Talk:Orson Scott Card
Organization by subject
Quotes have to be organized by subject. This is just a rough draft. Please feel free to add your own quotes or subjects. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk • contribs) 15:43, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Ok, it is time to bring out the machete. This is way too long and really are all these quotes that interesting? I mean this page seems as long as one of his books. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) 14:58, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
What a mess
This article has so many problems I despair of even listing them all, let alone fixing them. Here are just a few glaring ones:
- As 22.214.171.124 said above, it's far too long and filled with less than compelling quotes.
- Given the some of the basic style issues I corrected, I suspect most of its current content was copied from someone's enormous MS Word collection, complete with spelling, formatting, and punctuation errors.
- It has two redundant sections: organization by work and by topic. The latter greatly encourages the addition of unsourced material.
- Not one of the current bits of source information is adequate for reasonable verification. Even when page numbers are given, they fail to cite the editions.
- Many of the individual works listed have such a massive set of quotes that each is a separate likely copyright violation.
- We already have quote articles on many of these works, making this an incredibly complex, multiple-article merger problem.
- The article apparently includes creditless transfers from Wikipedia.
I've done just enough formatting and addition of whitespace to make it a little easier to see just the scope of the problem. (I'm sure I broke some of the punctuation in the process, but trust me, I fixed far more than I broke.) If no one shows any interest in trying to fix these, I'll either work on it some more or perhaps just revert it to an older, far smaller version that can be reasonably improved. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:57, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
All I wanted to do...
And all I wanted to do originally was add a single quote:
- "I'm accusing you of violating the laws of nature," he said, irritated at my failure to respond.
"Nature's virtue is intact," I reassured him. "I just know some different laws."
- Dialog between Lord Barton and Lanik Mueller, after the latter performs a series of apparent miracles
- A Planet Called Treason (1st Dell printing ed.). New York: Dell Publishing. July 1980. pp. p. 240 of 299. ISBN 0-440-16897-X.
Seems fine to me for copyright, but duplicative.
The selections from these rather lengthy books seem insufficient to raise copyright concerns. However, we have separate entries on many of the individual books; no need for that kind of duplication here. If it's in a separate entry, it should be deleted here. BD2412 T 02:11, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Temporary move for unsourced quotes
The following quotes have been transferred here from the Orson Scott Card page pending the creation of a time-limited subpage in which contributors will have a chance to source any of the quotes before the subpage is deleted.
- The lies we live will always be confessed in the stories that we tell.
- [It] was written and sold. I knew it was a strong story because I cared about it and believed in it. I had no idea that it would have the effect it had on the audience. While most people ignored it, of course, and continue to live full and happy lives without reading it or anything else by me, there was still a surprisingly large group who responded to the story with some fervency.
- The priests say that God created our souls, and that just puts us under the control of another puppeteer. If God created our will, then he's responsible for every choice we make. God, our genes, our environment, or some stupid programmer keying in code at an ancient terminal -- there's no way free will can ever exist if we as individuals are the result of some external cause.
- A strange thing happened then. The speaker agreed with her that she had made a mistake that night, and she knew when he said the words that it was true, that his judgment was correct. And yet she felt strangely healed, as if simply speaking her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn't a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate.
- But I hope that in the lives of [the characters], you will find stories worth holding in your memory, perhaps even in your heart. That's the transaction that counts more than best-seller lists, royalty statements, awards, or reviews. Because in the pages of this book, you and I will meet one-on-one, my mind and yours, and you will enter a world of my making and dwell there, not as a character that I control, but as a person with a mind of your own. You will make of my story what you need it to be, if you can. I hope my tale is true enough and flexible enough that you can make it into a world worth living in.
- The danger that keeps me just a little frightened with every book I write, however, is that I'll overreach myself once too often and try to write a story that I'm just plain not talented or skilful enough to write. That's the dilemma every storyteller faces. It is painful to fail. But it is far sadder when a storyteller stops wanting to try.
- I don't believe that there are aliens. I believe there are really different people.
