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Shadow of the Hegemon 91

Posted by timothy
from the boom-boom-booooom dept.
Reader Aaron Gifford contributed this review of Shadow of the Hegemon, by the prolific Orson Scott Card. (What? An author with the "ability to make smart characters actually act and behave intelligently"? The sky is falling!) Given the movie plans in the works from Card, it's great to see the bookshelf expand with possible sequel material, too.

Shadow of the Hegemon
author Orson Scott Card
pages 365
publisher TOR
rating 8
reviewer Aaron Gifford
ISBN 0-312-87651
summary Betrayal and murder litter the path to power as the child geniuses who helped Ender defend Earth return home to be kidnapped as a new struggle begins.
*

It's out, the new Orson Scott Card book, Shadow of the Hegemon. I don't want to give away any more of the plot than is already apparent in the summary above, so let me tell you about the book indirectly, about my own reactions, what I liked about it.

First of all, I must admit it. I'm a Card fan. I was introduced to his work like many other Slashdot readers as a teenager when I read Ender's Game. The intensity of that story and the believable brilliance of the main characters hooked me from the start. The sequels, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind continue Ender's story, but are substantially different in style and tone from the first. Card's more recent bold experiment, Ender's Shadow returns to the events in Ender's Game and retells them in parallel through the eyes of a different character, Bean. That book recaptures some of the essence and style of Ender's Game while making the story into something completely new and original.

Shadow of the Hegemon charts new territory as a sequel to Ender's Shadow telling the stories of the aftermath of the Formics War. This is not a parallel book like its predecessor. It takes place during those years mentioned only briefly in Ender's Game as Ender travels through space on the colony ship. Ender plays no part in this book.

The book definitely has action, and I love it! While Card often writes so much about the inner thought processes of his characters that sometimes his stories can slow down, there's enough action and adventure and a fast enough pace to make this book a really fun read. I might characterize it as a cross between the slower moving intellectual style in the later Ender series books and the fast paced intensity in Ender's Game. It's a blend that works.

Among the many things I enjoyed in this book is Card's excellent development of Bean's human emotional self. While Bean is intellectually brilliant, as the book opens, he seems to go through the motions of human emotional interaction without truly having felt the emotion. Card seems to have captured the shortcoming that children who suffer deprivation of human contact early in life sometimes exhibit, and included it in the character of Bean. As the story progresses, Bean slowly develops genuine emotional ties with other human beings and the emotional side of his character matures considerably.

Like any work of fiction, there must be a suspension of disbelief. The character Achilles, Bean's enemy from his earlier years growing up in Rotterdam and again at Battle School, returns as a highly connected villain worthy of any James Bond movie. In Ender's Shadow Bean exposes him as the psychopathic murderer he is. Achilles, also a genius, has escaped from an institute for the criminally insane to wreak havoc on the world in general, and on Bean and his personal enemies in particular, as he ensconces himself in positions of power. In several places, Achilles seems to have a nearly omniscient ability to monitor the actions and whereabouts of his personal enemies, stretching my suspension of disbelief a bit thin as I read.

I truly enjoyed Card's character work in this book. I appreciate his willingness to create characters with backgrounds from many different cultures and locations. Card conscientiously takes the time to study and learn enough about other cultures and peoples. As a result, his characters have a depth and background beyond those in many novels.

Card creates characters with religious beliefs that are real to those characters who hold them. Even those characters who are atheist or agnostic in their own beliefs hold tightly to those beliefs every bit as tenaciously and religiously as do those characters who espouse a particular recognizable. Card always seems to treat religion with the respect others often neglect. His characters in this book, in particular Sister Carlotta, Ender's mother, and several characters from India and Pakistan, through their words and interactions, show how their own profound religious beliefs make up their core and affect their choices.

Another Card talent exhibited in this book, if not as strongly as it did in Ender's Game, is Card's ability to make smart characters actually act and behave intelligently. So many authors resort to devices that seem to say, "This character is smart because I'm telling you so," without any supporting evidence other than the author's word, or perhaps on the word of the author's supporting characters who may say in agreement, "Yes, that character is smart."

Card does sometimes tell the reader that his characters are smart, but he always backs it up with intelligent decisions, thought processes, and actions that make it believable. He's not perfect, but he is definitely among the top talents.

I was delighted and amused whenever I noticed one of the characters speaking or thinking and idea that I recognized as one of Card's own opinions or ideas. If you have read much of Card's work and are familiar with his own opinions as often expressed his non fiction and on his various Web sites (you can see some examples Card's political commentary at www.ornery.com) you too will catch his characters presenting some of those same ideas.

With so many intellectually gifted characters playing on the stage, sometimes they begin to sound a bit like each other. It's almost unavoidable for any author who writes as prolifically as Card to keep each character unique, fresh, and new. Card is one of the best at avoiding this problem, but it does crop up here and there.

When you finish the story, read the Afterword. Card's inclusion of a few words of commentary about the story writing process, how the book came to be, and about the decisions he had to make as he wrote it is fascinating. If you like Card, you will like this book. If you like action and international power plays, you will like this book. If you appreciate good writing and character development, you will like this book.

If you haven't yet read Ender's Shadow, I suggest you read it before you read this book. Like most of Card's work, this book can stand on its own, but it works better as a sequel since the book expects you to be familiar with the several main characters and their backgrounds.


You can purchase this book at ThinkGeek.

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Shadow of the Hegemon

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  • I finished reading it last week and its a fantastic book...
  • ...and I've just gotta say:

    "Hegemon, I choose you!" ^_~

  • On the 1st of Feb according to www.amazon.co.uk.
  • Sorry, but that is badly written.

    'Characters with religious views that are real to those who hold them?'

    Isn't that a tautology?

    'Like any work of fiction, there must be a suspension of disbelief'

    This reads like someone reviewing a book for a grade school essay. Sorry. You don't need to say that.

    This reminds of a restaurant review I read by someone (another lay person) recently who reviewed the McDonalds he went into as if it was a 5* restaurant, commenting on the quality of the fries.

    You can't analyze trashy novels as if they were real literature. They're great for reading on the beach or whatever - but analysis? Never.

