Tag Archives: Orson Scott Card

Booker Award: I Am a Bibliomaniac and Proud Of It!

Thanks to my blogging buddy, The Other Watson, I have been nominated for yet another award. I am so happy to accept this award as books are vital to my existence as a writer and human being. My love for books has transcended hobby and soared to a life time commitment. I respect the art of writing/storytelling as one of the finest arts known to all of life.  Receiving the Booker award is truly gratifying, as I strive to write my own stories.

First, I must once more thank The Other Watson for nominating me for this award as he sees so much promise in my blog. We ironically started out blogs within days of each other, and we have been great support for one another.

Next, I’d like to nominate other bloggers for being as book fiend-ish as I am.

1) Wings and Water-One of my dear friends has a fantastic blog about her writing journey speckled with bits of politics, and fun topics of discussion. She loves fantasy books with her entire being, and will be a published fantasy writer someday.

2) Write to Perfect-This a fantastic blog dedicated to insightful advice/tips on writing. Of course, these are the stepping stones, which have made our favorite books great. It is only fitting that I should choose a blog that helps writers to create great books for us to read.

3) mywithershins-This blog is a lovely little outlet for an amazing writer. She has tons of tips for writers after having two novels published. Her ideas are interesting and fresh, with extremely well-written posts. Please check her out because it is definitely worth the trip to her page!

4) 101 Books– Since I received the Booker Award, it is only just if I nominate another blogger who appreciates books in all of their glory. He aspires to reading the 100 greatest books according to Time magazine, which has become the center of his blog. He has witty, interesting posts that always keep me coming back for more.

5) wanton creation-The man who nominated me deserves even more face time. His blog is full of  creative ideas in addition to his love of books/writing. He always makes jokes, and he has plenty of anecdotes to pull you in to each post. I suggest reading his blog at least once.

Now onto the main event–MY 5 FAVORITE BOOKS!

The following are five books that I have deemed well-written and entertaining for anyone who loves a story that will capture your heart.

1)  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire- This dark novel follows the life of the Wicked Witch (Elphaba) throughout her life as she struggles to fit in with the people of Oz when she was born for something more extraordinary.  I fell in love with Maguire’s writing after I experienced the musical that was made from the book of the same title. The story you know from the movie The Wizard of Oz is not the whole story. Maguire gives us the dirty, and sometimes scary details of what happened before Dorothy came to Oz. In my opinion, one of the best books to expand upon an already popular story in an inventive way.

2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- This book is one of the most fantastic pieces of writing that I have ever purchased. The late Bradbury created a horrifying and realistic future where books are illegal and burned. It depicts the life Bradbury thought would come to pass if television became more popular than books. It subsidiary themes include love, censorship, and the power of knowledge. I will always hold this book close to my heart because I hope one day to create a novel that rises above my expectations, and inspires other in this field.

3) Being a Green Mother by Piers Anthony-  As one of the seven books in the Incarnations of Immortality series, this book should not be read outside of the series. While it is alright as a standalone, it is truly phenomenal as part of the series. What begins as a book about a woman trying to find her place in the world, it soon becomes a mystical place where ordinary people can become incarnations of the world such as Gaea (Mother Earth) and Thanatos (Death). It is a complex plot intertwining characters throughout 8 novels, and I hope that you enjoy it also!

4) Under the Dome by Stephen King- Ah, the man of my nightmares and dreamscapes. Stephen King may be known for gruesome horror fiction, but what his fans truly love him for is the character development he slaves over to achieve in every book. With around 6-8 central characters, the book creates a story that will never bore you. What would happen if you were trapped under an invisible dome and cut off from the world? Would people start killing because there was no one, but local people to enforce? The realistic quality of King’s writing allows your mind to melt with his ideas as if they were your own. His books are always exciting and hair raising, but this one tops them all!

5) Ender’s Game/Xenicide by Orson Scott Card-  My all-time favorite series to be published is the Ender series by science fiction writer, Orson Scott Card. He has mastered the genre of science fiction in these two books with gifted children, aliens, politics, and love. It is a culmination of what it means to be human in a world where aliens can potentially destroy the entire race or vice versa. Card flawlessly creates a world that you will get sucked into and love up until the final book (I have yet to read).

I can’t explain how much each and every person should read Ender’s Game, the first book in the series. If you can appreciate science fiction in any sense, you will most likely fall in love!

 

Hope you check out these books and the wonderful bloggers who have made a name for themselves through their fantastic blog posts. Happy reading/writing!

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Orson Scott Card is a Science Fiction God

Let it be known, Orson Scott Card is not the end-all-be-all for science fiction writers, but he’s damn close. Regrettably, I was only introduced to one of his best selling books a few months ago, so I am not a long time fan. I say regrettably because (like any fantastic author) he hooked me within the first page.

