Orson Scott Card

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Mormon Writer Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is a writer, teacher, and political activist. His most well-known novels include Ender's Game (1985), Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead (1986). He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes casually called the Mormon Church, and he is the descendant of Mormon pioneers, including Brigham Young, who is his great, great, grandfather.

Card won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer from the World Science Fiction Convention in 1978. He has won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award in consecutive years for Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, making Card the only author to win both of American science fiction's top prizes in consecutive years.

Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series — The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts. His commentaries on subjects from literature and film to restaurants and consumer products appear weekly in his column "Uncle Orson Reviews Everything" (published by the Rhinoceros Times in Greensboro, NC, and then online), while his writings on culture, politics, and world affairs, online at "The Ornery American" (www.ornery.org), are a part of the new blog journalism.

He was born in Richland, Washington, on August 24, 1951, and raised in California, Arizona, and Utah. He grew up in a home where reading, music, and performing were valued, and he participated in all of these. He attended Brigham Young University, majoring in theater arts. Irritated by general course requirements, he focused on writing as much as possible, studying poetry writing under Clinton F. Larson. Close to graduating, he served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. After graduating with a BA in Theater, Card was a staff editor at The Ensign, the official magazine of the LDS Church. He had already begun writing science fiction, with his first effort being Ender's Game, which started out as a novelette for Analog Magazine. He later earned a master's degree in English from the University of Utah in 1981. He also spent a year in a PhD program at the University of Notre Dame.

Besides his writing, Card teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He recently began a long-term position as a professor of writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. Card has worked closely with colleagues to develop new and effective ways to educate aspiring writers and has published two books on the subject. Card is an avid fan of the sci-fi television series "Firefly" and makes an appearance in the documentary Done the Impossible about Firefly fandom.

Ender's Game was released as a feature film in 2013; other film projects based on his work are at various stages. Meanwhile, Card remains an avid watcher and critic of film and television, as well as books and music. In 2017, BYUtv began showing "Extinct," a series that Card and Aaron Johnston wrote. This is the second original-scripted series that BYUtv has produced. The show begins 400 years after the extinction of the human race, when a small group of humans are given the chance to restart their lives. “Extinct” follows the journey of Ezra, Feena, and Abram who are Reborns who have been restored to the prime of their lives by an alien civilization called Originators.

Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card (married in 1977), and Zina Margaret, their youngest surviving child. Their third child, Charles, was born with cerebral palsy and died shortly after he turned seventeen. Their fifth child, Erin, lived only one day. His children have influenced the characters and subject matter of his novels.

From 2009 to 2013, Card was a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that sought to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage.