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Author Topic: Are You Reading Anything by Card?
BlackBlade
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We all hang out at this forum but how many of you folks are actually currently reading one of Mr. Cards literary offerings?

Currently I am on Volume 4, "Earth Fall" of the Homecoming Series. I read Volumes 1-2 around Christmas, and since I didn't have any volumes on hand after that, just decided to wait. "Empire" came out, and there was a book signing in Provo the day of, so I purchased a copy and waited in line for Mr. Card. While there, I noticed volumes 3-5 and picked them up as well. I got Empire signed, (meeting Mr. Card was a pleasure!) and cleaned off Empire. Over the summer I simply forgot I had more Homecoming books.

I noticed Volume 3 on my bookshelf sometime in late July, and decided to start it. MAN! About half way through it the story got REALLY good, and over the past week, while I have been in California I cleared 3 and am 3/4th's through 4. I am already dreading that I only have volume 5 to read after this, and then I am done with the series. I'll probably move on to the Worthing Saga after I finish.

Well that's me, what are you folks reading by Card?

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DSH
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Is there anything new to read by Mr. Card?

[Wink]

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Launchywiggin
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Just finished Speaker for the Dead. I don't have my copies of Xenocide or Children of the Mind, though (loaned out, of course), so I'm looking for them.

I'm also gonna start Treason, because that's one I haven't read yet.

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Leonide
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I'm in the midst of my annual re-read of the Ender Saga. but since i just leant my mom Speaker for the Dead, and she totally didn't get it, I was compelled to read that one first, and not Ender's Game. I think I'll go in order, and tack Ender's Game on to the end. [Smile] I also just pre-ordered Space Boy.
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Carrie
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I'm always reading the Worthing Saga. I've got all the iterations of it except "Capitol," so I read them on a nearly-consistent loop. I also travel everywhere with Ender's Game, so I suppose I'm reading that at the moment as well. [Smile]

I haven't read the most recent OSC work, though. Perhaps I should look into it. [Smile]

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Noemon
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Who is this Card guy?
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dean
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I'm loaning a guy who works two doors down from me all of Card's books, and he's loaning me all of his Philip K. Dick books. But every time I get one back from him, I feel like I really want to reread it. Currently I'm reading Songmaster, and he's reading Lovelock. I just finished Treason. When I get Wyrms back, I will probably reread it.
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anti_maven
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I am reading the Cards. I forsee a tall dark stranger and a voyage. Beware the twentythird and the colour puce...

[Wink]

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Eduardo St. Elmo
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I have just started reading The Memory of Earth. So far it's less impressive than the Ender saga or the tales of Alvin Maker.
Not too long ago I finished Xenocide, but I still have to get a copy of Children of the Mind.

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Orincoro
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I am also re-reading my favorite (non larod) parts of The Worthing Saga.

But to be perfectly honest, I've become disenchanted with his most recent works. I think as the years have gone on, his writing has become increasingly obvious and less relevant to me. The poetry has gone out of his novels, and was barely evident in his last shadow books. I was rereading one of them recently, when I noticed a line that illustrates my point. to paraphrase:

"Battle school guy: When are you two getting married?
Bean: When I turn 30"

Which is fine, except then card has to explain the comment (which was intentionally ambiguous to the person who was hearing it) and have Petra say to herself: "which of course, meant never, because he would die before he reached that age."

DUH.

The love of language and wonderful sense of subtlety and poise that the characters seemed to have in the earlier books is waning. It was completely gone from Empire, which was a horrid book and something I finished on will-power alone. The characters were simply unlikeable and as thin as the paper the book was written on. It meant nothing to me, and left a very sour taste with me when I finished it- like I had been roped in by this person who had so interested me, and found out he's now trying to sell lawn furniture.

I found the earlier books powerfully effecting, but I'll need a good reason (like more Ender novels) to get another of his books.

