Saturday, July 08, 2006


ender's game, part iii

just started 'xenocide', the third book in the ender-focused half of the series. it's great--the series gets longer and longer the more i look around. i thought it only had five books total, but there are actually at least seven, PLUS some short stories.

i am terribly pleased.

also, apparently at least one other series of card's novels are also really good. (the alvin journeyman series, i think?) so i have a whole other series to look forward to when i'm done with this one.

i've been talking to anyone who'll listen about how much i'm in love with these books, and with 'ender's shadow' in particular. and in one conversation, someone who has read 'ender's game' and 'ender's shadow' told me that he had chosen not to read a few of the other books because people told him that they were too religious--they told him that card let too much of his religion get into his writing. so... a few issues with this.

a) i don't actually see much religion in the books they complained about. spirituality, yes. yes yes yes. but not religion, per se. and especially not anything that would lead me to believe that the author is a devote *mormon*, which apparently he is. the themes of the books in question ('speaker for the dead' and 'xenocide') concern relationships between alien cultures, the innate drive of living things to reproduce themselves, communication without prejudice, and so forth. very much about race relations and universal respect and whatnot. i mean, i can tell the author is way more okay with population explosions than i am, but he's playing with these themes in an ideal future where land is not an issue (i.e. the environment isn't being destroyed), so i'm okay with it. but the various races in the books all have very different spiritual practices, and none of them are protestant.

b) since when is an author not *allowed* to let his religious beliefs influence his writing?!? it was my impression that one generally writes fiction *specifically* in order to explain and explore one's beliefs, theories, or experiences. sheesh.

c-ish) science fiction in particular is a medium that is embraced in large part because it allows for thinly veiled explorations of ideals and possibilities. eco-sF... feminist sF... sub-genres have been delineated that demonstrate the philosophical nature of this form of fiction.

d) back to my recurring rant about 'progressives'' prejudice against christianity... why do they (we) avoid anything that endorses, even just implicitly, christianity? in this case i felt myself reacting too, when i heard the word MORMON. cuz mormon's are crazy, right? riiiiight. so i'm getting a good dose of proof that i'm as retardedly judgmental as anyone. this author is phenomenal; i agree with most of his sentiments and admire his mental meanderings; but i'm now reading him with a full helping of salt because i found out the name of his denomination and i don't want to be...what?...indoctrinated? am i afraid that he'll say something to convince me to become mormon? cuz THAT's likely.

i think i lost the thread of whatever argument i had planned. but if there's a point, it's that people are lame. except for maybe orson scott card.

pS. in no way do i blame the person who was told not to read the books in question for not reading them. he was told they were way too religious to be enjoyable, which is a fully valid reason to not read something. i just happen to think his friends were wrong, and if they can't handle spiritual explorations they probably shouldn't be reading science fiction. grr.

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