Orson Scott Card

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Orson Scott Card is a science fiction author, best known for the book Ender's Game and its Spin-Offs. Card is the only author to have won both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award in consecutive years; the books that achieved this are Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, respectively. A movie adaptation of Ender's Game was released in 2013.

He teaches creative writing at Southern Virginia University, where he works with colleagues to change the paradigm for English and Writing education methods. He also runs an invitation-only annual "boot camp" for writers, of which some participants have gone on to successful writing careers. He has dedicated large amounts of his time to assisting aspiring writers, and those who have been lucky enough to be taught by him often cite him as a contributor to their success. He is also a Browncoat. According to his blog, he is also a fan of animated films, as well as Avatar: The Last Airbender after being convinced to watch it by his daughter. He has since commented in a newspaper article that Cowboy Bebop was better than "all but a handful" of sci-fi films.

He is a practicing Mormon, and dabbles in LDS fiction alongside his better-known sci-fi.

While genuinely famous for his novels, Card's place in recent science-fiction news can be traced in part to his political views, and particularly his beliefs about homosexuality. Politics have begun to creep into his published fiction, most notably in Orson Scott Card's Empire.

Works written by Orson Scott Card include:


Card's most well-known series, mostly due the the first book Ender's Game. The series branches off from there:

  • Following Ender are Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of The Mind, and Ender in Exile
  • Following Bean and Peter Wiggin: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant

Homecoming Saga

A fictionalized account of 1st and 2nd Nephi, and Alma from The Book Of Mormon. From a Mormon perspective the Homecoming Saga is semi-historical fiction set In Space.

Worthing Saga

An intergalactic story on a similar scale to the Dune universe. Originally composed of short stories and then later collected into a (more-or-less) coherent narrative. They center around Jason Worthing, The Empire's most famous space pilot -- and its most dangerous one, primarily because he has "the Swipe." His Trickster Mentor, Abner Doon, sends him out to found a new colony while he quietly causes The Empire (and thus the known universe) to collapse back into the Dark Ages. Worthing's colony eventually develops into a telepathic powerhouse who consider themselves guardian angels of the human race, removing memories of suffering and pain with their out-of-control powers. Jason makes them cut it out, which is where the events of the first novel start.

  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Jason gives a long list of all the bad things he's never done, but remembers anyway because others did them.
  • Complete Monster: Jason's father is remembered as such--he destroyed an entire planet.
  • Contemptible Cover: Even Card hated the original one.
  • Continuity Reboot: Many of the plots in the novel were set up in earlier short stories, but Card didn't have access to those stories when writing the novel, so details are noticeably different. He later got them again, and included the ones he liked in one edition of the novel as a sort of Alternate Continuity (the rest are now Canon Discontinuity.)
  • Human Popsicle: in addition to being used for colony ships, it is also used by non-migratory citizens. In fact, it's a status symbol in the empire: the more valuable you are to it, the more you stay frozen.
    • Cryonics Failure: not only are some of the colonists killed, but the remainder all have their personalities, which have to be stored on hard disk prior to cryo, wiped—leaving Jason the task of singlehandedly raising 99 adult-sized kids. (Oh, and the one guy whose personality did survive? Jason's Arch Enemy.)
  • Mind Probe
  • Morton's Fork When Jason is suspected of having the Swipe, he's tested on three extremely hard astronomy problems, two of which his examiner knows the answers to and the third of which nobody has solved yet. He's really, really smart, so he solves the first two and gets partway through the third without using the Swipe at all. They try to kill him anyway, figuring he must have done something inhuman to achieve as much as he did. (One assumes that, given his previously established intelligence, if he'd done badly they would have assumed he was doing so deliberately and something was up, so there really was no way out here.)
  • Psychic Powers
  • Single Biome Planet: Capitol, a planet-wide city ("ecumenopolis") like Coruscant and Trantor
    • One of the short stories details how it got to be that way. It turns out it had quite vibrant plant life, before the construction completely wiped it out.
  • Superpowerful Genetics
  • The Verse

The Tales of Alvin Maker

A fantasy/Alternate History series set in an alternate America where folk magic works.

