Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In Which I Stick Up For Orson Scott Card

...what?

I do have pretty major problems with Card's politics. I am also not a huge fan of his work. It's my opinion that he had one great book in him and everything else has been shadowed by that.

That book, of course, is Ender's Game. It's one of the greatest anti-war novels of all time. It's about child soldiers - that tragedy that exists in far too many parts of our planet. It's about trickery and deceit, and it's about the utter cost of war.

So.

I was absolutely horrified last week to walk into a Barnes & Noble and see a little stack of Ender's Game paperbacks...

...on a table marked "Teen Action Adventure."

Dear booksellers and publishing industry:

Books are not YA just because the protagonist is under 18. This trend has disgusted me for a while and I have been jokingly saying "Next they'll put Ender's Game on the YA shelves." I was joking. Now they've done it.

On top of that, how dare they call it "action adventure?" Pacific Rim is action adventure. Ender's Game is a lot more than that.

Regardless of my personal opinion of the writer, it is a very special book and it is a true insult to Card to shelve it where they did.

Yeah.

I'm pretty mad about this. I can't believe I'm sticking up for Card, but I have to say something - because it's not just him. Hunger Games is also a great anti-war novel (and yup, was on the same table).

I get it. YA sells better. But classing books as YA that aren't does a disservice to the author, the material, and the readers.

And classing deeply philosophical books as "action adventure" is just ridiculous.

Sorry, Barnes & Noble.

You fail this time.