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I found Last's piece at:

Card did indeed write some good sci-fi, if you like that sort of thing. He's kind of off the rails now though.


Card is a fine sci-fi writer with much insight into human behavior. However, he is also a Mormon and that comes through loud and clear. The cult guides his every thought and ultimately I gave up reading him because I couldn't stomach his religious pontificating. Something about religious whackos that makes them believe only they understand the truth and his views come from a very skewed perspective.


One of my biggest current cognitive dissonances is knowing that Card is a pseudo-fascist while loving his books (big fan of the Ender series) and giving them to my son to read.

My second biggest was enjoying the audio-version of The Plot Against America by Philip Roth as read by....Ron Silver!


(He really, really, truly sucked at it too. His range of voices runs from a sort-of-New-York-Jewish accent to a less-sort-of-New-York-Jewish accent.)

harry near indy

i try to do two things in my life.

one, i don't read, let alone follow, the political viewpoints of artists.

two, i don't read/see/hear the artistic products of politicians and government officials.


Ah, the separation of Art and State! A wise division.


Aieeee! O.S. Card - I, too, liked "Ender's Game", and the one after that, and then I sorta gave up - I don't think I finished the 3rd one - the spring was drying up. I figured (before checking him out), that Card might be a libertarian, as that is not unusual among SF writers (Gene Wolfe leans that way, tho his background is RC). Card just seemed retrograde, and he was getting more polemical.
That's that.
However - I noticed in the thread at PZ's that you, LM, cited "Buckaroo Banzai" - and I must come forward and testify before the multitude that that is one of my (and my brother's) All Time Faves. "Laugh(a) while you can, Monkey Boy!"


I just went a looked at the OSC link at, and, as I've been thinking a lot about Tolkien lately (in a Comp Lit sort of way), I wonder why they never got on JRRT's ass. I mean, there's no mention of any church or creed or worship for the hobbits; dwarves venerate their ancestors; Elves praise and venerate the being who made the stars (Varda, and - ahem - other names...), but they don't make temples to her. The Numenoreans fall (under Sauron's influence) very much because they start to establish rites and temples and practices that they are falsely persuaded will change their fate - that is, to live out their lives and die. Faith, per se, has nothing to do with living virtuously in Middle-Earth - right action is all, and sufficient.

roy edroso

So Orson Card and Star Wars have finally intersected? My Lord and My God, My Jesus mercy.


A fun story about Orson Scott Card.

He is a member of a group of SF writers who annually get together to critique their current work and hang out with each other. The first night the writers just sit in the host's home drinking and chatting, relaxing after their however-long trip.

Since Card doesn't drink (being a Mormon), he sits in a quiet place in the person's house, writing stories.

In the morning, all the other writers are hung over and moving slowly, and Card is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed without the help of coffee (also a Mormon no-no, ready to critique. According to recounted statements, it earns Card a healthy dousing of whatever is for breakfast.

He is a fantastic writer though, and his Alvin Maker series is loads of fun (although obviously Mormon). If you are going to not read fiction because it might touch on the author's religious/ideological beliefs, I worry that there isn't much for you to read. Certainly don't go near Heinlein or Clarke, that's for sure.


I wrote about this the other day.

Card: "In a way, this is kind of bittersweet. It shows that the universal hunger for meaning is still prevalent, even in our agnostic era, which is encouraging; but these true believers will eventually realize that the philosophy behind Star Wars is every bit as sophisticated as the science — in other words, mostly wrong and always silly."

Completely unlike Christianity, which asserts that a man born of a virgin died and came back from the dead. Or, even sillier, that a man in early America translated four golden tablets that were written in a language that only he could read that he was directed to by one of the original Native Americans - who were originally white because they were actually from Israel.

JD Rhoades

a man in early America translated four golden tablets that were written in a language that only he could read that he was directed to by one of the original Native Americans - who were originally white because they were actually from Israel.

Joseph Smith was called a prophet, dum dum dum-dum dum...

Uncle Kvetch

The French think it's an anti-Bush propaganda piece too.

