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Ender's Game - thoughts (1 Viewer)

SKHargan

Member
Hi all. I just finished Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and was stunned. The entire novel builds up to a singular theme that in the end is explained so incredibly beautifully I can't begin to match it. I wanted to cry, and I'm not an especially emotional person. I just sat for a while, thinking, reflecting. I get deeply affected by books, and this one definitely caught me. Before reading this I had read part of Ayn Rand's We the Living, and came away with a similar message.

That is, that life is utterly sacred. To start over from zero, from nothing, to go back and begin it all again, teaching each other and our children that life is to be revered and worshipped... To grieve when it is lost, weep when it isn't lived, anguish when it is wasted... That a life is unlike any other, that each is individually sacred and precious and that nothing can take away that sanctity. That life is worth living, that it is never to be squandered but always to be cherished and loved...God, that we knew just how sacred life was! It would bring us to tears, weeping over moments lost and at the same time rejoicing for moments to come.

Those are my thoughts, disjointed and confused as they may be, and I needed to share them with someone.

-Shawn
 

Lily

Senior Member
Beautifully written! I'm glad so many people are discovering Orson Scott Card now. Your next assignment: Read Speaker for the Dead. In my humble opinion, that is the best book in the whole series. If you were moved by Ender's Game (or EG as it is affectionately referred to), you'll definitely be moved by Speaker for the Dead.
 

klaus

Senior Member
Hey I just finished Speakers for the Dead as recommended...
It's absolutely a great read. It's simply wonderful that a sci-fi could have involved so many aspects of life.
 

Farror

WF Veterans
I've read speaker for the dead, Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets.

I enjoyed them all, particularly Ender's Game and Shadow, next assignment, read Ender's Shadow.
 

swisstony

Senior Member
Against Ayn Rand I'd put 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' by Robert Tressell.

Against Ender's Game I'd put, in the same vein, City by Clifford Simak, perhaps Earth Abides by George R Stewart and for sheer life affirmingness, perhaps The Grapes of Wrath, for one of the single most powerful scenes I've come across in literature, at the end :)
 

SKHargan

Member
Single most powerful scene...I'll have to read that then. *hangs his head in shame* No, I've not read all the classics. I know, I know...

Anyway, most powerful scene I've ever read was definitely the end of Tale of Two Cities. Incredible.

-Shawn
 

kryar

Member
Shawn,

I met Orson in Salt Lake City and walked away with a signed set of the Alvin Maker series. Definately my favorite science fiction author. I thought that Ender's Game was excellent.

santiago
 
Z

Zaure

I absolutely adore OSC (in fact, my favorite book is Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. If you haven't read it, go do so!), and Ender's Game was the first OSC book I read. It was a long time ago that I actually first picked up the book and read it, but then it became lost in the recesses of my mind for years until I saw a copy in a store, picked it up, and got rehooked on it.

I have now read all of the Ender series, and I enjoyed the sequels, although for different reasons than I enjoyed Ender's Game. I second Farror's recommendation to read Ender's Shadow, and also Shadow of the Hegemon. I didn't enjoy Shadow Puppets as much, though. Ender's Game is a very engrossing book, in my opinion, with a very high rereadability... I cannot even count how many times I have read that book!
 

Karen

Member
I too am a very big fan of EG, and have read all the subsequent sequels that have come out thus far. I've enjoyed all of them, however, I think EG was the best in terms of every tiny little part of the story being absolutely necessary, and put together brilliantly. The other books, though all very good, seemed a little...messier.

For one thing, the plots of Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind all blur together in my mind; it's all one really long story with a lot of plot threads that don't seem strictly necessary. I think the story gets a little diluted after a while, and it might have been better if he'd managed to finish the story in less than three books. The same is true with the Bean books, the battle between Bean and Achilles seems to go on forever, and the individual plot of each book seems to take a backseat.

Finally, am I the only one who's getting annoyed with Petra suddenly becoming this big earth mother? In previous books, it had been established that Petra is probably the most aggressive female on the planet (hence one of the only girls in Battle School), but in Shadow Puppets ALL she wants to do is have Bean's puppies. It just seems out of character.

Anyway, not to knock Card, I think he's a great author, but I do think the first of the Ender series is by far the best, and everything he's done since has pretty much been icing on the cake.
 

Lily

Senior Member
By the way . . . if you have a lot of free time on your hands, you should check out his website: www.hatrack.com. He has a couple writing forums there that are interesting. I don't recommend the Young Writer's Workshops- the writers there are (or at least when I was there) immature and rude. The Hatrack 1830's forum is pretty much inactive, but the Virtual Battle School forum is cool, if you're into that kind of thing, anyway.
 
A

Aevin

!!!

How could I miss this thread?! Ender's Game is like, my second favorite book of all time! I'm delighted that others found it so enjoyable, and delighted that someone else felt the powerful emotion I did upon completing it. Ender's Game has had a profound effect on my own writing--as a matter of fact, I was so affected and inspired by the book that I got out of bed, thinking about it, at about 1 PM on the night I finished, and wrote about three pages on exactly how it had affected and inspired me.