SPOILER ALERT: There will be spoilers in the following paragraphs!

Orson Scott Card's amazing novel!

The premise of Ender’s Game is simple: people of Earth discover alien species that “wishes” to harm them. We engage in epic wars that last decades, until the governments of Earth band together, and decide to enlist children in the International Fleet to help save the world. They train children as space soldiers, breeding them to be smarter and quicker than ever before. Ender (Andrew) Wiggins becomes a special student of the I.F. and soon learns he has been destined to save the world against these Buggers. Through the careful training and help of his friends he is able to defeat the Buggers through a battle simulation, controlling the real soldiers remotely. He saves the world, but unknowingly has destroyed an entire race.

The first of four books in the Shadow Series

Now, one of my friends had suggested this novel a long time ago, but the military/ genetic thing didn’t wet my whistle, so to speak. However, the trust of an old friend, and forcefulness of his attitude beckoned me to give it another shot. When I mean forcefulness I mean: taking out 13 books in the Enderverse and putting them in my car to make me read them, secretly knowing that once I read the first book I would not stop. And I didn’t stop, I have worked through the books at a slower rate than I would like (school books and all that stuff). I have finally finished all books on the Ender side of the collection. I have just begun the Shadow Series (Ender’s Shadow), which is  a mini-series following Bean, one of Ender’s comrades in battle school.

It has occurred to me that Card has knowingly/unknowingly created one of the most elaborate and well thought out universes I have ever seen.  Save for the elaborate books on Star Wars or Star Trek, I have never seen a collection of book so dedicated to one main story.  For me, I prefer a series or collection of books on one character or place rather than a standalone novel. It’s like a t.v. series that I can go back to every day, and have more and more to discover. I know they can’t last forever, but at least I have a steady stream of the same good writing, and a great story. So, discovering Card’s dedication to the Enderverse is like discovering a gold mine for me.

In addition, I think that I have found my source for constant inspiration. It happens every time I read Stephen King and now every time I read Orson Scott Card. He makes me want to stop in the middle of reading to write, but t the same time I don’t want to stop reading his amazing books! Just as I started Ender’s Shadow, I had ideas for my own short story, which I haven’t touched since I received notes from my mentor a few weeks ago. It has been slow starting after these comments, but somehow it’s always better if I’m reading about Ender and the kids from battle school.

On another note, I want to suggest all of these books. Just type in Ender or Orson Scott Card and it will take you to the list of books surrounding Enderverse. I as always read the series somewhat out of order, but it was very easy to piece things together. If you are remotely interested in space, aliens, or science fiction, this is the book for you. Even if you aren’t this book is not super heavy on advanced technology or weird languages for the beginner science fiction reader. I would/have suggested this book to everyone I can because it changed my perspective on science fiction. I can’t wait to be finished with Enderverse and explore the other worlds that Orson Scott Card has created. If his other books are half as good as these, I think I will have a lot of inspirational material to use in the future.

Happy reading!

 

 

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Advances in My Personal Book Collection (Verging on Bibliomaniac)

Thanks to my new job, I can now continue my quest to hoard books. I say hoarding because the thrill of purchasing tons of books will eventually consume my future house if I don’t prepare for it properly. At this point in my life  I probably have about 50-60 books acquired, which is not that bad by standards for writers. However, the amount of books that I have read out of that number is not as impressive. I have at least a dozen books that I have not read yet, and that frustrates me. My typical routine is that I start one book, find another that I also want/need to read, and then slowly work on the list of currently reading until I’m done with the books.

Over the years, I’ve been able to work through my reading list relatively quickly. At the same time, there are so many books out there that I don’t know if I’ll ever get to them all. Couple that with a full-time job/school and you have a recipe for an overwhelmed writer. I know that one of the most important parts of writing is constantly reading to learn vital skills. Sometimes, the reading part gets in the way of the writing because books are just so addictive. Other times, books make me want to stop reading just so I can write.

This love of books and writing has given me a future full of things to do. If I ever claim to be bored it will only be because I have forgotten to bring a book with me or I’m doing an activity that doesn’t allow me to write. Anyway, I’ve decided to share with you my recent book purchase to share some hopefully good books and get some opinions on them.

1. Devices and Desires  by P.D. James-It is a requirement for this practicum’s reading list, but it is so much more than that. My love of crime/murder mysteries is rooted deeply in my love of cliches. I foresee this book to be like greatly once I read it. Set in Norfolk, “Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, in Larsoken to settle an estate left him at the death of a relative, is drawn into the investigation of a serial killer, the Whistler” (Amazon).  I am thrilled to get this book started, but I will have to wait because I am saving it for my last critical essay. I am hoping my knowledge of crime novels will help me to make this the best paper of the practicum.