    I'm not trying to be negative here, but if you're going to review something, you should be a little more critical of it. Try reading a book on literary criticism. There's quite an art to it, and I think you might find you have a genuine interest in it.
  • by StJohnsWort (260566) on Friday January 26, 2001 @06:42AM (#479740) Homepage
    Dont have to preach to the choir, I've been a fan for years of his works. For those of you who arent familiar with his writings, here is a link to the first few chapters of the book to enjoy. http://www.hatrack.com/osc/books/hegemon01.shtml
  • Is anyone else bothered by the fact that Card chooses to name his villian "Achilles."
    Most would consider Achilles to be a hero's name, but not Card.
    Card is mormon and, like all mormons, homophobic.
    As anyone who read the Illiad in high school knows, Achilles was homosexual.
    Apparently in Card's eyes, this is enough to make him a villian.
    Mormons worry me.
    Espescially considering that 1 in 50 americans is a member of that church.
    --Shoeboy
  • by rw2 (17419) on Friday January 26, 2001 @06:47AM (#479742) Homepage
    I like Card as much as the next guy, but to laud him as some great author is kind of over stating it.

    He churns out the same book over and over. Does this sound familar. The protagonist is a kid, more often than not with trouble in his life, but sometimes raised by a fine family who doesn't quite understand him. This kids runs into trouble, ranging from aliens to ghosts to the government, but always he is a pawn and doesn't understand what is going on around him. On page 275 he discovers the Matrix, er, I mean the omnipresent controlling influence in his life. By the end of the book he has defeated evil, or is dead but has still been victorious over the evil that he had to give his life to defeat.

    That should sound familiar to everyone who has read his books not only because they are almost all like that (though Redemption was a little bit of a break and a nice historical piece) and is probably pretty close to the life story of the average /. reader.

    Lot's of the denizens of /. grew up as outsiders, without control of their lives. Discovered the key to the world at some point (the ability to think) and now are critical to the daily operation of society.

    --

  • Screw being critical to the daily operation of society. I'm studying to be a mathematician. Practical applications be damned.


    "Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"
    (I am a man: nothing human is alien to me)

  • Hmm, I don't think this should be modded down... it is an excellent point, and put much better than the previous post by Anonymous Coward declaring Card to be a racist homophobe. I wouldn't say I am bothered, but it is nicely ironic that he would use Achilles as the villain's name, being that he is a hero of Greek mythology.
    While I'm replying here, the Anon coward i mentioned above... I think reading into the symbolism of the use of Shadow in the title is a bit of overkill, dont you think?
    I could throw in my $0.02 on the Mormon comments but that would be off topic :)
  • I'm the AC that wrote the prior post, and I'm wondering if you ever wrote anything? If you did, you would have known that you had to pick a title, titles don't come flying out of the sky.

    Why did OSC pick Shadow of the Hegemon? Why is he associating shadow with an evil, dangerous force?

    Why not Spectre of the Hegemon or some other title without loaded racial connotations?
  • I fell in love with Ender when i read "Ender's Game" but every book after that was a disapointment compared to the first, but still good reading.

    I think Card's style is interesting... the way he talks a lot about whats going on inside the minds of his characters. I enjoy more sci-fi books than pure fantasy, and I havent found many I enjoy more than Card, but then I am picky about the style I read. Mind recomending something else? :)

  • by Capt Dan (70955) on Friday January 26, 2001 @07:15AM (#479747) Homepage
    Whether or not I agree with your opinion of card, I must disagree with your reasoning.

    The merit of an author is should not be based on the overall themes that may connect his/her books, but on how they tell the story. Who are the characters? Can you relate to them? What happens to them? How are they affected/changed by their experiences? Is their world realistic and believable?

    By your reasoning, Ender's Game and Memory of Earth should be exactly the same book, while in reality they are very very different. The characters are different, the setting is different, and the events are different.

    The themes you describe apply to a majority of the stories written as well. Take the script for Armageddon for instance. Characters with trouble in their lives? Check. Run into trouble (asteroid, planetary death)? Check. Omnipresent controlling influence? Check. Defeated evil by the end of the book, or is dead but has still been victorious? Double Check.

    Card may not author great literay works like Dickens or Flaubert, but he is a great storyteller. And in my book that's the better of the two.

    Card consistently manages to write good novels, something that eludes way to many popular authors now adays.


    Sig:
  • I can't comment on the quality of the review, since I don't think any reviewer ever captures the essence of what the author was trying to say. In response to your intimation that Card's books fall under the "trashy novel" genre, I must protest. Ender's Game was, and still is a big factor in shaping my life and how I live it. As many other /. users I was an outsider and lived vicariously through Ender.
  • *laugh* that was what I wanted to know in my first post. shadows have been sort of a symbol of evil throughout the history of literature *shrugs* black has symbolized evil, and white, good, for ages. I'm sure that may have stemmed from racism once upon a time but i don't consider that exactly racist anymore. and i didn't think the average person did either. that's what i meant by reading into it too much.
  • by aitala (111068) on Friday January 26, 2001 @07:17AM (#479750) Homepage
    um, he named the character Achilles because he had a limp in the first book.. actually the other street kids named him that as a joke... makes sense to me
  • Are their really such places?

  • by hyperizer (123449)
    What? An author with the "ability to make smart characters actually act and behave intelligently"? The sky is falling!

    What the hey? You need to stop reading John Grisham novels and pick up some actual literature.

  • Uh...yeah...try the works of Robert Heinlein.
  • by paitre (32242) on Friday January 26, 2001 @07:22AM (#479754) Journal
    Shoeboy:
    First, Grow up.
    Second, generalizations make people look like assholes and idiots. And we all know what assuming does, right?
    _NOT_ all LDS are homophobic, and I'd wager that it's a far smaller number than either of us could gestimate. Yes, the LDS Church teachs that homosexuality is a sin. So do the Baptists. So do the Catholics.
    If you're ready to call about a Billion people homophobes, feel free. Feel free to be wrong, and looked at as an intellectual lightweight by those who matter.

    Learn something about a group before you start bashing it, and -not- just from biased sources that are against a given group. Only through the dissemination of pro, anti and neutral opinions can one can any sort of an understanding about something as truly subjective as religion.
  • I havn't read Shadow of the Hegemon yet, but in Ender's Shadow, the title was meant to indicate Bean's existance as a shadow of Ender, always seen as less important than Ender was.
  • Actually, Achilles is not truly a hero in all senses of the term; like most characters in the Iliad and Oddessey he had his flaws, for example he treated Hectors body dishonourably by not returning it after single combat and dragging it round Troy. [which pissed off the gods and indirectly lead to Achilles death IIRC]

    There are other sci-fi books where Achilles gets a mention, including a little known one by Roderick Macleish called "Prince Ombra", where Achilles is mentioned in passing as a bad guy.

