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The most: Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. Think I've bought almost a dozen copies over the years. Although that book wasn't really a gift, more a loan I never got back.

Others:

Lord of the Rings - I gave this to the guard who detained me in Russia. I thought it was the best revenge.

The life changing magic of tidying - to my partner. We're both messy. I've read it, she hasn't... neither of us have changed.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami to the friend who lent me Wind up Bird Chronicle all those years ago and started me on the path.




Searched the page for Ender's Game, I've always really enjoyed that book. I never had to read it for school but an older friend of mine did and told me to read it. I did and then a few years later was able to use it for a "pick your own book" report in school. I was always embarrassed to lend out my copy as it had writing in the margins that I had to do for school so I just bought it and gave it away whenever I was going to lend it. Really great book and this reminds me I still need to read the rest of the Ender series, I read all of the Bean/Shadow story line but somehow never got around to the continuation of the Ender line.


Just so you know, the Ender line is very different from Ender's Game and the Shadow series. A lot of people are incredibly disappointed that they're not just like the first book in the series - but I think they're excellent books none-the-less.


> I still need to read the rest of the Ender series, I read all of the Bean/Shadow story line but somehow never got around to the continuation of the Ender line.

They go in a very different direction. The Bean/Shadow books are still military fiction, and the Ender ones are... not. I do recommend reading them, but just don't go into them expecting anything similar.


This is what has kept me from reading them, I greatly enjoy military fiction (especially when you add sci-fi into the mix, I semi-recently read the whole Honor Harrington series and loved it).


1Q84 is probably my favourite Murakamai book so far.


I love fact it took the entire first book to get 'weird'. It just teeters on the edge before dropping right off the cliff.


Enders Game was on my list of books I've given to people too. I've lost how many copies of bought, but at least 10.


Funnily enough, same here with Ender's Game (not as many copies though)


Make an effort to pirate Ender's Game versus spending money on it; the author is a notorious bigot who uses his money to destroy equal human rights.


If you're interested in reading someone's books without paying for them, I propose there are several decent alternatives:

1. Do the legal thing and go down to the local library, even at some inconvenience to yourself.

2. Drop the smug sense of moral superiority.

3. Stick up for your moral superiority by making a sacrifice by depriving yourself of the pleasure.

It doesn't make a whit of difference in the economy, but it's the right thing to do for your principles. I'll be over here celebrating having a diversity of viewpoints in literature, so git off my lawn.


Another point to tack onto this: The value of the work itself is well worth paying for, even if it has hidden costs to it, like when we drive cars or buy things made in sweatshops. His books are beautiful, and were influential to me when I was younger, particularly Speaker for the Dead. If one bigot helps to inspire tolerance and introspection in millions of people, then he'll have done far more harm than good, no matter how he spends the money.

I was actually shocked to find out about his personal views years after reading his books. Perhaps he needs to give Speaker a read himself.


> 1. Do the legal thing and go down to the local library, even at some inconvenience to yourself.

How the fuck is that any different than my torrenting the epub and reading it on my iPad?

The exact same words, read by the exact same person, for the exact same amount of value transferred between the exact same people.

Stop it with this meaningless worship of the fiction of intellectual property.

PS: Downloading content for which you lack a license is not illegal.


Stop acting like you have some sort of right to access content that you don't own or have not acquired though methods that the author has authorized.

To answer your question regarding library ... libraries have a limited number of copies (versus the unlimited digital pirated copies) thus still creating a supply a demand market that may have some people decide to simply purchase if there is a long wait list for a popular title.

>PS: Downloading content for which you lack a license is not illegal.

That depends on where you live ... however morally it's wrong no matter where you are.

>Stop it with this meaningless worship of the fiction of intellectual property.

Those who create works have the option of controlling the licensing ... same as with software, hey can open source, close source, public source etc... the point is they have the choice... if you can't respect the decisions of those who license under licenses you don't personally agree with how can you expect anyone to respect works licensed under licenses that you do approve of.


The idea of the possession of a given sequence of bits as illegal and requiring a licence to permit is fundamentally absurd.

I have a right to copy any bits I choose. What those bits represent is immaterial.


I don't believe there is any difference, and have stated as much. But principles are supposed to be the things you seriously inconvenience yourself to defend, not the things you use as a convenient excuse to make things more convenient.

I mean, if you just said "property is theft!" as a justification when you lifted peoples' wallets, it'd seem a bit like "situational ethics". When you have an intellectual beef with someone while pirating their intellectual output in the form of literature, though, that's really going the extra mile. It may not be complete hypocrisy, but it sure has a lot of the appearance thereof.


I don't believe in or support copyright or Orson Scott Card's commercial success in any line of business.


> How the fuck is that any different than my torrenting the epub and reading it on my iPad?

In England authors get a (tiny) fee when their books are borrowed from a library.