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Scott R
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How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

[Smile]

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

[Smile]

I've been meaning to reread this one for a while, now. It's a fascinating (and helpful) book, isn't it?
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Scott R
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It is.
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pooka
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Not at the moment, but I always look for something from him when I'm at the library.
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Farmgirl
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Well, I've read most everything I can by him, several times. I'm waiting on something new.

Although last month I did re-read Ender's Game yet again, just because it had been a couple years since I had.

Of course, I always read his COLUMNS here - but you aren't counting that?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Of course, I always read his COLUMNS here - but you aren't counting that?
They certainly DO count, and I love reading them, but they are not on the same floor as his books [Smile]
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vonk
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I'm not reading anything by Card right now, but within the last month or so I read Hart's Hope for the first time and reread Lost Boys and Ender's Game.
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DeathofBees
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In the past year...

*I reread Treason because I was considering whether to give it to a friend (I kept it).
*Then I reread Seventh Son and Red Prophet before finally reading (por primera vez) Crystal City, which was a slight disappointment after the awesomeness of the beginning of that series.
*I read Magic Street, which had cool moments and was a really fun concept to explore, but left me unsatisfied.
*I fully enjoyed Empire.
*I reread Pastwatch with relish and ended it wishing for more, then went and looked up some history books and got out my world atlas and sat around dreaming for a while.

I always breeze by OSC's shelf when visiting the public library and can't quite bring myself to pick up Treasure Box or Enchantment again. Now that I have kids I will never read Lost Boys again.

After all that, I'd sort of OD'ed on OSC, so I went in a different direction and blew through Jan Karon's Mitford series (enjoying her development as an author as it progressed). Now I'm reading some classics to freshen me up again so I can possibly reread the Ender series.

edited to add:
*Good Grief! How could I have forgotten that I read Rebekah and Rachel and Leah in that list this past year, too?

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DeathofBees
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Oh! And I read Uncle Orson Reviews in the Rhino every week, which makes me feel like I'm still vaguely attached to the latest movie scene, since I haven't been to a theater in 3 years. I wish I could afford to visit the restaurants OSC reviews...
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TL
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Last night I watched him on Youtube, the little clip where he speaks of Empire, and I thought: Man, I just like him so much. I like the way he speaks, I like the way he looks, I like the way he seems to care about things. He's an interesting and brilliant man and my fondness for him is huge.

That said, the last thing I read of his was a short story in IGMS called "Pretty Boy", which I found to be just mind-bogglingly bad.

I also really dislike his works about writing. As a writer, I surround myself with other would-be writers, many of whom cling to the empty tropes of his writing advice as though it were scripture, never making the connection that Card himself could never have been said to have followed the same advice he's passing along to the new generation, back in the days when his work was bold and relevant and controversial. They cite Card with zombie-consistency, using his (often) bad conclusions to tell you what's wrong with your stuff, and seemingly using no other basis. And it drives me absolutely crazy that he hates literary writing with such vitriol that he demeans anyone who attempts to be bold and interesting (outside of the MICE quotient) as casualties of academia -- people who have been told what to love and blindly accepted it.

I don't read his new stuff anymore. I don't like his new fiction. I recently re-read Treason and loved it again, though.

I still love the guy, though. And he was so incredibly nice to me the one time I met him. I just think something happened at some point to make him start writing safe coffee-table stuff. I liked it when reading his work felt dangerous.

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Omega M.
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No. At some point I noticed that too many people in his stories were too preoccupied with having and raising children, without much thought as to what they were having and raising children for.

I still read his Uncle Orson column---though I skip a lot of the reviews, which are about things I couldn't care less about---and his World Watch column---which I think is more right than wrong. In fact, if it wasn't for his nonfiction columns and these message boards I'd have probably abandoned OSC a while ago.

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Scott R
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quote:
And it drives me absolutely crazy that he hates literary writing with such vitriol that he demeans anyone who attempts to be bold and interesting (outside of the MICE quotient) as casualties of academia -- people who have been told what to love and blindly accepted it.
He doesn't hate literary writing-- he hates literary snobbery, where the beauty of the language is only accessible to people trained in decoding it.