    In short, OSC had to call the bad guy something, why not Achilles ?

    AFAIK, little if any mention is made of homosexuality in any of OSCs Ender series of books, so why you decided to go on this rant is quite beyond me.

    I know little of Mormonism, but I see little in the Ender series of books that pushes a sigle religious philosophy. "Children of the Gods" explores Chinese beliefs, Xenocide and its predecessor explore Catholicism, and many other beliefs are included in passing.
  • Um, also black = night = basic early human fear. We used to be afraid of the dark and the shadows for the very good reason that that's where the animals with the pointy fangs and claws were. I'm sure it didn't come to have racial connotations for several millenia later.
  • Certainly a common intent of "shadow" is that of something dark and malevolent, and the association of "darkness" with colour resonates with the American experience with race relations. There is probably some usage of the word "shadow" in the American South that is explicitly racist, and those of us that are not "literarily intimate" with the American South don't even perceive that to be a relevant intent.

    I don't think that came out of anything racial; the reason for the malevolence is that people prefer to hide what is evil, and a good way of doing that is to keep it in darkness, rather than keeping it "well-lit." In that context, the word "shadow" is immensely appropriate.

    Neither of those contexts appear terribly relevant to either of Card's "Shadow" books; the other meaning of "shadow" comes in that the shadow is some sort of pale imitation, an "inverse reflection" from something real, that lurks near that "real thing." That set of characteristics apply quite well to Bean in these books. He "lurks" near the Wiggins brothers, and is something of an "imitation" of them.

  • I havn't read Shadow of the Hegemon yet, but in Ender's Shadow, the title was meant to indicate Bean's existance as a shadow of Ender, always seen as less important than Ender was.

    Good point. And in Shadow of the Hegemon bean is secondary to the Hegemon.

    From the book review on Amazon.com:
    "...just as [Bean] played second to Ender during the Bugger war, Bean must again step into the shadow of another, the one who will be Hegemon. "


    Sig:
  • Wow... so deep. I think thats what I was trying to say ;)

  • I was about to write this, but glad I read the posts before writing something BOTH redundant and off-topic :)

    But you are correct, the darkness association with band and evil is a primordial instinct associated with the night being when humans were hunted.

    The so-called racial origin discussed above is a load of BS invented up by someone wishing to promate their agenda.

  • The introduction made reference to the series of movies that Card is working on for the Ender series. While I loved these books (and Card's other works), I highly doubt those movies will ever be made. As Card himself points out on his own website [frescopictures.com], the logistics of making a movie featuring almost exclusively children are overwhleming. As a result, nobody in Hollywood wants to touch this project with a ten foot pole.

    As much as I'd love to see the movies, I'm not holding my breath.

  • by Starbreeze (209787)
    Funny and all, but enough with the Mormon stuff, it may have an impact on his writing, but discussing the religion outside of the context is fairly pointless, and off topic, not to mention annoying to someone who is sick of religious debates.
  • I gave up on Orson Scott Card's Ender series after Xenocide. The first two books were terrific...but that book was mostly awful. Card painted himself in a corner, and could only resolve the book by having the protagonists discover a magic spaceship that made wishes come true. (Yes, really!)

    Now to escape that corner he's painted his universe into, Card is going back and rehashing the old stories from new points of view. I'm sure they're adequately written novels (meaning I'm sure he's learned a lesson from Xenocide). But I just don't have any interest in reading them.

    I'd much rather see Card start a NEW universe...he's sucked all the fun out of this one.

  • He churns out the same book over and over

    Maybe you should try reading some of his suspense novels, such as Treasure Box [amazon.com] . Scared the willies out of me.

  • Dude,

    Achilles was like, bi.

    -nme!
  • I'm not too terribly sure how shadow is extrapolated into a racist subtext. I mean, if he had called it The Hegemon's Slice of Watermelon or That Nappy Hegemon (see the Nappy Hair [rutgers.edu] argument for more info), I'd understand it. But as far as I can tell, the use of the word shadow indicates an absence of light. I suppose the fact that OSC is a member of LDS puts him under greater scrutiny for being a racist, homophobic, baby-killing, styrofoam using, non-recycling jerk, but jeez, calm down.
    Allegorical shadows have been a fixture of Card's Enders Game series. Ender was constantly under the shadow of Peter, his older brother; Bean was under Ender's shadow; the Piggies were under the shadow of the big trees (don't recollect what they were called); and there are probably more, but I'm too lazy to find them. While Card's obsession with shadows may be a failing of his as a writer, much like John Irving's constant references to incest, they don't make him a racist.
    --Brant
  • Indeed. I'm sick of all the repetition in works of fiction. They always have a "plot", with this thing called a "conflict" which exists between "protagonists" and "antagonists". And there is always some "theme" being preached at you by the author, like I give a damn. A random string of words beats this kind of doggerel anyday.

    --
    Bush's assertion: there ought to be limits to freedom
  • Maybe you should try reading some of his suspense novels, such as Treasure Box . Scared the willies out of me.


    Been there.

    It's the same old song. Unhappy kid, as an adult in this case but built up to have child like emotions, runs into trouble (which I won't spoil) without even realizing it, manages to figure out what's going on, defeats the trouble and lives sort of happily ever after.

    Having said that, let me remind folks what the first sentence in my post said. I like Card. I liked Treasure Box, for that matter. I took it on a weekend get away with the kids and knocked it off in eight hours or so while they swam in the pool. With my attention span, that's saying something! (BTW, check out Redemption, it's my current favorite due to his always quality story telling, but with a departure from the same old themes.)

    What I was taking exception too was the idea that Card is somehow intelligent or deep. His stuff is very much soap opera sci-fi. And that's fine. He tells a great story. But he really is more similar to ER with it's moderately clever but too often repetative plot twists than Gone With The Wind which stands alone as a classic.

    --

  • This isn't a flame, but anyone who has read the book, as I have, can tell you that the book is almost entirely (4/5) written from Bean's perspective. Peter, though a main character, gets a fraction of the pages that Bean and even Petra do.

