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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Is Card getting lazy, or is it just me? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Is Card getting lazy, or is it just me?
Pyropuppy
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Don't get me wrong, Orson is my all time favorite author. I loved the Ender's series, the Alvin Maker series, the first 4 books of the Homecoming series, Treason, Songmaster, Wyrms... they're all great books, and there is more that he's written that I've read and loved, but lately he doesn't seem to care. I just read Empire, and up until the crap in the pants ending, I loved it. However, my father and I recently got into a discussion about how Orson has been selling his name to lesser known authors to make an easy buck, and up until I finished Empire, I didn't want to believe it. I kept telling my Dad that he's not selling out, he's just giving those authors a leg up, or some sound advice to help them along their path. Now, though, I'm not so sure. Any opinions on the matter?
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Destineer
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Ah, Empire. My friends and I once spent an entire evening reading choice passages aloud and laughing hysterically.
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scifibum
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I don't think he's lazy, but I think it's likely that some of his habits and thought patterns are getting more firmly entrenched over time, and so we might tend to see them reflected more clearly in his work (especially if we've read the older stuff first - once a theme is established, it's easy to recognize variations on it).

I haven't read any of his collaborations so I'll avoid commenting on the quality of the work. Based on what I know of Card, though, I tend to think he was probably convinced they were good ideas, worthwhile work, AND a good way to make a little money.

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Zotto!
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Empire's ending might be more satisfying if you wash it down with Hidden Empire, which was an amazing follow-up.

I don't think he's been "selling his name" at all. He wrote chapters of Lovelock with Kathryn Kidd and outlined Invasive Procedures with Aaron Johnson, but that's not selling out, that's collaboration. He authorized Jake Black's Companion guide to the Ender series, but that's approving a sourcebook, not selling out. He's done various scripts for comics like Iron Man and media like that I Am Legend online story, but that's working with existing properties which already have rotating creative teams.

I think we're actually entering one of the most exciting periods in Card's career, what with the Pathfinder and Mithermages series about to start up (see http://www.hatrack.com/osc/books/pathfinder/pathfinder_01.shtml & http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i19&article=_001 ), both of which I'm dying to read. Ender and Alvin both have at least one more book each, both of which sound very interesting.

Personally, tho, the books I'm looking forward to the most are the next two entries in the Pastwatch series, dealing with the Eden and Flood narratives, and the next Women of Genesis book.

in short, there is a ton of stuff in the works, all of which seem to me to be stories Card really cares about. [Smile]

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Synesthesia
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Don't tell anyone, but, I've kind of gave up on reading Card.
This is because all of the nagativity in Ender in Exile made me crazy.
I have decided that I will not read anymore of his stuff because it just stresses me out and I do not need stress because stress gives me a stomach ache and stomach aches are horrible.
Plus there's ect. to consider too.
No one needs to know about that, so yeah.

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JanitorBlade
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Creating a new account and immediately creating a thread that is very critical of the board's proprietor is pretty poor form.

Jumping into a thread to simply say how much you dislike Mr. Card's views, literary contributions, or him personally is also poor form. Please refrain from doing either.

I'm not locking this thread, but I will if it takes a turn for discussing Mr. Card as a person rather than ideas.

As to the original poster, Mr. Card has a new book coming out in about a month. Perhaps you should see how that grabs you.

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airmanfour
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Creating a new account and immediately creating a thread that is very critical of the board's proprietor is pretty poor form.

Jumping into a thread to simply say how much you dislike Mr. Card's views, literary contributions, or him personally is also poor form. Please refrain from doing either.

I'm not locking this thread, but I will if it takes a turn for discussing Mr. Card as a person rather than ideas.

As to the original poster, Mr. Card has a new book coming out in about a month. Perhaps you should see how that grabs you.

I'm 95% sure that OSC is an awesome dude. I'm 100% sure that his days of writing FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC books are over and that bad books are what we're going to be getting from him from now on. Which is sad, but I'll always be grateful for those four awesome books that fill out my overall top-ten.
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scifibum
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The first three chapters of Pathfinder are pretty promising, IMO.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Don't tell anyone, but, I've kind of gave up on reading Card.

So you've said. Many times.
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Synesthesia
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I don't dislike him... I have merely decided that his current works are not my cup of tea.
Much like deciding that the works of a band I've liked for ages isn't to my liking so I shall listen to their old stuff and only complain about it a little bit and not be rude about it and switch over to other bands.

Unlike various fans of Dir en grey... But in their case, good stuff, old stuff, I love it all.

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0Megabyte
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So, I read Ender in Exile recently. I can't say it was his best book, but it was definitely interesting.

