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Author Topic: What We Like About OSC
Ish
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This is the first of two posts.

Now, I know I may be young in post numbers, but I do know one thing about this forum:

It was meant for Discussions About Orson Scott Card.

So, in the spirit of the name, the context and the over-all ideal of this forum, I have started a new topic, a very open and simple topic:
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT OSC.

From his written works, to philosophies and everything else about him. You don't have to agree, but no personal attacks.

We just need to come together as a forum community and prove that the age of Card-Philosophers is NOT over, and is NOT reduced to Video-Gamers and Movie-Fans.

Remember the first time you opened up a Ender book, or read a review, or found the forum... whatever your moment... And lets... just once more...

Talk about it.

What I like about OSC is his ability to connect generations. My father read Enders Game to me when I was very little, I think before I really understood chapter books. But I know it was the first chapter book I read on my own. Ender wiggin has been a little brother to me my entire life, and even though I miss his pressence in newer books, the new chapters are my way of opening people up into this world I feel like I've been in my entire life. As a mormon card-follower, I feel even more connected, but to be honest, I didn't know he was mormon until just a few years ago. Now, as a college student, the thing I like most about Card is that his works are not just for kids, young adults, adults or old folks... every work of fiction he creates is something for everyone, is a universal work.


~Ish

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Synesthesia
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He's a good writer and is devoted to his family.
That's always a good thing.

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
He's...devoted to his family.
That's always a good thing.

Unless they're vampires.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
He's...devoted to his family.
That's always a good thing.

Unless they're vampires.
Considering the context, I don't think that applies.

OSC is a brilliant writer because he lets readers into the story. We hear a character's thoughts, and grow to become the character we read. He is skilled at building up points to reach a conclusion, which makes for excellent dialogue and clear understanding of plot details and character motivation. It's not hard to figure out what someone might be thinking in a book by OSC because he makes it a point to share his thoughts. He gives us enough information to know what is going on, but puts sufficient limits to make a reader unsure of the resolution. In making a character, he really creates a thinking being, who shares enough about himself to the reader to make the reader think his thoughts, and thereby becoming that character. You know the character so well from the masterful way he tells the story, you can't help but love him. It's exactly like what Ender says about tough enemies. OSC gets a reader to know a character so well that the reader falls in love with him.

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Ish
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Vampires are people too!

Just like zombies and werewolves! They need love just like us! [Smile]

~Ish

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Ish
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quote:
Originally posted by C3PO the Dragon Slayer:
quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
He's...devoted to his family.
That's always a good thing.

Unless they're vampires.
Considering the context, I don't think that applies.

OSC is a brilliant writer because he lets readers into the story. We hear a character's thoughts, and grow to become the character we read. He is skilled at building up points to reach a conclusion, which makes for excellent dialogue and clear understanding of plot details and character motivation. It's not hard to figure out what someone might be thinking in a book by OSC because he makes it a point to share his thoughts. He gives us enough information to know what is going on, but puts sufficient limits to make a reader unsure of the resolution. In making a character, he really creates a thinking being, who shares enough about himself to the reader to make the reader think his thoughts, and thereby becoming that character. You know the character so well from the masterful way he tells the story, you can't help but love him. It's exactly like what Ender says about tough enemies. OSC gets a reader to know a character so well that the reader falls in love with him.

I agree, I think that is why he is so universally loved, or diverse in his audience, because his characters speak to us so easily, it make adapting to lots of audiences alot more probable.

~Ish

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Ish:
Vampires are people too!

Just like zombies and werewolves! They need love just like us! [Smile]

~Ish

You make a compelling point.
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Morbo
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My favorite Card novel.
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Noemon
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I'm not sure what mine would be, if I had to pick a single favorite. Probably either Speaker for the Dead or 7th Son.
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Sergeant
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One of the things I love best about Card is that he can actually tell a story in a single novel. I've read too much fantasy that drags on and on. That being said, he does have several long series but nothing to compare with the waste of paper that is Jordan or Goodkind. For instance, Treason, (also called A Planet Called Treason if I'm not mistaken), creates a whole world, mixes elements of fantasy and sci-fi, and develops the main character enough for us to care deeply about him, all in a few hundred pages.

I would even say his seiries, such as Alvin Maker, succinctly writen and only take as many pages as really necessary to tell the story. At least when compared to others.

Sergeant

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Ish
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Sergeant -

I agree, and each book in and of themseles are a complete story, with a begining and end in and of themselves. Thats what makes it so easy to read!

~Ish

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Steve_G
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Card's dialogue is hands down the best I've read. i love reading for the wit that comes out in the arguments and conversation. that and the stories are great too.
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scifibum
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I enjoy reading Card's dialogue as well.

He's very, very good at using point of view in his writing.

His touches of poetry take the already weighty emotions of the stories and turn them into wrecking balls of poignancy. (In a good way.)

