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Ender's game cover

a science Fiction book by Orson Scott Card

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The End Game of Science Fiction

  • Feb 13, 2013
  • by
I just reread Ender's Game.  It made sense to me since the movie was coming out soon and of course I would compare them.  But I need to explain my perspective on the story.

When I started high school I was put into what was called "The Top Class".  The kids who became the valedictorian and salutatorian came from this class.  Some kids spent all 4 years there and some did not.  That is where I learned to play chess.  So we were expected to compete with each other intensely though it was not as insane as Battle School in Ender's Game.  But I do wonder how many high school classes around the country took competition so seriously.  I remember watching a kid cry in class because he got a B in math one grading period.  He tried arguing with the teacher about it and the teacher slammed him verbally.  At first I almost laughed but then I thought of the hundreds of hours of idiotic busy work he must have done to get straight A's in EveryThing and then to be shot down senior year.  Maybe I would have cried too, but I got straight D's in religion freshman year.  Agnostics are supposed to care about grades in religion?  NOT!

So this colored my perspective of the fictional adults manipulating children in the tale of Ender Wiggen.

Plus Orson Scott Card created a problem for himself by trying to portray lots of super-smart kids.  Isaac Asimov had an IQ of 160.  How many writers can really create realistic characters that smart?  How many human beings actually like people that smart?  Card fails to pull it off with some of the characters.  Bonzo doesn't really come across as a genius compared to normal people.  I am willing to forgive that because it is such a good story regardless of the flaws and for the sake of the big picture being portrayed.

The kids in this story have wireless computers called "desks" which seem to be equivalent to today's tablets.  Card also has a global "Net" on Earth where politics and presumably other important subjects are debated.  It seems to be less random and have more influence than the Internet today but it is interesting considering that this story evolved from 1977 to 1985.  There is nothing in the story to indicate that the "Net" in Ender's Game became as commercial as the Internet has become in the real world.

Ender's Game has become recommended reading for the U.S. Marine Corp.  It is like the Honor Harrington series by David Weber in being recommended reading within the military.  One of the most interesting things in the book is the conversation between Peter and Valentine when Peter is explaining how they can take over the world via the "Net".  Peter is Ender's brother and Valentine his sister.

Ender's Game is a First Contact story though that is not what is most emphasized about this famous SF book.  Ender is being trained with brutal techniques to become the commander of Earth's space fleet against aliens.  Mankind had been attacked by insectoid aliens twice and had barely survived.  This makes Ender's Game similar to Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars but this story focuses on one family while Niven has a more panoramic view of his war.  In both universes the wars with aliens changed human culture but Ender's Game provides a more personal view.

This story raises questions about education and child psychology.  But with the technological changes since 1985 we should wonder how the technology described in the story will be used for education.  Card put gamification in the story which educational professionals are discussing today.

So this famous SF story provides lots of ideas to think about long after it has been read.  This is real Science Fiction.

I have seen the movie.  It isn't bad but didn't live up to the book.  Another 30 minutes would have helped a lot.  If you like the movie read the book.
The End Game of Science Fiction The End Game of Science Fiction The End Game of Science Fiction

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July 21
Here is the start of another story about mind games run on kids:

The iTod Singularity
More Ender's Game reviews
review by . February 22, 2011
posted in SF Signal
It's a  classic.  It's one of a handful of books that I've read more than once.  My pre-teens also really like it.  It's the start of a good series.  I'm not going to give you ANY spoilers so you'll have to get it and read it yourself.
Quick Tip by . April 08, 2012
I Remember I had to read this book in Grade 10 English class. Ive never been a fan of Hard Science fiction, but I thought the book was pretty intresting. I enjoyed it.
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in SF Signal
   not many know this, but Cards fiction was rejected regularly by most magazine editors in the field until Bova ran the short in Analog.  Should never have happened - one of the few "mistakes" Ben made while editing that magazine.  Every copy of this awful book should be shredded and used to bury the homophobe author
review by . July 05, 2010
A must read for anyone who enjoys reading.
This book gave me chills! This is one of those books that you can't put down. Throughout this book you will get more, and more involved with the plot, and the main character.   From what I experienced while reading this book, and from what I have heard on other online reviews is that It's very easy to relate with Ender in way that you could have sworn this book was about you in some ways.       I recommend this book to anyone. Not just science fiction …
review by . February 24, 2011
posted in SF Signal
The coolness of Ender's Game has to do with its insight into the military indoctrination and isolation that goes into many males' upbringing in our society. I have come to believe that this 'insight' was unconscious to the author due to other comments O.S. Card has made, but none the less the book and its immediate sequel 'Speaker for the Dead' are quite good.      Of course, there is also much silliness in Ender's Game.
Quick Tip by . February 23, 2011
posted in SF Signal
One of the better military science fiction novels.
review by . July 22, 2010
Wow! How did I miss reading this book before now? I just loved it. It must have been brilliant because here I am extolling a book that takes place at a military school and has military maneuvers throughout the book. It’s not normally my kind of book, but I was engrossed throughout and I cared so much about the characters, especially Ender. I just loved Ender. I ached for Ender and I felt as though I understood him. I rooted for him. I loved the way all the gifted children in this book were …
review by . July 05, 2010
This book is so engaging!  I still remember the first time I read it; I couldn't put it down.  There's so much to dissect in this book: political commentary, the spectrum of human personalities and the implications they have for interpersonal relationships, morality.  This book is easy to read/get through and therefore enjoyable at any age, but it's the sort of book that one can read and reread and learn/pick up on something every time.  I'm a huge fan of SF, …
Quick Tip by . November 08, 2010
Still one of my son's favorites, and one I'm really glad we both got to read. Fascinating ability to think and write movement in three dimensions.
Quick Tip by . November 06, 2010
Another one that just isn't a good fit for me even though it has a lot of interesting elements. There is something about the style of the writing I am not crazy about.
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About this book


In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Back on Earth, Peter and Valentine forge an intellectual alliance and attempt to change the course of history.

This futuristic tale involves aliens, political discourse on the Internet, sophisticated computer games, and an orbiting battle station. Yet the reason it rings true for so many is that it is first and foremost a tale of humanity; a tale of a boy struggling to grow up into someone he can respect while living in an environment stripped of ...

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ISBN-10: 0765342294
ISBN-13: 9780765342294
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction

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