Orson Scott Card (born August 24 1951) is a prolific and best-selling author of numerous genres.
Orson Scott Card often gives lectures to aspiring writers.
Card's launch in the publishing industry was with science fiction (Hot Sleep and Capitol) and later fantasy (Songmaster). He remains best known for the seminal Ender's Game, which has been among the most popular sci-fi novels ever since its publication in 1985. Both Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead were awarded both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, making Card the only author (as of 2004) ever to win both of sci-fi's top prizes in consecutive years. Card continues the series with Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and the 2005 release of Shadow of the Giant. Furthermore, Card recently announced that Ender's Game will soon be made into a movie.
He has since branched out into contemporary fiction, such as Lost Boys, Treasure Box and Enchantment. Other works demonstrating his versatility include the novelization of the James Cameron film The Abyss, the alternate histories The Tales of Alvin Maker and , Robota , a collaboration with Star Wars artist Doug Chiang, and the comic book Ultimate Iron Man for Marvel Comics' Ultimate Marvel Universe series.
His writing is dominated by detailed characterization and moral issues. As Card says, "We care about moral issues, nobility, decency, happiness, goodness—the issues that matter in the real world, but which can only be addressed, in their purity, in fiction."
Some of his novels, for example Stone Tables , about the life of the Biblical prophet Moses; his Women of Genesis trilogy; The Folk Of The Fringe stories; and Saints , about Latter-day Saint pioneers, have explicit religious themes. In his other writings, the influence of his Mormon beliefs is less obvious; Card's Homecoming and Alvin Maker sagas are partly retellings of the Book of Mormon and the life of LDS founder Joseph Smith, Jr.
Card was born in Richland, Washington; raised in California, Arizona, and Utah; served an LDS mission in Brazil; graduated from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah; and now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. He and his wife Kristine are the parents of five children: Geoffrey (a published author in his own right), Emily (who adapted his short story "A Sepulchre of Songs " to the stage in Posing as People ), Charlie Ben, Zina Margaret, and Erin Louisa. The children are named for the authors Chaucer, Brontė and Dickinson, Dickens, Mitchell, and Alcott.
In addition to his novels and short stories, Card has had an active career as a nonfiction writer. During the 1980s he wrote many technical articles and columns, primarily for Compute!'s Gazette and Ahoy! , two magazines covering Commodore home computers.
Card is also active as a political writer and speaker. Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks Card began to write a weekly "War Watch" (later renamed "World Watch") column for the Greensboro Rhino Times which is archived on Card's website. Although a self-described Democrat, Card is a vocal supporter of George W. Bush, the war on terror, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, U.S. support of Israel, while being publically opposed to Gay rights and action on global warming.
- "I wonder sometimes if the motivation for writers ought to be contempt, not admiration." (from the introduction to the story collection Future on Fire, where he discusses writers he considers to be hacks.)
- "Perhaps its impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be." (Ender's Game)
- "If it isn't a wonderful story first, who cares how "important" it is?" (Ibid.)
- "...But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart." (Speaker for the Dead)
- "Only one rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So, of course, we killed him." (Speaker for the Dead)
- "(Regarding humans.) They never know anything. They don't have enough years in their little lives to come to an understanding of anything at all. And yet they think they understand. From earliest childhood, they delude themselvs into thinking they comprehend the world, while all that's really going on is that they've got some primitive assumptions and prejudices. As they get older they learn a more elevated vocabulary in which to express their mindless pseudo-knowledge and bully other people into accepting their prejudices as if they were truth, but it all amounts to the same thing. Individually, human beings are all dolts."
- "While collectively..."
- "Collectively, they're a collection of dolts." (Xenocide)
- "Your trust in rationality makes you irrational." (Children of the Mind)
- "'If human beings are all monsters, why should I sacrifice anything for them?'
- "'Because they are beautiful monsters..., And when they live in a network of peace and hope, when they trust the world and their deepest hungers are fulfilled, then within that system, that delicate web, there is joy. That is what we live for, to bind the monsters together, to murder their fear and give birth to their beauty.'" (Wyrms)
- "Doesn't it make you wonder about your own sexual identity, not to mention your sanity, that the two women you love are, respectively, a virtual woman existing only in the transient ansible connections between computers and a woman whose soul is in fact that of a man who is the husband of your mother?" (Children of the Mind)
- "If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side."
- "I am going to write you into a story someday, my friend. Remember that the ultimate power is mine. You may decide what you will do in this life, up to the point. But I will decide what others think of you, and not just now but long after you're dead." (The Tales of Alvin Maker)
- "Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. [...] So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage." (writing in the Rhinoceros Times)
- "The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally." (writing for The Ornery American )
Pre-Ender's Game works
The Ender saga
The Shadow series
The Tales of Alvin Maker
The Homecoming Saga
The "Women of Genesis" series
- Sarah (2000)
- Rebekah (2001)
- Rachel and Leah (2004)
- The Wives of Israel (forthcoming)
Other post-Ender's Game works
- The Changed Man (short story collection) (1992)
- Flux (short story collection) (1992)
- Cruel Miracles (short story collection) (1992)
- Monkey Sonatas (short story collection) (1993)
- Posing as People (2004) (three one-act plays based on short stories by Card, first production directed by Card)
- Clap Hands and Sing (adapted by Scott Brick )
- Lifeloop (adapted by Aaron Johnston )
- Sepulchre of Songs (adapted by Emily Janice Card )
- Listen, Mom and Dad (1978)
- Ainge (1982)
- Saintspeak (1982)
- A Storyteller in Zion (1993)
Books on writing
- Characters and Viewpoint (1988)
- How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (1990)
- World Watch for the Rhinoceros Times (an independent Greensboro, NC newspaper)
- Uncle Orson Reviews Everything for the Rhinoceros Times (an independent Greensboro, NC newspaper)
- Hymns of the Heart for Meridian Magazine  (an LDS online magazine)