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Has anyone else been disappointed by an author?

Discussion in 'Orson Scott Card' started by the smiling weirwood, Nov 17, 2008.

  1.  
    the smiling weirwood

    the smiling weirwood Axes and Saws Prohibited

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    Because he's American it doesn't mean he isn't wrong.
     
  2.  
    Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow The Merchant Prince

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    I've learned to enjoy many works of Sci-Fi, despite an author's personal beliefs. I think Scientology is a wacked cult and L. Ron Hubbard was a nut-case but I still loved Battlefield Earth (the book, not the movie). I'm only just beginning to read Robert Heinlein (Have read SiaSL, currently 1/2 way through ST) and already I'm beginning to dislike some of the philosophy he preaches but, I will still read and be entertained by more of his books. I plan to read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" eventually (all 1300+ pages) even though I'm very progressive-minded and anti-corporate. As long as a story is entertaining, unique or unusual in concept and not dull, I'm interested. That sums it up for me.

    I knew a previous co-worker who purportedly met OSC at a book signing. His comment about OSC was, and I quote "He was kind of a d*ck". I'm sorry to hear he may be a homophobe but I still plan on reading Ender's Shadow.

    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread. I was bored.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  3.  
    Mulcebar

    Mulcebar New Member

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    In answer to the question, yes, I was dissapointed when I found out OSC was quite intensely opinionated on many issues that I myself have the polar opposite view. But I still love his fiction and I just have to smile when I read a chapter that betrays his obviously religious or politically right wing attitudes in the real world. Honestly I wish I didnt research him because I do prefer to have a healthy respect for my favourite writers and OSC despite his brilliance is quite clearly misguided by his religious indoctrination.
     
  4.  
    soulsinging

    soulsinging the dude abides

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    I'll grant that O'Reilly is not as insane as Hannity, Coulter, or Beck, but if you think he doesn't do the same thing on his show that you note CNN and msnbc doing, then you might want to wax your ears. He's been caught many times passing off opinion as fact or outright lying about the facts. All of the cable news networks/hosts do this. It's not news, it's entertainment.

    I was also a bit surprised to learn this about OSC, though I never noticed it in Ender's Game, which I enjoyed immensely. It has turned me off reading more of his books though. I dislike Twilight for similar reasons, and have avoided Brandon Sanderson on the same grounds... I read Elantris and could see the preaching, which I hear only becomes more over-the-top in Mistborn. Heck, I didn't care for Tad Williams' MST series because of the overt Catholic influences, which I found dull and heavy-handed and I was raised Catholic. I'm curious to re-read Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy because I am an atheist so I clearly agree with him, but I was younger when I read it and suspect I'd find the preachiness in that annoying as well. I read for interesting stories and characters, not political/religious argument.

    On an unrelated note, what are Heinlen's controversial political beliefs? I've never read anything by him but have been curious. I'll never read Rand... I don't need to devote months of my life to a 1300 page ego trip.
     
  5.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Heinlein has been accused of being everything from a fascist to an extreme libertarian to an ultra-hippy to... well, you name it. And, to some degree, there is a bit of truth to most of these... but only a bit. His actual political views, as I understand it, did tend toward a form of libertarianism, but they also had a considerable amount of influence from various other political philosophies as well. I've never read his single actual book on politics, Take Back Your Government!: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen Who Wants Democracy to Work (by the time I'd even heard of the thing, it was going for outrageous prices, and that has not changed), but that would be the closest you can get to his view of things at the time it was written (his views, as with most of us, apparently changed and modified over time). However, it would seem you can get some insight into this book via the reviews at Amazon... though such should, of course, always be accepted with caution:

    Amazon.ca: Customer Reviews: Take Back Your Government!: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen Who Wants Democracy to Work

    However, even this book apparently doesn't answer all that many questions, either:

    Ham and Eggs and Heinlein, 1

    So all that one can gather is from his fiction... and that is a notoriously slippery source unless backed by a writer's own correspondence or facts of his or her biography....

    As for reading Heinlein... I'll admit I'm a fan fo the man's work, for various reasons. However, whether you would like anything he wrote (and he wrote a rather diverse array of types of tales) is difficult to say. I would not, however, make up my mind based on either a single piece or a selection of similar works, but through at least one or two examples of the different sorts of things he did....
     
  6.  
    Johnsmithlucky2012

    Johnsmithlucky2012 Science fiction fantasy

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  7.  
    Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow The Merchant Prince

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    News channels have gradually evolved into what you just said, as a result of the repeal of the "Fairness Doctrine" in 1988...IMO. Prior to that, the news was very balanced. I'm not saying the FD was all good. It forced heavy restrictions on and took away creativity from the screenwriters for many TV shows in the 1970's and early '80s.

    I've only read two Robert Heinlein books so far: SiaSL and Starship Troopers. Its hard to believe they were both from the same author. Starship Troopers is supposedly his more controversial novel due to his didactic promotion of corporal punishment, citizenship through military service and strong neocon views.

    Yeah, I don't plan to read Ayn Rand soon, unless I suddenly have a lot of free time on my hands. Eventually, I'd like to read "Atlas Shrugged" or "The Fountainhead". I'll need a lot of patience because I already know some of her political views are polar to my own.
     
  8.  
    SpaceShip

    SpaceShip Outta sight

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    Cor - thanks for getting us back on the right track j.d. I looked into this to get an idea of who I shouldn't be reading but it seemed to get stuck on religion and sex.

    So, so far into book 1 of Stephen Donaldson's book of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, I am struggling. I've put it down and picked up a Wilbur Smith book which is always a romp and easy reading but I know I have to get back to SD as I've got all six books in the series and that would be a horrid waste if I stopped at page 100 of book 1! Anyone else read them - please give me some encouragement here!
     
  9.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Oddly enough, I'm listening to some Wagner (Act I of Götterdämerung) as I revisit this thread. That the man was odious (generally so, not just in his politics) has no bearing on my enjoyment of his music**.

    In my previous post, I said that tried to separate work from author. Sometimes, though, the two cannot be separated simply because the author does not wish them to be so. I'm thinking of the kind of work that is, in all but name, agit prop: the work's whole purpose is to preach or "demonstrate" that such and such is correct and such and such is wrong. It doesn't mean that I definitely wouldn't read it, just that the work is not as free-standing as I'd like and should be read on that light.





    ** - Perhaps, though, I might change my mind if I could understand what they were all singing. ;):)
     
  10.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah! Go for it Spaceship!! Rah rah rah!! You've paid good money for them, stick with it to the end. (I was going to say 'bitter' end there, but felt that wasn't encouraging.)

    Unfortunately, that's all the encouragement I can give, at this time. I hope you only borrowed the books, and someone will appreciate them back again. I got as far as book three, and just couldn't stand his self-pitying, it seemed to creep onto every page, and he became so unbelieveable that I stopped reading the books.

    But, as an encouragement, there must be 'book swap' sections on Ebay, or your local store? Someone out there loves Donaldson, and would love to get all six books, and in return give you a series that you will love. Just not the 'Sword of Truth' series - that was even more disappointing than Thomas Covenant...
     
  11.  
    Rand

    Rand Well-Known Member

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    As a kid, I went through something similar regarding a sports figure I had admired. Since then, I've made it a point to stay away from the real lives of any celebrity types I like and only see them through their work.
     
  12.  
    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Very late to this. Sorry.

    Actually there is a "Mormon anti-homo camp", sad to say. It's called Evergreen International, and isn't officially tied to the Mormon church, but is run by Mormons and adheres to Mormon beliefs and practices, and is a place where Mormons with gay family members often send them in hopes of "curing" them.

    Now, more on-topic...I probably won't buy any more of Card's books, although I'd likely read them out of the library if I came across one that sounds like I would enjoy it.

    And, in reference to Hober Mallow's acquaintance who met OSC at a signing, and his evaluation of Card's conduct. Yeah. I met him at LosCon the year he was GoH there (which was a few years ago, before he got so vocal about his social and political stands). He was nice to me, personally, in several interactions during the weekend. However, I did see him arguing in the hall after a panel with someone, and I have gotten the idea generally that he is one of those people who seem to think that whatever he belives is right, and no one is going to convince him otherwise. Ever. Under any circumstances. No matter the facts. Although, often people like that seem very willing to talk themselves hoarse trying to convince the rest of the world of their correctness.

    I guess that's his choice, but that sort of stance and the personal behavior it leads to can sometimes make for a very lonely existence.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  13.  
    anhalo

    anhalo Well-Known Member

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    Why are people not allowed to express an opinion about something? It's a human right.

    What are you people? Homophobephobe's? So much for tolerance!
     
  14.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Rather than make a blanket statement (which doesn't differentiate between the different views in this thread), why not make specific points about specific statements with which you agree or disagree?

    You might even manage to produce a post that was in some way relevant to the thread topic.



    (By the way, calling people names isn't the best prelude to making a statement about tolerance, now is it?)
     
  15.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Well said, Ursa. Though, to be fair, I probably am a homophobephobe.

    Orson Scott Card is totally entitled to an opinion, of course he is. But he's not entitled to have that opinion protected from people like me.
     
  16.  
    anhalo

    anhalo Well-Known Member

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    lol, the homophobephobe thing was a joke... (And I was up late, I apologise).

    What I mean is that there are two sides to every argument, and people are equally entitled to have views against something than to have views for it.

    If Orson had of been advocating homosexuality, people would accuse others of discriminating if that was their reason to boycott him. So why should such behavior be acceptable the other way around.

    Also, with God based arguements aside, in my opinion there are some negative externalities around homosexuality which are often overlooked.

    One of my main concerns is the way some in the movement have started encouraging homosexuals to segregate themselves off from the rest of society. I also have concerns about the cultural aspects/impacts it can have on what in the west is a very family centred culture. Family keeps our societies alive and operable, and unfortunately it can not be built in the same way with homosexual activity.

    There are also issues related to people's own health as well, psychologically. A study found that practicing homosexual behaviour increased people's chance of being suicidal (and not due to intolerance, as the levels were replicated in highly pro-homosexual areas as well, with no difference) (I will have to try and dig up the link for that, unless someone else knows of it).

    Note that I have nothing wrong with homosexuals. I even have friends that are homosexual. I primarily worry about the possible side effects it can have, and worry when people try to kill such conversation as bigoted (keeping in mind my last post was tongue in cheek).
     
  17.  
    Chaoticheart

    Chaoticheart In chaos I find truth

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    The suicide rate increase is definitely due to intolerance. Just because you live in a pro-homosexual area doesn't change the fact that you remain aware of the huge amounts of hate out there. You don't have to be in direct contact with the hate to experience it.

    And your wording "practicing homosexual behaviour" makes it sound as though you believe it's a choice. Whilst many will deny it, current medical science–and anyone who actually is gay–will tell you that there is no choice in sexuality.

    Also why would homosexuality have any real impact upon the culture of the west? The west is "supposed" to be a culture of equality, and given that it's not a choice, unless suddenly everyone is born homosexual it would have no impact upon population. And in regards to the west being "family oriented", I'm inclined to disagree; divorce percentages are as high as they've ever been, which to my mind at least, contradicts a family oriented society. And either way, homosexual couples can raise families, either through adoption or in vitro fertilisation etc. Just because they're gay does not make them any less qualified as parents, or a family they raise any less loving.
     
  18.  
    anhalo

    anhalo Well-Known Member

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    I'm talking about longer term culture. Divorce rates never used to be so high in the west. And I agree, liberalism is also a keystone of western culture, and that's why I support people having their own free choice on what they want to do. But that shouldn't make debate taboo.

    Family is long term though, and people in our culture have relied on large extended families as a support mechanism.

    Also, with the genetic arguement, science shows around 70% of men have such thoughts during puberty. It also shows there are different levels of homosexuality. There is a choice involved for most men. I would know, I haven't always saw the straight road either...
     
  19.  
    The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    This thread is for discussions of whether we have been disappointed with authors, perhaps because of the way they hold beliefs which we do not. It is not a thread about homosexuality, divorce or society in general, whatever members' views on such matters.

    Stick to the thread topic. If not, the thread will be locked.
     
  20.  
    Chaoticheart

    Chaoticheart In chaos I find truth

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    edited after judges post.

    Slightly disappointed given that I'd written quite a long argument, but I bow before the will of the moderators.

    So back on topic: Feist disappoints me these days. Every new trilogy is just the same thing recycled; and there are supposed to be another 2(or was it 3?) riftwars before he's done. I know I'll be disappointed by them, but I suppose I'll buy them anyway in the hope of a miracle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
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