I got into his Bootcamp using an extremely style-heavy story. He had nothing but praise for it when we critiqued the snippets later.

Card's writing advice is solid-- more solid than many other writers' because he explicitly states that what may work for him may not work for others. Character and Viewpoint is especially useful, and his technique for story invention (1000 ideas in an hour) is among the most helpful tools to get beyond writer's block I've found.

Which of his conclusions do you disagree with?

quote:
I just think something happened at some point to make him start writing safe coffee-table stuff. I liked it when reading his work felt dangerous.
It's not any "safer." It's just that he's not writing anything that interests you. That's okay (but it's not exactly polite to say on the guy's website-- I mean, come on...living room metaphor...)-- you are allowed to feel that way.
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BlackBlade
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I wish Mr. Card would frequent the living room alittle bit more, but I understand he's a very busy man.

I agree that talking about Card's style is OK, but criticizing by itself in this forum is probably not OK.

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kmbboots
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So we can talk about it as long as we say nice things?

I agree that there is a fine line about what is polite, but I can't imagine that Mr. Card would invite people to come to his living room just to sit around praising him either.

Edit to add: Which, by the way, is to his credit.

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Tara
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I haven't read anything by Card in years... But as soon as a new Alvin Maker or Ender book comes out, I will reread them all as fast as possible!
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Lyrhawn
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I sent Ender's Game to Ghana with a friend of mine who was during some volunteer work there. She let some of the other volunteers read it, and even some of the Ghanians who wanted to as well. She only ended up getting a 100 pages into it before she left Ghana for Europe.

I haven't gotten it back yet, because she said the others did unspeakable things to the book and she has to replace it, and I think she means they cracked the spine and dogeared the pages, which to me is unspeakable. I told her not to worry since that was my "travel" copy anyway, but I still have a new copy coming at some point. I think she might have left it in Ghana to help the people in the village start their new library, I'm not sure.

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grammargoddess
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When we moved into our new house in the spring, I reread all my OSC collection, one after the other. I guess i was just trying to connect with something familiar. I've read most everything except the Biblical ones--though I just checked out Rachel and Leah from the Library to see if I like it. I also may not have read Lovelock. If I did, it wasn't memorable. I hadn't been able to find the Worthing Chronicle until someone gave me a copy this summer, but it's awesome! I wasn't a fan of Magic Street, though. I didn't find the characters believable. I think he tried too hard to make them ethnic (sorry!) and they didn't feel real to me. Usually I feel a connection with his main characters, but I didn't with this novel. I also was only passably entertained by Empire, but I don't fault OSC for that. I knew before I read it that it wasn't my sort of book ( I don't usually read those political/conspiracy/action/adventure type of novel). In addition, I've always liked his meta-fiction. I found, in particular, that the MICE quotient explained why I never really loved Tolkien(shock! horror!). Turns out, I don't like milieu stories!
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Scott R
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quote:
So we can talk about it as long as we say nice things?

I agree that there is a fine line about what is polite, but I can't imagine that Mr. Card would invite people to come to his living room just to sit around praising him either.

If it were my site, that I was paying money for every month, and losing money for every month-- then yes-- I'd prefer that criticisms not specifically requested be hosted somewhere not involved with my pocketbook.

OSC has mentioned that he's frustrated at the uncouthness of people who come into this place and rail on his works. He has said that this is his living room, and we're guests. Since when is it considered polite to criticize your host's choice of carpet?

TL and Orincoro have been here long enough to know that, so it's not like I'm saying this to n00bs. There's a whole web out there to criticize Card; I don't think it's good to do it here.

OSC and his kacard may have a completely different opinion about this-- they're welcome to contradict me. [Smile]

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Orincoro
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I think they would Scott. First of all it was not my topic and not something I have often stated or an agenda I have pushed.

I responded honestly to the question, which invited both positive: "yes I do because" responses, and negative: "no, because" responses. I have reasons for reading and loving Card's works and reasons for finding his latest works unappealing. Maybe comparing him to a law furniture salesman is unfair- I'll have to think about it.

