Biography (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Orson Scott Card was born on August 24, 1951, in Richland, Washington, the son of Willard Richards, a teacher, and Peggy Jane Park Card, an administrator. He earned his B.A. at Brigham Young University in 1975, interrupting his studies to spend two years as a volunteer Mormon missionary in Brazil, from 1971 to 1973. His experience in Brazil is reflected in several of his stories and novels, perhaps most vividly in Speaker for the Dead, though more literally in the short story “America.” He married Kristine Allen on May 17, 1977.
Card began his artistic career at Brigham Young University, writing and producing a number of plays on Mormon themes during his college years. After college, he began publishing short stories in science-fiction and fantasy magazines. Completing his M.A. in 1981, he began a doctoral program in literature at the University of Notre Dame with the idea of becoming a teacher and writer, but he abandoned this program to devote himself to writing fiction. When Card won the Hugo and Nebula best novel awards two years in a row, 1985 and 1986, he was firmly established as one of the best young writers in science fiction. The appearance of the first volume of Tales of Alvin Maker in 1987 won for him a wider audience, especially among younger readers and their teachers. In 1990, Card published a collection of short fiction entitled Maps in a Mirror, bringing together stories that had appeared in ephemeral...
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IntroductionOrson Scott Card is a science-fiction writer whose novels Ender’s Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won the Hugo Award and the Nebular Award. That makes him the only author to win both awards in consecutive years. Card started writing poetry when he was a theater major in college. He later started writing short stories and then became a copy editor for Brigham Young University Press. Once his work began to be published, he left his job to become a full-time freelance writer. Along with his award-winning science fiction, Card has gone on to write contemporary fiction, comic books, and dialog for several video games.
- One of Card’s ancestors is Charles Ora Card, Brigham Young’s son-in-law and a founding member of Cardston, Alberta, which was the first Mormon settlement in Canada.
- Card once said, “We care about moral issues, nobility, decency, happiness, goodness—the issues that matter in the real world, but which can only be addressed, in their purity, in fiction.”
- Card is a judge for the Writers of the Future contest, and he started his own science fiction magazine in 2005, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.
- Each year, he runs a one-week workshop for up-and-coming writers. He calls the workshop “Literary Boot Camp.”
- Card has five children. Each child’s name includes the name of an author he admires.
Orson Scott Card was born on August 24, 1951 in Richland, Washington. He earned a B.A. in theater at Brigham Young University in 1975 and an M.A. in English at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, in 1981. As an undergraduate, Card began writing, directing, and producing plays, often on Mormon themes. He interrupted his college studies to spend two years as a Mormon missionary in Brazil. He married Kristine Allen in 1977, with whom he has three children. Continuing to write and direct plays, he worked for Brigham Young University Press and edited Ensign magazine. Later he continued graduate study in English at Notre Dame University, and wrote for Compute Books. His work for Compute Books took him to Greensboro, North Carolina, where he continues to make his home.
Card began publishing short stories in science fiction magazines, especially Analog, where he was encouraged by the editor, Ben Bova. His first science fiction books were published in 1978: Hot Sleep and Capitol. These were later revised and published as The Worthing Saga (1990). Although he soon became well-known among science fiction fans, winning the John W. Campbell award in 1978 and being nominated for several other awards, he first succeeded in reaching a really large audience with Ender's Game, which received both of the most prestigious science fiction and fantasy awards, the Nebula and the Hugo. He followed this success with two sequels: Speaker...
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Born to Willard and Peggy Card on August 24, 1951, Card grew up in Utah, where he was raised in the Mormon faith. When he was sixteen, he read Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, which had a profound effect on his thinking about the future. The plot of Foundation implies that history repeats itself, regardless of the people involved or the specific situations that they encounter. Asimov softens this message through his idea that humans can learn these patterns and work to minimize the most harmful effects of change. Since Card's Mormon beliefs hold that people are basically good, he liked Asimov's notion that human beings are capable of overcoming adversity through self-improvement and cooperation. As a result of his thinking about Asimov's message. Card decided he wanted to write stories that would affect others in the positive way that Asimov's writing had affected him.
At the time, he focused on military topics. His brother served in the army, and Card had read Bruce Catton's three-volume Army of the Potomac.He learned from his reading that leadership makes the difference in an army's success. This led him to think about how future leaders would successfully train their armies, particularly for battles in space. His thinking led to his creation of the Battle Room in Ender's Game, where the children-warriors practice for three-dimensional warfare with three-dimensional games. The young Card had little experience writing,...
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