05 May, 2009

Oh, Dear. Orson's Off His Meds

I like Orson Scott Card as a fiction writer. I do. He gave great advice to aspiring SF authors (well, aside from his uptight Mormon insistence that caffeine will make you a drugged-out hack, but that was only a paragraph and easily skipped). But when he babbles about things not pertaining to fiction, he's an utter ass:

You really must see the absolutely unhinged claims he makes about gay marriage in an article in the Mormon Times, wherein he calls for outright revolution if the government allows gays to get married.

Like this:

Marriage, to be worth preserving, needs to mean not just something, but everything.

Faithful sexual monogamy, persistence until death, male protection and providence for wife and children, female loyalty to children and husband, and parental discretion in child-rearing.

If government is going to meddle in this, it had better be to support marriage in general while providing protection for those caught in truly destructive marriages.

Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary.

And this:


How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

I don't think this is merely an artifact of an uptight Mormon upbringing. It sounds to me like someone's been hitting the teabags a little too heavily lately. Oh, and lacing them with hallucinogens. What was that about not doing drugs, Orson? Cuz rightwing hysteria's a pretty potent psychedelic, there, buddy. You might want to wean yourself off before you end up stripped naked and shooting at cops.

That would just be a bad end to an illustrious career.


Trevor said...

A number of years ago I got in to it in a local newspaper with Scott Card about his views on gay marriage. He maintained that he knew plenty of gay people who were happily married to opposite sex partners, and that it was a good thing.

I called him on it, and he replied with some condescending crap in the next issue. I responded by never buying another one of his books.

Cujo359 said...

I've never been a huge fan of Card's. What writing of his I've encountered has often seemed more like fantasy than science fiction. His having these dogmatic beliefs doesn't surprise me all that much.

lasthussar said...

He rants better than he writes. Read one book 20 years ago (magical old west farm hands son, or some such)- ok but no great shakes.

Rather read Pratchett- well written and nice snipes at religion.

Efrique said...

Card's strident and increasingly kookie anti-gay attacks made it impossible for me to enjoy his writing any more. I don't think I've read a thing he wrote in about 6 years or so.

[I enjoyed a number of his stories and books, but I eventually figured out he only writes short stories, no matter how many words they actually contain. But I can't bear to pick up his short story collection any more.]

Ironically enough, it was a gay friend who put me onto his work, waay back when (though I had managed to read the original Ender's Game short story myself earlier still without even thinking to look out for more).

Cujo is correct, he writes in the fantasy genre with (sometimes) SF-style settings. But that's not all that unusual - a fair bit of so-called SF is actually fantasy.

Chris said...

I read Ender's Game years ago and found it to be shallow and predictable - the kind of thing a kid would particularly enjoy after being told by his mom and dad that he wouldn't amount to anything by playing video games. For this reason I didn't see much promise that OSC would mature sufficiently to extrapolate the future implications of cutting edge science and technology. It therefore comes as no great shock to me that OSC would have no understanding of social evolution either.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

Looks like the server rejected his insane ravings.

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Colin Meier said...

You know, "Speaker for the Dead" was a really great novel about tolerance and compassion and understanding. And his prose style is deceptively simple.

But, after reading this (and assuming I can ever read his original article, which is refusing to come up) I'm tossing all of his books out now...I'd burn them if it didn't seem too religious-right.