Saturday, October 8, 2011

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is an American author best known for his science fiction. His 1985 novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards.

From his Q & A with Alec Ash at The Browser:

What would you say to a book lover who has never read science fiction, to persuade them to try the genre?

Written science fiction has as much variety inside it as all of literature has outside it. If you haven’t been reading sci-fi, chances are you know of it only through science fiction movies. Unfortunately, with rare exceptions, sci-fi films resemble written science fiction of the 1920s and 30s – full of adventure, a gosh-wow attitude toward technology and characters who are paper-thin, there to have terrible things happen to them and somehow find a way to survive. Mostly they’re pretty empty.

Written science fiction, on the other hand, has gone through many generations since the 1920s, few of which show up in film. When they do, nobody thinks of them as sci-fi, but they are. The Time-Traveler’s Wife, Slaughterhouse-Five and Jurassic Park are all science fiction – they just weren’t marketed that way. Somewhere in Time is well within the time-travel sub-genre. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich are absolutely science fiction, with the reality-bending inventiveness of the 1960s new wave sci-fi.

That doesn’t mean you should pop into the sci-fi or fantasy section of Barnes & Noble and grab something off the shelves at random. What you’ll find there is an awful lot of vampire novels – Twilight is making its influence felt – and heroic fantasy. I don’t read vampire novels, so I can’t tell you much about that. In fantasy, there are good and bad works depending on your tastes.

What are the good ones?

It happens that fantasy is where the best work in speculative fiction is being done right now. Long before Harry Potter reared his bespectacled head, sci-fi writers had...[read on]
Ender’s Game is one of Rebecca Ford's favorite five fiction books.

--Marshal Zeringue