I have a lot of respect for Orson Scott Card. By linking his name with mine in the title, I am not presuming that my writing is the same caliber as his, at least not yet. But I admire him greatly because he has been able to do something that I am trying to do as well.
You see, Orson Scott Card is a Latter Day Saint, or Mormon, as they are also known. He is also a science fiction writer, as well as a writer of Bible stories for the Mormon church. Most of the time, his science fiction writing and his writing for the Mormon Church stay separate. But there are a few exceptions. I have in my library at home a book called The Folk of the Fringe. It’s a collection of short stories that are dystopian in nature, but also bring Mormons into the story. And Card has also used Mormons in his other stories, usually as an oblique reference.
But I learned long ago that who you are as a person will be reflected in your writing, regardless of what you write. Card has allowed his values to be reflected in many of the characters of his stories, sometimes bringing other Christian characters, such as a Catholic nun in the Ender’s Shadow series. Having such characters allows him the latitude to bring in ideas that are important to him. But he’s never preachy, and I think that’s his saving grace. He simply raises questions.
Most everyone knows that Orson Scott Card is a Latter Day Saint, and although I don’t know for sure, I suspect that being so hasn’t held him back in his career. And he hasn’t been either boastful or shy about what he is or what he believes.
I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, which in some people’s minds puts me in the same category as Card. Just like Card, I don’t intend to hide my beliefs or who I am, but at the same time, I don’t plan on using my writing to try to make my readers into Adventists. But as I mentioned before, what I believe is bound to come out in my writing at some point, for better or for worse.
Science fiction is about considering new ideas, and ironically I find that sci-fi readers are generally more open minded about ideas than many of my Christian readers. Even now, I get a raised eyebrow or two on campus when I mention that I write Christian suspense and science fiction. Not scholarly, I guess, despite how many professors have written in both of those genres.
And so after surviving high school and years of working in conservative Christian institutions, I have decided that I won’t hide my light under a bushel anymore. As Popeye says, I yam what I yam.
My writing will reflect that, whether I want it to or not. And that’s not such a bad thing.