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Card should write insults for more video games!


ACK! What am I saying? Shadows in Flight, Ender in Exile, and Master Alvin FIRST!

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Will B
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His writing classes.

Yes, it would be natural to say, but...what about Ender? Alvin? Pastwatch? Those are good bests, too, but the writing classes still win. They're that good.

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DDDaysh
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Wow - everything. The first exposure I had to him was, of course, Ender's Game. I read it all in one night and was absolutely, utterly, amazed! Every book since then has just increased my opinion.

After reading Ender's Game, I researched a bit of his life. He startled me as an utterly amazing human being. How anyone who has gone through the trials he has could ever write so hopeful, inspiring novels is something I never thought possible. And yet he exists...

I'm not sure what about his writing calls to my heart. I suppose it's partially the character development and interesting plots, but not all. After all, other people develop good characters, and some of his books were written with plot lines would never have interested me (Empire) or were down right cheezy (Treasurebox) - and yet, they were still good to read (even if by no means my favorite). I think what it really is about his books that I like is the emotional blend, the REALITY of person he puts into them. I mean, how many authors can make your laugh in the midst of tears, or have jokes tied so powerfully to the characters in most heart that they make you wince? Even more, while alot of authors include things like eating in their stories - OSC's characters are full fleshed! They eat, drink, sleep, but also have mood swings, get sick, shower, bathe, and have normal elimination functions. (Haven't you ever wondered how the white knight in shining armor could pee?) It makes the stories more believable, makes them easier to visualize yourself as a part of. I just love it!

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Sterling
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I appreciate that he can write compelling and believable characters, whether he approves of them or not. And that he doesn't usually write plots that hinge on the "good" characters being rewarded and the "bad" ones being pilloried.
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Clandestineguitarplayer
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I love OSCs writing for the reason that he is so incredibly smart about his books... There are very few holes and you know that he knew the entire story before he wrote a word of the final draft. No wingin it. I also love the contrast between his "Ender/Bean" novels and some of his other works... "Homebody" for example, its amazing how different his voice can be. But at the same time there is a familiar tone to his characterization. Its great!
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FriskerBitey
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Besides his books, one thing I like about OSC is his Uncle Orson Reviews Everything column.

His book reviews introduced me, for example, to two of my favorite authors: Michael Connelly, and Brandon Sanderson.

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Libbie
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Well, I mainly just really love and respect his writing. It rocks, in most cases. The dude knows how to wield a word.

I usually disagree with most of his political views, but he still seems like a very nice, friendly guy. Who knows, though. I've never met him in person before.

He does have a very nice voice. He does afterwords on many of his audio books and also does some narration. I've always enjoyed listening to him. He actually sounds almost exactly like Teller, the magician who never speaks (during performances.) It's kind of weird, actually.

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Clandestineguitarplayer
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I definitely, one-hundred percent agree with your view on his capability of word-wielding... Its definitely one of the plus sides of reading his books... It makes you feel smart! [Big Grin]
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LadyDove
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I loved his review of Rowlings' latest claim and her decision to make Dumbledore gay, post-mortem.
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TomDavidson
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LD, do you really think she had not decided that Dumbledore was gay before she "killed" him?
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steven
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Of course she had decided Dumbledore was "gay" years before. It's the only explanation for his behavior toward Grindelwald when they were teenagers that makes any real sense. Anybody who says any different isn't using their gray matter, IMHO.
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Scott R
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quote:
It's the only explanation for his behavior toward Grindelwald when they were teenagers that makes any real sense.
I'm trying to decide if you're serious or not.

Are you?

Because when I read about Grindelwald and Dumbledore being such good friends, I didn't think, "Oh! They're gay!" I thought, "They're really good friends."

The story makes sense without Dumbledore being homosexual, steven.

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TomDavidson
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The story makes sense without Dumbledore being homosexual. However, I think there's sufficient evidence that Dumbledore is homosexual that I myself wondered, "Hm. Is Dumbledore homosexual?" and was completely unsurprised when she said he was.

But as you've noted, his sexuality is completely irrelevant to the story -- which is why it's not in the story. It's relevant only to the kind of thing Rowling started thinking about immediately after finishing her series: a lexicon, a book of canon "facts" that may or may not have been revealed in the original work.

Would it be "cowardly" of Rowling to mention in passing -- or in her upcoming encyclopedia -- that Ron's family were Mormons, and that butterbeer is okay to wizardly Mormons because it's actually non-alcoholic and is not considered a "hot drink" for some reason?

That's the kind of "information" her encyclopedia is going to contain: revealing little details she didn't necessarily want to put into the main text, but which may have guided her writing in the background.

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Ish
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Wait. The Weasley's were mormons?

Then... where did they keep all the other wives?

