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Reading Room

Your quiet and comfy lounge to pick up a great book and discuss sci-fi literature.

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Old Jul 3, 2006, 04:38 PM   #1
HighWiredSith
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SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

Okay, here it is, the official Ender's Game thread.

Ender's Game can be described as a coming of age story on speed. The novel follows the life of child genius Ender Wiggin, a sort of pseudo-illegal third child (the law loosely urges parents to stop at two children for various reasons) with fantastic mental abilities. Ender is recruited by the government into a private orbital school designed to turn children into soldiers intended to fight a war that has yet to happen. Having already been devastatingly attacked by a distant enemy simply known as the "buggers," there are a couple of forgeone conclusions - one, that the buggers will attack a third time and two, that Earth will not be able to repel the buggers a third time. With the threat of intevitable anahiliation, Ender is presented as an answer to a prayer, a potential leader with the mental capacity to overcome and defeat Earth's most dangerous enemy.

The novel closely follows Ender's years at the War Games academy and his swift ascension through the rank and file of war gaming cadets.

By far the most interesting aspects of the novel are indeed the war games themselves. Told from Ender's point of view most the time, the games are a fasincating test of both mental and physical strength as well as the ability to lead. Personally, I can't wait to see them rendered on the big screen.

There is an interesting subplot involving Ender's brother and sister back home on Earth and a communication network eerily similar to today's internet (Card wrote the novel in the mid 80's) and the ocassional dialoge from the adults charged with watching and nurturing Ender toward the end they hope to achieve.

The conclusion of book is, I think, a failed attempt at a plot twist and somewhat of a letdown but the epilogue tends to make up for it.

Great book, definately a classic.

Let the discussion begin.
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 04:50 PM   #2
Nexus
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

Wasn't there all ready a thread for this, or am I going crazy...?
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 05:26 PM   #3
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

No there was but he's started a new one for a different book. Er I think it's a different book.

edit: Nope the original was on Enders too, probably a mistake.
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 05:32 PM   #4
Darth Bob
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

It's age, Sith's lost the plot, gone mad, started reposting that, it's only a matter of time before he starts forgetting who we are, and welcoming us all to the board again
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 08:39 PM   #5
toomuchcoffee
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

There is a Sciflicks reading room forum, but I think Sith made a special forum for Ender's Game because of this request:

Quote:

Sith, don't have Ender's Game to read but when you start new books (and/or are choosing them) could you possibly update the thread title so anyone not following the current read (yes me) would know?

This is what I wrote last in the other thread:

Quote:
Interesting line. I wondered, as I read the book, if Ender would have reacted differently if he had known that, in the end, he was not playing a game at all, but running live combat missions. Would it have made a difference if he knew he was sacrificing actual lives to achieve his end goal. Ender seemed to have no problem wielding power to meet his ends when dealing with school bullies or anyone who opposed him.



He's compassion for life appears to have been his downfall, or a possible downfall. On the other hand, he did know how to protect his own liberities as seen through how he dealt with Stilson and (the other one. Can't remember. Barnard, right?). Although, he did not know that he killed both boys. What would he have done if he knew that they were going to die?

Quote:

Another interesting aspect to the novel is the parallel plot lines dealing with Ender and Peter. Both are quite obviously intelligent beyond their years, both having to overcome or hide their childhood in order to achieve very adult goals. In the end, it's Peter, the aggressive one, who uses non-aggresive means to achieve his goals and it's Ender, the one who seems to loathe aggression, who uses it to achieve power. In the end, who is the stronger one? Ender is quite obviously under strict control and loses much while Peter seems to have achieved a type of freedom.




Maybe the difference lies in serving your self as opposed to serving the greater good:

Quote:
" 'Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to fill the roles given you by good people, by people who love you' " (page 313, Valentine).


Also, there is emphasis on individual freedom as well:

Quote:
"Isolate him enough that he remains creative--otherwise he'll adopt the system here and we'll lose him" (page 27).

"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be" (page 231).

"Or perhaps it's just that none of us could be happy living with no other company than ourself" (page 240 [Valentine]).



Here are the other excerpts I underlined, just to have them in one place for future reference:


Quote:
"Mother was twisting her wedding band on her finger" (page 18). This happend when Ender's parents were confronted by Graff regarding Ender's beating of Stilson. It just made me wonder if she was unconsciously reacting to the shame of Ender's potentially criminal behavior and her union with her husband. I just wanted to know if that's why Card put that action in there, if he meant to show the unconscious or conscious willingness of a person to run from a commitment if that commitment should, even indirectly, result in the ruin of one's reputation.

