IMPORTANT EDIT: A savvy commenter politely reminded me that the MFA program at University of North Carolina Greensboro has produced some excellent authors of note, including NC poet laureate Kathryn Byer, Kelly Link, Steve Almond, Julianna Baggot, former NC poet laureate Fred Chappell, and Randall Jarrell. This commenter also made a point that bears repeated: “OSC certainly doesn’t represent the views of most GSO writers!”
I used to live in Greensboro, North Carolina, not far from the man himself, so although I appreciate the coverage at Feministe and The Slog, it is not news to me that Orson Scott Card is a hateful homophobe.
I used to occasionally read his “Uncle Orson Reviews Everything” column in ridiculous, bigoted Greensboro weekly The Rhino Times (I generally picked it up to read “The Beep” which served as a good reminder of political views of most of my neighbors, lest I get complacent and let down my guard). I read Ender’s Game because aside from O. Henry, Greensboro isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of literary accomplishment so I thought I should probably familiarize myself with the region’s more famous authors. And you know, whatever, it was alright. Not the best book I’d ever read, although it is where I learned the word “hegemony,” which really came in handy when writing about various forms of institutionalized discrimination for law school papers, so I guess I should be grateful for that.
So but anyway, I knew Orson Scott Card was a hateful homophobe because of Donna Minkowitz’s kind of heartbreaking Salon interview with Card from 2000:
“I find the comparison between civil rights based on race and supposed new rights being granted for what amounts to deviant behavior to be really kind of ridiculous. There is no comparison. A black as a person does not by being black harm anyone. Gay rights is a collective delusion that’s being attempted. And the idea of ‘gay marriage’ — it’s hard to find a ridiculous enough comparison. By the way, I’d really hate it if your piece wound up focusing on the old charge that I’m a homophobe.”
“What old charge?” I’ve never heard of it.
“It’s been raised before. It’s been circulating on the Internet for a long time. It’s really just one of those annoying things that happens. It’s really ugly!”
As the rest of Minkowitz’s article (and this recent piece in which Card basically accuses J.K. Rowling of stealing from Ender’s Game to create her Harry Potter series then goes on to pat himself on the back for not suing her, thus proving that she is a greedy bitch, or this one in which he whinges about his neighbors being mean to him because of a computer glitch that left his sprinklers set to water his lawn daily during a terrible drought while he was out of town) shows, not only is Orson Scott Card a hateful homophobe, he’s also a complete jackass.
So, in summary, if you really want to read Ender’s Game, get it from the library or buy it second hand, because otherwise, you will be serving to enrich Orson Scott Card, who is a hateful homophobe.