Lots of people have jumped on the Orson Scott Card hate-wagon these days. Reacting–as always with hatred and a remarkable lack of ability to think–to his “hate-speech” against gay marriage, some even suggested a mass boycott of the film version of Ender’s Game (even though the author had sold film rights completely, and received not a penny from the profits of the movie).
After finishing Speaker for the Death, I am convinced that none of these people bothered to read anything that Card ever wrote. If they did, they would at least have to stop and think about his incredible, pervasive humanism. His love for his fellow man. His ability and desire to see the truth about a person, and in seeing this truth (even if it is ugly) to love him.
Speaker for the Dead is a novel of consummate artistry. On nearly every level, it enchants and entrances. Its science is fully believable, yet as far as my humanities brain can tell, it is still realistic and plausible. The characterization is brilliant. The family dynamics are so well described, it’s scary. The pain and pleasure the characters feel is real and raw. And the love the author imbues in his words for all humanity (even those who look and act nothing like people), the acceptance he shows (through Ender) of moralities and customs that to an untutored eye look like barbarism, would seem to suggest to anyone with the capacity to think that this author is not someone you can simply categorize as a “hater” and have done with him.
It is constantly depressing to me how people have become mindless parrots of ideologies they don’t fully understand, preferring to flap their jaws in trite platitudes instead of engaging with a person who has a different point of view, understanding him, and in doing so, coming to love him. If we all tried to be–and I include myself and all believing Christians in this–more, dare I say, humanistic, like Ender (Card), then the heart-shattering beauty of the “Lusitania Miracle” could be more than merely a science-fiction parable.
As far as I’m concerned, any novel that so effortlessly addresses questions of existence, beauty, morality, faith, and love is worth reading. No matter what you think of the author’s personal views or professed religion.