    My review: Not his best work and one that continues the trend of Card recycling books he wrote years ago. His earlier stuff when he was still young and "unknown" are much better.

  • I'm sure they're adequately written novels (meaning I'm sure he's learned a lesson from Xenocide)

    You clearly haven't read Children of the Mind otherwise you'd know better. Xenocide was tough to get through, but that one was impossible. It's unfortunate but I think it's becoming rather clear that Card is morphing into a more literate Piers Anthony. Able to start a series rather well with a good idea, only to follow up with endless junk. I'm tempted to think he's just trying to milk his success for all it's worth, but his statements seem to indicate it's more a matter of conflicting goals. He's drifted away from writing good books, to writing books that simply put forth his MESSAGE. Card's always tried to use his works to make statements but we've hit the point where that now seems to be their only purpose.


    Scytle

  • "If you haven't yet read Ender's Shadow, I suggest you read it before you read this book. Like most of Card's work, this book can stand on its own, but it works better as a sequel since the book expects you to be familiar with the several main characters and their backgrounds. "

    This is definitely true, and I liked "Ender's Shadow", but I definitely wouldn't hand it to someone who hadn't read Ender's Game. EG was really powerfully written; ES feels much more like a documentary.

  • "You can't analyze trashy novels as if they were real literature."

    Obviously you require a class in telling the difference between the two. Card's whole Ender series is literature. You're trying to make a distinction that simply doesn't exist.

    Vermifax

  • In Ender's Game. Ender was the primary (Most important) character, and bean was his shadow. Ender's Shadow is the story retold from his shadow.

    Obviously from the earlier books Peter is much more important than Bean, but again we are seeing the story from Peter's shadow's perspective.(ie Bean).

    Vermifax

  • I just have to put in my two cents and agree with the idea that it's not the tale, it's the teller. While it's true that a good plot adds to a story, it's the way in which the story is delivered that makes or breaks a writer. I can read a story where I can see every major plot event coming from a mile away yet still be riveted by the book.
    ----
    Dave
    MicrosoftME®? No, Microsoft YOU, buddy! - my boss
  • I too am reading the second shadow book right now and have read almost all his other books, he is my favorite author. I even have a hard back, signed copy of Ender's Game. But it seems to me as if the lessons he is trying to teach his readers, and yes he does try to teach his readers things not just entertain them, are becoming more blunt. In Shadow of the Hegemon Sister Carlotta talks to Bean about God and Bean and Ender's mother talk about religion and spirituality. I still enjoy his writing but it is getting more and more full of his religious beliefs, like he is trying to make the heathens find god or something, and that's not his job. - -dram
  • Just finished it last weekend. I think this is the first book in the Ender word that would make a good movie. I liked it a lot more than Ender's Shadow. The trouble with these Shadow books is that we have some idea of what's going to happen because we've already read the history. Card still managed to surprise me in this one. It's a fun read, and I'd recommend it to anyone (as long as they've read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow first. :)

    (I miss Jane.)

  • You should try Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon. They are more like the first book. People who liked the first book but didn't like Speaker or Xenocide tend to love the last two.
  • You should try Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon. They are more like the first book. People who liked the first book but didn't like Speaker or Xenocide tend to love the last two.
  • In addition, Card originally was not going to title the book "Ender's Shadow". His original title was something more appropriate but "less marketable" (see the Foreword of Ender's Shadow).
    -- Qirien, Academy of Defenestration
  • "Obviously from the earlier books Peter is much more important than Bean, but again we are seeing the story from Peter's shadow's perspective.(ie Bean)."

    Agreed - I was just responding to the previous poster's inaccurate comment that "...in Shadow of the Hegemon bean is secondary to the Hegemon".
  • First, I must say that I like Shadow of the Hegemon least of all the stories involved (although Children of the Mind would probably be close). It is a decent story, but it just didn't grip me as much as some other stories.

    I understand what you are saying about his authoring abilities, and as indicated in the review you will often hear the characters espousing Card's ideas and ideals (a very frustrating thing for me, because I recognize it quickly and it breaks me out of the story, like watching a movie and seeing someone stand up, and you realize that you're just looking at this screen).

    However, I would recommend that you read Maps in a Mirror, which is a short fiction anthology (there are 4 soft cover sections, or one big hardcover of everything). It has some _really_ good stories in it, and a lot of interesting twists. I strongly recommend that you read 'Unaccompanied Sonata' if nothing else.
  • I was under the impression he began to use Shadow, because Bean was always in the shadow of Ender.
  • nobody in Hollywood wants to touch this project

    Even more importantly, there is no project. Card has a successful book and a screenplay. Woohoo! All he needs now is studio backing. Gosh, how hard could that be? After all, Jake Lloyd(!) has expressed an interest, studio money should be right on the heels of that!

    The reality is that as much as people love this book, and as fun as it might be to see this movie, Card is no closer to seeing this on film than he was 20 (or 30) years ago.

  • Ender's Game was, and still is a big factor in shaping my life and how I live it.
    Whoa, maybe I missed something. Could you explain what is life shaping about Ender's Game?

    If you think that book had a big effect on your life, just wait until you read Hemingway or even Joe Haldeman...

    Card is just so frustrating to read. After reading Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide I've decided that he is anti-science. Every character is super-duper smart(and Card can't seem to go more than 2 paragraphs without reminding us about this), but they can't even figure the most obvious things in the world, like the fact that those trees are more than just regular trees. And those pygmies don't think that death is permanent, which the reader figures out about 4 pages in. The Best Scientists of All Time take another 400 pages and two generations, though.

    Don't you get tired of reading the endless inner monologue? I should be able to figure out what people are thinking based on their actions, and that would give me some real questions to ask and things to think about after reading the book. Reading Card is like reading Kevin Anderson; every freaking thought it laid out in excruciating detail. When you are done, you never have to ask, "why do someone do such and such?", because the author has gone to extreme lengths to make sure you never have to think about anything.

    There is more subtext in Harry Potter books.

    Mike

  • I think that it's a real stretch to include the piggies & their tree-cestors as another example of shade in the Ender series.

    sure, trees create shade and the piggies were pobably under it a lot of the time

    but OSC didn't really dwell on the images of shadow as cast by the trees (that i can recall)

    as for the above post about shadow=evil=black=racist ... it's just silly, that person can't really believe that, they're just saying that stuff to pretend to be an idiot

    the only solution is to compare the original poster to Hitler and thus summarily end the thread via the Third law of Usenet postings (any flamewar will eventually degrade into one of the parties being compared to Hitler, thereby ending the thread)

    (BTW OSC's The Nappy Hegemon ... hilariously funny)
  • I'm pretty sure that his name is given for more than just the reason given in the book.