I really liked the ending and how the conflict between Ender and Bean's son turned out. Seeing this "somewhat older, but neither here nor there" Ender was fascinating. Interestingly enough, I also enjoyed the relationship between the mother and daughter, whatever their names were, and how they interacted with Ender. Maybe not so much when the mom became more drunk on power, because she was more interesting before then, but the dynamic between them all was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in their company, planning the play, etc. I also never hated the mom, even when she became something of a villain. Card almost never has clear cut all evil villains, certainly not in his better work, and I enjoyed seeing that trend continue. His writing style, too, was clear and enjoyable. But then, this is the man I read in my most impressionable ages, so it's not a surprise his style puts me at ease, is it?

Oddly enough, I just don't like Virlomi very much. I mean, she was okay in the Shadow books, but here... I dunno, she irritated me.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I have merely decided that his current works are not my cup of tea.
This is fine.

But when you keep saying so, on his forum, it really looks like you've got a bone to pick.

Although, to be fair, I think I'm combining in my head the times you've said that you're no longer reading his fiction with the times you've said that you're no longer reading his articles.

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Blayne Bradley
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I loved Ender in Exile though found about 2-3 sentences cringe inducing, However I wouldn't have even so much as noticed had I not read Mr Card's political columns and frankly didn't even think of the possibility that Anton could be gay, I just thought he was a weird loner.

Card is still an excellent writer and while he might not write anything as innovative and encredible as Ender's Game every book he adds to the universe has been amazing that I think regardless of his political views I think we could honestly set those aside as irrelevant and enjoy the works on their own merits.

I bought Ender in Exile, hard cover and do not regret my purchase in the slightest and looking forward to the book that finishes the series.

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Samprimary
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DISCUSSION ABOUT CARD AS A PERSON:

- Has two hands, two feet?
- Might be a cardassian
- Believed to be an agent of the Shadow Broker, mystery to be revealed in subsequent DLC

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0range7Penguin
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It seems that a lot of the people who say that there now disliking Mr. Card's work harp a lot on the Empire duo.

Well you have to think that for a fan base that loves him for his SciFi and Fantasy work Empire and Hidden Empire are going to be a different cup of tea entirely. It totally makes sense that a lot of these fans are going to reject these two books regardless of there actual merits. They will be dismissed due to the fact that there not what the fans want or expect from Mr. Card.

Not to say that Mr. Card was wrong for writing them or that even most fans dislike them but I will say it makes sense more fans dislike these two books than any of his others.

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Samprimary
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It's more about how Empire read like it was written by otherwise non-noteworthy writers who you hire to write the post-release novelization of your video game franchises.

The overall theory among my literary wonk friends is that Card is one of those authors whose quality of work was tortuously declined in quality from his preachiness. Orson Scott Card is a pretty good writer when the characters and the world building existed over the moralizing; when he stepped onto his soapbox, everything went to pot.

Which, if true (and I think to a great extent it is, especially in Empire), explains a lot of how incredulous people are when they move from experiencing his earlier fiction to being subject to his intolerant and hole-filled political screeds.

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JanitorBlade
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Samp: Please stop.

edit: This was in regards to the post before your latest.

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Kwea
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Blade, while I am not a mod it seemed Samp was just poking fun at the whole conversation, sorta tongue in cheek. I understand where you are coming from, and even agree, but I hope he didn't mean it mean spiritedly. It didn't come across as if he was to me, anyways.

Just my 2 cents. [Smile]

I really am looking forward to the Mithermages series. I loved Stonefather. [Big Grin]

I've met Mr. Card, and his wife. I liked them both very much. It was at a book signing at a convention in Boston, and I am really glad I went. I got the meet The Cards and GRRM, and met up with Frisco for a little while.

[Smile]

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Sterling
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Wish they'd get back to Lovelock. That was an interesting character.

Ender in Exile... Was not, overall, a very good book. It had some worthwhile scenes and characters, but overall I found it rather... I'm finding it hard to explain. Some of it was unnecessary, and some of it felt narratively predictable without being particularly enjoyable, a kind of "Okay, I know where this is going, but why?" Some character interactions felt like they came to their conclusions because the "author's voice" said they were over, not because the characters themselves came to a place where anyone could feel they had concluded something or come to some sort of satisfaction. In some places it felt like Ender was a mind-reader, and while it's part of the fiction that he's almost without peer in understanding his enemies and anticipating their moves, in this case it felt more like they were doing what he anticipated just because the story said they would.

