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First Meetings: In Ender's Universe (The Ender Quintet) [Kindle Edition]

Orson Scott Card
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Welcome to the Enderverse.

When "Ender's Game" was first published as a novella twenty-five years ago few would have predicted that it would become one of the most successful ventures in publishing history. Expanded into a novel in 1985, Ender's Game won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Never out of print and translated into dozens of languages, it is the rare work of fiction that can truly be said to have transcended a genre. Ender's Game and its sequels have won dozens of prestigious awards and are as popular today among teens and young readers as adults.

First Meetings is a collection of three novellas-plus the original "Ender's Game"-that journey into the origins and the destiny of one Ender Wiggin.

"The Polish Boy" begins in the wake between the first two Bugger Wars when the Hegemony is desperate to recruit brilliant military commanders to repel the alien invasion. In John Paul Wiggin-the future father of Ender -they believe they may have found their man. Or boy.

In "Teacher's Pest"-a novella written especially for this collection-a brilliant but insufferably arrogant John Paul Wiggin, now an American university student, matches wits with an equally brilliant graduate student named Theresa Brown.

It is many years since the end of the Bugger Wars in "The Investment Counselor." Ender's reputation as a hero and savior has suffered a horrible reversal. Banished from Earth and slandered as a mass murderer, twenty-year-old Andrew Wiggin wanders incognito from planet to planet as a fugitive. Until a blackmailing tax inspector compromises his identity and threatens to expose Ender the Xenocide.

Also reprinted here is the original landmark novella, "Ender's Game," which first appeared in 1977.

Fully illustrated, First Meetings is Orson Scott Card writing at the height of his considerable power about his most compelling character.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

The following Ender's Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Game, Ender In Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind.

Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.

The following Ender's Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight.

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.

Earth Unaware, Earth Afire.

Ender Novellas

A War of Gifts, First Meetings.

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

Grade 6 Up-Andrew "Ender" Wiggins, a brilliant leader and tactician and destined to save Earth by destroying an entire alien civilization at the age of 12, was first introduced in Card's "Ender's Game" in Analog magazine (1977). That novella, plus three other stories (including one never before published) make up this appealing and entertaining collection of tales, all dealing with first meetings that played significant roles in the life of Ender Wiggins. "The Polish Boy" introduces his extraordinary father, John Paul, who manages at the age of six to trick the Hegemony into bringing his entire family from Poland to the United States. "Teacher's Pest" is the story of how John Paul meets and romances the equally brilliant graduate student Theresa Brown. Finally, in "The Investment Counselor," a mysterious accounting program named Jane appears just when 20-year-old Andrew Wiggins needs help figuring out both his taxes and what to do with the rest of his life. All four stories use the future setting as a framework to explore various issues of religion, government control, population limits, education, and moral responsibility. Character, setting, plot-Card does them all right, and makes it look effortless. The graphic novelesque illustrations will appeal to teens. For newcomers to Ender's universe and long-time fans, this book will hit the spot and whet the appetite for more.
Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
161 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant anthology of Ender short stories September 3, 2003
Format:Hardcover
The `Ender's Saga' and its most famous beginning, "Ender's Game", are among the most revered science-fiction series of all-time. While Card did a marvelous job chronicling the life and times of Ender Wiggin in the first four novels of the `Ender's Saga', and richly enhanced that universe with his subsequent three-book "Ender's Shadow" series, one could not help but think that there might be more than need be told. Enter "First Meetings in the Enderverse", an anthology of four short stories that give even greater insight into Ender's world.

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.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fill in the holes of the Ender saga November 28, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ender's parents never got their due in the original Ender's Game novel, but Card began developing them as fascinating characters in Ender's Shadow and its sequels. If you've only read Ender's Game, you probably think of Ender's father as a simpleton, and his mother as... well, as nothing, really, because there's so little about her in the book.

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.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Filling in the blanks; Ender's mom and dad and more September 11, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book of short stories contains material that will interest fans of Orson Scott Card's "Ender" series. There are two stories about Theresa and John Paul Wiggin--how they met and how John Paul grew up in Poland. These will be meaningful especially to readers of the parallel sequel to "Ender's Game", the Shadow series.

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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good backstory. December 26, 2003
Format:Hardcover
I would not call these three new works novellas, but simply longish short stories; they are very quick reads.
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
I bought the Ender Quintet and it left questions I wanted answered. This has things that are not in the books. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Lawrence Maturo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am 72 years old and I think these books are genius!
Published 29 days ago by Dolores Leigh
3.0 out of 5 stars I read 5 Chapter size book at best.
While it ties certain parts, it still doesn't rationalize having to read Ender's Game when I purchased a new book, so in reality, I read 5 Chapter size book at best.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Backstory
Published 1 month ago by Patrick Rahilly
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it if you're a fan of the series
First Meetings by Orson Scott Card is a collection of short stories correlating to the Ender series. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daniel Estes
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved this, it was really fun to learn more about Ender's universe through these short stories.
Published 1 month ago by Julie Ann Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome!
Published 1 month ago by theruralartist
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak book for a strong series
while the craft of writing is strong, as it is in any Card book, the material itself is fairly weak. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, horrible format
Cool to see some more of the Enderverse background, I just wish it wasn't written as though it were targeted at 8 year olds.
Published 2 months ago by Matthew Lindauer
4.0 out of 5 stars Ender Light
This is not a bad introduction to the Ender-verse, but real fans will find it frustrating, as it is just a collection of excerpts from various novels. Read more
Published 3 months ago by CPTJOHNC
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More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

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