Friday, January 04, 2008

Oh Mr. Card…Is there anything you wouldn’t do to try to make me lose respect for you?

This year for Christmas I got a pretty good haul. I got the usual amount of teeth rotters, and the usual amount of things to fill up the empty storage spaces in my room, but I got an unusual amount of two things. The two things that just so happen to my favorite things on earth, (not counting girls, pizza and many other things) video games and books! By unusual amount I mean I got more than I could have hoped. So now I have a handy-dandy N64 and have been playing Perfect Dark since Christmas. I’ve almost beat it now. And of course my other favorite thing I got is books. Orson Scott Card books to be exact. I got his whole “Shadow” series! You know, starting with “Ender’s Shadow” and ending with “Shadow of the Giant”. And since I love these books so much I’ve been going through them like crazy. And I’m already on the last one, Shadow of the Giant. And as I was reading last night I was shocked to find one of our major characters finding himself in…Estonia! Hegemon Peter Wiggin and Russian Battle School Grad/General Vlad met in Kohtla-Järve for a secret meeting. And of course seeing as how Vlad is Russian he has to get in a little mockery at the Estonians. Here is a little quote from part of their conversation…

“Ambition balanced against survival instinct,” said Peter “Ambition leads you to great risk. But ambition never leads you to certain destruction.”“Unless you’re a fool.”
“There are no fools in this park today,” said Peter “Unless you count the spies lying underwater breathing through straws in order to overhear our conversation.”
“It’s the best the Estonians can do,” Said Vlad
“I’m glad to know that Russians haven’t forgotten their sense of humor.”
“Everybody knows a few dozen Estonian jokes.”
“Who do Estonians joke about?” asked Peter.
“Estonians of course. Only they don’t realize that they’re jokes.”
Laughing, they left the park and headed back, Peter to his chauffeured car, Vlad to the train back to St. Petersburg.

I don’t know how I should feel. But no matter whether I feel insulted by my beloved home being the butt of a joke or honored that Orson Scott Card even knows this country exists I’m still intrigued as to how and why he picked Estonia, and why Kohtla-Järve of all places? And he earlier describes it as “A town in northeastern Estonia with delusions of cityhood” It makes me wonder…has Orson Scott Card been to Estonia? This book is copyrighted 2005…was he here when I was? I’ve been here since 2004. Well why I wonder this is because one of the big reasons I have trouble righting fiction is because I can’t write about a place I’ve never been, or a people group I don’t know much about. Because I’m always worried that I’ll say “and then our beloved Russian hero climbs the mountain in Estonia…” and I’ll get angry e-mails saying “YOU IDIOT! THERE AREN’T ANY MOUNTAINS IN ESTONIA! AND ANY RUSSIAN IN ESTONIA ISN’T A HERO! YOU’VE BEEN HERE SINCE 2004 AND YOU STILL DON’T KNOW THAT?” Though the highest point in the Baltics is in Estonia it is by no ones definition a mountain. And I’ve met some great Russians, but old prejudices die hard. So I could write a story about…not American, not enough real experience with them, maybe Estonian characters who travel from Tallinn, to Rome, to Helsinki, to New York while doing…what? I have no true experience with guns or any other type of weaponry. So not fighting evil, but…preaching? See what a lame story that would be? I always feel like to tell a realistic story it has to be about stuff I have experience with. I’ve tried writing fiction, I really have. And I have written some half decent stuff that sleeps on my hard drive. But nothing real. So after getting really sidetracked I go back to my point. Because I have such a handicap for fictional writing does that mean that all writer’s do? Does that mean that Orson Scott Card was able to write about Kohtla-Järve because he’d been there? But then again, was he able to write about life on an orbiting battle school and destroying an alien race because he’d done all that? Of course not. So I’ll just have to overcome this handicap if I ever want to write good fiction. But for now I’ll stick with my own blogobiography.

But I really would like to write fiction. I was listening to my nice free download from of “Ender’s Game”, also be Orson Scott Card, and at the end Mr. Card himself did some talking about his writing. How Ender’s game was born was out of a need for money and the dual motivations of reading something horrible and thinking “If that could get published than so could I” and reading something great and thinking “I want to write like that!” I’ve had both experiences. I want to write like Card, and if the many junky writer’s of sci-fi and fantasy can get published than I could. And Christopher Paolini, who is an AMAZING writer, was younger than me when he started writing Eragon. So maybe someday I’ll be writer not only of an irritatingly repetitive blog, but also of an irritatingly repetitive sci-fi or fantasy book. Just imagine, I could call it something like “Begginer’s Game”. But anyway, why did I say in the title of this post that Card seems to be trying to make me lose respect for him? Three reasons. First of all, he made fun of Estonia. Or more specifically, one of his characters did. Secondly, he wrote the story for Advent Rising, which though it had amazing gameplay it wasn’t quite as cool a story as I could have hoped for from Orson Scott Card. It was interesting, but not compelling. Or not enough. Unlike Halo which I thought would have a stupid story because the gameplay could make up for it. And the third reason is that I found out that is a moron. Ooops, typo. I mean mormon. I love that typo joke…Anyway, I don’t so much lose respect for him because he’s a mormon, I just feel sad for him and pray that he could be converted. So anyway, that’s the end of this post, during the writing of this post I have attempted to negotiated a peace treaty in the “chore war” with my mom and have also carried a washing machine out of the house and into the repair guy’s van. I never seem to just blog, I blog and jog. Anyway, that’s it for now. Now I’m off to go take a shower and other such noble pursuits. Cya!

1 comment:

Kapten Clark said...

My beloved brother-in-law, Sasha Gudkov, is a hero in my book any day! He is one of the best husbands and fathers I've ever met (after Tim, of course!).