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Orson Scott Card On ENDER

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I think Orson Scott Card’s a damn fine writer. His Prentice Alvin series is one of my favorites in fantasy fiction, and the original ENDER’S GAME is pretty much a perfect SF novel.

Having said that, can I make fun of him for his incredibly impassioned and oversincere review of that Brittany Murphy film UPTOWN GIRLS? Here... check out what I’m talking about...

Looks like Orson Scott Card hopes that Dakota Fanning will play Petra in the movie adaptation of ENDER’S GAME:


“I also selfishly hope that my own movie, Ender's Game, gets made soon enough that Dakota Fanning can play Petra,” he says.

Dude, I remember being affected by a rough cut of THE STORY OF US and taking heat for it. And all I’m saying is the people who gave me heat about it? Well, they were right.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 28, 2003, 9:18 a.m. CST

    this movie neeeeeds to get made

    by exador

    man, i've waited for years for this flick...i sure hope that when it finally sees the light of day, everyone involved has done their best, absolute BEST work..cuz this one is as touchy as they come...and has a fan base thats itching to see it done right. anyhow, orson is a genius, and a very very nice guy (got a chance to meet him about a decade ago in toronto for a booksigning -xenocide-, and he was everything one would hope...funny, charismatic, and a true gentleman.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Card's books

    by Heffaloo

    Orson Scott Card hasn't written a good book in many years. He was once something wonderful. The Worthing Saga, Treason, Ender's Game, Speaker For the Dead, Seventh Son; these are all excellent books. Unfortunately, some time around the release of Xenocide, Card stopped writing to tell an entertaining story, and started writing to impose his personal morality on his reader. It seems that once he reached a level of fame where people will buy his books just because he wrote them, he felt the need to start preaching. This makes the Homecoming series tolerable, but the only books worth reading in his two most popular series are the first three in each. For those of you keeping track at home, that's Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Seventh Son, Red Prophet & Prentice Alvin (six of the best novels ever written--in ANY genre). I would say that everything that came after is shite, but I couldn't bring myself to read it all. Hell, I couldn't even finish Heartfire, and I average over 300 books a year.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Petra indeed!

    by CZ

    Dakota Fanning should play Valentine.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 11:17 a.m. CST


    by Prankster

    Card has quickly joined the ranks of "authors whose work I love but are unbearable crackpots in real life." (Harlan Ellison still tops the list, though.) Just looking through his movie reviews, Card has raved about Sweet Home Alabama, Daddy Day Care, and BAD BOYS 2 for crying out loud, while disdaining Moulin Rouge, the Royal Tenenbaums, and Citizen Kane (?!?) and prides himself on having "dodged a bullet" by not seeing A. I. Particularly baffling is his evisceration of "Pleasantville" and "Amistad", both based on imagined slights against his own personal morality (both of which strike me as misinterpretations--I mean, does he really, honestly believe the makers of Pleasantville didn't know there was sex in the 50s?) Geh. I'm sorry, the guy is in his own little world at this point and, like an earlier poster mentioned, far too hung up on promoting his own personal morality.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Cute and all, but does she really come across as Petra?

    by empyreal0

    Petra always struck me as being a little more tomboyish.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Card is on of the most intelligent men of our age

    by pizzatheface

    Heffaloo, have you read "Enchantment" yet? I think you might like it. It has some really interesting plot links. (everything kinda fits together in the end like a puzzle) Anyway, I think his movie reviews, or anyone's, for that matter, are perfectly okay. Isn't everyone an individual with an opinion. Sure, I don't agree with some of his choices, but this is a guy who reads and writes the best literature written. He's looking at these movies from a different perspective than a lot of us. (Does the story entertain? Do I care about the characters? Is the story truthful, of if not, do the filmmakers believe it enough for it to show?) Having read almost everything the guy writes, including his articles, I think the man is one of the most insightive men of our time. His grasp of history and human nature makes him a vault of information. I, at least look forward to gleaning from everything he writes, because I don't have time to read all of that history.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Heffaloo, I have to disagree...

    by empyreal0

    I personally thought Children of the Mind was fantastic, and thoroughly enjoyed reading Ender's Shadow (even though, in many ways, it was simply a reprise of Ender's Game). I haven't yet touched on Shadow of the Hegemon or Shadow Puppets, seeing as I've been distracted by other things, but I'll get to them in time. IMO, Card's books have always been heavily thematic and heavily moral enterprises, but I've always considered them thematically complex enough that they DON'T come across as preaching. There's a lot of gray area in his novels, old and new. Perhaps he does imply that a "correct" answer is found at the end, but of course this correct answer is only the one which is arrived at by the protagonist. Turn the story around and I'm sure plenty of "moralizing" could be done from the opposite party's angle. (Of course, if it's this kind of toying with relativism that bothers you, I guess I have nothing much to say about that. We'd just have to agree to disagree.)

