Previously, I extolled the work of Ms. Lindsay Ellis, The Nostalgia Chick. You can find that blog post here.

Lindsay Ellis, The Nostalgia Chick (Copyright Lindsay Ellis, 2012)

Recently, she tackled a science fiction classic and, by extension, its author. Respectively, they are the novel “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Published in 1985 and having spawned into several series of books by him and adaptations into such media as comics and a forthcoming film (set for release in 2013),  this book and its sequels have a devoted following, which also comes into play in her recent review. Which you can see here:

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/team-nchick/nostalgia-chick/36063-enders-game#content

I was going to post the following in the comments, but my reply grew as I wrote and I decided to post it here. The comments section, in case you didn’t read any of it, has become a pitched battleground, with arguments ranging from defenders of Card and anti-gay sentiments to defenders of the books who condemn Card nonetheless and support gay rights and freedoms. I have this blog, so responding here means my thoughts won’t get lost in the mire there.

Here’s what  I had to say:

“Lindsay, this could be your best piece yet.

You handled a sensitive topic, one bound to incite passionate discussion, and cut through the waves of personal, political, religious and social indignation like a blade. You addressed the opposing viewpoints clearly and concisely, expressing your opinion without the heavy-handed self-righteousness of many bloggers and pundants. And as always, you educate on the issue, combating ignorance not by raising a weapon or your voice to simply drown out discussion, but by raising the quality of your argument and your viewer’s awareness.

Sadly, much of that will go over some people’s heads, as they wallow in (to quote Isaac Asimov) “the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

I read Ender’s Game, but none of the others. I read it without knowing Card’s beliefs and even if I had remained unaware of them, I had no plan to read the rest of his books. I like to think I’m a thinking man, but I placed no allegory or historical parallel to the book. Every piece of fiction I read I do so first and foremost with the belief that story comes first. Allegory, metaphor, symbolism and all the intellectual idea-trapping English Lit teachers love so much, in my opinion, should always take a back seat to the story. The story in Ender’s Game was interesting for the most part and I did recognize the seemingly prophetic elements like bloggers, but I also think he seriously over-estimates the influence or impact one or two bloggers, no matter how profound, can have. The internet of today, unlike his speculation, is a sea of competing opinions. And whether they’re intelligently expressed or the ramblings of the dimwitted or crazy, all these opinions are more or less delivered onto a level playing field. I don’t think it’s possible, now or ever, for a political or sociological messiah to rise up from the blog-osphere to change the world. Yes, ideas are transmitted faster and wider, but now everyone’s opinions travel at the same speed, allowing no single viewpoint to really exceed anyone else’s.

The reason I didn’t plan to read the rest was partly the ending, which I felt was rushed (I know he was setting up the next book, I just don’t think he did it well) and partly because I felt the book was only alright. I read it only a few years ago. It took a while to draw me in and when it it did, it was compelling, but the end sort of spat me out and I felt no desire to know what happened next. I still don’t. Maybe it’s my loss.

In light of what I now know of the author, thanks to your review and the writings of others, I’m not sure I could read the sequels and separate what I know of Card and simply try to enjoy the book the way I did with “Ender’s Game.”

I’m glad I read it under the circumstances of not seeing the man behind the curtain. It’s unfortunate that a good book was written by a man who, in real life, believes what he does. Perhaps, in years to come, after he is gone, the book can step out of that shadow permanently and stand on its own, seen as a significant work by a flawed man.”

This is the cover of the edition I own. Yes, I own it, despite Card’s painfully ignorant views. It’s not the book’s fault its author is…him. (Copyright Tor Books, 1985)

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