    I mean wasn't Achillies an near Invulnerable Warrior with one fatal flaw.

    Is it not possible that OSC picked the name Achilles for THAT reason (as opposed to this whole homosexual theme)

    I mean look at the Original post ... his evidence includes the first two letters in the word GAME
    as further proof that it is a story about homosexuality.

    GA = GAY

    that's the thing about news-forum style conversations, you can never really tell when a guy is joking

    (to the original poster: please don't take this as evidence that someone out there thought it was a GOOD joke, i could tell that it was a joke though)
  • He churns out the same book over and over. Does this sound familar. The protagonist is a kid, more often than not with trouble in his life, but sometimes raised by a fine family who doesn't quite understand him. This kids runs into trouble, ranging from aliens to ghosts to the government, but always he is a pawn and doesn't understand what is going on around him. On page 275 he discovers the Matrix, er, I mean the omnipresent controlling influence in his life. By the end of the book he has defeated evil, or is dead but has still been victorious over the evil that he had to give his life to defeat.

    Hmm . . . I'm not sure I agree with the above . . . How much of Card's writing have you actually read? A list of his works is available here [hatrack.com]. I've read the vast majority of his work from Ender's Game up through Sarah.

    Arguably many of his protagonists are youth, but there are also a lot who aren't. Treasure Box, Enchantment, and Sarah, along with the mentioned Postwatch, all have main characters who aren't kids.

    Besides that I think it's interesting that Card has been able to write in what I consider 3 universes (Alvin Maker series, Homecoming Saga, and Ender Books) that I consider to be unique.

    His more religous sci-fi writings, such as you might find in anthologies, are also quite different.

    I surely don't think of Card as a formulaic writer (though I do admit I enjoy Clancy). Yes, the Ender series does appeal to a lot of the /. crowd because many of us can relate, but I think you're selling Card short by making the gross generalization you have.

    I don't know if I'd praise Card as a great author, but he is definitely an entertaining and talented writer, able to write convincing novels in many different environments. Are his stories going to be considered classics a hundred years from now? Who knows?

  • by barawn (25691) on Friday January 26, 2001 @10:21AM (#479789) Homepage
    Starting off an English criticism with a vague pronoun. Bad start. "That" is badly written? What is "that"? If you're referring to the review, it should be 'this', not 'that'.

    But, in any case, to criticize your criticism of a critique (okay, properly a review- more on this later):

    "Characters with religious views that are real to those who hold them" is not a tautology - it is not self evident that an author would present characters with consistent, believable religious views - it is completely common in novels for a person to appear to have a certain opinion one moment, and then a completely different one the next.

    The 'suspension of disbelief' statement was unneeded, but it seems to be a buzzword when denoting a weak point in a novel that isn't that important. He's right on this case - this portion of the novel was weak, but it was not devastating to the novel. Card has never portrayed Achilles as a believable villain - the section in Ender's Shadow from Achilles's point of view is weak at best. Therefore, it's understandable that he avoided going into the specifics of how Achilles rose to power - the only real way to do that would be to tell it from Achilles's point of view. Instead, he came up with a rather creative solution, which was to use a secondary character critical of the villain. This way he didn't have to write from a point of view supportin Achilles, which he has trouble doing, and could still explain most of Achilles's actions. It was weak - it did require a bit of acceptance, rather than justification, but it at least was internally consistent.

    Finally, the crack about Card being a 'trashy novel' author is not only unnecessary - it's flat out wrong. "Ender's Game" is commonly viewed as the best example of the 'unlikely hero/child hero' scenario in science fiction.

    As to the other comment about being critical of the book, that is for a critique, not a review. A review is a reader's impression of the novel - if the reader enjoys the novel, the review is likely to be positive. If the reader dislikes the novel, the review is likely to be negative. Go fig. Don't criticize a review for not being a critique - it never pretended to be one.
  • Yes, the LDS Church teachs that homosexuality is a sin. So do the Baptists. So do the Catholics.

    Unfortunately for your argument (which is sound, and true) it is reasonably common knowledge that Card has a big problem with homosexuality... you can read about it in just about any of the articles he's written over time.

    Here's one:

    The Hypocrites of Homosexuality - By Orson Scott Card [nauvoo.com]

    It doesn't take a nuclear physicist (or even a Linux Enthusiast :D) to read the blatent and hidden undertones in the above article. Given this new knowledge, do you think that it is at all possible -- consciously or unconsciously -- that Card did just such a thing (purposely make references between homosexuality and evil) as the original poster suggests?


    -The Reverend (I am not a Nazi nor a Troll)
  • Is anyone else bothered by the fact the Shoeboy consistently seems to name his villian "Card" [slashdot.org].
    Most would consider Card to be hero, or at the very least interesting, but not Shoeboy.
    Shoeboy is Card hater, and like all Card haters, is homophobicphobic.
    As anyone who's read Card knows, he doesn't hate homosexual individuals, but doesn't believe that homosexuality is right and doesn't have a problem telling people that.
    Apparently, in Shoeboy's eyes, this makes him a villain.

    Mormons worry me.

    Shoeboy worries me. :)

    (or might just have just taken up the slashdot hobby of posting just the right inflammatory but not quite flamebait comment, much like KTB)

    --
  • Ok, I'll give you that Xenocide wasn't really up to par, but I like Children almost as much as Ender's Game. Peter is one of my favorite characters, and we at least get to see a version of him here.

    (I miss Jane.)

  • I don't know where to start.

    'Shadow' doesn't necessarily have negative connotations - 'to stand in someone's shadow' does not mean that you are evil somehow. That's how Card is using 'shadow', and if you've seen the cover of "Ender's Shadow", you'd know that. In the first book, he was talking about Bean, who is in Ender's shadow -hence the name. Now again, the next story is about Bean, who is now standing in Peter's shadow. Peter is the Hegemon, the leader of the nominal world government. Hence, Shadow of the Hegemon. Card isn't even implying that the Hegemony is evil.

