I don't know whether anyone else read Ender's Game with Starship Troopers this semester--or had read it before--but I just read this interesting post on the Feminist SF blog--I was actually linked to it from Paper Cuts--about Orson Scott Card's winning the Margaret A. Edwards Award, which, I also learned, is some sort of important lifetime achievement award for YA lit. The thrust of the post is that Card is a horrible bigot and shouldn't be touted as a credible voice for young people.
Here's a link to the post: http://blogs.feministsf.net/?p=275. It has some quotations from essays and stuff that Card has written that are really awful and disgustingly homophobic. If you're interested.
Even better, I thought, was this comment:
January 29th, 2008 at 2:32 am
i knew he was a homophobe before i read ender's game, but i still read it on someone's recommendation. i thought it was pretty interesting that the bad guys were referred to as "buggers" and that it found it's way to being a slur amongst the humans.
i mean, i know they were 'bugs'. but there is no way osc didn't know what buggery (and buggers) was."
I really can't fathom how I missed that one. The phrase is so clearly sexual. And there's loads of (occasionally naked) homoerotic boy-play in the Battle School. Most of it more or less innocuous, though, which is interesting, given Card's self-professed beliefs.
I don't know whether there's anything productive to be done with this in Starship Troopers--the word in Ender's Game is also clearly a reference to the bad guys in ST--but if anyone wants to take a shot at it, I'd be interested to see what we could come up with, readings-wise. We talked a lot about gendered readings of ST, but not so much about the potential for queer readings. Not sure how much potential there is, but I thought I'd throw it out there.