Discussion: Ender’s Game and the Film Boycott

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If you haven’t heard by now, people are planning to boycott the film version of Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game. The movie comes out in November, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve been excited for this film since I first read the book some 15+ years ago. That being said, I deplore Card’s politics and how he spends his money. The interwebs are currently filled with passionate pleas and some downright virulent opinions about those who pay to watch Ender’s Game. I would hate to fund Card’s beliefs, but I’d also hate not seeing the film version of my favorite novel of ALL TIME. Plus, it would suck for the child actors in this film to be affected by a low grossing box office. My feelings are complicated. In real life, my friends all tell me to stop reading the internet and go see the movie (including all of my gay friends).

So my question this lovely Friday, what are your feelings about the controversy? Are you planning on seeing the movie? If you see the film, are you thinking about making a donation to a particular group or charity that fights against such crazies as OSC? Or perhaps you might even side with OSC and his beliefs? No matter – just let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Empire by Orson Scott Card

You first have to understand that Orson Scott Card wrote one of my favorite books of all time – Ender’s Game.  I actually read Ender’s Game as part of my ninth grade curriculum and have reread the novel a couple of times since – plus, I finished the Ender’s Saga a couple of years ago (there are three additional books in the series).  In a way, I kind of view Ender Wiggins as my Harry Potter.  That being said, Empire is no Ender’s Game.

Card was asked to create a world around a video game idea and thus, Empire was born.  We’re a bit into the future to the tune of a few years, not decades or centuries.  In the first few pages, the President and Vice President are both assassinated.  Before long, the US has found itself smack in the middle of a second civil war – this one being fought red vs. blue.  Instead of a boy genius, Card now has us following an old Delta command unit whose leader works an office job at the Pentagon in anti-terrorism.

Empire is political – you need to know that up front, and the politics are anything but balanced.  Sure, Card does occasionally try to argue both sides, liberal and conservative – but all too often these brief moments seem forced or merely an afterthought.  Writers are supposed to write what they know, right?  Card is very much a conservative so it comes as no surprise that the Liberals are the enemy – the bad guys.  I’d have been much more pleased if he had reversed the situation and removed the reader’s ability to say – boy, I sure saw that one coming.

The novel does highlight the duality and division of our country’s two-party system, the ugliness of war, and warns of something many Americans believe could never happen – another civil war.  The action is non-stop and the pages turn freely.  If you can divorce yourself from choosing sides or identifying with any one ideal, you can probably enjoy this book as a fun, sci-fi thriller.

I rated this book a 2/5 because I’m heavily biased.  Empire doesn’t come close to Ender’s brilliancy and the story just feels too choppy – kind of like someone wrote something because they were asked to, not because the idea grew organically in their own imagination (huh, imagine that!).  Plus, they killed my favorite character mid-way through the novel which left me kind of floundering to find someone else to believe in.  Boo!

A little warning – this book is the first in a series, so the ending will fall a bit short.  Also, I don’t plan on reading the next novel.  I’m beginning to get a bit peeved at everything having to be a series now-a-days.

Pages:  344

Year Publish:  2006

Next review:  The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne