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Orson Scott Card Q&A

The Orson Scott Card Q&A on Gaming Today (thanks Mike Martinez) talks with the author about his writing for books and games as well as his gaming addiction: "My cold-turkey stop was because, and I'm serious here, it was costing me a shocking amount of money and depriving me of a home life with my family. Here I am, a self-employed writer, and I never had time for my family because I had this GAME that was waiting to seduce me whenever I pretended I was going to the office to work. I estimate there are about twenty novels that were never written because of computer games. Now, there are those who think that's a blessing to literature, but at the very least it was costing me money because I wasn't getting paid as often as when I actually complete the books that are under contract."

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18. Re: Three Card Shuffle... Jun 17, 2007, 18:09 ibm
 
Lovecraft

I prefer the Joy of Sex myself.

 
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17. No subject Jun 17, 2007, 17:59 Hump
 
Re: Three Card Shuffle... Jun 17, 16:45 IAM->TheDoctor


Ha, little do you know. I've just read (this month) my first Goodkind book. He manages to steal from just about every author and then finds a way to blend them together into a somewhat readable story. I'm on Faith of the Fallen right now and yes, I have read better. I will complete the sequence.

I'm an old school SciFi reader for the most part. But the most amazing story I have every read was by Julian May - The Many Colored Land - series. It is only nine books long.
Favorite authors are: Gibson, Spinrad, Saberhagen, May, Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, Niven, Anderson, McCafrey, Norton, Ellison, Lovecraft, Dickson, Simak, Jordan, Eddings and Simmons - there are so many more to name. Dan Simmons is another of the best out there.

Stephen Baxter, Mark Geston, Greg Bear, Clarke, Brian Aldiss. I lean towards the hard stuff but I like some of the 60's "New wave" like LeGuin, James Tiptree (Alice Sheldon), Rafferty. Theres very little modern stuff I like except for the aforementioned Baxter and maybe a few others I can't think of ATM.

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16. Re: Three Card Shuffle... Jun 17, 2007, 16:45 IAM->TheDoctor
 
Ha, little do you know. I've just read (this month) my first Goodkind book. He manages to steal from just about every author and then finds a way to blend them together into a somewhat readable story. I'm on Faith of the Fallen right now and yes, I have read better. I will complete the sequence.

I'm an old school SciFi reader for the most part. But the most amazing story I have every read was by Julian May - The Many Colored Land - series. It is only nine books long.
Favorite authors are: Gibson, Spinrad, Saberhagen, May, Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, Niven, Anderson, McCafrey, Norton, Ellison, Lovecraft, Dickson, Simak, Jordan, Eddings and Simmons - there are so many more to name. Dan Simmons is another of the best out there.

Peace - time to go enjoy Fathers Day.

 
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15. Re: Three Card Shuffle... Jun 17, 2007, 16:30 Tehol
 
When was the last time any of you wrote ANYTHING worth reading - I mean for someone else? Obviously, you have NO IDEA what it takes to get a story published. You don't just write a bunch of crap down then take it to a printer - get real.

that is......oh man i don't know what to say.

you must be terry goodkind or his fan boy or dare i say robert stanek?


 
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14. Re: Three Card Shuffle...shots fired... Jun 17, 2007, 16:06 IAM->TheDoctor
 
You strike me to the core and I shall curl up and die.

"You don't need to go on a cordon bleu cookery course, open a restaurant and get a Michelin star before you can have an opinion on food." It does if you want anyone to take your critical comments(good or bad) seriously. Oh and PS the main character knows he is going to die at the beginning.

The things a writer (and reader) must armor themselves against are mostly critics and fools - and you are?

What you sound like is unmentionable in these forums.

Since we are in a mood today:
"I've become a born again reader though but I'm mainly re-reading books I read first as a teenager (probably says a lot about me)."

It does, but I will be kind. It's been 31 years since I've been a teenager. So, when youe'r not on a rampage venting on posters, what do (did) you read for pleasure?

This comment was edited on Jun 17, 16:30.
 
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13. Re: Three Card Shuffle... Jun 17, 2007, 15:23 Awesome Spume
 
I loved early OSC but he became popular and started seriously writing to order and I lost interest. But like that other guy said - I lost interest in reading after getting heavier into the PC. I've become a born again reader though but I'm mainly re-reading books I read first as a teenager (probably says a lot about me).

I also used to write prolifically though not well, however the wank job about trying to write before criticizing an author is bogus. Anyone is entitled to an opinion. You don't need to go on a cordon bleu cookery course, open a restaurant and get a Michelin star before you can have an opinion on food. Oh and PS remind me not to read your story because now I know the main character dies. We have spoiler tags for a reason.


EDIT - oh and where will any of this go my misty-eyed friend? Probably nowhere. Your typical book deal will make you 3-5 grand for a years work. If you learn to bang out a book a month you should live well.
This comment was edited on Jun 17, 15:27.
 
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12. Three Card Shuffle... Jun 17, 2007, 15:05 IAM->TheDoctor
 
OK, he's not for everybody. But there are those that will not read Dune, Foundation, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc...

When was the last time any of you wrote ANYTHING worth reading - I mean for someone else? Obviously, you have NO IDEA what it takes to get a story published. You don't just write a bunch of crap down then take it to a printer - get real.

1.) If your agent doesn't like it, you rewrite it until he is comfortable sending it to the publisher.
2.) The Editor(s) must approve.
3.) Five rewrites and a half dozen levels of approval later, the story might be approved. (steps 4, 5, 6, 7)

So, now you have a book published and people are buying it like water in the desert. They want more and more. So you try to please, you try to hurry, you try to connect A to B.

