Orson Scott Card: Trek is dead? It’s about time!

Daemonik
writes, Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game
amongst many outstanding Sci-Fi novels, has thrown
down the gauntlet in the L.A.
Times
and said that it’s about time that Trek has
died. What took so long?

Star Trek, as Card claims, is Sci-Fi as Hollywood saw
it, a throwback to the 30’s adventure stories with no
regard for science or deeper ideas and little interest
in plot arcs or character growth.

That writers like Ellison, LeGuin, Silverberg, Niven
and more were pumping out outstanding science fiction
stories with fertile passion makes the public’s near
religious adulation of Star Trek all the more
questionable. Faced today with examples such as
“Lost”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Firefly” and
“Smallville” to put the spotlight on just how bad Trek
really is, people are still fighting to save this
show.

So I ask you, does the death of Trek fill you with
childish glee or are you storming Paramount’s gates,
Batleths drawn?

21 replies on “Orson Scott Card: Trek is dead? It’s about time!”

  1. TheMCP says:

    Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?
    I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
    advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

      I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
      advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

      He did write a good book, twice ;-)

      • roseblood says:

        Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

        I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
        advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

        He did write a good book, twice ;-)

        More important, he recognizes good Sci-fi on TV when he sees it. ‘Faced today with examples such as “Lost”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Firefly” and “Smallville” to put the spotlight on just how bad Trek really is…’ not that LOST is really all that sci-fi. All of his examples had much better writing, as well as character and story development.

        • y42 says:

          Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

          I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
          advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

          He did write a good book, twice ;-)

          More important, he recognizes good Sci-fi on TV when he sees it. ‘Faced today with examples such as “Lost”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Firefly” and “Smallville” to put the spotlight on just how bad Trek really is…’ not that LOST is really all that sci-fi. All of his examples had much better writing, as well as character and story development.

          Well, I just started watching the early shows of Lost, and (don’t nobody tell me NOTHHING!!!!) I figure they’re on the Savage Land at the south pole. The Wheelchair Guy who can now walk and the possible dinosaurs is what clued me in ;-)

          Admitedly, I might have read too many X Men comics…

          • Cerberus7 says:

            Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?
            If Sawyer starts chewing on cigars (assuming there are some in the wreckage) and sprouts adamantium claws, I think I may have to buy you a beer. That’s a great idea you have there, in a sick and twisted kind of way.

        • hitch says:

          Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

          I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
          advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

          He did write a good book, twice ;-)

          More important, he recognizes good Sci-fi on TV when he sees it. ‘Faced today with examples such as “Lost”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Firefly” and “Smallville” to put the spotlight on just how bad Trek really is…’ not that LOST is really all that sci-fi. All of his examples had much better writing, as well as character and story development.

          lost is pretty definitely fantasy. I know that doesn’t really count, but it passes the same criteria as buffy.

        • Trekkie says:

          Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?
          He’s not a complete genius, he skipped Battlestar Galactica

    • is says:

      Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

      I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
      advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

      I can find hate pieces about anyone famous. What makes a person right or wrong about something is most definitely not their stance on an unrelated issue. Lets face the truth. The fact that you disagree with Card’s view of homosexuality does not mean that you are right about homosexuality. It doesn’t mean that he is right. Either way, that has no bearing on his clear sci-fi experience. This idea of completely disregarding someone with whom you disagree on one issue is the perfect example of intolerance.

      • shayward says:

        Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

        This idea of completely disregarding someone with whom you disagree on one issue is the perfect example of intolerance.

        Well spoken.

        Look at arguments based on their merit – not based on what other things the author happens to believe.

        Pope John Paul II was against birth control. He was also in favor of forgiving 3rd world debt. Does that mean that forgiving 3rd world debt is bad because you disagree with his position on birth control? That’s absurd.

        Furthermore, is it wrong to disagree with birth control? Is it wrong to disagree with divorce? Is it wrong to disagree with homosexuality? Is it wrong to disagree with heterosexuality or even sexuality itself? Is it wrong to disagree with any particular action or lifestyle? Of course not. People are free to agree or disagree with whatever they choose. And they have the right to express it.

        Modern liberal mentality seems to dictate tolerance unless it’s tolerance of something that is disagreeable to liberal mentality. It’s a very self-contradicting form of tolerance. It is not only intolerant but also hypocritical. And here we thought all the hypocrites were religious “homophobes”.

        The term “homophobic” itself is actually a very intolerant phrase. It’s often applied to anyone who disagrees with homosexuality and seems, IMHO, to imply that those who disagree with homosexuality would like to bring about harm to all homosexuals.

        Plus “homophobic” really means “fear of someone like yourself”, so it is really a poor word with no real meaning.

        There are people with extreme views on both sides of the argument. Both equally as ignorant of the facts and belligerent to those with the opposing view.

        But I digress… look at the merit of the argument. The author’s other views should come in only when discussing the subtle and finer points.

        Please note that I do not direct this response at any particular person. I think that it is worthwhile food for though for those who seek after balance and logic.

        Also, my apologies at how off-topic much of this post is.

    • quantaman says:

      Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

      I’m not sure how I feel about Trek being off the air yet, but I try not to take
      advice from a rabidly homophobic mormon.

      I certainly don’t agree with Card’s views on homosexuality though I’ll point out that compared to other hardcore religous people I’ve talked to they’re a lot less extreme than they could be. Also note the interviewer was really trying to bait him the whole time and in the article really tried to put a spin on his responses. If you look at the article Card wrote in this story Card mentioned “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as one of his examples of a great show, a show where one of the three biggest characters was a lesbian and it was a fairly prominant topic in the show, I don’t think he qualifies as “rabidly homophobic”.

