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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Orson Scott Card Responds to "Ender's Game" Boycott

By Dave Bouressa

Ender's Game author, Orson Scott Card, has certainly made a name for himself among the geek culture-and not for the better. Card has gone out of his way of late to make his anti-gay beliefs known to the world, and many people aren't having it.

In fact, Card has already been banned from the Ender's Game Panel at San Diego Comic Con by Summit Entertainment, as to prevent not only a scene at the convention, but to prevent harming the reputation of their film.

Perhaps Summit Entertainment has the right idea, because although the film does not come out for another five months, there seems to already be a boycott of the film.

Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card’s 1985 bestseller, is now a major motion picture from Summit Entertainment, opening Friday, November 1, 2013. Even as the film’s marketing campaign scrambles to distance the film from the author’s controversial reputation, Summit is angling Ender’s Game to be the next big sci-fi blockbuster, potentially making an all-new fortune for NOM-board member Card.
Skip Ender’s Game is a call to action. Do NOT see this movie! Do not buy a ticket at the theater, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand. Ignore all merchandise and toys. However much you may have admired his books, keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets.

Although I disagree with Card's views, I feel that this boycott is misguided. All you are doing is damaging the work of some very talented actors, and tarnishing a great story. I don't care if Adolf Hitler wrote a book, if it's a good book, I want to read it! If J.K. Rowling drowned puppies in her spare time, would that ruin Harry Potter for you? No! Because it's a great book series with a great film series adaptation. As someone who has reading low on their "things to do when bored" list, Ender's Game was fortunately one of the few books to cross my path, and after a fairly slow build-up, I could not put it down. For those who don't know, it is essentially Starship Troopers meets The Matrix meets Full Metal Jacket-but with kids. If that doesn't peek your interest, I don't know what will. 

And of course, this petition has not gone unnoticed. In response to all the negative backlash, Card has finally spoken up.

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot.  The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.
Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute. 

There you have it. I love the gays as much as everyone else, but for crying out loud, go see Ender's Game. You're honestly doing yourself a disservice by missing out on it. Yes, Card has some issues with the gays, but the movie/book has nothing to do with those issues, so the entire boycott is completely misguided.

Besides, it's Harrison Ford in space again! Star Wars Episode VII is right around the corner, so consider this your teaser for Han Solo returning to the screen again. (Fun fact: I had my brother convinced for the first 45 seconds or so that this was the trailer for Episode VII)

Ender's Game comes out November 1st, 2013. 


  1. I understand saying that a book should be read for enjoyment, but I also find it pretty naive to think that a book written by a person with extremely strong convictions wouldn't contain some subtext. Admittedly, I haven't read Ender's Game in a very long time, but when I reread Speaker for the Dead a year or so ago I was quite alarmed at some of the bizarre ways Card's ideology had seeped in.

    In Speaker, Card consistently pairs his characters up in sexless, heterosexual relationships. Brother and sister, man and for-some-unexplained-reason-female computer, more brother and sister, new man gets the for-some-unexplained-reason-female computer... Not to mention he seems to have some very rigid views on sex and gender; virtually every of age woman must eventually take on a mothering role. The exception being the computer-girl who gets presented to her new companion in a very strange and sexualized scene - but she's virtual so there can't be any sex (Thank good-ness!)! What's worse is his aliens all magnify this concept where their biology is literally their destiny (which I won't go into further because it becomes a huge spoiler).

    Long story short, some subtext isn't coincidental. I don't mind people reading the books and watching the movie, even though I would definitely prefer NOT to give this man royalties, but I believe that a critical eye should always be applied and one should always be aware of what the author is trying to say.