And some small throw-away line about releasing dogs into the wild of an alien planet as a game animal stuck with me and made me incredibly angry. Having recently been in a part of New Zealand where feral dogs have frequently hurt people, including children, and helped drive native species into borderline extinction, my reflexive response to this idea was "Are you out of your @$#&ing mind? DOGS?"

Of Card's recent work, I think I still like what I've read in the short-story collections most.

And since we seem to have missed on the formalities: Welcome to Hatrack, Pyropuppy. I hope you find it an interesting and invigorating place, and don't let any early snarling and snapping turn you away.

And as federal law requires me to inform you: You are wrong.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Samp: Please stop.

edit: This was in regards to the post before your latest.

lol, how silly
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
Don't tell anyone, but, I've kind of gave up on reading Card.

I'm telling.
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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Jumping into a thread to simply say how much you dislike Mr. Card's views, literary contributions, or him personally is also poor form. Please refrain from doing either.

Let me make sure I understand: it's no longer permitted here to state that you dislike one or more of OSC's books? All discussion of OSC must cast him and his writing in a positive light?

That's what you're saying; I want to make sure that's what you mean.

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mr_porteiro_head
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That's not what he's saying.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
And as federal law requires me to inform you: You are wrong.

Wow, those full disclosure laws have gotten STRICT, man!
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Mucus
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It's a bit unclear, but I think on a functional level what is left is you can:
1. Start a new thread that is very critical of OSC, only if you account is relatively old.
2. Join a thread to state critical views of OSC, only if you bracket those statements with some other material.

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Herblay
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:

Jumping into a thread to simply say how much you dislike Mr. Card's views, literary contributions, or him personally is also poor form. Please refrain from doing either.


Janitor,

Since Mr. Card posts a lot of very controversial opinions on a site that includes a message board, isn't he asking for debate and criticism of his views? I mean, many of his views are quite the opposite of the current zeitgeist. And this IS his board on "....and Culture". Not trying to criticize, but it seems that criticism and debate are the purpose of the board.

As far as his writing, he is constantly trying new things -- which can obviously have the side-effect of having portions of his work that aren't enjoyed by many of his fans. I didn't really enjoy the Alvin Maker series, and I thought that his best work was behind him, when the Shadow series blew my mind. Sure, every Terry Brooks book follows the same formula, and fans will fawn over him and enjoy ALL of his books. But Mr. Card is constantly re-inventing himself. Yes, it means that he has books I don't like. But that's artistic integrity for you.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by 0range7Penguin:
It seems that a lot of the people who say that there now disliking Mr. Card's work harp a lot on the Empire duo.

Well you have to think that for a fan base that loves him for his SciFi and Fantasy work Empire and Hidden Empire are going to be a different cup of tea entirely. It totally makes sense that a lot of these fans are going to reject these two books regardless of there actual merits. They will be dismissed due to the fact that there not what the fans want or expect from Mr. Card.

Not to say that Mr. Card was wrong for writing them or that even most fans dislike them but I will say it makes sense more fans dislike these two books than any of his others.

My experience is somewhat different. Everyone that I know who really dislikes recent OSC books point to the Shadow series as what really turned them off. I know three people who have told me that after Shadow Puppets, they're not interested in reading anything OSC has written after the 90s.
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shadowland
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I know three people who have told me that after Shadow Puppets, they're not interested in reading anything OSC has written after the 90s.

This is true for me as well.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Herblay:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:

Jumping into a thread to simply say how much you dislike Mr. Card's views, literary contributions, or him personally is also poor form. Please refrain from doing either.


Janitor,

Since Mr. Card posts a lot of very controversial opinions on a site that includes a message board, isn't he asking for debate and criticism of his views? I mean, many of his views are quite the opposite of the current zeitgeist. And this IS his board on "....and Culture". Not trying to criticize, but it seems that criticism and debate are the purpose of the board.

As far as his writing, he is constantly trying new things -- which can obviously have the side-effect of having portions of his work that aren't enjoyed by many of his fans. I didn't really enjoy the Alvin Maker series, and I thought that his best work was behind him, when the Shadow series blew my mind. Sure, every Terry Brooks book follows the same formula, and fans will fawn over him and enjoy ALL of his books. But Mr. Card is constantly re-inventing himself. Yes, it means that he has books I don't like. But that's artistic integrity for you.

Except Mr. Card doesn't use another name to do so. Last time I checked World Watch still had the name Orson Scott Card attached to it.

Empire and Hidden Empire were enjoyable. Not my favorite books, but they were readable. Plus, we got a REALLY good video game out of it.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Jumping into a thread to simply say how much you dislike Mr. Card's views, literary contributions, or him personally is also poor form. Please refrain from doing either.