Orson Scott Card's Empire

A tie-in to the Shadow Complex video game. The series is a political what if? story where a secret conspiracy plots to plunge America into a second Civil War based on Red vs. Blue state politics.

The Women of Genesis series

Historical fiction, leaning more towards fictional. These books are novelized accounts of the lives of women in the first book of the Bible (namely Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel). While they stay as true to the Biblical account as possible, they include many details that were invented for the novels.

Stone Tables, a fictionalized account of Moses, is often included with these books despite being written far earlier in his career (and of course not being about a woman- although Moses' wife makes a significant impact on the book).

Other works

  • A Planet Called Treason: A group of people are banished to the planet Treason after attempting to create a meritocracy within The Republic. Being a metal-poor planet, the people of Treason have to barter with "Ambassadors", teleporters connected to The Republic, in an attempt to gain the precious iron with which they hope to build a starship with and escape their banishment.
  • Scott Card also worked a brief writer's tenure at LucasArts, writing dialogue for some of their games, including The Dig and the swordfighting insults in Monkey Island. (Technically, this makes him the Trope Namer for "You Fight Like a Cow".)
  • He also helped write the story for the Xbox/PC game, Advent Rising.
  • Ultimate Iron Man. Seriously. It's generally hated by fans, but not for its actual quality (which is decent) but rather because its Tony Stark barely resembles the other writer's Tony Stark.
    • Also, it probably wasn't a good idea for a Mormon to try to write a sympathetic alchoholic character's backstory - Tony is warned by his father not to drink, has one sip of champagne at a party and is immediately intoxicated and addicted. At least it's explained by Technobabble.
  • Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus: One of the few very good Time Travel Speculative Fiction novels. The future culture realizes that it's too late to save Earth's habitability because of the damage already done by industry and war. They use devices able to see the past in order to determine the exact moment in history where they could perhaps alter course and prevent eventual disaster. Notable in that they acknowledge that they only get one chance to send people back in time, because their present will instantly vanish once they change the timestream.
    • Pastwatch is notable for being a total inversion of the Noble Savage trope; it speculates on Europe's conquering of the Americas actually being a good thing, since it prevents the rise of a powerful culture dedicated to human sacrifice.
    • At least two more books are planned for the series, covering the Biblical Flood and The Garden of Eden, events alluded to in parts of the first book's backstory explaining why they made the changes they did.
      • The Flood was covered in the short story "Atlantis", included in the most recent collection of Card's stories, Keeper of Dreams.
  • Enchantment, a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty. (Not to be confused with the Disney film Enchanted.)
  • Lost Boys, an entertaining yarn about a game developer trying to reestablish himself in the industry while his son and his friends are somehow able to play next-gen games on the computer despite the hardware being nowhere near up to supporting it. It turns out that the son, and all of his friends in the neighborhood, were murdered by a neighbor and now exist as ghosts.
  • Card co-wrote the Dragon Age six-issue comic book miniseries with Aaron Johnstone.
  • Songmaster Pedophiles IN SPACE!
  • The Lost Gate which expands the world found in his short fiction "Stonefather," creating the Mithermage series. It has a magic system that's supposed to explain everything, including mythology and ghosts. Turns out they're from another planet called Westil, but they've all gotten stranded on Earth since Loki closed all of the Gates that let them get back and forth.
  • Pathfinder, another first novel in a new series. It takes place on a world called Garden and follows a boy named Rigg who can see people's paths as he tries to find his mother after his father dies. There's also a side story about a first attempt at faster than light travel with strange side effects.
  • Saints, An Author Tract about Mormanism set in Victorian England and America.
  • Hamlet's Father, Card's reimagining of Hamlet. Infamously known as one of the more extreme examples of Scott Card's private beliefs seeping into his work.