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Petra? She should be Valentine!

    by Drath

    What is she, eleven? Twelve? I thought Petra was at least several years older than Ender and that in the movie Ender would be eleven instead of six! Oh that's right, the Valentine subplot is being shortened. Damn. That's a part of the book I wanted to go further than it did. The end should have been Ender vs. Locke and Demothenes! But the Speaker of the Dead ending was good too I guess. Who am I kidding, that book kicked ass. I'd rather see Dakota play Val, but if Petra has the bigger role I guess that'll do too.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by elviskilledjfk

    while i LOVE ender's game and the rest of that series (the bean series has sub-par writing at best) i think Card should be given minimum creative control over the making of an Ender's Game film. Dakota Fanning as Petra? She's good, but she's too damned cute! Petra, for a child, is one hardcore little girl. Is it just me, or did anyone else imagine her as a fiery red-head? Anyway, considering Card wanted to cast the God awful Jake Lloyd in the part of Ender, i think we have more than enough reason to think that if Card does get control of casting the film version of this great book, he'll royally fuck it up. The more i hear about his taste in films and his choices for casting, the more i think the book was some kind of fluke, or my experience as a reader was far different from Card's intended tone for his novel.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 12:56 p.m. CST

    "I felt myself washed with love and hope"

    by Louis Cyphre

    From Uptown Girls? Goddamn tree-hugging hippy crap ... any man who believes Heather Locklear could give a 'bone-chilling performance' needs to re-evaluate his status as a man, dagnammit! Feh.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 1:02 p.m. CST

    depends on what bone you're chilling, Louis

    by Drath

    couldn't resist.*********** While I don't know what Card was thinking about Jake Lloyd (maybe the kid is more impressive in person), Fanning was outstanding in Taken and came across as just the right type to be one of the children in Ender's Game. I just don't see her as Petra.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 1:43 p.m. CST


    by sirtmagus

    How the fuck is this considered news?!

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 1:52 p.m. CST

    how long has Ender's Game been in the works...

    by iamarayya

    I loved the book but the ending was kinda a let down. I wish he could of grownup and fought in the miltary. Xenocide BABY!!!!!

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 2:31 p.m. CST

    dakota fanning

    by mwhelan67

    I always thought she'd make a good Claudia if they were ever to remake "Interview".

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Best book I ever read.

    by Hotsoup

    Dakota Fanning as Petra?, I agree with all the talk backers. Petra is supposed to be at least 2 or 3 years older than Ender and Card bumped the age of Ender up to 10 or 11 (forgot which)in the movie with would mean that she should be 13 or 14. Also, she is supposed to look tough and have a boyish hair cut. In the book, she was supposed to be trying to fit in with the guys. I think she would be good as Valentine however but not as Petra.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Fanning should be Valentine.

    by Hotsoup

    Dakota Fanning as Petra?, I agree with all the talk backers. Petra is supposed to be at least 2 or 3 years older than Ender and Card bumped the age of Ender up to 10 or 11 (forgot which)in the movie with would mean that she should be 13 or 14. Also, she is supposed to look tough and have a boyish hair cut. In the book, she was supposed to be trying to fit in with the guys. I think she would be good as Valentine however but not as Petra.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 8:18 p.m. CST

    It's about a decade and a half too late to film ENDER'S GAME...

    by FrankDrebin

    The book (a video game wiz beats alien invaders) was published a year after the movie THE LAST STARFIGHTER (a video game wiz beats alien invaders). Card's writing is intelligent and philosophical (he wrote a fine adaptation of James Cameron's THE ABYSS), but this particular story is too Eighties. Let's wait and see if TRON 2.0 can revive the genre.

  • Aug. 28, 2003, 9:03 p.m. CST

    This guy's an asshole

    by Cash Bailey

    He's the one who said the immortal: "If Spielberg or James Cameron wanted to make this movie I'd tell them 'no'."

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Several Points

    by THE_348

    1. Analog published the short story in 1977 and the novel not too long after. Wouldn't make a point of it but to suggest any sort of hacking off of The Last Starfighter is a huge disservice. 2. I count myself among those that read everything in the Ender's series out of love for the characters and the resonating impact of Ender's Game on my childood with everything since Xenocide (everytime I pass by 'Children of the Mind' on my bookshelf, visions of murder come into my head) being mediocre on average, but I AM tired of the moralizing. The diatribe on abortion in 'Shadow Puppets' still leaves a sour taste in my mouth. 3. Alvin Journeyman is one of the worst pieces of drivel I've ever read and that series is a work of beauty to that point. OSC took WAY too much feedback from the online crowd at Hatrack on that one and it seeped insidious crap into every crevice of that book. Just a load.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 12:28 a.m. CST

    HEY ORSEN!!!! TWO WORDS for you

    by Russman

    MINI SERIES!!!! Either on SCI-FI Channel or HBO. Do it right babe. 120 minutes won't do it any justice. Please don't ruin it by having to pair it down to much or dumbing it down to much. Don't worry if it takes a few more years to put together, there will always be other little kids to play the parts.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 12:40 a.m. CST



    Card has written one good book, Enders Game. He's a hack who got lucky with one good book and has been living off its fame for many a moon. The best thing he's ever done is cut his hair and get his stomach stapled to lose 300 pounds.