    Also, in case you missed all the other Greek names in his books - oh, I don't know, say, Ender's Shadow, which had Nikolai, Julian, etc.? Moreover, it's not out of place, as it comes from a city where children's names are doled out by kitchen aides or other children as well. The symbolic importance of Achilles is easy enough, as Achilles really acts like the historic Achilles throughout most of the books. (Note that I mean the historic Achilles, who wasn't exactly much of a hero)

    Blah. I won't waste more of my time arguing with a primarily troll post - I did however just want to make sure that someone who saw this post didn't think any of it was true.
  • Hrm. How'd you find that essay? The link in the original article only yielded one essay by OSC for me when i searched. I'd be interested in reading more. I just lost some respect for someone i kind of admired because of his excellent story-telling.

    *snip* And when I read the statements of those who claim to be both LDS and homosexual, trying to persuade the former community to cease making their membership contingent upon abandoning the latter, I wonder if they realize that the price of such "tolerance" would be, in the long run, the destruction of the Church. *snip*

    How can someone who can create such a character as Ender who completely charmed me, sit there and talk about how tolerance in the church will destroy it. Isn't that what it's built around? Oh, well, i don't want to start a religious debate, only commenting. Bleah... sad. :(

  • Given this new knowledge, do you think that it is at all possible -- consciously or unconsciously -- that Card did just such a thing (purposely make references between homosexuality and evil) as the original poster suggests?

    Card is not in the habit of making homosexuals villains. See Songmaster. Additionally, he has plenty of heterosexual villains (see, oh, just about anything, including the fact that Achilles seemed pretty straight in Shadw).

    Also, the essay you quote shows that he's not subversive about the way he goes about expressing his beliefs about homosexuality -- he's happy to put it out front.

    Finally, I think you misunderstand the essay. It's not, as a focus, a scathing rejection of anyone who is homosexual. He _does_ reject the idea that you can live a life based on your identity as a homosexual and remain part of the LDS church (which really, doesn't take being a nuclear physicist to figure out). That's where he draws his line. You can't beleive the Mormon Church is what it says it is and be what it asks its members to be if your allegiance to your sexual tendancies is higher than your allegience to the Church.


    --
  • Actually, Achilles was, if you've ever read the Iliad, somewhat of a bastard. It was his stubborness and refusal to fight that caused the death of his 'boyfriend' Pericles (I think, I may be wrong on the name). All in all he was arrogant, which eventually led to his downfall - that's the whole point of the story.

    And Achilles wasn't really a homosexual... the greeks were especially liberal in their definition of sexuality. It was standard practice for Greek men to take up relationships with boys.

    Anyways, saying Card is a homophobe on that basis is plain ludicrous.

    ---------
  • A colleague and friend of mine who authored role-playing games in the late '80s told me that there are only two story lines: 1) A stranger comes to town, and 2) You go on a trip. While simplistic, there is an element of truth in this.

    More academically, the dramatic theorist Georges Polti posited that there are only 36 Dramatic Situations, and all of literature and drama can be decomposed in a combination of these. The book is out of print, but here's a link [amazon.com] to Amazon to find out more if you're interested. A Google search [google.com] turns up some interesting sources, for those who want to know more.

  • Seems the publisher didn't make the changes Card indicated on the galleys. So the book that's out there is a buggy beta.

    Luckily, Mr Card has provided a patch at http://www.hatrack.com/misc/hegemon-corrections.sh tml .

  • Wow, so you discovered that there are archetypal storytelling forms that don't seem to change much over time? And that storytellers actuall stick to them? Astounding. And pretty late to the game. Check out Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces" and discover that there aren't all that many stories to be told.

    The story's framework is irrelevant to the story's quality. What draws me to a story is character interaction and development. And at that, Card is consistently displays his brilliance. Check out his book Enchantment (my favourite of his works...I liked it even better than Ender's Game!) for examples.
  • Try James Joyce, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man". I've never read another book better described as a random string of words. Then again, doggerel also applies. Two great tastes that taste great together!

    Every chapter, I wanted to tell him "Epiphany THIS, nelly boy!" God, I hated that book.
  • Bah! Everybody knows there's only one story in RPG's. "Kill Foozle." Foozle is defined as that which needs to be killed. Foozle need not be Named at the beginning of the adventure, but it ain't over 'till Foozle is dead. Embellish as necessary.
  • Because "Spectre" is too much like "Spook" and somebody called an African-American person spook once, and that person didn't like it. You can't win word games when you're playing against people who have already decided you're a racist because you're white (or Mormon or whatever). The irony of this conclusion is left as an exercise for the class.

    I think he should have titled it "Shadow of the Hegemon: How I, Orson Scott Card, Being Of Sound Mind and Body Think Black People and Homosexuals Should Be Fed Into A Wood Chipper Like in Fargo Because I Don't Like Them". That would be nice and unambiguous.
  • I love to read OSC, and I've enjoyed all of his books. I wanted to respond to the people that talk about Orson's beliefs, and how he does a lot of teaching in his books. I enjoy reading when he talks about spirituallity, like in Children of the Mind, and Ender's Shadow, but mainly is because I'm a mormon just like OSC. I had never really thought about how much he does tell, or try to explain many of our beliefs to the readers, until I read most of your replies. Part of the "Mormon Culture" is to tell people about our beliefs, so I feel that's what OSC is doing in his books. The cool thing is that he uses Catholic characters to portray the religios teachers. Many of the characters react the way, people react to when I explain my beliefs. So what OSC is doing is making you feel, just how the characters are feeling, disbelief. His portuguees influence comes from his experience as a Missionary in Brazil. This part of him is very clear in Xenocide.
    There you have it, my 2 cents
  • Uh...yeah...try the works of Robert Heinlein.

    Or not. Isaac Asimov is much better.

    Asimov takes a scientific concept, stretches it with a "what-if" approach, and then wraps realistic characters around the consequences.

    Heinlein, on the other hand, takes a scientific concept, stretches it with a "what-if" approach, and then everybody has sex.
  • Thanks.

    --
  • I loved Ender's Game, and Speaker for the Dead. But, about halfway through Xenocide, something began to dawn on me. I had seen these characters before.

    All the characters, I noticed suddenly, had the same goody-goody intelligence, the same over-analyze-everything nature, and the same (or diametrically opposing) moral compass. It included everyone -- good or bad, human or alien, biological or computer. Ender. Peter. The piggies. Jane. The hive queen.

