But as much as The Book of Mormon pokes fun at Mormonism, I found its portrayal of Mormons to be very sympathetic. Actual Mormons might disagree, but I thought that the young missionaries struggling with their beliefs and stuck in difficult circumstances came off as very human. I felt for them, wanted them to overcome their obstacles. Being able to relate to the characters on stage surely has as much to do with the musical’s success as its snarky jokes and lovely tunes.
Which brings me back to Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. What I loved most about those books, especially the second one, was the characters. The concepts were cool, and there were plot twists aplenty to keep me entertained, but the characters moved me. The compassion and clarity with which they tried, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to express themselves and deal with conflict, often brought tears to my eyes. How many novels, much less science fiction novels, can do that?
I wish Orson Scott Card were not such an asshat when it comes to the topic of homosexuality. It certainly makes me think less of him. But he has given the world two really stellar works of art that have touched many, many people. I will see the movie, and I will keep recommending those two books.