One thing I am sure of is that my critique is fair and honest, and acknowledges the positive along with the negative. It is not a "rail" such as the ones you've mentioned, and I think in a discussion of culture, (even the host's own works) we are meant to be open and as honest and clear as we can be. I also feel that having been here and posted in topics on a wide variety of subjects, I have shown that I have a right to give my opinion on this one. I think Card has shown himself to be not very shy when it comes to criticizing others (including here on this board), so I am not very shy about sharing my opinions with you. I am also fairly sure he will not be reading them, and that does matter.

It isn't my white whale, so if you don't like hearing from me on it, I don't have to say anything.

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Noemon
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It's funny--I'd agree completely with Orincoro were it not for one thing--this is OSC's forum, and he's made it clear that it isn't okay to post critiques of his work that are not positive. It's not a policy that I'd put in place were I an author with a forum like Hatrack, but that's not the point. OSC has made it clear that such comments aren't welcome here, so they just aren't, period. I can understand if that seems a bit stifling, but there is a whole world of topics that Card doesn't put those kind of limitations on. I can deal with the limitation he imposes, since abiding by it leaves me free to talk and read about so much else. If it were more limiting--if he insisted that we not offer political commentary that went against his beliefs or somesuch, I'd respect that too, though I'd do so by simply ceasing to be an active member here.
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kmbboots
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Scott, Noemon, thanks for the correction. I misjudged Mr. Card.
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TL
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Oh boy.... Here we go. Hi Scott.

quote:
He doesn't hate literary writing-- he hates literary snobbery, where the beauty of the language is only accessible to people trained in decoding it.
Where to begin disassembling that particular house of false assumptions?

quote:
Card's writing advice is solid-- more solid than many other writers' because he explicitly states that what may work for him may not work for others. Character and Viewpoint is especially useful, and his technique for story invention (1000 ideas in an hour) is among the most helpful tools to get beyond writer's block I've found.

Which of his conclusions do you disagree with?

It could be said that I disagree with all of his conclusions in the sense that I disagree with the basic thought processes upon which they seem to have been formed. Let me put it this way: I like James Joyce and I don't like being told "you're withholding". Imagine Frank Herbert in an OSC-influenced writer's group, or Harlan Ellison, or Philip K. Dick. Or -- J.D. Salinger.

(And don't tell me I'm no Frank Herbert. First of all, I wouldn't have to be. And second of all, maybe I'm not and maybe I am.)

But as you've been clear in pointing out that this isn't the place, I would be happy to take this discussion off-site. Feel free to email me? Perhaps we can IM one day? I just happen to feel a certain way about it. It could be interesting to talk to a fellow writer who feels a different way.

quote:
It's not any "safer." It's just that he's not writing anything that interests you. That's okay (but it's not exactly polite to say on the guy's website-- I mean, come on...living room metaphor...)-- you are allowed to feel that way.
I happen to think it's safer. I also happen to think Ender's Game is (as objectively as I can figure it) one of the two best science fiction novels ever written. (The other one is Dune.) So it's not as if I'm calling the guy a hack.

quote:
OSC has mentioned that he's frustrated at the uncouthness of people who come into this place and rail on his works. He has said that this is his living room, and we're guests. Since when is it considered polite to criticize your host's choice of carpet?

TL and Orincoro have been here long enough to know that, so it's not like I'm saying this to n00bs. There's a whole web out there to criticize Card; I don't think it's good to do it here.

Yeah... But I belong specifically to hatrack. This is my community. There's nowhere else on the web where I go to be part of a group and share and share alike -- so unless I had a specific agenda of attacking Card, which I definitely don't, there is no circumstance in which I would go anywhere else on the web to offer my thoughts about the writing of Orson Scott Card -- positive or negative.

