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Ender's Game | Study Guide

Orson Scott Card

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Orson Scott Card | Biography


Early Life

Orson Scott Card was born in Richland, Washington, to a prominent Mormon family on August 24, 1951. The family also lived in California and Arizona before settling in Utah. Card has described his childhood as idyllic. Young Orson was an avid reader and has identified many books of his youth as later influences on his writing.

Card became a theater major at Brigham Young University. After graduating from college in 1975, Card launched his own theater company, but it was not successful, and Card found himself in debt. To supplement his limited income, he wrote the short story "Ender's Game," which was published in 1977.

Ender's Game

The short story version was quite popular, earning Card an award for best new writer. In the mid-1980s he extended the story into a full-length novel, also called Ender's Game. Card calls Ender's Game "the launching pad of my career." The novel won the Nebula and Hugo Awards for science fiction, as did its sequel, Speaker for the Dead (1986). For more than 30 years, Card extended the series, writing numerous novels about Ender, Bean, and others in the same fictional universe. Ender's Game has inspired devoted fans but has been criticized for its violent portrayal of children. A Marvel Comics series is based on the Ender novels.

Personal Life and Other Works

Card and his wife married in the late 1970s and had five children. One child died at birth and another died at age 17 from cerebral palsy. Card has written many science fiction and fantasy novels as well as novels and scripts based on Mormon religious beliefs. He was a recipient of the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his contribution to writing for teens. A sampling of his other works includes:

American Frontier Fantasy

Seventh Son (2003), first in the "Tales of Alvin Maker" series

Young Adult Fantasy

Pathfinder (2010), first book in the "Pathfinder" trilogy

Biblical Novels

Stone Tables (2010)

Rachel and Leah (2010), first in the "Women of Genesis" trilogy

Contemporary Fantasy

Magic Street (2005)

Enchantment (2005)

Lost Boys (2013)

Card has also written poetry, blogs, and periodical contributions. In 2011 he suffered a stroke, but he continued to write and consulted on the production of a movie version of Ender's Game in 2013. He has served as a distinguished professor of writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. Although he has written more than 60 books, Ender's Game is perhaps Card's most influential work.

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