Is that not the case in the US?

https://www.plr.uk.com/


The authors get paid by the library, when they lend you a book (at least here in Denmark). So it is not the same.


It's baffling that the same man who wrote the stories I loved can stand up and with a straight face tell everyone that gays aren't like us, and that gay marriage is destroying civilization.

He literally said that, at a reading I attended. After telling us about the power of stories and humanity, he veered into that as a total non-sequitur.


It's almost like the quality of art and the artist's character are not related...


This is what I tell people when they start telling me that they refuse to read his work, or pay for his work, etc.

But it's not like he's a painter; he tells stories of empathy, of understanding, of togetherness, of bridging chasms of understanding. He came up with the Hierarchy of Foreignness - he wrote stories of people emphasizing with insect hives, of aliens that have nothing in common with us, of people who suffer for others with no reward.

And yet, he can simultaneously see the other side of the Necker cube where two men kissing is somehow going to bring down America.

It's just... uncanny.


Do you ever wonder if he's just... I dunno, trolling us? Or performing some strange social experiment he'll write about at the end of his life?

I just don't understand how a man who wrote a book with such a thorough understanding of empathy can display so little of it in life.


I think it's useful to ignore the personal life of artists and just take the work at face value.

Surely a great many people who have accomplished amazing things are also deeply flawed (even reprehensible) humans.


I like to think of it the other way round --- look how good his books are despite some of his frankly appalling opinions.

That said, and while I like _Ender's Game_ a great deal and think it's an excellent book, I did find an analysis once about how fundamentally it's about how fear and violence are the only appropriate actions when faced with the unknown; Ender may be sorry for what he did afterwards... but that's afterwards. Unfortunately there are so many half-baked essays about the book online I've been unable to find this again.

Do go and read Haldeman's _The Forever War_ as a counter to it, though. (It's also an excellent book.)


I've read The Forever War, and it was good.

Have you read the sequels? The Speaker for the Dead branch of the sequels; Ender goes on to do more than just feel sorry for the Formics, and other intelligences that humanity discovers. Arguably, he more than makes amends for the mistakes he and the rest of humanity make.


> gay marriage is destroying civilization.

That's silly of him. Even if you're a fan of family-values theory, he's got cause-and-effect backwards here. Widespread acceptance of gay marriage is simply the ultimate realization in these times of the sexual revolution that firmly took hold in the nation in the 1960s; if something is "destroying civilization", it's that larger cultural shift.


It's not baffling. The same anti-gay, pro-genocide themes are present throughout most of Card's novels and short stories.


Examples please.


Calling Ender's Game pro-genocide is a riot, but I guess if you didn't read the next 3 novels where Ender is trying to atone for his unwitting participation through an allegory on the book of Mormon, it works. There's Pastwatch which is so pro-genocide that it has a future civilization go back in time to inoculate the Americas against European diseases, and they successfully Westernize their technology just enough to make colonization moot. If I recall correctly in the Alvin Maker series, the main character sympathizes with the Native American population under pressure from alternate-history Colonial America. Let's see, what else...

There's that allegory on the Book of Mormon - the pure allegory, the Homecoming one, meh, might be worth scrutinizing the last bits when they actually get to their little promised land and there's fractious conflict? Betting no one really reads that stuff outside of Utah, though - I certainly can't believe I bothered. (It was a slow summer that year and my standards may have been low.) Anyway, moving on... I skipped most of the horror except for the Sleeping Beauty novel...

Oh! There's also the Songmaster stuff in which - in 1980! - had a homosexual main character who (while ultimately a tragic character) was treated with such human dignity and respect that Card had to fend off scathing criticism from his own church (and others') for doing so.

Orson Scott Card is like Atticus Finch and we're all reading Go Set A Watchman. If all we can find for either of these characters today is hate and loathing and calls to pirate books, what kind of a future are we really setting ourselves up for?


> Card had to fend off scathing criticism from his own church (and others')

This actually supports my hunch that Card has been pressured to make a public pronouncement of homophobic values, since the messages in the Ender series are largely subversive and pacifistic.

I'm not too familiar with the Book of Mormon, so any detail you care to share about the allegory would be appreciated.


Ultra-abridged version: The prophet sees a new, better way of living, gathers a few people to himself, gets rejected by society at large, and ultimately they wander off to the wasteland to found a city which will be a beacon to humanity by showcasing a more enlightened way of living.

That's the Homecoming series plot (complete with the voice of a guardian spirit / computer system that only a chosen few hear), the (extended) Ender's Game endgame, the Alvin Maker endgame, the Wyrms endgame, and you can see deep dark shadows of it in Pastwatch and Treason, among others. Oh, and you can see clearly that the unfinished series that Lovelock is going that way to boot.

It's not a bad tale, but the variety's a trifle lacking.




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