Card Revisited

Orson Scott Card

It’s been brought to my attention that, in a previous post, I might come off as somewhat unkind to Orson Scott Card. That certainly wasn’t my intent. I’ve only read a few of his works, but I admit that what I’ve read so far has impressed me. Here’s why.

Ender’s Game

As far as I’m aware, this is pretty much Card’s seminal work. The presentation of the Battle School, Ender’s struggle as a ‘Third’, the characterization of Peter and the way in which the story ended broke a few rules and wrote some new ones. I recommend that anybody interested in writing speculative fiction in either the short or long form read this book if they haven’t already. It’s full of realistic characters, a well-realized future for humanity that’s within reason, and some pretty riveting conversation. Ender’s one very intense kid.

Enchantment

Orson Scott Card probably isn’t a name that springs to mind when you think of period romance or high adventure. However, Enchantment does a very good job of blending these elements. It’s Sleeping Beauty meets A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court with the legend of Baba Yaga mixed in for good measure. Along the lines of Ender’s Game, this is well worth the reading if you’re a fan of or interested in writing fantasy stories or romances.

Ultimate Iron Man

Marvel’s Ultimate universe is a darker, grittier version of the one with which most are familiar. In that universe, Tony Stark isn’t just a genius, he’s a genius with his brain matter distributed evenly throughout his body. The downside of this is that he has nearly constant pain from contact with everything around him due to the over-stimulation of his neural tissue. Card pens the two mini-series (also available as graphic novels) that bring us through his difficult birth and childhood through the early uses of the Iron Man armor that place him, along with Captain America and Thor, among the ranks of the Ultimates, which is what that universe called their Avengers. Card’s pacing and powerful dialog are here along with some striking artwork.

So yeah, he’s sparing in his descriptions. That’s because the room is taken up with awesome characterization and conversations.

Ignore his politics. Focus on his prose. It’s worth reading.

3 Comments

  1. Ignore his politics. Focus on his prose. It’s worth reading.

    Screw that. Card is a hatemongering, fearmongering, warmongering bastard. Simply being good at something doesn’t make up for that. I’m not going to ignore his politics just because he happens to be a half-decent writer.

    There’s better and less offensive authors out there.

  2. That is exactly how I feel about Card – I find his works to be amazing, and his book “Characters and Viewpoint” is amazingly good. Politics wise… yeah, I know what you mean. However, I think my reaction to his politics is just another example of how we’ve let the machine run out of control in out society.

  3. I”m not a fan of his Iron Man series. He turned Ultimate Iron Man into a giant living brain. The cancer story arc was more interesting to me.

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