- Catholics will see anything that can talk as a baptizable person.
- with regards to baptizing aliens
- We're still struggling to find a significant amount of intelligence here, so no.
- on whether he believes in extraterrestrial intelligence.
- Many who were listening felt a vague disquiet. They had expected oration. Instead the Speaker's voice was nothing remarkable. And his words had none of the formality of religious speech. Plain, simple, almost conversational. Only a few of them noticed that its very simplicity made his voice, his speech utterly believable. He wasn't telling the Truth, with trumpets; he was telling the truth, the story that you wouldn't think to doubt because it's taken for granted.
- But you tell me that you loved her, though she was an adulteress. Isn't she the same person tonight? Has she changed between yesterday and today? Or is it only you who have changed?
- I loved Libo, the way everybody in Milagre loved him. But he was willing to be a hypocrite, and so were you, and without anybody even guessing, the poison of your lies hurt us all. I don't blame you, Mother, or him. But I thank God for the Speaker. He was willing to tell us the truth, and it set us free
- Fiction is a very poor tool for conversion, because if I label it as fiction then I'm telling you it's a pack of lies from the very start.
- Well, I wish I could tell you that Ender is like me, but Ender is very, very smart.
- When you really know somebody, you can't hate them...or maybe it's just that you can't really know them until you stop hating them.
- When you decide to hide something from me, will you at least tell me that aren't going to tell me?
- 'If human beings are all monsters, why should I sacrifice anything for them?'
- No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.
- This emotion I'm feeling now, this is love, right?
"I don't know. Is it a longing? Is it a giddy stupid happiness just because you're with me?" "Yes," she said.
- If I read it in the newspapers, it's probably wrong. If I read it in the major news magazines, it's hopelessly wrong.
- 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.
- Every action of Al-Qaeda is part of Osama's cynical plan to become the Caliph of Islam. He is persuading young Muslim men to kill themselves in order to further his own climb to absolute power over all Muslims, and then (he hopes) over the whole world. These young Muslim men, Osama says, are "martyrs, but every Muslim knows that martyrs are killed by the enemy, not self-murdered in order to kill innocents. Because they believe Osama's teachings, these young men cut themselves off from a lifetime of service to God, a lifetime of fathering children who would grow up to serve God. Instead they die in service of Osama's ambition. They are, in effect, suffering the same fate as the eunuchs who served as loyal slaves in the court of the Sultan in Istanbul. Cut off from the hope of having families of their own, their lives were spent in the service of Sultans who claimed to be religious leaders but were really nothing more than vicious exploiters and oppressors of the Muslim
- Her action ... meant one thing to him and something quite different to her; it was so different that it was not even the same event.
- If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
- Everyone you say who says that they have no religious beliefs is just so certain about their belief that they accept it as truth. If you just start asking probing questions, and they start getting mad, then you've found their religion.
- Faster than light travel — do I think it could happen in the way I describe? [snort] No.
- There are science fiction readers and science fiction convention attenders, and they are very different groups.
- You can't defeat a powerful enemy unless you understand him completely, and you can't understand him unless you know the desires of his heart, and you can't know the desires of his heart until you truly love him.
- If you write like James Joyce, you will have an audience of twenty. The other nineteen — besides your mother, because your father won't read it — will only be reading it to find out how on earth you got published.
- Tell the story plainly and clearly.
- Among my most prized possessions are the words that I have never spoken.
- Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf. Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it.
- It's the middle class that feels the luxury of being able to have causes.
- Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
- The criminal misuse of time was pointing out the mistakes. Catching them – noticing them – that was essential. If you did not in your own mind distinguish between useful and erroneous information, then you were not learning at all, you were merely replacing ignorance with false belief, which was no improvement.
- [They] have a higher allegiance to their own conscience than to the rules others set down for them. It's a failing, if your object is to maintain order, but if your goal is to learn and adapt, it's a virtue.
- Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden.
- Your work is first, learning is first, winning is everything because without it there is nothing.