Let me make sure I understand: it's no longer permitted here to state that you dislike one or more of OSC's books? All discussion of OSC must cast him and his writing in a positive light?

That's what you're saying; I want to make sure that's what you mean.

That is not at all what I said. Please reread my two statements, they go together.
---

Herblay:

quote:
Since Mr. Card posts a lot of very controversial opinions on a site that includes a message board, isn't he asking for debate and criticism of his views? I mean, many of his views are quite the opposite of the current zeitgeist. And this IS his board on "....and Culture". Not trying to criticize, but it seems that criticism and debate are the purpose of the board.
I have said repeatedly that discussion of ideas is fine. Heck most of the posts in this thread are fine. You can dissect Mr. Card's books all you want, so long as you do so respectfully, and so long as your first post isn't a thread where you question Mr. Card's work ethic, or artistic integrity.

If somebody wants to discuss Mr. Card's views, books, or statements, that too is OK. But simply saying in essence, "Oh yeah, I can't stand him, haven't been able to in years." Isn't a discussion of ideas, it's just a straight attack at a member of these boards. That's not OK.

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Tresopax
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If Mr. Card were just interested in making a buck, there would be an Ender's Game movie by now (likely with a 17-yer-old Ender.) That would probably earn him more than all his recent books combined. Instead, he has held out for quality.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
I have merely decided that his current works are not my cup of tea.
This is fine.

But when you keep saying so, on his forum, it really looks like you've got a bone to pick.

Although, to be fair, I think I'm combining in my head the times you've said that you're no longer reading his fiction with the times you've said that you're no longer reading his articles.

I don't do that all the time... I do have a bit of a bone, but I have decided that it is not worth having such TERRIBLE STOMACH PAINS OVER IT.
So instead, I shall do other things.
Like play pointless games while listening to awesome music.
But, one has to have their polite say at times.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I don't do that all the time... I do have a bit of a bone, but I have decided that it is not worth having such TERRIBLE STOMACH PAINS OVER IT.
You do it a lot. Would you like me to provide you with some quotes?
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Amanecer
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I am quite hopeful about the new book. The description sounds interesting. I used to be able to say that I'd read every Card book ever written, but it's no longer true. After Empire, I had no desire to read its sequel. I'll probably wait to see what people on this board say about the new one before picking it up. But I enjoyed Ender in Exile, so I'm hoping.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
I don't do that all the time... I do have a bit of a bone, but I have decided that it is not worth having such TERRIBLE STOMACH PAINS OVER IT.
You do it a lot. Would you like me to provide you with some quotes?
OK. If you want to. I'm going to try to stop though. It's on the list of things I can't talk about along with religion and politics.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Good luck with that.

And speaking of...

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
I'm not sure if I want to read anymore OSC articles as it's my resolution to try to avoid things that frustrate me.
I would guess that I've seen you say this over a dozen times, Syn.
I know, but for some reason, moth to flamelike I am attracted to things that annoy me!

As in reading articles that frustrate me and visiting sites that frustrate me.



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MrSquicky
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I've found that things OSC has written and talked about have lessened my appreciation of his earlier works in at least two cases.

I really liked the Speaker series, in part because I interpreted it as Ender being an emotionally damaged hero. In my reading, he was still dealing with the massive trauma of the Bugger war. He was a genius with a massive wealth of empathy, but had some major flaws as well.

But then OSC writes Ender in Exile, where Ender is pretty much fine emotionally, so I get the feeling that what I saw as a masterful presentation of a flawed hero was just what I read into it, not an inherent part of the work.

Likewise with Bean in Ender's Shadow and to a lesser extent Shadow of the Hegemon, I enjoyed what I thought a very skillful use of the unreliable narrator where Bean's perception of himself was as removed from humanity got further and further from the truth as the story went on. But then OSC wrote about how he loathes the use of an unreliable narrator and the later Shadow series had Bean's integration really forced as opposed to organically growing and I realized that I was probably reading what I wanted to be there instead of what was intended.

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Wingracer
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I feel I must stick up a bit for JanitorBlade.

I am a HEAVY user of another very specialized forum. It is a completely user generated forum with no real corporate ties, yet VAST amounts of money can be made or lost just from the opinions expressed in it. The reputations of whole businesses and people are made and crushed everyday in just a few posts.

For this reason, there are a lot of scrupulous posts on there. Someone will make an account and start a thread just to bash another company and its products or services. So when all of us seasoned users see a post like that from someone new, we immediately think "bogus" and proceed to bash the poster instead of the company he wished to talk about. Of course, every now and then someone has a legitimate beef and signs up for the forum to warn us all but being new, he has very little credibility.

