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First Meetings in Ender's Universe (Other Tales from the Ender Universe) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2004
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A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.
The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.
From School Library Journal
Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the four short stories included in "First Meetings..." is the actual original "Ender's Game" short story. Card wrote this in the mid-1970's and expanded it into the award-winning novel everyone knows in the early to mid-1980's. Here, fans of "Ender's Game" can read Card's original vision and appreciate how the full novel came to be. The other three shorts tell some fascinating tales. The first one deals with the life of Ender's father, John Paul Wiggin, when he was a little kid, not much older than Ender at the time of "Ender's Game". Without revealing too much, here, it can be said that the events of young John Paul's life explain a great deal about what came to pass for Ender a generation later. The second tale advances John Paul to college age and reveals how John Paul and Ender's mother, Theresa, came to meet and fall in love. The final tale (after the original "Ender's Game") bridges a period of time between the ending of "Ender's Game" and its amazing sequel "Speaker for the Dead". The mystery of how Ender and his constant virtual companion, Jane, came into each other's lives is explained and it makes for an amusing anecdote.
Once again, Card continues to show a brilliant grasp of human emotion and personal interactions in bringing these shorts to life. He doesn't get bogged down in the existentialism that plagued "Children of the Mind". He sticks with elements that make this saga great.
But of course, there's a contradiction in that. How could two people of average intelligence produce three super geniuses (Ender, Valentine, and Peter)? Ender's Shadow began to resolve that problem by presenting them as being very smart, but hiding their intelligence so they did not overshadow their children.
This book goes back in their lives before they got married. In the father's case, it begins when he is a small boy. Besides developing two great characters, numerous holes in the original novels are nicely resolved - the religion of Ender's parents and how that plays into the fertility laws, how Ender's family got to America, and how the family was induced to produce kids like Ender.
Another character's genesis is also covered in the final story - the computer program Jane, who will be familiar to readers of the Ender's Game sequels. It's a short, satisfying read, and very much in Card's distinctive style.
Finally, there is the novella that started it all. I read this when it first appeared, and this award winning story motivated me to get the Ender's Game novel as soon as it appeared. If you like the Ender universe, you really ought to read this just to see how it all got started. Be warned - there are some inconsistencies with the novel. But they are minor, and it's interesting to see the evolution from the novella to the novel.
This is a short read. It is suitable for teens and adults - the same audience as Ender's Game, really. If you liked any of the Ender series, you really ought to get this.
Also included is the ORIGINAL "Ender's Game." This is really fascinating. I have to say, the writing is very inferior to the revised and novelized version of this original short story. But for those who love the book, you have a glimpse into writer's craft. How did Card deepen each character? How did he revise his conversation and exposition? Good lessons here for any budding writer, and great for those who love the Ender's series as you can see the development of the books from an average short story to a thrilling series of books.
The short stories end with a small tale about a tax collector dealing with Ender as he roams from planet to planet after he leaves Earth. This is meaningful for the last in the Ender's series (Shadow of the Giant.) And it's a good story in itself.
Recommende for fans of the Card series.
The most memorable, I think, is "The Polish Boy". Concerning duels between a 5-year-old and various administrative figures, it recalls some of the best of "Ender's Shadow": the illustration of how a very young child can, with sufficient wit and preternatural maturity, overcome adult opposition.
"Teacher's Pest" is the least of the three. It concerns cleverness used in the furtherance of adolescent romance. While this might be as excitingly done as the first story, it would have to be on a higher level of wittiness to succeed as well. But it doesn't reach that level, and it seems a bit pedestrian.
"Investment Counsellor" is set in Ender's "quiet" stage--after he's overcome the trauma of "Ender's Game" and before he's set out upon his Speaker of the Dead life. The fireworks of his passion are missing here--neither his command skills nor his personal interaction livelihood are generating the sparks that provide much of the interest in the books. It's a connector piece, showing some origins of things to come. These are good things, and it's good to have their origins, but it's not very exciting story-telling.
The illustrations do nothing for the book but take up page-space, adding 10 or 12 pages to the total. Without them, the book would be under 200 pages in length--and better, in my estimation. (When are illustrators going to stop putting airplane wings, rudders, and elevators on spacecraft??)
Having the original "Ender's Game" included is rather interesting, allowing for comparison with the novel it spawned.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are short stories that fill in the gaps of the mainstream series. If you have not read the Ender and Shadows series, most of the stories will not be in context, as the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by klein
I'm torn between wishing I'd read this book prior to Ender's Game, and being glad that I mistakenly read it afterwards. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Myndi
Additional back story to Ender's Game. Great read and a must read for the Ender's fans.Published 9 months ago by JHill
It took me a long time to finally pick up Ender's Game and when I did I found that Orson Scott Card is an incredible writer. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Barry Memory
Not a fan of how the Enders Game short is in this compared to the novel, but the rest of the stories are great fill in to the bigger story of Ender.Published 9 months ago by Anthony W Amor