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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 Jun 8, 2006, 09:44 AM   #1
HighWiredSith
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The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

Okay, we tried this several months ago and I dropped the ball (and never picked it up). We were starting with Dune. But since our tireless leader is suggesting a Science Fcition Literature Forum I think it would be cool to resurrect the SciFlicks Reading Club.

So, want to try Dune again or something a little lighter - maybe Ender's Game or perhaps something published in the last few years like The Forever War.

I have just completed Alastair Reynolds Redemption Ark and am ready to jump into my next reading selection so I am open to suggestions.

Last edited by HighWiredSith : Jun 13, 2006 at 10:12 AM.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 10:37 AM   #2
toomuchcoffee
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

I own all three of those, so I personally wouldn't mind starting any of them. I would even give Dune another go. I still have yet to read Ender's Game or Forever War.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 10:40 AM   #3
Jove
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

Ender's Game is probably the easiest to read and possibly the easier to explore (given the vast religious backdrop of Dune - and the fact that I haven't read Forever War).

I'm in the middle of a Trudi Caravan trilogy about a magician's guild in a city. Pulp rubbish - but quite entertaining - so am happy to drop that to delve in to something else.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 01:46 PM   #4
HighWiredSith
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

Okay, Ender's Game then?

I picked up my copy when I went home for lunch. The cover claims it to be the author's definitive edition, which leads me to conclude that there are other editions out there.

Chapter One is titled "Third"

"I've watched through his eyes. I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."

Last edited by HighWiredSith : Jun 8, 2006 at 02:53 PM.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 02:43 PM   #5
toomuchcoffee
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

That's the one I have. I'll get started today or this weekend.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 04:18 PM   #6
HighWiredSith
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

“Third”

Ender’s Game begins with a conversation between two unseen characters describing a third character we quickly understand is not only a child but the antagonist of the story. The conversation is brief but quite sweeping in it’s implications about saving mankind. Already, the author creates the essential contrast of the story – a child as the savior all mankind.

The chapter proceeds to describe two events that occur on the same day. The first event is the removal of the monitor from Ender’s neck, a device that, as the text explains, has been in place for three years and has allowed others to see through his eyes and hear through his ears. The device is removed. Its removal is assumed by Ender to be a symptom of his failure to meet whatever standard he was being tested for or observed in relation to when the monitor was installed.

The second event occurs later that day when, after school, Ender is confronted by the typical school bully.

There are number of themes established very quickly in this opening (and very brief) chapter. The first theme is childhood vs. adulthood. A number of contrasts are made, from Ender’s reaction to the doctor lying to him (“This won’t hurt a bit”) to his thoughts about the clumsiness of adult hands as opposed to his.

The theme of conflict between the weaker and the stronger is also established. Ender laments briefly about his tumultuous relationship with his older brother and we see Ender dealing with the school bully. Again, we see the weaker (the child) victorious over the strong (the bully, the older brother, the adults).

“Ender knew the unspoken rules of manly warfare even though he was only six. It was forbidden to strike an opponent who lay helpless on the ground; only an animal would do that.

So Ender walked to Stilson’s supine body and kicked him again, viciously, in the ribs.”

Ender is not beholden to the rules of “manly” warfare because he is most obviously not a man. His weakness is his advantage, his strength.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 05:46 PM   #7
toomuchcoffee
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"Third"

Interesting. That's a good summary. The only question I had was why he broke the rules of manly combat, but you provided a good answer. I don't have anything to add.
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Old Jun 9, 2006, 03:24 PM   #8
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

I like this book a lot. Even if nobody ends up talking about it, I'm glad I'm reading it. I can barely put it down.
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Old Jun 9, 2006, 05:21 PM   #9
HighWiredSith
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

It is a really good book. I've read it twice, this will make my third time through it. I've never read any of the sequels, which was my intention in picking the book up again a few months ago, but I never purchased any additional books in the series. I think the second book is called Speaker for the Dead.
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Old Jun 9, 2006, 05:23 PM   #10
Splendiferous
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

Yeah, that's the second book - it's not too bad, but it pales in comparison to the first. If I weren't reading two books already I'd join in and re-read Ender's Game - instead I'll just heartily reccomend it to anyone reading this - one of the best books I've ever read.
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Old Jun 9, 2006, 05:45 PM   #11
toomuchcoffee
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

I bought the wrong books, then. I did bad guessing and bought Shadow of the Hegemon and Ender's Shadow at the same time that I bought Ender's Game. I for some reason guessed that they were immediate satellites to the first book.

EDIT: Actually, the foreword to Ender's Shadow begins, "This books is, strictly speaking, not a sequel, because it begins about where Ender's Game begins, and also ends, very nearly at the same place."

And then a review on the first page of Shadow of the Hegemon calls the book a "fine follow-up to Ender's Shadow . . . "

And it looks like Speaker for the Dead begins at a time much later than Ender's Game, maybe after Ender has grown?

BTW, is "philotic" a word that Orson Scott Card made up? I haven't been able to find the definition anywhere. The sentence in which it appears goes: "Oh, wow, I never knew that frogs looked like this inside, he'd say, and then at home he studied the binding of cells into organisms through the philotic collation of DNA."

Last edited by toomuchcoffee : Jun 11, 2006 at 06:43 PM.
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Old Jun 10, 2006, 04:13 PM   #13
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

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?
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Old Jun 10, 2006, 09:31 PM   #14
toomuchcoffee
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

Well, I finished it and it's a really good book. Rather fascinating showing how it is necessary to do violence and study war for self-protection purposes, but then at the end I liked the whole harmonious living and speaker for the dead stuff. I underlined passages I liked, so I'll just refer to them if they are relevant to anything anybody else might say.

Ender's Shadow, btw, is about Bean.

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Old Jun 12, 2006, 03:05 PM   #15
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Re: The Sciflicks Reading Room - Resurrection

I wondered what anyone else thought of the below line from Ender's Game. It looks over the top, but I think there is a lot of truth to it.

"Peter might be scum, but Peter had been right, always right; the power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can't kill then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you." (p.212)

Ender says that at a time when he is being pushed, but I think he is probably right. If you are not able to make people respect you, then they will take your freedoms from you. I don't think you have to be able make people think that you will cause physical pain, but also, and maybe more importantly, I think they need to know that you are capable of causing intellectual humiliation. I think there are people who exploit weaknesses when they find them. Maybe everybody does, and I think the statement that the ability to protect yourself and bring to heel anybody who would exploit weaknesses is the only power that matters is a valid one.

I don't think he means that you should use that power to attack others in order to assert your superiority, I only mean for the defense purposes.

Last edited by toomuchcoffee : Jun 12, 2006 at 04:34 PM.
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