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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, May 02, 2005
 
Book Review -- Ender's Game
It was nice to leave on vacation, and it's nice to be back. I can tell my life is good when I enjoy my vacation but it feels about a day too long (or it means I've got so many kids that my workaday life is less strenuous than my vacation).

During the week, I read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Card initially wrote it as a short story, and later, in 1977 as a novel. Among sci-fi aficionados it has a well-deserved reputation as a classic. The protagonist is Ender Wiggins, a six year-old boy who is drafted into the military. A generation ago, the world was attacked twice by an alien species, and humanity has been preparing for war ever since.

The story is brilliant, and the plot is very engaging. The sad thing about reading classics this late in life, though, is that all good ideas have been recycled countless times. The alien species share important characteristics with Star Trek's Borg, and some plot twists (which I won't divulge) deal with virtual reality in a way that has been echoed in many movies including The Matrix. It's not surprising that good ideas are reused in popular culture, I just wish I'd read the classic first, and seen the derivatives later.
Comments:
I also just read it. Excellent work and the twist really got me!

There are a series of related works apparently, one of them involving bean, the small kid, and the other one involving his brother.

TRK
 
I'm planning to read it this summer... don't tell me what happens in the end! Shush!
 
The Rabbi's kid: I was thinking about reading the series. I think Speaker For the Dead was the next, but I'm not sure. The ending certainly left an easy opportunity for a sequel.

Irina: I won't say another word. Enjoy.
 
The entire Ender Series is awesome, and worth a read. I just read it about 2 years ago, so I was also late to discovery.
 
~Ruthie: Welcome. Thanks for the recommendation. I spoke to a friend yesterday who also said that the next in the series, Speaker for the Dead is worth reading.

The other impressive thing that I forgot to mention in the original post is how well Card predicts the evolution of information technology (remember, in 1977). Computers are ubiquitous and interconnected and are accessed through non-intrusive interfaces, like students' desks or the family dinner table. In fact, they're not called computers, they're simply the desk and the table.
 
HOLY #$%#$ #$#$#%!!!

My daughter gave me the short story "Ender's Game" to read over the last days of Yontif!! It came in a book with two other stories, The Polish Boy and something else, that are related to the Enderverse. I loved it, and plan to read the full version (will the short story spoil this for me?)

I had some profound things to say about the "twist" which I won't type here, needless to say there are some real-world correlations--particularly in the medical field.

All I can say is, Bean, we have some kind of weird synchronicity thing going here.
 
Psychotoddler: I've never read the short story, so I don't know if it'll spoil the novel, but I bet the "twist" is the same.

Email me about your profound thoughts about the twist.

re: synchronicity. Yeah. I want to meet you some time, but I'm worried we'll explode in a matter/anti-matter sort-of-way.
 
PT,

You can post about the twist as long as you write ***SPOILER ALERT*** in big letters before it, same for anyone commernting on it, that way people who don't want to knwo what happens don't have to read it.

TRK
 
I learned about Ender's Game from the One Book List. It's one of the most popular works on there. It was certainly an easy read and I enjoyed it, but I do not think the ending was very strong. There are sequels, but the only one I read was about Bean (no relation to the good Doctor).
 
Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a pool game site/blog. It pretty much covers pool game related stuff.
 
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