I've just written my first complete short story (6500 words) to send to a publisher. The whole process of creating characters and having them live or die under you "pen" is...breathtaking. I had tears in my eyes after I killed off the main character.

I've started my second short story and have instead, found myself writing the first, second and third chapters of a book. I have no idea where any of this will go, but the joy of doing it and the (local) feedback on what has gone to paper has been humbling and worth every minute of my efforts.

If you have any ideas of what other people like to read, just try to do it yourself.

Be humbled...it doesn't hurt that much.
Mark

 
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11. Re: No subject Jun 17, 2007, 12:46 mag
 
My own experience is I haven't read a book for fun since I bought my first computer for gaming back when Quake 1 came out. I do it a lot for school, but never of my own free will. Up until Quake 1 came out, I read about a book or 2 a week. Afterwards, I think I trailed off and just stopped in the late 90s. Anyone else have a similar experience?

I've always been an avid reader, though how much gaming or reading I do will kinda go in phases. Over the past six months, I'll say I've probably read much more than I've gamed, though. I've been pretty busy, and it's a lot easier to read a book for 20 minutes between commitments than it is to play a game.

Sometimes it's difficult to work up the motivation to start a new book, but once started I'll read almost every chance I can get.

 
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10. Well Jun 17, 2007, 07:46 pgoeleven
 
The thing about Ender's Game is that it originally was a short story. To make a book out of it is hard as it is, much less multiple books. I didn't read the shadow series or whatever they are called, but I read the first three of Ender. The first was definitely the best, but it still felt "padded" at times (b/c of the short story roots I guess). The other two were ok, but didn't "wow" me like the original. The third book is also very "out there" with all the metaphysical musings.

 
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9. Hmmm Jun 17, 2007, 06:14 ishtenos
 
Ender's Game was a good story for the most part, imho, however the follow-ups were simply not of the same caliber overall.

I did however enjoy reading a book he did about writing speculative fiction. Very informative and considerable insight into what can help a story hook readers in.

This comment was edited on Jun 17, 06:18.
 
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8. Re: No subject Jun 17, 2007, 01:51 Milkman Dan
 
I can't really speak for his books outside of Ender's Game, as it was the only book by him I ever read. I will say he writes for comic books fairly well, Ultimate Iron Man was quite original.

And back to the original subject, as bad as games are to his career, what he should be worrying about is we probably have a generation coming up that never read for fun. Those very same games that stop him from writing books also stop people from reading.

I work with a lot of teenagers, and I don't think I have heard any of them EVER talk about a new book they read in idle conversation. My own experience is I haven't read a book for fun since I bought my first computer for gaming back when Quake 1 came out. I do it a lot for school, but never of my own free will. Up until Quake 1 came out, I read about a book or 2 a week. Afterwards, I think I trailed off and just stopped in the late 90s. Anyone else have a similar experience?

 
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7. Re: No subject Jun 17, 2007, 00:37 Pigeon
 
Card is an odd guy with a lot of seemingly conflicting opinions/actions he apparently likes to express. I can't say I particularly like his views or philosophy on life, but I still loved Ender's Game. I suppose that's the great thing about good literature, despite the author's intent, much of the feeling and reasoning is developed by the reader. Maybe someday English and Literature teachers around the world will realize that.

I digress though, I'm sure a lot of people (especially on a gaming site) can identify with Mr. Card's "game addiction" troubles. I know I've certainly wasted more than my share of time playing games when I could be doing something more "productive".

 
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6. Card must have stolen Ender's Game Jun 17, 2007, 00:12 ColBlister
 
I've never felt more ripped-off by any other author than I did when, after having read and enjoyed Ender's Game, I came across Lost Boys and foolishly assumed it ought to be about as good, or in the ballpark, anyway. Lost Boys was one of the most worthless pieces of crap I've ever read. (And, given my promiscuous reading habits, that's saying something). I can't believe these two books came from the same person. I mean, they are so vastly different in quality that I seriously wonder if Card didn't pay someone else to ghost-write Ender's Game. (Or, conversely, maybe he's coasting on Ender's Game by offshoring his later writing?)


 
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5. Re: No subject Jun 16, 2007, 21:36 verybad
 
Is what it is. I liked Ender's Game. Never read any of his other books however. The guy makes his living writing, and you can't blame the guy for saying what he feels is correct. There're generally 3 opinions when you interview 2 people so *shrugs*

 
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4. Re: No subject Jun 16, 2007, 19:50 pgoeleven
 
I really enjoyed Ender's Game tho, I really did.

 
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3. Re: No subject Jun 16, 2007, 18:30 Tehol
 
this guy is over rated.

I estimate there are about twenty novels that were never written because of computer games. Now, there are those who think that's a blessing to literature

thank u jesus!

 
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2. No subject Jun 16, 2007, 18:10 Hump
 
I never cared for any of his stuff.


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This comment was edited on Jun 16, 18:10.
 
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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

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1. No subject Jun 16, 2007, 17:37 Toebot
 
So gaming is to blame for Card writing what is not only the worst book he's every penned, but perhaps one of the worst books ever to be published? Empire is an embarrassment. They should take away his word processor and give him a shovel so he dig a hole and bury his career. Or maybe he should just go back to scribbling religious prattle for the The Ensign. At least he would be reaching an audience comfortable with his twisted notions of propriety.

This comment was edited on Jun 16, 17:38.
 
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