to the new mod, neither of those quotations proves that Korea existed in the time of the Shadow books. The former just states that the language still exists (so does Latin, if you get my drift), and the latter just confirms that there are people who descended from Koreans.
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Papa Moose
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With all due respect to you, neo, I didn't say it still existed. I said it existed in the Enderverse, in response to "It isn’t referenced at all – as if it had just…fallen off the Asian continent? Or perhaps in the Enderverse it didn’t exist?"
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neo-dragon
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You're right. My mistake.
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jongo05
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Korea is not really a strategic location, nor does it have a huge population, nor any prominent battle schoolers, so it got left out. Not every country is terribly important.
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RoyHobbs
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Yes, but still, its militaristic hopes of the present must have some bearing on the future. It does have one of the largest armies in the world and is poor and communist. Sounds like a recipe for military expansion to me. I think it certainly could have been a plot line in the Shadow series but OSC just chose to not make it the focus.
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King of Men
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A naval power possessing Korea has a dagger pointed at the Japanese islands; a fleet assembling there has a short distance to go to anywhere on the arc of Japan. Or, in the other direction, the whole coast of northern China lies open to invasion, including the approaches to Beijing.

EDIT : Also, Korea has coal and some nice metals, and a population of 70 million (20 in the North, 50 in the South) is not exactly trivial, though a little overshadowed by China, to be sure.

[ April 16, 2005, 06:50 PM: Message edited by: King of Men ]

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Tori
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^_^ Thanks for the welcome and the replies!

That's a really good reason, Swede -- Occam's razor, the simplest reasons are the most probable! (my mind works opposite, coming up with complicated, implausible Rube-Goldberg-esque chains of causality for relatively simple problems...)

Hmmm, well, Canada really isn't known for it's massive military... and in the Shadow series, it probably would have the same Western mindset as the Americans and Europeans. But that wasn't the original question... I don't remember whether there were any Canadians Battle-schoolers! And it'd be up to OSC's discretion to say yea or nay to that. *g* It'd make sense for there to be *some*, at least... just none of particular note in the series?

^_^ Thank you Papa Moose! I didn't even remember those quotations -- it's reassuring to know it was there at some point!

*notes* Only half is poor and Communist . . .
Both halves *do* have very large armies, however, and a historically strategic position in Asia -- but then, Japan doesn't really do anything militaristically in the Shadow books...

I guess I was just disappointed because I would love to know how OSC envisioned Korea in the Enderverse future -- unified, still divided, still Communist..?

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tern
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The other civilizations developed nukes first...

Wait, wrong thread.

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Orson Scott Card
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I chose NOT to try to catalogue, exhaustively, a future history of everything.

And I also had to wrestle with the problem that if I mentioned and made serious use of a country in the Shadow series, then I had to account for how current issues and problems were resolved. That's fine, except that with Korea, I would have had to decide what happened because of the current activities of the Kims in North Korea. And since whatever is going to happen will probably happen fairly soon, I ran the grave risk of having the series RADICALLY contradicted by near-future events, making the books seem hopelessly dated not many years after their first publication.

The safest thing was to simply leave Korea alone, not specifying whether it was part of somebody's empire, a separate but unified nation, or two separate nations; nor what form of government might be in power in any or all parts of Korea.

But it's not because I don't care about Korea or know that it exists. I have studied somewhat about the country, and have a very close friend who served a mission there and has founded his career on his knowledge of and experience in Korea. I care what happens there. But I also can't predict reliably what the outcome will be.

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rivka
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*grin* But Israel you make predictions about?
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neo-dragon
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quote:
And I also had to wrestle with the problem that if I mentioned and made serious use of a country in the Shadow series, then I had to account for how current issues and problems were resolved.
And that's exactly why you should have worked Canada into the story. Nothing important is happening here, and I don't imagine anything will in the next 150-200 years [Big Grin]
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Orson Scott Card
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You mean nobody told you about the upcoming anschluss between France and Quebec?
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Sid Meier
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.....

.....
.....
.....

that better not happen... [Grumble]

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Lord Solar Macharius
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In the next five years Quebec will hold a referendum and separate from the rest of Canada. Two years later, Canada will hold a referendum and join in the country of Quebec. A month after that, another referendum will be held across the glorious nation of Quebec, and it will be decided to change the name of the country to "Canada".

PS. I may be mistaken, but I thought there was still some anti-France feelings in Quebec for abandoning them to the British. Is this water under the bridge?

[ April 17, 2005, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: Lord Solar Macharius ]

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The Reader
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[ROFL] Lord Solar, Is that really how the Mobius Strip of Canadian politics works?
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Beanny
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quote:
*grin* But Israel you make predictions about?
Rivka, I don't think that we'll find peace for a very, very long time, so Orson Scott Card won't have any problems contradicting reality for the next couple decades at least.
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rivka
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It was the method, not the timing, of his predictions regarding Israel that I found amusing.
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Beanny
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[Wink] Yeah, I bet Syria is just going to love Jews and Iraq will embrace Israel ...

Well, you never know... Who could guess in 1848 that within a hundred years, a Jewish state would be established?

[ April 20, 2005, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Beanny ]

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Rose the ____
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I think I would have found interest in what kind of politics/religion the Israel of the Enderverse would have. I got the impression from my hebrew class last year (which I failed, so don't trust my impression as gospel - and yes I'm going to try again!) that it's dominated by parties that want a Orthodox Jewish State. Of course OSC'd know more about this, he's been there!- but I wonder what kind of Judaism would exist in the middle east if Islam started welcoming a Jewish state into it's fold - I got the impression that the Islamic nations were, or were trying to be, like a confederacy, a loose US in some ways. oh dear, I'm really not explaining this well. hope someone catches on and clarifies :-(
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DemonGarik
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I like OSC's explanation about why he ignored Korea and it gives us answers as to why a lot of other things went ignored.
One of the key things in SotG that got me however was his prediction about Rwanda. Making it one of the most fortified and democratic centers in Africa, leaving out Nigeria and South Africa in thier development with the AU. It definately made for some interesting Geopolitical thoughts within my head. Perhapes the AU will have a complete powershift in the next 50 years or so. Hopefully!

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