Remember J.K. Rowling’s testimony a couple of weeks back in her copyright-infringement lawsuit against someone seeking to publish a reference guide to her work? She got teary-eyed at one point, and was generally treated respectfully by the media. It was entirely undeserved, as science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card demonstrates in his evisceration of Rowling’s argument. Here’s a key passage:
Rowling “feels like her words were stolen,” said lawyer Dan Shallman.
Well, heck, I feel like the plot of my novel Ender’s Game was stolen by J.K. Rowling.
A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.
This paragraph lists only most prominent similarities between Ender’s Game and the Harry Potter series. My book was published in England years before Rowling began writing about Harry Potter. Rowling was known to be reading widely in speculative fiction during the era after the publication of my book.
I can get on the stand and cry, too, Ms. Rowling, and talk about feeling “personally violated.”
He goes on to talk about the “Larry Potter” controversy, in case you hadn’t heard about it. I’m a big Harry Potter fan, but what a maroon — or maroonette, as the case may be.