Orson Scott Card Slams J.K. Rowling

Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, slams J.K. Rowling for suing a small publisher for copyright infringement. The book, Harry Potter Lexicon, is based on info from a website that Rowling herself awarded in 2004.

Card is right on several points. He does an excellent job pointing out the similarities between Ender’s Game and Harry Potter, which reminded me of Harry Potter vs. Star Wars.

However, he seems so upset about JKR’s actions that he undermines his own agenda. Bringing up the Stouffer lawsuit diminishes his case, as 2 minutes of research shows it is without much merit. For one, the character Larry Potter is not, as he claims, in the Muggles book.

He also speculates on her motives rather unfavorably. I’m wondering if he had space to fill, or was just pissed off and rambling. If he kept his tone a bit more civil it would have made a more convincing argument. If I were to speculate, I’d say that as a literature snob himself (OSC almost got a doctorate in English lit.), he’s a tad peeved that JKR was so successful with her “subliterature”.

What he doesn’t bring up is that Rowling has stated that she wants to do a Harry Potter encyclopedia1. If the Lexicon was done well enough, it could potentially cut into her sales (although with a 10K print run it’d be like a fly buzzing around a cow). I agree that for publicity’s sake, she shouldn’t have sued. She does look rather greedy given her target.

For the record, I think Ender’s Game is one of the best sci fi books in the last 30 years, and the Harry Potter series is pure joy.

  1. Which I wrote about here, but it does contain Book 7 spoilers []