      I’m sure I have some views you disagree with and likewise, and as much as either of us disagree with Card’s views on homosexuality I think his views on science fiction are certainly valid.

      • shayward says:

        Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?
        Another great point and spoken as a truly tolerant person :-)

    • shayward says:

      Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?
      I think the phrase “rabidly homophobic mormon” would quality as libel considering that he’s a fairly bright guy even if you disagree with his views. Plus is he rabidly afraid of people like himself?

      • spincycle says:

        Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?

        I think the phrase “rabidly homophobic mormon” would quality as libel considering that he’s a fairly bright guy even if you disagree with his views. Plus is he rabidly afraid of people like himself?

        Ok, now the applicable definition for “libel” I’ve found is:

        anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents. [infoplease]

        Now, let’s parse this. “Mormon” is accurate, and so not misrepresentative. And calling him what he calls himself is not malicious. “Homophobic” can certainly be used as a pejorative, but is strictly accurate if we use the definition “a person who fears or hates homosexuals and homosexuality” [infoplease]. The use of “rabidly” is certainly inflamatory, but is not misrepresentative, leaving only “defamatory”. This is not a particularly good example of libel.

        • shayward says:

          Re: Uhm… why should we care what he thinks?
          The debate must get larger and more off-topic. I have posted my reply here. I believe that I have defended all but one aspect of “libel”, which is the “damaging” aspect. The amount of damage done by making a claim on B42 is questionable.

          As for Card being homophobic, I’ve argued that he is not homophobic by the definition from dictionary.com as well as the one you supplied. Your definition has the terms “fear” and “hate” as well as the logical term “and” thus stating that he must fear or hate both homosexuals and homosexuality.

          There is no evidence of fear or hate. There is evidence of contempt for homosexuality, which is logically different from contempt for homosexuals.

          The word “homophobic” is far too vague to be of any value whatsoever. I’ve covered that in the document.

          See what you think. All in good fun as a thinking game, as all debates should be.

  2. Eldhrin says:

    Well…
    I’m glad that the awfulness which is recent Trek has gone, but I do believe that
    Star Trek can be good, can be powerful and can be relevant. They just need to
    let the right people have control over it.

    Perhaps now though something like Firefly will get more of the attention it
    deserves – it is a shining example of a seriously good piece of sci-fi. It still
    makes me angry that it got cancelled while Enterprise got to run for four
    frequently cringe-worthy seasons.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Stylistically, Card is an excellent writer, and….

      ….He’s not entirely wrong.

      The original Trek and the first two spin-offs had moments, episodes, and concepts that are much better than he claims, and TOS actually used a couple of the 60s top SF writers. However, I said– in fact, I think I wrote, somewhere at this site– at the time that Enterprise was new that the “franchise” really has run its course. Obviously, Enteprise could have been better than it was– I suspect that someone could still do a good movie– but really, better stuff has come along, and media SF, especially Trek, remains rooted in concepts that don’t work so well in 2005.

      We’ve seen Firefly, and the new Battlestar Galactica, and some day, we’ll see something as innovative for its time (for tv) as Trek was (for TV; give it credit, Card) in the late 60s.

      (No discredit to either FF or BG, but neither are heavily rooted in radically fresh sf concepts. They have based exceptional shows on those concepts, however).

      • is says:

        Re: Stylistically, Card is an excellent writer, and….

        ….He’s not entirely wrong.

        I agree. Star Trek can change and become better and continue to exist… or it can simply die. Since we’ve been shown what excellent sci-fi can be.. no wonder Trek (in it’s old standard configuration) can’t stand a chance.

        There is a real benefit for sci-fi fans from Trek’s bout with death. It weeds crap tv out of the patch; it means that the owners of trek will have to at the very least re-think their method if they want to continue to make money from it; it means that there is room for other sci-fi tv without Trek being an overshadowing entity.

        I’ve always been surprised that tv sci-fi has been so unloved as a genre. The networks obviously flock toward the money, but I’m really shocked that sci-fi doesn’t bring in the money. I guess it’s just a numbers game.. and sci-fi is so outnumbered.

        • obiwan says:

          Re: Stylistically, Card is an excellent writer, and….

          There is a real benefit for sci-fi fans from Trek’s bout with death. It weeds crap tv out of the patch;

          Uh, no it won’t. Just the other day my friend turned on the TV and saw a reality show about Paris Hilton and someone-else-or-the-other. They were driving and a moth attacked them. *That* is how low TV has sunk. People actually watch that crap

          Where I live they never even showed the complete run of Star Trek TNG and DS9, Trek at its finest. However they DID import the Paris Hilton show.

          Tells you something about supply and demand situation when you create TV for the least common denominator.

  3. n8f8 says:

    Gotta Love Card
    If Card’s thoughts were boring then no-one would read his books. Trek is bad because the current producers are morons. The “Trek universe” has as much to offer as any other setting. I too rate “Firefly” and “Lost” better, but only because Trek has been so overproduced. Firefly is a space western. Lost is an extended Twilight Zone episode.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Gotta Love Card

      If Card’s thoughts were boring then no-one would read his books.

      !boring != good;
      I’m just saying… sorry about code-geeking on you.

  4. Captain_Avatar says:

    Loved to death
    Like all successful franchises Star Trek was loved to death. Too many of its fans accepted whatever was thrown to them regardless of the quality. This only encouraged the providers to keep producing garbage. Only quality can keep a franchise alive. I’ll miss it a some, but I’ll be a little bitter at the lost oppurtunity that was squandered on Enterprise. Heh, Heh, maybe SCI-FI could do a mini-series on the Andorian – Vulcan conflict? But hey, that would be too cool and Paramount would never license that.

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