Inadequately sourced quotes
- You need to remember that what you're dealing with here is the ideas I had when I was 16 that I'm putting in my fiction now.
- With regards to "philotes" in the Ender's Game series
- I am going to write you into a story someday, my friend. Remember that the ultimate power is mine. You may decide what you will do in this life, up to the point. But I will decide what others think of you, and not just now but long after you're dead. ** The Tales of Alvin Maker
- Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. [...] So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage.
- The Rhinoceros Times
- The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.
- The Ornery American
- Oddly enough, even as I am attacked by some as a homophobe, I am attacked by others as being too supportive of homosexuality, simply because I cannot see individual homosexuals, in or out of my books, as anything other than human beings with as complex a combination of good and evil in them as I find within myself.
The Worthing Saga
- See the Wikipedia article on The Worthing Saga for more information.
- Do you realize what you're saying? You're saying, please take me out of heaven, god, and send me to hell
- It's no challenge to destroy the weak
- I love only life. But life can only continue in the face of death.
- Something was bitterly wrong with the world, they could see that; they had all felt anger in the past, but till now something had always come between the thought and the act, and calmed them. Now, tonight, that calm was gone. They could feel it in themselves, nothing soothing their fear, nothing telling them wordlessly, all is well.
- Have you come to take away the pain again?" The man shook his head. The hope had been brief, but the disappointment was no less deep because of that. "If you can't do that then what good are you to us?
- They speak in my mind. Like" – and he hesitated before saying the childhood word – "Angels.
- You would turn away one who comes teaching the name of god?
The wicked can use god's name as well as god
How can we ever know, then, unless we try them? Or should we cast away all men who use the name of god, for fear they're blasphemers? What name will god use, then?
- What are they afraid of?
But they still die don't they?
- There is nothing so stupid or dangerous or painful that people wont eagerly do it, if by doing it they will make others believe that they are better or stronger or more honorable. I've seen people poison themselves, destroy their children, abandon their mates, cut themselves off from the world, all so that others would think that they were a better sort of person.
- Justice hates it when I make people obey me out of fear. She thinks it's ugly and not nice. She always used to make people obey her by changing what they wanted, so it didn't occur to them to disobey. I think that's degrading and turns people into animals
- Who were they to play god with his life? They had been playing god with his life from the beginning
- The truth was that neither the first nor the second test proved anything. But if they thought it proved something, he was just as dead.
- You must be careful. You must never know things you couldn't possibly know. It makes people upset
- It's the only way to save your life
Did you ever ask me if I wanted my life to be saved?
- Who are you, god? You decide who's supposed to live and how?
- Who are you?
A question I've been trying to answer since adolescence. I finally decided that I was neither god nor Satan. I was so disappointed that I didn't try to narrow it down any further
- Doon is the devil, isn't he?
Was. He's dead now. At least, he promised me that he'd die
But was he?
The devil? Satan. The adversary. The enemy of the plan of god. The undoer. The destroyer. Yes. He definitely was. But he meant well
- I wish I had been like you
I wish I had been like you
- People always believer things were better - before
- You had no choice
No, but you'd be amazed at how often people who have no choice act as if they had one, and lose everything because they could not bear to do what had to be done
- The puppet, wishes to be free
You are free. Stay and die, go and live – you have your choice
What choice is that!
What do you expect, an infinite selection? To have a choice at all is to be free – even when the choice is between two terrible things. Which is the most terrible, Jason? Which do you hate the most? Then choose the other and be glad
- To be without Doon, that was what frightened Jason the most. Doon was the foundation for his life, for good or ill; ever since Doon had found him, Jason had known nothing could go wrong in his life – Doon was watching. Now when he stumbled, who would lift him up? This was freedom after all, Jason realized, because from now on no one would save him from the consequences of his own acts. It wasn't freedom that I yearned for, was it? It was childhood that I wanted, and Doon is barring me from my refuge; he has been my father all these years, and now he's thrusting me away.
"Ill never forgive you for this"
- I'm so much like you that to love me is purest narcissism
- It's what isn't me in you that I most love. Where I have torn down, you will build up. I have made chaos for you, and the world is without form, and void. You are the light that will shine on the face of the deep
- I hate it when you say things you've been practicing up to say
- My strongest memories are yours
- I found out from their memories just what kind of person each was. Some were haters, the sort of people you'd expect to find in any conspiracy to kill. Others were merely afraid, others were dedicated to a cause – but I didn't care that much why they had wanted me dead. I needed to know more the purposes of their lives, what made them choose their choices
- If you don't hold on with at least one hand while you're balancing on only one foot up here, I'm going to throw you down myself to end the suspense
- He had an overdeveloped sense of empathy. He could imagine other peoples suffering, and felt it himself. His mother had used that against him all his life, torturing him with guilt for all the suffering of her life
- They had no use for a god who couldn't save them from everything
- This time he saw himself more clearly than before. He no longer believed the happiness, of course, but neither did he believe the scorn. He saw himself as if from a distance of years.
- He saw that he was young, but he did not hold it against himself. He also saw that he was happy, but he did not wish that he still felt that way. He remembered too well the pain of discovering how foolish he had been. He saw himself more as father had seen him, as a boy on a path of years, echoing childhood with every move, promising manhood also.
- And that combination of foolish happiness, shame, and love – meant something. Until then, the memories had meant nothing. But these visions of today had taken on a powerful resonance; his whole life trembled with it
- I've been wounded and you're using the bloody place to teach me, and if that's what gods are supposed to do, then I wish there were no gods at all
- A house of your own soon enough
It was this house I wanted to belong in. He hates me now,, and ill never have a chance again to make it right
Give him time to see you as a man on your own, and he'll come around, you'll see.
Now me. He wont forgive me. I look too much like grandfather, don't you see? I never had a chance here
- I never knew I love father till he lay there at the brink of death. Perhaps I never did love him, until he was nearly gone. It seemed a very powerful thought, until it occurred to him that justice probably put it into his mind
- People aren't individuals, even though we all think we are. Even before I came, what did you know of yourself, except what your family told you? Their tales of your childhood became your vision of yourself; you imitated your father and mother both, learned what it means to be a human being from them. Every pattern of your life has been bent and shaped by what other people do and what other people say
- He had only filled himself with anger, and he could not cease to hate just because he was asked to; not even because he wanted to
- She is god, not you
She was the least of the gods, if you want to call them that. But then, at the end she was the greatest
- Hypocrites, I said to them. You dare to rob mankind of all it's pain, yet treasure your own agonies. Who watches you?
- Did you ever think that however much they railed against the universe or fate or god or whatever else, that they might not thank you for stealing from them all that makes them human?
- For the first time Lared did not fear her and did not hate her, for the first time he understood what lay behind her choice, and though he thought that it was wrong, he realized it was not justice's fault
- No child can be understood without knowing the parents; no revolution can be understood without knowing the ancient regime; no colony can be understood without knowing the mother country; no new world can be understood without knowing the old world that went before.
- The opposite. I love only life. But life can only continue in the face of death.
Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card (1990)
- As a matter of fact, Rice Krispies are favored by solitary people.
- Oops, I thought. Oops is an all-purpose word standing for every bit of profanity, blasphemy, and pornographic and scatological execration I could think of.
- [He] made a little whimpering noise that meant everything she wanted it to mean.
- She didn't sound glad. It irritated him a little. Hurt his feelings. But instead of going off to nurse his wounds, he merely noticed his emotions as if he were a dispassionate observer. He saw himself; important self-made man, yet at home a little boy who can be hurt, not even by a word, but by a short pause of indecision. Sensitive, sensitive, and he was amused at himself: for a moment he almost saw himself standing a few inches away, could observe even the bemused expression on his own face
- What bothered him was that he didn't exactly care. He didn't not care either. He was just going through the motions as he had a thousand times before, and this time, suddenly, it all seemed so silly
- Surely a balance between two hungers leaves both satisfied.
