Today I read—again— Card’s novel Empire, first published in 2006 and wanted to say a few things about what it was like to pick it up after ten years.
I want to include a quote from Card’s Afterward. So many reviewers have panned this book based on its sticking a pin in their own pet ideologies, that I felt it important that I point this out.
Furthermore, just because the characters in the story have political opinions, It is still important to remember this story is FAR from a left-bashing novel from a right-wing viewpoint. So, here is the quote:
“We are created by ideology; ideas are our only connections. And because today we have discarded the free marketplace of ideas and have polarized ourselves into two equally insane ideologies, so that each side can, with perfect accuracy, brand the other side as mad men, we are ripe for that next step, to take preventive action to keep the other side from seizing power and oppressing our side…. That we are generally oblivious to the excesses of our own side merely demonstrates how close we already are to a paroxysm of self-destruction.” — Empire page 350 Orson Scott Card
So many reviewers have attacked this book based on their belief that Card espouses a Red belief system over a Blue one. So what the author has to say about his own beliefs should have some weight.
The story was entertaining. The premise was on the money. The insight into the major weakness of our society today was devastating. If you are an extremist for either platform that dominates our country now, you will no doubt recoil in horror at the notion that there might be something wrong with what YOU think is TRUTH.
It was written in 2006. Ten years later it’s a lot scarier. Don’t you think? Maybe some of you need to come back and re-examine your critiques this year.