Friday Serious Post

I’ve never been more relived to see a Friday arrive! The week after coming back from vacation is always busy, but this week has been insane! I’m glad that it will soon be over.

I wanted to talk about something that has really been bothering me for a while now. I was reminded of it when I posted my Top Ten this past Tuesday. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to just shove aside, but to be honest, it’s really hard to do that now. Here’s my issue:

I was expecting to be flamed when I mentioned that Ender’s Game was among my favorite books.

I was an Orson Scott Card fan for years. I was probably in middle school or early high school when I first read Ender’s Game, and although the rest of the books in that series were not as good as the first, his companion Shadow series was brilliant. I was very excited to meet him and get him to sign my copy of How to Write Fantasy and Science Fiction at a Bookmarks Festival. Part of my decision to attend UNC Greensboro was due to the fact that he had taught a genre writing class there in the past. I got to attend a writing workshop hosted by Card and a few other writers at Southern Virgina College. If you can’t tell yet, I really admired the guy.

I can’t say that anymore.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Card has come out publicly with some very harsh anti-gay sentiments. He has also made some down right ludicrous political statements, but it’s the bigotry that bothers me the most. Yes, I know this is America, and he is free to believe whatever he wants to believe, but some of the things he has said are incredibly mean. As a straight girl who has several gay friends, this is something that I cannot tolerate.

And don’t even bring up Card’s religious views. Yes, I know he’s Mormon, but you know what? So was I. I was born and raised in the Mormon Church, and  have several close family members who are still active members of that faith. While I no longer believe in its tenants, I know for a fact that 99% of them do not believe anything like what Card is saying. He is just an incredibly vocal minority with a soap box to stand on because of his fame as a writer.

My point is this – I didn’t know anything about Card’s views back when I first began almost hero worshiping him. And now I feel almost ashamed to say that one of his books is one of my favorite books of all time. But this is the issue: should Card’s public persona reflect how I feel about his fiction? I still think that Ender’s Game is an amazing book, with a plot twist ending that still shocks me every time I read it.

Do I like Orson Scott Card as a person anymore? Not in the least. Do I like Orson Scott Card as an author? Um, kinda. Yeah.

See why I’m torn?

So here’s what I would like to do. Let’s have a discussion about this, since I know many of you who follow this blog are avid readers and writers. Do your personal feelings about an author color your feelings about their work? Have any of you had this problem?

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4 thoughts on “Friday Serious Post

  1. I think it would depend on just how disgusted I was with his views – and as someone who is extremely supportive of gay rights, this is pretty bad. It’s not a problem I’ve ever had with an author before, but I had another friend once who stopped reading Marion Zimmer Bradley because of some stuff that came out about her.

    As I’ve only ever read one book by him, it’s not a particular problem for me in this instance. Now if someone like Mercedes Lackey or Chloe Neill came out and said something like this, I might have some problems.

    • Exactly. If something like this came out about Chloe Neill, for example, would you still feel comfortable reading her books? That’s my main issue. How do you disconnect the two? Or should you disconnect them?

      • It’s a difficult line to draw – although I *do* think there SHOULD be a line. I mean, obviously if I know something like that in advance, then more than likely I won’t start reading that author’s work. However, if it’s an established author whose work I’ve fallen in love with, it’s harder to decide. I think it would depend on just how abhorrent I found their opinions. If it was simply that the author was against gay marriage for whatever reason – but didn’t make a spectacle of themselves over it or use their writing as a platform for pushing that belief, then I’d probably continue reading the books, even though I’m a firm supporter of gay rights.

        On the other hand, if they were violently outspoken about it, and spread propaganda everywhere, and used their writing to further their aims, I’d probably stop reading and purchasing their work.

        Even if the line is drawn, it’s going to be fuzzy and gray, and vary from situation to situation.

  2. Pingback: Movie Review: Ender’s Game | Life With No Plot

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