    Where had I seen these people before?

    Then it dawned on me.

    Orson Scott Card, stop watching Star Trek.

  • Agreed - I was just responding to the previous poster's inaccurate comment that "...in Shadow of the Hegemon bean is secondary to the Hegemon".

    But that's where you're wrong. The character Bean is more prominent than the character Peter in the text of the book. The person Bean is in the shadow of the person Peter in the universe inside the text.
  • First of all, I must say, Hemingway is mind-numbingly dull. Like Dickens, Melville, and others, his books are only read because a few stodgy english professors keep pushing them on poor students. And people have this funny idea that if a book is dry, mind-numbing, and convoluted, it must be a classic because they don't understand it. I remember having to read "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and going into it I was looking forward to an interesting story. By page 100, I was skipping and skimming over chapters. It was so incomprehensibly dull, I was incredibly disappointed. And Dickens, don't get me started! I really tried to read him... I did! But so convoluted and boring! I'd rather write Perl than read Dickens.

    I've found that much of "classic" literature is just crap foisted upon generation upon generation by an elitist few who snub different styles of literature (such as science fiction) as being "trashy", without realizing that it is quite possible to write a "classic" piece in a genre not generally accepted as "classic".

    Now as for your statement that "The Best Scientists Ever" should have been able to figure out matters quicker than the readers, managed to miss one crucial point. The "Best Scientists Ever" do not have the advantage of the omniscient third-person narrator, first. Second, it is not very obvious what the pygmies are doing or thinking, to the reader. Apparently it is not obvious to you either, because the pygmies didn't think there was life after death; they knew there was life after [their] death, if it can truely be called death anyway.

    After saying all this, I don't want to give the impression that I think all "classic" literature is bad. There is quite a lot of good classic literature. It is just the elitist attitude that anything new or different can't be good that grates on me. A good science fiction writer also has more responsibilities than a good fiction writer, because there is always the temptation to use new technology to magically solve plot difficulties. A good science fiction writer has to keep a set of limitations in mind, or else the beings in the universe created can become nearly omnipotent. And that makes for a poor story. But there is no reason why science fiction cannot express the same depth of human emotions and social interaction that ordinary fiction can, it just does it in a different arena. Which brings me to the other extreme of opinion on science fiction, namely those people that hold the idea that science fiction containing human elements is sacriligeous. I have met people who believe that any science fiction that deviates from physics-textbook-style writing is bad, that human emotions and social interaction don't belong in science fiction. And I pity them, with their textbook-dry stories with purely scientific plots. I'm quite sure you can write an interesting book that is completely scientific, in fact I know you can. But it appeals to a different part of the mind, it really doesn't make for great fiction stories, for that you need some kind of human and social interaction.
  • ...though Redemption was a little bit of a break and a nice historical piece...
    Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus really stands out among Card's titles. I really enjoyed the fresh plot which felt like such a change from his other books, which, when compared to Pastwatch, seem all to similar to each other.

  • What is a Hegemon?

    Is it like a Pokemon?

    Or is it more like a Digimon?

    It must be closer to one or other of these two extremes...?

  • I have to disagree with you on this. I just tore through the complete Ender series and even within this series, there are two books that don't follow this formula. Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide are very different from the other books in the series. Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon do go back to this structure, but from very different perspectives.

    I also just finished three other books by Card. Enchantment, Hart's Hope and Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christoper Columbus. None of them follow the structure you speak of. Each of them is a unique book in it's own right (well, Hart's Hope did not do much for me, but the other two were great).

    If your are looking for an author that tells the same story in every book, try Clive Barker. Although I like much of his work, every story seems to be about some mystical talisman that opens up a portal do a new dimension filled with danger and wonder. I quit reading him for that reason.
  • As far as I can remember, Achilles was nicknamed that because he limped. Nicknames pulled out of the classics were pretty common in the Ender books.

    If you really want to find something sinister in that choice, perhaps Card was implying that the Greeks made a hero out of a murderous sociopath -- which Achilles probably was by modern standards, along with most of the other main characters in Homer. Or in any Roman, Middle Ages, or Renaissance history for that matter. Standards have changed somewhat; be thankful for it. Of course, in many parts of the world, a successful murderous sociopath is still a hero, to one side, and the USA is just one short step away from that...
  • You can't analyze trashy novels as if they were real literature. They're great for reading on the beach or whatever - but analysis? Never

    Thank you so much... you reveal much by your own words. Calling Card's work trash pretty much discounts everything I read in your post, even the helpful hint about lit-crit. I've talked to numerous people who don't like Card's work, but not one of those has called it trashy.

    Card is probably one of the best Sci-fi (and beyond) writers out there today. He creates three-dimensional, dynamic characters and makes you believe in them. His works are exciting, thought-provoking, and enjoyable.

    I'm not trying to be negative here, but if you're going to review something, you should be a little more critical of it.

    Riiight. If I like a book, why should I try to find something wrong with it? Sometimes my favorite authors make glaring miscues, in which case I try to be fair to them about it (example: Terry Brooks' latest, Ilse Witch, was woodenly written and almost boring), but in general if a book speaks to a reviewer, they have no obligation to put it down. It's a review, not a lit-crit essay.

  • like he is trying to make the heathens find god or something, and that's not his job.

    As a matter of fact, as a devout Mormon he considers that his primary job. I explained in the Card Movie discussion last week about my friend who wrote the Ender and Hitler article; I remember one thing that blew Radford away was that she told Card "we all know what the road to Hell is paved with" and he replied, "I don't believe that."

    He's not just trying to teach morality, he is trying to teach a morality most of us would find somewhat reprehensible if he stated it baldly.

    P.S. I mentioned that discussion to her recently and she is toying with the idea of putting the article online. Unfortunately she does not have it in digital form and will have to find a hard copy to scan. Also, I think it's less than complete without Card's incredibly lame rebuttal which she can't publish without his permission (which she ain't likely to either ask for or get).

    It is, however, available at the library in Literary Review where it was republished. Search for Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman by Mary Elaine Radford.

  • Xenocide was definitely a prolonged and irrelevant story that could've been summed up in less than 500 pages. The storyline was rather dry, and I really don't see how it was necessary to involve the people of Path. I believe the only reason they were involved was for an unecessary change of scenery. I'm sure he could've come up with a better way to restore interest in the storyline.

