Monday, October 02, 2006

Did Orson Scott Card Invent Blogging?

This is obviously rhetorical but I remember reading the Ender's Game series several years back at the suggestion of my English professor at the time and recall a character essentially posting to the Web near constantly in order to account for space/time differentials. I think he published the first book in the series in 1977!


Unknown said...

The reference I think you're thinking of is in _Xenocide_, by Orson Scott Card. The character is Valentine, in her persona as Demosthenes, writing propaganda essays. She's traveling at 90% the speed of light or something, and so for every 30 minutes that passes for her, a week passes for everyone outside. She therefore spends the entire trip writing essays nearly constantly, in order to keep the propaganda flowing.

I think far more prescient, for a book written when 4-function calculators were considered pretty cool, is the fact that he envisioned the internet ("the nets") in almost their exact format we see today. He didn't use the word "blog," obviously, but you can well imagine a really smart 12-year-old creating a blog under the code name "Demosthenes" and writing really good content. If enough people liked it, she'd be asked to contribute to online magazines, participate in online discussions, etc... just as happened to Valentine in _Ender's_Game_.

E. Randy Cox said...

Thank you for filling in the details, Amanda, and, yes, I agree with you re: Card's foresight with "the nets."