Ender's Game: The Book, The Movie, The Author, The Controversy
I read this book decades earlier, before the advent of social media and the ability to learn more about the writer than you might care to know. It is the only Orson Scott Card story that I have ever read and will ever read. I'm going to discuss my feelings about all the subjects listed in the title. Please be aware that these are simply my opinions. You may not agree and that is okay.
First, let us start with the story itself. Card is a talented writer, a man of rare talent. The story was engrossing, but also incredibly disturbing to me. Not only is the main character the hero of the story, he is also a victim of his parents, his siblings, his guardians and teachers. I gave it a 4 out of 5, but I also knew that I didn’t want to read anything else by the author. Inventive OSC may be, but there is a cruel streak that threads throughout his story, one I have no desire to be subjected to again.
It doesn’t surprise me that Hollywood would eventually make a film of this book. The popularity of the book as well as the increase in the interest in books that contain young adults or tweens who are thrust into an unwelcoming environment and survive made it a given it would happen. I’m only surprised that it took them this long to film it.
The controversy over the author’s personal beliefs has overshadowed the film’s premiere, with some groups calling for a boycott. OSC has been very vocal regarding his opinions of gays, gay marriage, and equal rights for gays. He is a practicing Mormon, but even for a Mormon he has been extremely anti-gay. His statements over the years haven’t simply been a case of his religious beliefs, they have been vicious and offensive beyond the norm. For a review of his many comments, see http://www.salon.com/2013/05/07/sci_fi_
I’ve never cared for people who spew their hatred freely. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect a certain level of commonsense. If one group of people are not given equal rights or have those rights taken away from them, it isn’t that farfetched to believe that those rights could be taken from others, including them, including me. And once those rights are taken away, it wouldn’t be that huge a leap to allow those in authority to actively persecute the group(s) who are considered less than normal, less than equal. Remember, it has happened over the centuries in countries all over the world, including ours. Nazi Germany may be the most infamous, but in our own country we have done it to Native Americans, blacks, the Irish, Asians, women, the mentally challenged.
Will I go to see the film? No. I cannot in good conscience put any money in the pockets of a man who is so uncaring about others. Believe me, if you chose to go to the film, if you continue to buy OSC’s books, I will not condemn you. That is a choice only you can make. But for me, sometimes the person and the art cannot be separated.