Orson Scott Card is Oh So Cool


So, I’ve been reading Orson Scott Card‘s Ender series for the last couple of months. I finished Ender’s Game on audio book about a year ago; Josh and I listened to it while traveling to and from the Klamath River in Northern California. It was really really good, but I wasn’t at a point in my geekness that I was willing to read the rest of the series. Not that I didn’t want to, I just knew that to read other books would be admitting that I was a much larger geek than I wanted to be. And I just couldn’t face that possibility at the time.
The problem is, we kept talking about Ender all year long. We’d hit a situation in life and be like, “I wonder what Ender would do in this situation.” So, I caved a couple of months ago and just bought the rest of the books in the series (when I also learned that Sci-Fi books are WAY cheaper than the metaphorical literary-award novels I usually read).
So, I finished Speaker For the Dead and Xenocide and am now on to Children of the Mind. That will finish off this part of the series, that is until Card finishes another book, Ender in Exile: Ganges. As soon as I’m done with Children of the Mind, I’m straight on to the parallel series that features Bean (a friend of Ender’s in battle school). Those books are: Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, and finally, the yet-to-be-published Shadows in Flight.
After that, I think I’ll check out his Women of Genesis series just to see how he handles a non-fantasy, biblical scenario.
My favorite part about Orson Scott Card is that he not only is exceptional at weaving complex, futuristic stories together, but that he actually has some pretty interesting philosophy built into his books. They aren’t the kind of books where you’re only entertained, you are forced to look at ethics and arguments and points-of-view. And it stretches you if you let it. I actually read an article that said that Card started off getting major sci-fi fans for Ender’s Game, but ended up losing some of those people because he had a tendency to get too philosophical. But, he picked up a whole different crowd of readers who were curious about possible ethical dilemmas that could present themselves in the future.
Wikipedia gave this Orson Scott Card quote; explaining why he is so focused on intense characterization & moral issues: “We care about moral issues, nobility, decency, happiness, goodness—the issues that matter in the real world, but which can only be addressed, in their purity, in fiction.”
Anyway, just thought I’d share that I’m totally digging this series and can’t put the books down. It’s painful to be reading books for my graduate classes about statistical analysis of data when you’d rather be finding out if they’re actually going to blow up that planet or not. I hope they don’t. It’s such a neat little planet….