Orson Scott Card Biography & Facts
Orson Scott Card (born August 24, 1951) is an American writer known best for his science fiction works. He is currently the only person to win both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award in consecutive years, winning both awards for both his novel Ender's Game (1985) and its sequel Speaker for the Dead (1986) back-to-back. A feature film adaptation of Ender's Game, which Card co-produced, was released in 2013. Card also wrote the Locus Fantasy Award-winning series The Tales of Alvin Maker (1987–2003).
Card's works were influenced by classic literature, popular fantasy, and science fiction; he often uses tropes from genre fiction. His background as a screenwriter has helped Card make his works accessible. Card's early fiction is original but contains graphic violence. His fiction often features characters with exceptional gifts who make difficult choices with high stakes. Card has also written political, religious, and social commentary in his columns and other writing. Card's opposition to homosexuality has provoked public criticism.
Card, who is a great-great-grandson of Brigham Young, was born in Richland, Washington, and grew up in Utah and California. While he was a student at Brigham Young University (BYU), his plays were performed on stage. He served in Brazil as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and headed a community theater for two summers. Card had twenty-seven short stories published between 1978 and 1979, and won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1978. He earned a master's degree in English from the University of Utah in 1981 and wrote novels in science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, and historical fiction genres in the 1980s. Card continued to write prolifically, and published over 50 novels and over 45 short stories.Card teaches English at Southern Virginia University; he has written two books on creative writing and serves as a judge in the Writers of the Future contest. He is a practicing member of LDS Church and has taught many successful writers at his "literary boot camps." Mormon fiction writers Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, and Dave Wolverton have cited his works as a major influence.
Childhood and education
Orson Scott Card was born on August 24, 1951, in Richland, Washington. He is the son of Peggy Jane (née Park) and Willard Richards Card, and is the third of six children and the older brother of composer and arranger Arlen Card. Card's family has Mormon pioneer heritage. His direct ancestors include Brigham Young, Charles Ora Card, Zina P. Young Card, Zina Young Card Brown and Hugh B. Brown.When Card was one month old, his family moved to San Mateo, California, so Willard Card could begin a sign-painting business. When he was three years old, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, so his father could finish his bachelor's degree. The family moved to Santa Clara, California, when Card was six; they stayed there for seven years while his father completed his master's degree and worked as a professor at San Jose State College. In school, Card took classes for gifted students but he was more interested in studying music—he played clarinet and French horn. He read widely, including historical fiction, nonfiction, and literary classics. At age ten, he wrote his first story, which was about an intelligent child who is assaulted by bullies and sustains brain damage. Ender's confrontation with Stilson in Ender's Game is based on this story.In 1964, Card and his family moved to Mesa, Arizona, where he participated in mock debates in junior high school. In 1967, the family moved to Orem, Utah, where his father worked at Brigham Young University (BYU). Card attended BYU's laboratory school, where he took both high school and early college-level classes before graduating in one year. When beginning his college studies he intended to major in anthropology, but after becoming increasingly more interested in theater, he began script-writing, writing ten original plays and rewriting other students' plays. Most of his plays were based on Mormon history and scriptures; one was science fiction. By watching the body language of an audience, he could tell when an audience was interested in his scripts. During his studies as a theater major, he began doctoring scripts, adapting fiction for reader's theater production, and writing one-act and full-length plays, several of which were produced by faculty directors at BYU. Charles W. Whitman, Card's play-writing professor, encouraged his students to write plays with LDS themes. Card studied poetry with Clinton F. Larson at BYU. He also wrote short stories, which were later published together in The Worthing Saga.Before graduating, Card served as a missionary for the LDS Church in Brazil starting in 1971. During his mission, he wrote a play called Stone Tables. He returned from his mission in 1973 and graduated from BYU in 1975, receiving a bachelor's degree with distinction in theater. After graduation, he started the Utah Valley Repertory Theatre Company, which for two summers produced plays at "the Castle", a Depression-era outdoor amphitheater. After going into debt with the community theatre's expenses, Card took part-time employment as a proofreader at BYU Press, moving on to full-time employment as a copy editor. In 1981, Card completed his master's degree in English at the University of Utah where he studied with François Camoin and Norman Council. He began a doctoral program at the University of Notre Dame but dropped out to pursue his more lucrative writing projects.
In 1977, Card married Kristine Allen, who is the daughter of Mormon historian James B. Allen. The two met when Kristine was in the chorus of a roadshow Card directed before his mission. They courted after Card's mission, and Card was impressed with her intellectual rigor.: 1:30 After their marriage they had five children; their son Charles had cerebral palsy and died aged 17; their daughter Erin died the day she was born. Card's short story, Lost Boys, is highly autobiographical, but contains the death of a fictional child. One of Card's workshop readers, Karen Fowler, said that Card had pretended to experience the grief of a parent who has lost a child. In response, Card realized that the story expressed his grief and difficulty in accepting Charles's disability.: 119 Card stated that he rarely discusses Charles and Erin because his grief has not faded over time.: 1:35:15 Card and his wife live in Greensboro, North Carolina; their daughter Emily, along with two other writers, adapted Card's short stories Clap Hands and Sing, Lifeloop, and A Sepulchre of Songs for the stage in Posing as People. Card suffered a mild stroke on January 1, 2011, and made a full recovery.
In 1976 Card became an assistant editor at the LDS Church's magazine Ensign and moved to Salt Lake City. While working at Ensign, Card published his first piece .... Discover the Orson Scott Card popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Orson Scott Card books.