LOL. Sorry, had to throw that in there, can't let the discussion get to series, bad for the ulcers you know.

In continuing with the discussion. I can give JKR that it wasn't intentional to cause a ruccous, but I can't give you that it was obvious that Dumbledore was gay. (IMHO, boys can be friends and talk to other males in a philosphical, fatherly, kind and senstive way and not be gay)

Everyone goes crazy about HP news and to be honest, I think it would have been much more humble and honest on her part to let us read it in a HP Encyclopedia, then answer a question that didn't even ask his sexuality with that bomb of a tid bit. Though, I wasn't there, so I can't be sure as to exactly how she worded it, I have heard the question and the answer second hand and I feel like it was kind of a wierd way to answer such a simple question.

But I'm not JKR, and I don't know what she thought the question meant. The decision most clearly wasnt post-mortem, but that doesn't mean she needed to divulge it at that time. I would be curious to know whether or not she anticipated what a talking point it would be.

~Ish

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
The story makes sense without Dumbledore being homosexual, steven.
Nobody's arguing otherwise. It simply makes *more* sense with him being such. His fascination with Grindelwald was such that Albus was prepared to leave his family for him. A purely intellectual fascination works perhaps, but an intellectual+romantic/sexual fascination works even better.

The amusing thing about OSC's argument about JKR being PC when describing Dumbledore is gay, is that this fascination with Grindelwald was Dumbledore's greatest mistake, the mistake that ended up causing the death of his little sister. So in the one point of the story that homosexuality actually plays a role perhaps, its role is quite negative. Not quite that PC if PC-ness is what she was after.

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Aris Katsaris
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Ish, here's the exact transcript of question and answer:

Question: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?

JKR: My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how i always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair... [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!"

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manji
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Even if Rowling answered the question, "Did Dumbledore ever fall in love?" with a simple yes or no, the logical follow-up to such an answer would have been, "Who did he fall in love with?" Then, you're right back where you've started.
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scholarette
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I found the idea of Dumbledore being gay to ruin the whole point of the book. Love elevates and saves us, unless it is gay love, which then leads to the worst mistakes of our lives. The idea that dumbledore was tempted by the ideas, by power makes a better story for me.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
The decision most clearly wasnt post-mortem, but that doesn't mean she needed to divulge it at that time.
Isn't that, the concealation of things that are true because they might upset people, the thing that most peopel take objection to with political correctness?

It seems like, looking at it that way, that JKR did the less PC thing in answering the question the way she did.

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Ish, here's the exact transcript of question and answer:

Question: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?

JKR: My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how i always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair... [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!"

I was there. The audience claped quite a bit after that.

What the hell is so PC about mentioning a gay character anyway?

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Scott R
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quote:
Would it be "cowardly" of Rowling to mention in passing -- or in her upcoming encyclopedia -- that Ron's family were Mormons, and that butterbeer is okay to wizardly Mormons because it's actually non-alcoholic and is not considered a "hot drink" for some reason?
I don't think her mentioning that Dumbledore was gay was either cowardly or brave. It was just a "thing."

When I recently re-read the books, it's not like I thought, "Oh, WOW! Yeah, he's a total, complete flaming homo! Can't believe I didn't see that before..."

Unlike Tom, I don't think there's evidence for Dumbledore's sexuality in the books. His relationship with Grindlewold sounded a lot like the love I had for some of my missionary companions-- intense, true, and utterly devoid of sexual attraction.

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Libbie
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p.s. Snape kills Dumbledore.
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LadyDove
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Tom, yes. And I've questioned this here before. The other teachers were sexless. Snape had a crush on Lilly, and Hagrid had a crush on the giantess, but no other teacher had a love life. Why single Dumbledore out. It would have made just as much sense that he was infatuated with Grindenwald the way so many teens can be infatuated with with the actions and "coolness" of another teen of the same sex. That doesn't necessarily translate into a physical attraction.
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Clandestineguitarplayer
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I dont care if Dumbledore is gay... He isnt real anyway... Ender on the other hand... If OSC started going around claiming that he was gay and he only married Novihna because he felt obligated to coverup his sexuality, then I would be pissed... Also I dont care if the Weasleys were Mormon or not... It doesnt matter to me... Enders mom on the other hand... BOO-YA! Ha ha... But seriously, I am mormon and I dont mind people who arent so it doesnt matter to me... But this is just from someont who didnt particularly like the Harry Potter novels, and who thinks the movies are also quite lacking... Except Emma Watson...


[Smile]

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Tammy
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by Ish:
Vampires are people too!

Just like zombies and werewolves! They need love just like us! [Smile]

~Ish

You make a compelling point.
I disagree! Zombies do not, I repeat, do not, need love. It's completely wasted on them.

Geeessh, Sheesh and ish!