I'm always writing about the psychology of little kids--often very bizarre little kids. I can't say this is because I read this book, because I've been doing it for as long as I can remember, but it might explain part of why I loved the book so much. It's great to see such young characters get the respect and attention they deserve. My latest plot involves--guess what?--a child genius who eventually becomes the ruler of the world: does that sound like Peter Wiggin, or what?

I guess I don't really have a point, other than "this book is awesome." It's highly suggested for anyone who hasn't read it. OSC is an extremely talented author, and I would also suggest his other books I've read,

Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon. I haven't read Speaker of the Dead yet, but it's certainly on my list.
 

Ralizah

Senior Member
I like all the books in that series, but Speaker For The Dead is a much more well-constructed book, and, in my opinion, has much more interesting insights into the nature of humanity and creation as a whole. Plus, it really touched me.

But Ender's Game is also excellent.
 

rashadow

Senior Member
I have only read the original short story of Ender's Game and was completely satisfied with it. Someday I may read the novel, but I am not that big a fan of sci fi lit. I prefer fantasy. But that EG story really had me ready to go out and buy any and everything ever written by Card, but instead, I settled for his website(hatrack). He has good writing advice as well as some very entertaining and opinionated articles there.
 

Spider

Senior Member
Ender's Game definitley changed my outlook on science fiction, and even modern writing as a whole. Granted, I was in the 7th grade, and just starting to learn of this wonderful thing called 'writing,' and the power I read in that book sticks with me to this day. It probably isn't the best book I've read anymore, maybe not my favorite, but I'll always cherish it as my first great literary experience.
 

Creative_Insanity

Senior Member
SKHargan said:
Hi all. I just finished Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and was stunned. The entire novel builds up to a singular theme that in the end is explained so incredibly beautifully I can't begin to match it. I wanted to cry, and I'm not an especially emotional person. I just sat for a while, thinking, reflecting. I get deeply affected by books, and this one definitely caught me. Before reading this I had read part of Ayn Rand's We the Living, and came away with a similar message.

That is, that life is utterly sacred. To start over from zero, from nothing, to go back and begin it all again, teaching each other and our children that life is to be revered and worshipped... To grieve when it is lost, weep when it isn't lived, anguish when it is wasted... That a life is unlike any other, that each is individually sacred and precious and that nothing can take away that sanctity. That life is worth living, that it is never to be squandered but always to be cherished and loved...God, that we knew just how sacred life was! It would bring us to tears, weeping over moments lost and at the same time rejoicing for moments to come.

Those are my thoughts, disjointed and confused as they may be, and I needed to share them with someone.

-Shawn
Ah, yes. . . the great Orson Scott Card. He is definitely one of my favorite authors. . . make sure you check out the rest of the Ender quartet! Also, you MUST read his Shadow Series (the story from Bean's point of view), which is just as good, if not better.

A random quote from Xenocide that I liked:

“Free will doesn’t exist. Only the illusion of free will, because the causes of our behavior are so complex that we can’t trace them back. If you’ve got one line of dominoes knocking each other down one by one, then you can always say, Look, this domino fell because that one pushed it. But when you have an infinite number of directions, you can never find where the casual chain begins. So you think, That domino fell because it wanted to.” p. 384

“Even if there is no such thing as free will, we have to treat each other as if there were free will in order to live together in society. Because otherwise, every time somebody does something terrible, you can’t punish him, because he can’t help it, because his genes or his environment or God made him do it, and every time somebody does something good, you can’t honor him, because he was a puppet, too. If you think that everybody around you is a puppet, why bother talking to them at all? Why even try to plan anything or create anything, since everything you plan or create or desire or dream of is just acting out the script your puppeteer built into you.
So we conceive of ourselves and everyone around us as volitional beings. We treat everyone as if they did things with a purpose in mind, instead of because they’re being pushed from behind. We punish criminals. We reward altruists. We plan things and build things together. We make promises and expect each other to keep them. It’s all a made-up story, but when everybody believes that everybody’s actions are the result of free choice, and takes and gives responsibility accordingly, the result is civilization.” p.384


Have fun reading.
 

Spider

Senior Member
Actually... I hated the Bean series :(. I liked Ender's Shadow OK, but I didn't like the drastic changes made to characters and events. Since then I've felt the books have gotten progressivly worse, with Shadow Puppets striking me as just plain stupid. How many times can the man use the word "babies" in one book? The dialogue was so bad, so not what I've expected from OSC, that it actually made me really sad reading it.

However, on a related subject, has anyone read OSC's Alvin Maker series? I've loved every one of those books.
 

Creative_Insanity

Senior Member
Really? I liked the Bean series. Oh well, I guess it's not for everyone. But I have yet to read the Alvin Maker series. They look great! I'll have to check them out. . .
 

Spider

Senior Member
Creative_Insanity said:
Really? I liked the Bean series. Oh well, I guess it's not for everyone. But I have yet to read the Alvin Maker series. They look great! I'll have to check them out. . .

Yeah... some friends of mine liked 'em (the Bean series), and some hated them. I just happened to fall into the second catagory.
But, yeah... Alvin Makes rules (even though the covers look like cover illustrations from those trashy romance-porn novels featuring fabio, and I guess titles like "Heartfire" really don't help the comparison).
 
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