Hatrack is more than just OSC's living room. He's hosting the best community I've ever seen on the internet, and I am extremely grateful for that. But it is a community and as a member of it, I give myself permission to give voice to what I think, and to say so if I find something objectionable -- even if it's about the work of our awesome, awesome host.

I think you'll find that I don't hate Orson Scott Card. I have no agenda against him. I'm not trying to twist or misrepresent his positions on any particular point to fit my warped world view.

I think I've accurately presented his positions and stated what I didn't like about them. If I'm in violation of some kind of hatrack code, someone with authority can come along and tell me so. If I'm violating good manners, well, I'm sorry. I don't know what. I'm not really in the man's living room, you know. I'm sitting at home in front of my computer. He's in bed asleep. I read a lot and form opinions about books and writers. I sometimes state these opinions. I think this is okay, in the grand scheme of things.

[ August 15, 2007, 03:24 AM: Message edited by: TL ]

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TL
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quote:
I got into his Bootcamp using an extremely style-heavy story. He had nothing but praise for it when we critiqued the snippets later.
I'd like to read it.
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Scott R
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quote:
One thing I am sure of is that my critique is fair and honest, and acknowledges the positive along with the negative.
Evaluating your post shows that the positive is only mentioned in order to strengthen your negative argument.

quote:
Scott, Noemon, thanks for the correction. I misjudged Mr. Card.
It's also worth noting that OSC doesn't remove the negative criticisms about him or his work, no matter how foul they may be (not saying that TL and Orincoro's evaluations are particularly foul). Effectually, one can say what they please on this site about OSC without fear of actual censorship.

quote:
Where to begin disassembling that particular house of false assumptions?
Begin at the beginning. Proceed through the middle. Arrive at the conclusion.

[Smile]

quote:
It could be said that I disagree with all of his conclusions in the sense that I disagree with the basic thought processes upon which they seem to have been formed. Let me put it this way: I like James Joyce and I don't like being told "you're withholding". Imagine Frank Herbert in an OSC-influenced writer's group, or Harlan Ellison, or Philip K. Dick. Or -- J.D. Salinger.
Hm...I was actually asking about specific conclusions that you disagree with. Sans that, I'm not sure what objections I should have to an OSC-influenced writer's group made up of those folks.

Heaven knows Herbert could have used some help with characterization and POV in Dune. IMO, anyway.

quote:
I think you'll find that I don't hate Orson Scott Card.
This is an interesting thing to say in the context of this discussion. Both you and Orincoro said it. I don't think I implied that you do hate him; just that criticizing his work on his own website is not very courteous.

:shrug:

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Dan_Frank
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If you take this discussion off thread, then I can't continue reading it and staying totally silent on the issue! [Frown]
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
It's funny--I'd agree completely with Orincoro were it not for one thing--this is OSC's forum, and he's made it clear that it isn't okay to post critiques of his work that are not positive.

I consider my critique to be on topic. I answered the question posed by the thread and did not post a review of Card's work, positive or negative. The idea that he doesn't allow anyone to ever say anything in the least bit non-positive about his work on this forum is, in my opinion, overstating the case. He does not wish for this forum to be used by those who wish to deride his work. That is not me, I wish to praise his better work over that I have not enjoyed. That's all I'll say about it. I don't frankly find that I am very much concerned with it because I don't think he uses this forum or would be terribly stricken by my words.
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BlackBlade
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I finished Volume 4 of Homecoming last night [Big Grin] I just couldn't put it down until about midnight. I will start the concluding volume 5 tonight.
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vonk
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#5 was the hardest for me to get into, but now it's the one I reread the most.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by vonk:
#5 was the hardest for me to get into, but now it's the one I reread the most.

I'll consider myself warned. I felt that way initially about Speaker for the Dead, but by the end of the book I was VERY happy with it.
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TL
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Scott R: There's a thing happening here, where you say this is not the place to criticize OSC, and at the same time you ask me for further details about my criticisms.

I will say that my offer to take the discussion off-site is totally legit.

