OSC Answers Questions
I am doing my junior thesis on you and the topic is "What is Orson Scott
Card's view of the future in the books Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow?" I
read the whole Ender's series and when I tried to approach the question, I was
dumbfounded. How you have one view where the government is controlling
population growth and the Earth seems to be in a rebuilding stage and a totally
opposite view where the city is overrun by poverty and there is a serious
overpopulation problem. And also, all of the subtle hints that you provoke to the
reader, can you just give some in-depth information at what you were trying to
aim for in the books?
-- Submitted Anonymously
OSC REPLIES: - February 11, 2002
In a world that wasn't overpopulated, why would you need strict population
growth rules? Just because there were strict laws on population size wouldn't
mean those laws worked everywhere. Besides, the overpopulation in Rotterdam
was a local problem, caused by the open immigration policy. It's possible to have
a few cities be vastly overpopulated and other areas be quite empty in the same
country, let alone in the whole world.
Any view of possible futures should take into account that the future, like
the present, will never be "all one thing," and human society will never be all at
the same level everywhere.
What I was trying to aim for was not a prediction of the actual future --
who can do that? -- but an exploration of possible futures and what might result
from various possible events. Since I regard an alien invasion as extremely
unlikely, and Ender's world is radically reshaped by just such an invasion, Ender's
Game is not even remotely a serious prediction of our likely future. But it is a
very serious exploration of just how we go about fighting wars; the future setting
allows me to clarify and exaggerate things that already happen in the real world.