    Also, a friend & I noticed several discrepancies about the series. First, in Ender's Game, the Little Doctor was described as being an energy weapon, while in the final two books, it was described as a missile. Then, at the end of Ender's Game, it stated that the Speaker for the Dead 'religion' was the only religion on the inhabited worlds beyond that point. Suddenly we have the religion of the people of Path, the Christians[?] on Lusitania, and the religion of the 'islanders'.

    Finally, I must say, Children of the Mind wasn't too bad. It did seem rather forced, trying to fit in so much action, but it worked. However, the concept of rehashing the original story from the eyes of other characters is *not* necessary. I'd really rather see a book on what went on in the 3 thousand years between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. The storyline is getting to be much too redundant, even from another character's point of view.

    --

  • sit there and talk about how tolerance in the church will destroy it. Isn't that what it's built around?

    It depends on what you're tolerating.

    If by tolerance you mean treating other human beings with kindness and integrity in your dealings with them, the church is definitely built around that.

    If by tolerance you mean blessing any behavior or attitude, the Mormon church (or any spiritual discipline, really) is NOT about that. If it were,
    what would be the point?

    The point of a spiritual discipline is to achieve a transformation to a desired state, usually by controlling ones behavior, thoughts, actions, desires, habits. Churches are based on this premise. Christianity is, with the added idea that you can't really do it all by yourself, you need the help of a higher power (Christ), as well as the example. Mormonism tracks this pretty closely.

    Some of the oft-included behaviors/desires for various spiritual disciplines are those associated with sexual behavior/desire. For mormons, that discipline includes no sexual relations except between a man and woman married to each other. The homosexual community seems to persist in calling for the church to abandon teaching this discipline.

    Since that discipline (and those related) ARE
    the point of the church, to eliminate it is to
    essentially destroy the purpose of the church.


    --
  • "I've found that much of "classic" literature is just crap foisted upon generation upon generation by an elitist few..."

    You have a point, but you miss the fact that the interpretation of all great literature is very subjective.

    For example, I'm a big reader of Dostoyevsky. His stuff just makes sense to me. However, I'd rather host a Barry Manilow marathon than read another book by Emily Bronte.

    Both appeal to different audiences. I just find the dark idealism of Dostoyevsky more interesting than the in-depth expose of the perils of provincial life as seen from a woman's perspective that seems to pervade Bronte's work.

    Personally, I think you are wrong about Hemmingway and Dickens. But I don't think you could pay me enough to read Moby Dick again.
  • You can't analyze trashy novels as if they were real literature.

    I think you are being far to kind to Mr Card by calling his creatures trashy novels.

    As far as I am concerned they are not fit for reading with the possible exception of Ender's Game, which is indeed suitable for reading on the beach.

    Poor review for an even poorer novel. How appropriate.

  • In 1988, some college friends and I found that Orson Scott Card was listed in the Greensboro phonebook. That naturally resulted in a road trip, and two of us drove all night to go say hi. Mrs. Card asked us to come back around noon, since her husband was down with the flu. Although he wasn't feeling well, Mr. Card--I can't bring myself to call him Scott--was incredibly kind to us.

    I admit, we hadn't really thought things through. We were in college. I guess we expected to drop by, say hi, and leave. But Mr. Card was fantastic. He invited us into his home, and offered us food and drink. He even offered to let us crash on his couch, since both of us were exhausted. He showed us his PC with WordPerfect 5.1 just installed, "where the magic happens." It was really kinda anticlimatic. There were piles of publisher books just inside the living room of his townhouse, and he gave us a few bags' full, even helping us carry them out to my car.

    All of this is relatively prosaic, but what struck us most was the sheer niceness of the guy. He and his family were just so NORMAL. He was actually quite flattered that we'd taken an interest in him; he said normally people weren't really all that excited to meet him personally, but they just liked to read his books. (I understand he was unlisted after that, though!) He was one of the most genuine, sincere people I've ever met.

    I really haven't read much of Card's in the past ten years, but I'll never forget that day. Whatever other people write about him, whatever his involvement with the Mormon Church, Orson Scott Card is a good guy, maybe even with capital G's. He's a treasure.

    Later,

    --Fred

  • I find this an interesting point of view, considering the fact that your daughter is sneaking over to my house every night... &nbsp &nbsp
  • > Heinlein, on the other hand, takes a scientific concept, stretches it with a "what-if" approach, and then everybody has sex.

    I thought that was Larry Niven. :)

    Re: Asimov

    One thing I really like about Card and Sagan, and I this is where Asimov, Silverberg, Tiptree, and others fall short... is their treatment of religion. A lot of SF preaches about how evil/bad/stupid religion is, and how genius atheists will save the day. That's boring and insulting. Card and Sagan talk about a wide variety of different religious beliefs, and they talk about them in such a way that nearly any strongly religious person will resonate with what they say.
  • Since that discipline (and those related) ARE
    the point of the church, to eliminate it is to
    essentially destroy the purpose of the church.


    So do you believe that it would (for instance) be destructive to the Catholic Church if they decided to change the fundamental policy of disallowing women to be ordained?


    -The Reverend (I am not a Nazi nor a Troll)
  • o do you believe that it would (for instance) be destructive to the Catholic Church if they decided to change the fundamental policy of disallowing women to be ordained?

    Not being a big part of the Catholic Community or even haven known more than one or two practicing catholics, I'm afraid I can't say for certain.

    However, I do know that if a community claims that its heirarchy leads by divine guidance, and then allows a popular vote among members of the community to change things w/o reference to afforementioned guidance, it destroys that principle of the community, and possibly the
    community with it.

    They _could_ change it if they claimed they had received direction from God to do so. This would preserve the claims of guidance from God, and affect the change, w/o damage to the community.

    There may also be a spiritual argument for not ordaining women w/in their church. I don't know.



    --
  • ...generalizations make people look like assholes and idiots.

    Uhm. I shouldn't do this, but, uhm.... You do realize that's a generalization?

    __________________

  • I'm responding a bit late because I just saw your reply. I know that Bean is more prominent than Peter. The original poster said that "bean [was] secondary to the Hegemon". But if you've read the book, Bean's not. Just because the title says that Bean is the Shadow of Peter the Hegemon doesn't mean that he plays a lesser role in the story, which is what the original poster was implying.

Nothing is faster than the speed of light ... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.

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