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Scott R
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quote:
I answered the question posed by the thread and did not post a review of Card's work, positive or negative.
What's this then, Orincoro?
quote:

I've become disenchanted with his most recent works. I think as the years have gone on, his writing has become increasingly obvious and less relevant to me. The poetry has gone out of his novels, and was barely evident in his last shadow books. I was rereading one of them recently, when I noticed a line that illustrates my point. to paraphrase:

"Battle school guy: When are you two getting married?
Bean: When I turn 30"

Which is fine, except then card has to explain the comment (which was intentionally ambiguous to the person who was hearing it) and have Petra say to herself: "which of course, meant never, because he would die before he reached that age."

DUH.

The love of language and wonderful sense of subtlety and poise that the characters seemed to have in the earlier books is waning. It was completely gone from Empire, which was a horrid book and something I finished on will-power alone. The characters were simply unlikeable and as thin as the paper the book was written on. It meant nothing to me, and left a very sour taste with me when I finished it- like I had been roped in by this person who had so interested me, and found out he's now trying to sell lawn furniture.

??

quote:
There's a thing happening here, where you say this is not the place to criticize OSC, and at the same time you ask me for further details about my criticisms.

I think it's acceptable to critique his ideological conclusions-- we see criticisms of his War Watch columns all the time, and I've criticized the way he cooks his steak. To me, there's an inherent difference in debating someone's ideas-- ideas which are put out there for free, which are accessible for free-- and ragging on someone's creative work (which this site is partially designed to promote, and which OSC makes his living off of).

I know-- I'm not being terribly consistent. If you want to take it to email, I'd be happy to engage you-- j b e e kee pe r (atthe) y aho o (dot) com.

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Tara
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We wouldn't be here, any of us, if OSC's works didn't mean a great deal to us already. But even so, they're not perfect -- so why is it not okay for us to post fair, polite criticism, so that OSC may learn what his weak points are, from people who care about him and his writing?
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Noemon
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Because he doesn't want us to.
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Scott R
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quote:
We wouldn't be here, any of us, if OSC's works didn't mean a great deal to us already.
Actually, I *think* we still have a few folks who've never read an OSC book...
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
We wouldn't be here, any of us, if OSC's works didn't mean a great deal to us already.
Actually, I *think* we still have a few folks who've never read an OSC book...
Quite true, and I am positive there are people who read one book they liked, joined the community, and have not liked any of his books since then.

I don't think everyone is here because they LOVE Mr. Card's books.

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DaisyMae
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I read all the Homecoming series years ago and have just finished the first three again. For some reason my library system is having a hard time tracking down four for me.

As I recall, the last two feel completely different than the first three. Am I right in remembering that?

I just finished Worthing Saga a while back for the first time and I'm goin go to read Wyrms again soon.

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Omega M.
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Well, it's the last one that takes place a few hundred years after the others (which occur more or less right after each other).
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Telperion the Silver
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I finished reading "Treason" for the first time a couple months ago and just finished re-reading "Songmaster" (one of if not my top favorite of OSC's works).

I think the only books of his I've not read are "Hearts Hope", "Wyrms", "Enchantment", "Pastwatch", "Empire", and his Bible stories.

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Dan_Frank
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I still need to find a copy of Hart's Hope, Wyrms, and the Women of Genesis stories.

And it takes me a while to get to his newer work, but I'm working my way there. Not a fan of hardcover.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
I answered the question posed by the thread and did not post a review of Card's work, positive or negative.
What's this then, Orincoro?

What I intended to point out was that this was not a comprehensive "review." That wasn't clear. It is a general criticism with a specific example. It doesn't even reflect my overall (positive if you want to know) feelings about that book.

At this point I really could care less what OSC wants discussed here and what not. He doesn't, as far as I know, read the forum. Though I understand that his wishes have at least been indicated to mean that he would *prefer* that we not speak ill of his work, I do not know, nor do I care to find out for myself, if that is a stated guideline in the terms of use. JP can tell us, or you can, if it is. If it isn't, Osc's personal wishes are just that- personal.

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