- What a clear world you live in. All the lines neatly drawn
- All the causes or purposes of all our acts are just stories we tell ourselves, stories we believe or disbelieve, changing all the time. But still we live, still we act, and all those acts have some kind of cause. The patterns all fit together into a web that connects everyone who's ever lived with everyone else. And every new person changes the web, adds to it, changes the connections, makes it all different. That's what I find with this program, how you believe you fit into the web
Not how I really fit?
How can I know? How can I measure it? I discover the stories that you believe most secretly, the stories that control your acts. But the very telling of the story changes the way you believe. Moves some things into the open, changes who you are. I undo my work by doing it
- A way to make it respond to who a person really is. Cut through all the…
Cut through all the ?
Stories we tell ourselves. All the lies that we believe about ourselves. About who we really are
- What an ugly world you choose to live in
Not neat and pretty like yours, not bound about by rules the way yours is. Laws and principals, theories and hypotheses, may they cover your eyes and keep you happy
- I think you need help
Don't we all
- What kind of animal are you? Can't you make up a lie and believe it?
- I think god stopped paying attention long ago
- How is it less bearable than that beautiful boy who wanted so badly to do the right thing that he did it all wrong, lost his chance, and now is caught in the sum of all his wrong turns? I got on the road they all wanted to take, and I reached the top, but it wasn't where I should have gone, I'm still that boy. I did not have to lie when I went home to her
- You have no sex life whatsoever. Don't you realize how dangerous that is? You don't even masturbate. The tension and hostility inside you must be tremendous.
- To him, their marriage was his very soul. To [her], their marriage was just a friendship with sex.
- Her soul belong as much to [them] as to him. By dividing her loyalties, she fragmented them; none were strong enough to sway her deepest desires. Thus he discovered what he supposed all faithful men eventually discover – that no human relationship is ever anything but tentative. There is no such thing as an unbreakable bond between people.
- Nothing can last. Nothing is, finally, what it once seemed to be. [she] and he had the perfect marriage until there came a stress that exposed it's imperfection. Anyone who thinks he has a perfect marriage, a perfect friendship, a perfect trust of any kind, he only believes this because the stress that will break it has not yet come. He might die with the illusion of happiness, but all he has proven is that sometimes death comes before betrayal. If you live long enough, betrayal will inevitably come
- I don't ever want to see you again. You've made me regret the one unregretable decision of my life – [her]. You've made me wish, somewhere in my heart, that id never married her. Which is like making me wish id never been born
- But could he blame her for being glad that she didn't have to choose? Glad that she could have both?
- Once I thought [he] was god. Now I know he's much less powerful than that. He's merely fate.
No. Don't say that.
Not even fate. Just out guide through it. He sees the future and points the way.
- At last he was what he had always pretended to be. An ordinary, powerless man. He hated it.
- You have just described the relationship between males and females. Two completely different species, completely unintelligible to each other, living side by side and thinking they're really the same. The fascinating thing is that the two species persist in marrying each other and having babies, sometimes of one species, sometimes of other, and the whole time they can't understand why they can't understand each other.
- It's all right to love him
I know that
I mean, it's all right to love him more than you love us. More than you love any of us. More than you love all of us
- How do you understand me so well? "I only know what you show me and what you tell me. It's all we ever know about each other. The only thing that helps is that nobody can ever lie for long about who they really are. Not even to themselves
- He wanted to talk to her. Right now, at this moment, he wanted to tell her what he was thinking, wanted her to question him and argue with him until she made him come up with an answer, or lots of answers. He needed her to see what he wasn't seeing. He needed her a lot more than they needed her
- The greatest work of all is the one that will die with us, the one that no one else will ever know of, because they remain perpetually outside. We can't even explain it to them. They don't have the language to understand us. We can only speak I to each other
- He lived in one frozen, perfect moment – the moment when his heart was so full of love – no, not love. The moment when he decided, without love, that it would be better for his life, such as it was, to end than to have to watch [her] life end. It's is a moment that can be lived with for eternity
- She had the sort of beauty that started wars
- What do you mean, 'ah'?
Just 'ah.' does every 'ah' have to mean something?
- I am filled with all the truth that was discarded by men when they chose their lies and died for them. I am in constant pain, and now that I have met a man who does not add to my treasury of falsehood, you are the cruelest of them all.
- Then [she] wept with all her heart. Not for the cruel and greedy man who had warred and killed and savaged everywhere he could. But for the boy who had somehow turned into that man, the boy whose gentle hand had comforted her childhood hurts, the boy whose frightened voice had cried out to her at the end of his life, as if he wondered why he had gotten lost inside himself, as if he realized that it was too, too late to get out again
- The combination was irresistible even if he hadn't loved her desperately. (more than she loves me, he sometimes admitted to himself.) He did love her desperately, however, and while this did not mean that he utterly lost his own will, it did mean that he would go along with her, for a while at least, in almost anything. Even if she was a damned fool sometimes "You're a damned fool sometimes
I love you too"
- All that you do is mortal – it is all born. It all dies. And yet you struggle against mortality and have overcome it, building up tremendous stores of shared knowledge through your finite books and your finite words. You put frames on everything
Mass insanity, then. But it explains nothing about why you worship. You must come here to mock us.
Not to mock you. To envy you
- We have found a race that builds for the sheer joy of building, that creates beauty, that writes books, that invents the lives of never-known people to delight other who know they are being lied to, a race that devises immortal gods to worship and celebrates it's own mortality with immense pomp and glory. Death is the foundation of all that is great about humanity
- They were gnawed within by the grief of knowing that this greatest gift of all gifts was forever out of their reach.
- God destroyed the world before. Once in a flood, when Noah rode it out in the ark. And once the tower of the worlds pride was destroyed in the confusion of tongues. The other times, if there were any other times, those times are all forgotten.
- There was other folks who had a way of sucking you to them, without saying a thing, without doing a thing, you just went into a room and couldn't take your eyes off them, you wanted to be close – I saw that other kids felt the same way, just automatically liked them, you know? But I could feel it like they was on fire, and suddenly I was cold and needed to warm myself. And id say something about it and people would look at me like I was crazy enough to lock right up, and I finally caught on that I was the only one who had those feelings
- The world will probably be destroyed again, unless we repent. And don't think you can hide from the angels. They start out as ordinary people, and you never know which ones. Suddenly god put the power of destruction in their hands, and they destroy. And just as suddenly, when all the destruction is done, the angels leaves them, and they're ordinary people
- She was sure [he] would follow her. [he] would bend to her as he had always bent, resilient and accommodating
- I realized that to [him], at least, cowardice was not something to be loathed, it was something to be cast out, to be exorcised, to be killed
- He asked me quietly as we walked the next day, "What have you done to the young soldier?
Put the fear of god into him" I had meant to be funny. Odd, how a man can be careful in all his pronouncements, and then forget everything he knows as a joke comes to mind and he impulsively tells it
- At last I was able to explain that I hadn't understood the implications of my statement in their language, that I was transliterating and certain words had different meanings and so on and so on
- How is it possible that stupidity should end our lives when our enemies' cleverest stratagems had not
- I'll never make a mess like that again in my whole life. It took hours! You guys may think being a messy kid is easy, but I can tell you it is really hard work!
Many of the quotes listed here are not significant or meaningful, and none are properly cited. While they are, at least, organized by publication, no page numbers are listed for any quotes. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to clean this page up; list proper citations for all of the newest publications of the works listed here according to MLA format, provide page-number citations for queotes, and remove quotes which are not significant enough to be listed. Right now, this page is nearly useless--126.96.36.199 02:17, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
The only quote attributed to Card on this page (A rustic setting always suggests fantasy; to suggest science fiction, you need sheet metal and plastic. You need rivets.) is from How to Write Science Fiction. However, I don't have the book handy, so I can't tell you the page #.