NOM Board Member Pens Homophobic ‘Hamlet’ Rewrite

A publishing house is getting a lot of attention for a new printing of a homophobic Hamlet rewrite called Hamlet's Father by science fiction author and NOM board member Orson Scott Card.

Card The Guardian notes:

The book is not a new release, having been published twice before, for the first time in 2008, but an explosive review at the Rain Taxi Review of Books has unleashed a wave of criticism.

William Alexander at Rain Taxi book review writes:

Here's the punch line: Old King Hamlet was an inadequate king because he was gay, an evil person because he was gay, and, ultimately, a demonic and ghostly father of lies who convinces young Hamlet to exact imaginary revenge on innocent people. The old king was actually murdered by Horatio, in revenge for molesting him as a young boy—along with Laertes, and Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, thereby turning all of them gay. We learn that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are now "as fusty and peculiar as an old married couple. I pity the woman who tries to wed her way into that house."

Hamlet is damned for all the needless death he inflicts, and Dead Gay Dad will now do gay things to him for the rest of eternity: "Welcome to Hell, my beautiful son. At last we'll be together as I always longed for us to be."

All of this is as horrifying as it is ridiculous. It is not, however, surprising that Orson Scott Card's primary purpose is to slander ten percent of the human race. He recently joined the board of the National Organization for Marriage, an institution which exists solely to crush gay civil rights wherever they emerge.

Check out a sample of Card's prior writings on gay people here.

Adds Jeremy Hooper: "How long before NOM has him rewriting The Merchant of Venice so that said merchant is cast out of business for refusing to photograph a lesbian wedding? Or maybe Romeo & Juliet 2, where the lovers are tragically fated not because of family strife, but rather because of the committed gay couple in the castle down the road?  Or perhaps The Merry Wives of Windsor rebranded as a warning sign about same-sex marriage leading to polygamy?  So many options!"


  1. Spudger says

    alternate headline: “Author attempts to work out his issues with a creepy Hamlet rewrite”

    Perhaps he’ll write it under the pen name “Hector Projector”

  2. says

    What is most troubling about this guy is that so many middle grades curricula include Card’s ‘Ender’s Game’. It’s viewed as some sort of YA classic, rather than sub-Ayn Rand sci-fi for kids. Then, of course, young readers feel like Card is an endorsed author, and they come across books like this one. Certainly not a liberal education…

  3. Randy says

    Next time Maggie claims that NOM is about “respect” for everyone and is not anti-gay, someone should ask her about her board members, who clearly are.

    It’s a lot of work to write a novel, and to devote so much time and energy writing a book to make gays look bad, and obsess over pedophilia is self-loathing at its worst.

    You don’t need a phd in psychiatry, or degree in criminal justice to know that no adult should let their children alone with this nut case.

  4. Grover Underwood says

    my nephew’s English class is reading Ender’s Game in the spring; I told my sister that I’d buy the books he’s reading in the spring for him for Christmas. Maybe I can find a used copy of Ender’s Game; sure don’t want to put too much money in Card’s pocket

  5. Justin Werner says

    I read most of Card’s novels from the 1970’s through the 1990’s and I regret every. single. penny. I put in his pocket. I’m going to come up with some sort of estimate of what I’ve spent on his books and make a matching donation to an actual worthy cause. I am *so* disgusted.

  6. Trailblazer says

    I would third that he has issues – what they are remain unclear – I was a fan as a kid and was going to reference SONGMASTER, which if I recall, not only had a strong gay storyline, but dealt with issues of said sexual abuse as well. Additionally, I could be mistaken, but I believe in the first ENDER novel, the guys practiced naked at an all male academy, there were no women except maybe a sister, and the second ENDER novel was all about defying biological roles and discovering personal freedom. Whether he is a victim of abuse himself, a victim of the Mormon church or sadly someone using a homophobic agenda to shell game anyone from discovering he has homosexual tendencies, all are the end result of homophobia and repression and remind us why we fight.

  7. Danny says

    This is a sick man driven. My educated guess as a clinician is that the sickness driving him is hatred of a self that he cannot resist projecting in his “literary efforts.” Amazing how powerful the psyche is.

  8. MikeInSanJose says

    According to Wiki – his great-great-grandfather was Brigham Young. Yes, THAT Brigham Young. That crazy guy who invented his own “White Guy” religion.

    I wonder how many teen-aged wives Orson has… Perhaps that’s why he’s so homophobic – Distract, Distract, Distract so no one looks too closely at him, I’m guessing…

  9. kit says

    This is just another reason for us to be out, proud, and LOUD. I think it was Kate Millet who said that the response to misogynistic porn should not be censorship, but should be pro-woman erotica. In the same way, the response to Card should be for every LGBTQ person with one OUNCE of writing talent to put it to use writing books, plays, poems — even TV movies of the week — that give a view from OUR lives, from OUR eyes, from OUR hearts — hearts that are not filled with the bigotry and hatred and smallness of spirit that this sad travesty of a great work of art exhibits. Shakespeare did not become Shakespeare, after all, by being petty and nasty and small.

  10. RobInSF says

    This is one Twisted Sister. Glad I have never bought any of his books, I will share this with everyone I know who is into Sci Fi.
    Let our gay dollars respond to bigotry.

  11. Caliban says

    I’m a book collector and just wanted to say a few words in defense of Subterranean Press. Small publishing houses like Subterranean scrape by in the post-reading book market by making limited editions of well-known genre authors’ work as collector’s items and Card is still coasting on the popularity of his Ender’s Game books. Small presses like this would GLADLY do a signed limited edition of Stephen King’s Grocery Lists if they could because King’s name sells.

    Considering that Subterranean also publishes Poppy Brite’s books as well as other gay or trans authors, I don’t believe their intent was homophobic. They just didn’t think it through and see the book for the propaganda piece it clearly is in light of Card’s involvement with NOM. Should they have seen the implications? Yes. But Subterranean isn’t an Evangelical or anti-gay press, they’re a small sci-fi and horror genre press and Card’s name still has some cache in those circles.

    What’s sad is this controversy, if it gets larger, may actually make the book a real collector’s item.

  12. Inis says

    500 years from now, people will still know who William Shakespeare was because of the high quality and greatness of his writing.

    By contrast, by that time no one will know the name Orson Scott Card because all of his writings are execrable drek and that includes especially the mind-numbingly awful Ender’s Game series.

  13. says

    In a vacuum, there’s nothing wrong with a wicked gay antagonist. Every population has its bell curve with relative angels and demons at the extremes. I just wouldn’t be so quick to judge a writer’s motivation or empathy for any particular fictional character.

  14. ZigZagBoom says

    I really think the fact that the closeted crazies are getting crazier is oddly enough a good sign. It’s the exception that proves the rule; these people are losing it because they realize everyone else is no longer losing it.

  15. Caliban says


    I don’t have a problem with gay villains unless their villainy is directly attributed to their being gay. But while Orson Scott Card’s gay characters indeed exist in a vacuum, his brain, his ONLY motivation for writing this POS is to demonize ALL gay men as sexual abusers of children. It’s no better than any anti-Semitic work published in Germany during the early part of the 20th century because like them its intended purpose is to incite prejudice against a group.

  16. Lewis Gannett says

    There’s an irony about Card’s homophobia. If memory serves, he won a Lambda Literary Award in the sci-fi genre category, on the strength of a brief scene in which a teenage boy proffers his butt to another boy, and they go at it. So, yes, you have to wonder. Issues.

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