As far as the current topic, what don't I like about OSC! He's like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
His relationship with Grindlewold sounded a lot like the love I had for some of my missionary companions-- intense, true, and utterly devoid of sexual attraction.
Well, I've said before that Mormon men screw with my gaydar. [Wink] *ducks*

quote:
The other teachers were sexless....Why single Dumbledore out.
Specifically because somebody asked "did Dumbledore ever fall in love?" If someone had asked "did Professor Flitwick ever fall in love," presumably we might have learned something about his secret affair with Trelawney or something. [Smile]
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Well, I've said before that Mormon men screw with my gaydar. [Wink] *ducks*

:0)

Slash has said the same thing. I've got my theories on why, but they're all based on things that I cannot possibly know about you.

[irreverence]
Maybe Mormon men have so many children to continually prove to ourselves that, despite loving musical theater, we're straight!
[/irreverence]

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LadyDove
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lol, True enough Tom, let's wait and see what she DOES do with the other teachers. If she puts them each in Hogwarts as a "monastery" to which they have fled after having loved, then lost, well, then I guess she's consistent. Otherwise, pshh, I don't have much respect for her post mortem announcement regarding such a main character. It feels a bit like she wants folks to go back and read with their "gaydars" finely tuned.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"Otherwise, pshh, I don't have much respect for her post mortem announcement regarding such a main character"
I'm not quite sure what the "post-mortem" bit has to do with anything. Since Dumbledore died at book 6 and everything about his background was revealed at book 7, weren't all the revelations about him post-mortem? Including his former plans to rule over the whole Wizarding and Muggle world by allying himself to a Hitler-like figure, and his potential killing of his own sister?

Do you have respect for those revelations? Those were post-mortem revelations too, you know.

quote:
"It feels a bit like she wants folks to go back and read with their 'gaydars' finely tuned."
Wouldn't any revelation about any character be similar? E.g. she has revealed that Dean Thomas's father was a wizard that left Dean's mother soon after his birth in an attempt to protect him from Deatheaters -- that Dean himself didn't even know that his father was a wizard.
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Clandestineguitarplayer
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Harry Potter... What I like about Orson Scott Card has nothing to do with any kind of Harry Potter. Is it not blasphemy to speak of such things when there are books out there baring Orson Scott Cards' name? [Hail]
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MrSquicky
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quote:
I loved his review of Rowlings' latest claim and her decision to make Dumbledore gay, post-mortem.
I get that you agree with his points, but do you really think that the abusive language was perfectly fine or even admirable?
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LadyDove
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Squick, I left for a LONG time because I couldn't get past my admiration/prior perception of the man to let him have his own and current tone of voice. It was so different from his early writings that, well... enough said.

Anyway, I have become tone deaf, and I try to just take the sense of his words. I agree with his conclusions.

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LadyDove
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Aris,

quote:
I'm not quite sure what the "post-mortem" bit has to do with anything. Since Dumbledore died at book 6 and everything about his background was revealed at book 7, weren't all the revelations about him post-mortem? Including his former plans to rule over the whole Wizarding and Muggle world by allying himself to a Hitler-like figure, and his potential killing of his own sister?

Do you have respect for those revelations? Those were post-mortem revelations too, you know.

Didn't most of those revelations come from Dumbledore in Book 7? Possibly, I had better find the word for "after the fictional character's story has been completed and the character can't speak for himself within the context of a story". Aris, is there a word for that?

And the other revelations you mentioned were given within the story as well. So, I don't see your point.

And no, if she decided to just off-the-cuff start creating pasts for all the characters without double-checking her own work to make sure that it is consistent, then I wouldn't respect those "revelations". They would feel more like convenient fabrications.

I like her work, I really do, but I think that she should either create another book where she answers all the unknowns and develops pasts in a consistent, cohesive manner, or leave the work to stand as it is.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Just do what I do -- refuse to accept anything that's not in the novels as anything but speculation.

In fact, I don't even consider the last chapter of the last book as canon.

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LadyDove
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mph- You are one funny guy ;p
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Synesthesia
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How is it speculation if she knows the characters up and down?
She probably even knows who their great-great grandparents were and what sort of soap they like, and nerdy little details like that.

Plus, once again, she's had this character in her head for years. She probably knows what sort of drawers Dumbledore wears under his robes. So of COURSE she'd know from the infant version of book 1 whether or not he's gay.
It's not that it's "PC". It's just that folks have this really irratating thing when it comes to gay people and characters.
Imagine if The Amber Spyglass was as popular. Folks would never shut up about it.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Possibly, I had better find the word for that
"outside the novels" perhaps. "Post-mortem" certainly isn't it.

As a sidenote - has OSC created any characters that were only incidentally gay, whose homosexuality didn't have a large role to play in their role in the story? I remember gay characters in e.g. "Songmaster" but in that one the homosexuality/bisexuality of those characters played a major role. Any other examples?

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