"Ender didn't like fighting. He didn't like Peter's kind, the strong against the weak, and he didn't like his own kind either, the smart against the stupid" (page 21).

"Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, and so it used him" (page 87)

"Peter had even named it once, when he said that he could always see what other people hated most about themselves, and bully them, while Val could always see what other people liked best about themselves, and flatter them" (page 127)

"Everybody thinks Hitler got to power because of his armies, because they were willing to kill, and that's partly true, because in the real world power is always built on the threat of death and dishonor" (page 131).

"No he isn't, thought Ender. Small, yes. But Bean has been through a battle with a whole army depending on him and on the soldiers that he led, and heperformed splendidly, and they won. There's no youth in that. No childhood" (page 220).

" 'Maybe he and Peter and I are all the same, and have been all along. Maybe we only thought we were different from each other out of jealousy.' "(page 236).

" 'In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him' " (page 238)

" 'But it's so easy, when you never meet people, when you never know the Earth itself, when you live with metal walls keeping out the cold of space, it's easy to forget why Earth is worth saving. Why the world of people might be worth the price you pay.' " (page 243 [Graff])

" 'If the other fellow can't tell you his story, you can never be sure he isn't trying to kill you.' " (page 253 [Graff]).

"There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do' " (page 263, Rackham).

" 'Just because they didn't know they were killing human beings doesn't mean they weren't killing human beings' " (page 270 [Graff]).

" 'Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliamt on its behalf' " (page 277, Rackham).

"Ender took part in the work, as much as they would let him; it did not occur to them that this twelve-year-old boy might be as gifted at peace as he was at war" (page 309).

Last edited by toomuchcoffee : Jul 10, 2006 at 05:21 PM.
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 08:42 PM   #6
Iwata
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

I blame his advanced age.
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 06:24 PM   #7
HighWiredSith
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

Hey, I was sprecifically asked (I forget who) to start a reading discussion thread specifically for Ender's Game (and not just a generic reading thread). The other thread was intended to spawn a discussion about potentially creating a thread for Ender's Game (or some other book, but we decided on Ender's Game) so there you go.
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

Ooooh see I kind asked if you'd change the (existing) thread title so I'd know when you were choosing/reading new books. Might have been that, if so I apologise.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 09:28 AM   #9
HighWiredSith
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

Right, and I couldn't under the old regime, change the title of a thread so I was in the process of creating a new threat and merging the posts from the old thread into this one when the whole friggin site when down on me. Now, I'm not sure what to do.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 09:37 AM   #10
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

You could change the title it was where move/copy was (not just normal edit) - under mod options for your thread. Now may still be possible under Thread Options.
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 05:25 PM   #11
toomuchcoffee
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

I also read Ender's Shadow and thought that it might be even better than the first, but hard to say. I'd probably have to read Ender's Game again to see. I also own Shadow of the Hegemon and will probably read that in the not too distant future.

He also wrote a fantasy series that takes place right after America's revolutionary war (or maybe before). Might be good. They're small, stick-in-your-back-pocket-sized books.
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 11:25 AM   #12
HighWiredSith
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

I read Speaker for the Dead which is the direct sequel of Ender's Game about ten years ago. I don't recall if I liked it more or not.

What did you think about the game that Ender played, where he killed the giant and went beyond the end of the game, to the castle with the mirror? I always loved this idea of going beyond the boundaries of the game world, like trying to drive your tank to the volcano in Battle Zone that you can never reach.
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 06:15 PM   #13
toomuchcoffee
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Re: SciFlicks Reading Room: Ender's Game

Ender's Shadow takes place during the time frame of Ender's Game, but is about Bean. I really liked that one. Shadow of the Hegemon is about Bean again, but I guess he become's Peter's advisor. Haven't read that one, yet. I think Speaker for the Dead happens several thousand years after Ender's Game, unless I'm mistaken.

The game was pretty cool, the way he gouged out the giant's eyes and went beyond a mirror (right?). That would be rather fascinating to be able to go outside of a game's story and explore other places that involves more creativity and involvement with situations that react to the players decisions without requiring that the player come to a limited amount of resolutions.
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