  • Aug. 29, 2003, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Science fiction authors have never been the most politically awa

    by St.Buggering

    I remember when Reagan's insane Star Wars program was being hotly debated, and books were coming out for and against. The big book against it was by a former Secretary of Defense. The main "pro" viewpoint came from Jerry Pournelle and Ben Bova. Personally, I fully support Card's right to put forth his moral and political viewpoints in his stories. I just also reserve the right to vehemently disagree. And people, this may come as a shock to you all, but there is very little science fiction that doesn't hold a moral viewpoint of one kind or another. Hell, even Star Wars has a moral viewpoint. Just because you were eight when you saw it and didn't notice, doesn't mean it wasn't there. Card is hardly alone in that.

  • Aug. 30, 2003, 12:47 a.m. CST


    by readyoufool

    Orson Scott Card is so cool he should found his own religion based on a bet with a friend. He could call it "Scientology"...what? The found-a-religion-on-a-bet thing has already been done? aw...damn!

  • Sept. 1, 2003, 6:27 a.m. CST

    BladeRunnerUnit & Star Wars morality

    by St.Buggering

    Actually, I think that the moral viewpoint of Star Wars comes down to more than "Good is good" or "Tyranny is wrong". If there's one central theme to the entire Star Wars series, it's that humanity (and "life" in general) is superior to technology, and that when machines are placed in conflict with the interests of humanity, the machine will always fail. The whole Empire motif can be viewed as a metaphor for The Machine in its dehumanization, conformity, and reliance on big scary hardware. It also seeks to squash use of The Force, which of course is generated by all living things. Witness also the failure of the targeting computers in the battle of Yavin, Luke's crippling of an AT-AT, and R2's failure to break into the Endor stronghold. Incidentally, I didn't just come up with all this. See Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth.

  • Sept. 1, 2003, 7:25 p.m. CST

    What stage of hell is this thing in now?

    by Juggernaut125

    I loved "Ender's Game" and was quite taken by the follow up books. Until "Children of the Mind". The same thing with the Alvin saga. The first three rocked while the fourth one read like he was on a deadline and needed to finish the last 200 pages in one night. I liked "Shadow of the Hegemon" as well. Also Card's novelization of "The Abyss" was pretty good. And I absolutely adore most of his short stories (way back in the mid 90's). I have been waiting for the "Ender's Game" movie to come out. My pulse quickens whenever I see a new blurb about it. But I'm getting fed up with the brief glimpses which all point to a movie coming out, only to have the rug pulled out from under us again. And again. And again. I am not Sysiphus. I will not keep pushing that fucking rock of anticipation much longer. If it doesn't get a concrete production schedule soon, I will give up all hope that this movie will EVER get made. /rant

  • Sept. 2, 2003, 2:16 a.m. CST

    That's cool

    by Ribbons

    As long as the kids aren't overwhelmingly, conspicuously white. And yes, I'm a "caucazoid," in the words of another talkbacker whose name I dare not speak.

  • Sept. 23, 2003, 10:28 p.m. CST

    I agree that Dakota Fanning shouldn't play Petra...

    by hunaAk

    I agree that Dakota Fanning shouldn't play Petra, she probably could, and should play as Valentine, and I don't think Jake Lloyd would be good at playing Ender, I personally liked all of the Ender series, and the series about Bean, and I can't wait until OSC writes the fourth book about Bean. I think that OSC should continue what happened in Children of the Mind, and I have never read the series on Alvin Myers. I can't wait for the Ender's Game movie comes out either, I always wondered when, and what the movie would be like, I had my own thoughts on how it should be done, and in a way it is a good idea for both stories to be told at the same idea, but it should play more on both, does that sound confusing? I wanted both books to spawn their own movies because it would be a lot better that way.

  • Oct. 11, 2003, 1:05 a.m. CST

    um... hello?

    by NextTime

    this is great and all that you guys think shes 'too cute' or whatever.. youre all saying the same things.. all of you in every post. its not that at all, if anybody has the patience to read this way after the article was published, apart from being a big OSC fan theyll acctually hear what i have to say. he would be contradicting himself if he had her play petra. petra is ARMENIAN thats.. turkish right? doooooes fanning look turkish? shes blooonde! petra is a tomboyish girl with dark brown hair... maybe i read too much? or isit the fact that i pay attention? one thing i hate about discussing books with other people is they overlook certain points and im kinda worried that OSC is over looking his own details. PLEASE FOR YOUR FANS SAKE CARD PLEASE MAKE PETRA ARMENIAN. its the least you could do. make fanning valentine, she would be perfect.

  • Oct. 11, 2003, 1:12 a.m. CST

    will fanning be wearing a wig??

    by NextTime

    PETRA IS ARMENIAN. thats turkish and iranian... they are usually not cute little blonde girls. they uuuusually look turkish. fanning looks more like a valentine to me, i dont care how small a part she will be playing she could make it awesome. please, for everyones sake, get a turkish girl to play a turkish girl. im irish, i wouldnt go out for a mexican role.... even if she was from armenia meaning the city in bogota, she still wouldnt look like fanning. am i the only one who pays attention to these details? it makes a difference what race she is in the books. why not the movie?