Orson Scott Card born August 24, is an American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist, and columnist. He writes in several genres but is known best for his science fiction works. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead won both Hugo and Nebula Awards , making Card the first author to win the two top American prizes in science fiction literature in consecutive years. A feature film adaptation of Ender's Game , which Card co-produced, was released in Card, who is a great-great-grandson of Brigham Young , was born in Richland, Washington , and grew up in Utah and California. Card had twenty-seven short stories published between and , and won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in He earned a master's degree in English from the University of Utah in and wrote novels in science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, and historical fiction genres in the s. Card continued to write prolifically, and published over 50 novels and over 45 short stories. Card's works were influenced by classic literature, popular fantasy, and science fiction; he often uses tropes from genre fiction. His background as a screenwriter helped Card make his works accessible and character-focused, though some critics dislike his characterization. Card's early fiction is original but contains graphic violence. His fiction often features characters with exceptional gifts who make difficult choices, often with the fate of an entire people at stake. Card has also written political, religious, and social commentary in his columns and other writing. Card's opposition to homosexuality has provoked public criticism and in it prompted a boycott of the film Ender's Game. Card is a professor of English at Southern Virginia University ; he has written two books on creative writing and serves as a judge in the Writers of the Future contest. When Card was one month old, his family moved to San Mateo, California , so Willard Card could begin a sign-painting business. When he was three years old, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah , so his father could finish his bachelor's degree. The family moved to Santa Clara, California , when Card was six; they stayed there for seven years while his father completed his master's degree and worked as a professor at San Jose State College. In school, Card took classes for gifted students but he was more interested in studying music—he played clarinet and French horn. Card read texts that included historical novels by Elswyth Thane and Mark Twain. He credits Tunesmith by Lloyd Biggle Jr. Card submitted the story to two magazines but it was not published, though Ender's confrontation with Stilson in Ender's Game is based on this story. In , Card and his family moved to Mesa, Arizona , where he participated in mock debates in junior high school. Card attended BYU's laboratory school, where he took both high school and early college-level classes before graduating in one year. When beginning his college studies he intended to major in anthropology, but after becoming increasingly more interested in theater, he began script-writing, writing ten original plays and rewriting other students' plays. Most of his plays were based on Mormon history and scriptures; one was science fiction. Card said script-writing developed his writing skills because he could tell when an audience was interested in his scripts by their body language. Whitman , Card's play-writing professor, encouraged his students to write plays with LDS themes. Larson at BYU. During his mission, he wrote a play called Stone Tables. He began a doctoral program at the University of Notre Dame but dropped out to pursue his more lucrative writing projects. Card started writing science fiction short stories because he felt he could sell short stories in that genre more easily than others. Ben Bova , the editor of Analog , rejected a rewrite of the story but asked Card to submit a science fiction piece. Card modeled Mikal's Songbird on Ender's Game , both of which include a child with special talents who goes through emotional turmoil when adults seek to exploit his ability. Campbell Award for best new writer in for his stories published that year; the award helped Card's stories sell internationally. Card's first published book, "Listen, Mom and Dad In the early s, Card focused on writing longer works, only publishing ten short stories between and He published a few non-fiction works that were aimed at an LDS audience; these include a satirical dictionary called Saintspeak , which resulted in him being temporarily banned from publishing in church magazines.
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