Even the cover makes me want to read it and feel the power of the Amazon women

2.The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman-I found this book after finishing my assignment with The Blackbird House. My re-connection with Hoffman instilled a desire to find more of her books, which led me to this one. A classic coming of age story following a young girl, who is destined to be the leader of the powerful Amazon warriors. Just the fact that it is about Amazon warriors was enough to make me buy it (getting it for $0.75 was even better). I am so excited for this book knowing the magical quality of Hoffman’s writing. I have always been obsessed with Greek mythology and like stories, so this will be right up my alley. It is only one of many Hoffman books I must now cross off my list.

 

The Mists of Avalon-so epic!

3. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley-I was suggested to read this book by my mentor, and in a spur of the moment I purchased it as well. When she first suggested the book I was intrigued by the subject of Arthurian legends. They are an integral aspect of all fantasy writing, so I was dedicated to reading it with such a strong suggestion. Lo and behold, I had already read the prequel to this book called, The Forest House. I read the book during my high school library escapades where I picked the library clean of awesome books.

Yet, I never remembered the title. So, going back I searched key words I remember and found the book. Then, the pieces of the puzzle began connecting. It is even more special for me to read this book knowing its connection to the prequel, which I adored. Bradley’s spin on the Arthurian legends comes from the p.o.v. the book is written. She wrote the story from the perspective of the under appreciated women of the tales. Morgan Le Fay, Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, and Igraine all find their voice in this version of the classic fantasy.  I await the arrival of the book to get started on this epic adventure!

After I read the book, I will have to check out the tv series and A&E special on this creepy looking book!

4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman- This was another suggestion by one of my good friends from Carlow’s M.F.A. group, Colin O’Boyle, who definitely knows good fantasy/science fiction. This particular novel is focuses on Richard Mayhew, a young man who stumbles into the dark, mystical world of London Below. Without much more information than that I was hooked. I would have purchased all of his books, but I can only read so many at a time. So, hopefully this book will live up to the big name Gaiman has made for himself.

Overall, I believe my purchase has been a success. I managed to get the final book I needed for school and plenty of light reading in between. I also just finished Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card, and I am ready to move on to the Shadow Series to complete all books in the Enderverse. It seems that I have plenty of inspiration coming my way to develop my short story.

Please comment your opinions, reviews, and suggestions for other books by these authors or genres. I love hearing what people think of books before I read them.

Happy reading/writing!

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When Good Books Turn Into Bad Movies

Today’s topic is one readers know all to well. When your favorite book gets turned into a move the following questions cross your mind:

What actors will they pick and will they do the characters justice?

What will they sound like and how will they pronounce the names/places?

Should I ever bother seeing them mess it up?

Or am I obligated to see my favorite characters visualized on the screen?

All of these questions are valid. My first book movie experience was the Harry Potter series and up until the third movie, I was incredibly happy with the film version. Then when the director changed and a character died, the films lost their magical connection to the books. I personally feel an obligation to see a movie made from a book I’ve read and especially loved. At the moment, I’m holding out for the movie version of Orson Scott Card’s famous novel Ender’s Game. Although nothing will replace the images inside my head it will be very interesting to see what other people envision and compare the p.o.v. after seeing the film.

The idea of making a film out of a book came to me because I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tonight. Since I have not read the book before watching the movie my opinion of the characters is only based on the actors/actresses. However, I could see the holes in the plot and detail that can only be filled by the lengthy paragraphs of a novel.

The fundamental question is…can a film truly capture the meaning of a novel or even a short story without using all of the information or always inside the head of the characters?

For me, it’s a no. It can’t. As a writer, nothing is more involving than getting inside the head of the character and knowing everything they think and being able to have the narrator give objective information all of the time.

While movies have the visual effect of showing you the entire street or the entire world of the story…and the narrator can say what’s inside the character’s head…it is never enough to completely immerse you. There is always something the director or screenwriter must leave out and most of the time that information is the most important.

Let’s go back to the Orson Scott Card example. I am immediately displeased that the actor playing the main character is too old and the character does not become that age until half way through the book. I am also upset that they probably will not show pivotal scene in the character’s life (killing boys that bully him) because the film will be rated for younger kids. This seemingly innocent piece of censorship to shield children from violence is altering the entire meaning of the story.

So, regardless of my complaints already I will see the movie of one of my favorite books. I feel it is an obligation to see all forms of the book and characters I love so much.

But now I turn the discussion to you dedicated readers and movie buffs.

What is your opinion on book movies?

Do any of them do a good job of depicting the book? If so what ones and why?

And for the haters-which movies did the worst job of depicting the book and why?

Thanks to Google Images for this photo

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