Not to pick nits, but "the French" don't "think" anything. There are 61 million of them, and they tend to think a whole range of things on any given issue.

Unless you're comfortable with saying that "the Americans" must love GWB, since "they" reelected him last year.

Otherwise, great (and highly depressing) piece.


"Not to pick nits, but "the French" don't "think" anything. There are 61 million of them, and they tend to think a whole range of things on any given issue."

Actually, they had a plebiscite on this and it received 100% of the vote.

Next week they are voting to decide if "Cinderalla Man" is actually a refutation of Nietzche, or, if it is in fact a biography of Jim Braddock.


For those of you that like Card's Ender books, there's an insightful essay you should read. For myself, I used to be a fan of his early work, but he hasn't written anything new for the past 10 years - just religious propaganda masquerading as fiction.


I find it odd that Card would write this, as I'm sure every Sunday at church he's learning about how doing the right thing does not mean always following a set of hard-and-fast rules. In the LDS scriptures there are examples of instances where people were inspired to do things that may be technically against the "rules". Jesus taught this principle forcefully; an example that springs to mind is sabbath observance but there are many others.

In fact, tyranny begins and ends with people not serving the greater good for the sake of following the rules. This theme is prevalent in the Star Wars movies, and it's a lesson that I think bears repeating. Of course, those who feel the rulebook is more important than the intentions of the people who wrote it will disagree. Because once you establish the primacy of the rulebook, then it becomes a contest to see who's best at _interpreting_ the rulebook, at which point the original intention of the whole thing is morphed into a worthless intellectual exercise to see who understands the rules better than the next guy. At that point ego takes over, and so does tyranny, and it all dissolves into competing cults of personality.

I dunno, but I've always felt that the Force represented the greater good that was larger than any one man while the Sith represented what happens when some people pretend they understand the Force better than anyone else and therefore everyone should bow to them.


What I love is that Darth Sidious goes on to rule the galaxy approximately like Saddam ruled Iraq. So by "rehabilitating" him, the tighty-righties (whose tighty-whities are definitely toooo tight) show their support for Saddam (whose tighty-whities seem old, ragged and loose).

The Bobs

Lucas got the idea for Star Wars from Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." This is not speculation, Lucas openly admits it. He has long been a fan of Campbell's work. Indeed, he sponsored the "Power of Myth" series that ran on PBS in the 1980's. The characters in the stories are Lucas' version of the archetypes which Campbell believes occur in all cultures.


I think this is tangentially related--an essay I wrote on OSC's moral vision. Just FYI



I think this is tangentially related--an essay I wrote on OSC's moral vision. Just FYI



Card: "It’s one thing to put your faith in a religion founded by a real person who claimed divine revelation, but it’s something else entirely to have, as the scripture of your religion, a storyline that you know was made up by a very nonprophetic human being."

LOL! The irony!


these idiots blame Rorschach himself for what they see in ink blots

Milo Johnson

You just have to laugh at the idiocy of it all, don't you? My question is, if these right-wing Nutzi idiots like Card think that "Star Wars" is anti-Bush and was written about our current quest for military hegemony, what in the world do they think of "Dune?"

Elizabeth D

This is very good commentary, and I say that as someone who knows Star Wars inside out.

I saw OSC's article on Beliefnet yesterday and my reaction was revulsion that they would still let Card publish anything on their site. I didn't read the article as I had been so appalled by the hateful rants he had written for Beliefnet (a genuinely diverse religion site run by a liberal Jew) a few years back. Some types of opinions really, really do not deserve a forum.

So I am interested to read this summary of what Card said... and I'm almost rethinking my condemnation of his reappearance on Beliefnet. It's really too awful-delicious to see some of these real-life Sith trying to demonize the Jedi, who stand for selfless love, and rehabilitate the image of the Sith, who stand for total greed and wrath.

It's the exact analogue of Ann Coulter "rehabilitating" mccarthyism and Michelle Malkin "rehabilitating" the internment camps for Japanese-Americans. They WILL be popularizing the rehabilitation of the Nazis next. Making Darth Sidious, who represents in Star Wars the devil himself, unredeemable total evil, into a sympathetic character is just a warm-up for Hitler's makeover.