So I understand JanitorBlade's skepticism of the OP. Perhaps it is unwarranted in this case, but it is completely understandable.

As for Card and his collaborations, I rather enjoyed Invasive Procedures.

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MrSquicky
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I think the odds are good that pyro is legitimate. We've had many, many people come here over the years whose initial posts were about how they were disappointed by OSC's fiction or political writings.

I don't think this is necessarily a wrong thing to do, but it's of limited benefit to anyone. Of the posters who have stuck around after their initial posts, they've all moved on to other topics. That would be my advice to pyro, if he wants to get something more out of this.

On OSC "selling out" to other authors, I'm fairly sure that's not the case. I think he is interested in different ways of telling stories and of integrating traditional writing with other media and of limited types of collaboration with other authors. While it would be silly to say that money play no role in this, I strongly doubt that that is OSC's main motivation.

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Herblay
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<<Previously posted disparaging comment has been removed. Though it may have been justified. Maybe.>>

[ October 20, 2010, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: Herblay ]

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kmbboots
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To respond to the OP, I don't think it is just you, but I don't think it is laziness either.
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JanitorBlade
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Herblay: Don't disparage other posters please.
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Lisa
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If I go to a forum and see these two choices:

Discussions About Orson Scott Card
Books, Films, Food and Culture

And I want to complain about OSC's writing, which forum will I do it in? Hmm, let me think about that...

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
I am a HEAVY user of another very specialized forum. It is a completely user generated forum with no real corporate ties, yet VAST amounts of money can be made or lost just from the opinions expressed in it. The reputations of whole businesses and people are made and crushed everyday in just a few posts.

What is this forum where vast fortunes are bestowed upon and taken away from the subjects at the whim of participants?

Sounds kinda unlikely, to me.

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Herblay
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
I am a HEAVY user of another very specialized forum. It is a completely user generated forum with no real corporate ties, yet VAST amounts of money can be made or lost just from the opinions expressed in it. The reputations of whole businesses and people are made and crushed everyday in just a few posts.

What is this forum where vast fortunes are bestowed upon and taken away from the subjects at the whim of participants?

Sounds kinda unlikely, to me.

No, wait . . . THAT is the board with the Real Locke and Demosthenes (TM). I had always figured that Hatrack was where I could find them hiding. Boy, was I wrong. . . .

The reputations of business and people are made in crushed in just a few posts? Nations and civilizations, you mean.

[Evil Laugh]

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Pyropuppy
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First off, please let explain my intentions for this thread. It was in no way meant to be an attack on Orson Scott Card's character. I was simply hoping for an intelligent debate of opinions, and to test the waters of this forum. I've been a member of several other forums in the past, and I've found the best way to get people talking is to spark a little controversy with the opening post. As I said in my initial post, Card is my favorite author, and that hasn't changed. I will continue to buy and read all of his books that I can, and will continue to be disappointed when the bookstores in my surrounding area have nothing new from him to offer. However, I do not want to see the quality decline like one of my favorite T.V. shows, Heroes. Being a member of a forum devoted to that show, I could also see a decline in the intelligent postings made as the series plummeted deeper and deeper into disarray. I thought that by creating a topic that people would feel passionately about, I could judge by the quality of postings whether or not Card's literary career was declining in the same manner. I am pleased to say that this thread was successful in its purpose, and that I am convinced that Card is still playing to an intelligent, free-thinking crowd that won't let him get away with too much mediocrity. Thank you, and I look forward to posting more on these forums as I am able.
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JanitorBlade
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Pyropuppy: Thank you for explaining your intentions. Your welcome to continue posting, my post was more a caution about jumping in in that fashion as there are people of a more surly nature who employ a similar strategy.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:


I really liked the Speaker series, in part because I interpreted it as Ender being an emotionally damaged hero. In my reading, he was still dealing with the massive trauma of the Bugger war. He was a genius with a massive wealth of empathy, but had some major flaws as well.

But then OSC writes Ender in Exile, where Ender is pretty much fine emotionally, so I get the feeling that what I saw as a masterful presentation of a flawed hero was just what I read into it, not an inherent part of the work.


Ender came across as less emotionally damaged in E in E to you? Between the Bugger obsession, the emotional manipulation of a teenage girl, and the implied subconscious death wish I'd say he was at his most disturbed.
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Kwea
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In that case Pyro.......Welcome!
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Danlo the Wild
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I thought Orson Scott Card was being mentally lazy when he wrote 'Barack Obama spits on the Constitution', but then I saw the youtube video where Barack Obama actually spits on the Constitution.
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