Saturday, June 04, 2005


Author News: Orson Scott Card Interviewed

Orson's Interview With MIT
Source: The interview is MIT but I read it on

"OSC: I’m proud that they have found it useful in training leaders. Nobody thinks it’s useful for tactics, of course, because they’re not fighting three dimensional wars in space against hive-minded aliens. But it’s been used both as sort of a morale builder and as a leadership training device, but the ironic thing is that it’s not a pro- or anti-military novel. I’ve read a lot of military history and what I tried to reflect was what I found in the history.

When I was very young, I read Bruce Catton’s trilogy The Army of the Potomac, which is serious history, so I was reading in some ways over my head, but very good in the detailed day-to-day life of the soldiers, the misery, the suffering, and the number of soldiers who died for the sheer stupidity of their commanders. When I talk about the Iraq war being amazingly good and clean, it’s that we have so little stupidity compared to most wars..."

Great. Now I got to read The Army of the Potomac. Thanks a lot, Card. It's not a very good interview but between the fine cracks are information nonetheless.

First of all, he's telling people to mind what he says and what he writes as two separate entities separate from each other. That probably means that sales are down on his books. He's losing clout.

Second of all, he writes stuff with the hope that it will change the world in some small way. This is why scifi trilogies that strech out have a tendency to become pedantic. The Honey Before the Rhetoric, so to speak. OSC is but one of the many with such delusions of grandeur.

Third, it's not quite delusional.

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