Paul Atreides

You're all wrong. Lucas claimed the Joseph Campbell crap because he was afraid of getting sued by Frank Herbert for his obvious pilfering (and bastardization) of plot and themes from the Dune novels. Dune, the book, preceeded Star Wars by a decade. It was enormously popular...and lets face it, Lucas is a talentless hack. Just some of the things Lucas lifted from Herbert: desert planet, spice mines, bene gesserit[i.e., the Jedi], boy-man to hero. Of course Lucas' is elementary school level in terms of theme and philosophy.

Why do you think a purist like David Lynch turned down Empire Strikes Back to write/direct the film version of Dune?

Dana Blankenhorn

Hard to believe this is the same Card who performed the "Secular Humanist Revival Meeting" 20 years ago. I have a sequel I can offer to anyone who wants to e-mail me for it.


and we all know how well the Dune movie turned out!


Yeah, Lynch's Dune movie was total loss, a giant steaming turd. But that probably misses Paul Atreides point.


Harlan Ellison pegged Ender's Game decades ago, but I could find no link to it.

The Old Anarchist

Thanks for this post---really quite brilliant.

A question, though, about your brother Larry. Did he, by chance, once live in the Gary, Indiana area? If it's the same Larry Mannion (and I doubt the name is that common), then I believe he and my Aunt Mary have been friends since the late '60s. It'd be an interesting coincidence if it's the same guy.

Thanks again for the post.

Steve in CO

I loved the Ender series... and I became aware of his "religion," sometime after reading the first two books... but what I find simply, and laughably naive and hypocritical on the author's part (despite his obvious inteligence) is his condemnation as immoral the Clinton administration's bombing of Afghanistan and The Sudan following the embassy bombings in Africa (Al-Qaeda's largest attack at the time).

Now he's defending Bush by bashing a banal and childish sci-fi movie? How the man's head just doesn't explode in a shower of blood and brain matter due to the cognitive dissonance is anyone's I guess...

Jaime Frontero

Good Lord! Star Wars is the Lensman series, by Doc Smith. Dune? Joseph Campbell? Go back a little further, peeps.



Herbert apparently referenced Campbell's book too, so that might account for some of it. But I take atreides point, the whole thing is a rip off of dune-RotS is an extremely dumbed down version of the plot of Dune Messiah, where the hero dreams of his lover's death and lets it happen because the alternatives are worse, for her and for humanity in general. There are even superhuman twin babies in it. It just goes to show the truth you can buy with a few billion dollars in ticket receipts eh? Scary it is.


As if any ideas in contemporary sci-fi are all that original, for Pete's sake. Interstellar warfare? Psychic powers? Wow, that was such an original idea of Frank Herbert's, or Doc Smith's for that matter. Grow up. Or grow down. If Herbert or his fans want to cry so many tears about what is frankly one of the more overrated sf/fantasy franchises of all time, he/they had the opportunity to make money (Oh, they did, until the selfsame David Lynch pissed it away, although "Frank"-ly it should never have been compressed into a feature film).

Anyway, there are two major errors Card makes:

1) The deleted Biggs scenes in Episode IV, where he warns Luke, "They're starting to nationalize commerce in the outlying systems. Soon your father will be just another slave to the greater glory of the Empire." Does this not recall the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture? The Empire isn't just Nazi, it's Stalinist. Do conservatives wish to clutch this to their breasts now?

2) Vader does not refuse to murder his son ... he changes his mind about continuing to acquiesce in the Emperor's slow killing of Luke (which has happened — again, recall Stalin's USSR, where his intimates were required to acquiesce in the arrests and often execution of their friends and family as a test of their loyalty).


On Card, you should also read this turd:

On Dune,

there was a saying, but I can't recall it completely: "those who want to fight [some book], are doomed to fight "Dune""?


An interesting post about Card is here:


There were extremely excellent and the best scenes in the movie "Revenge of the Sith".
Good originality and great imagination, great story in this movie!
Here's Photo gallery for Hayden Christensen(Anakin) of this movie.
I love Star Wars series the most!

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