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by J.R.R. Tolkien
What sets The List apart are the thirteen Michelin Guide-type symbols (a magnifying glass, an American flag, an armchair, etc.) that Raphael and McLeish used to flag titles as (for example) a “major masterpiece,” a “seminal work that changed our thinking,” and “a particular pleasure to read.”
Until recently most people knew Orson Scott Card as the author of Ender’s Game, a beloved modern science fiction classic. Of late, however, Card’s opposition to gay marriage has led to widespread media excoriation and intense scrutiny of his politics. In an effort to nuance current coverage, I chose to ask Card questions about writing and his identity as a writer.
All art is engaged in world-building, and it can be accomplished as successfully in 14 lines as in 500 pages.
While his world looks like fantasy (bastards! dwarves! whores! knights!), and the action revolves around the question of the seven kingdoms’ throne, the focus is on the clashing relationships and motivations of the people involved in the struggle.