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Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet) Paperback – May 7, 2013
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About the Author
Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and it's many sequels that expand the Ender Universe into the far future and the near past. Those books are organized into the Ender Quintet, the five books that chronicle the life of Ender Wiggin; the Shadow Series, that follows on the novel Ender's Shadow and are set on Earth; and the Formic Wars series, written with co-author Aaron Johnston, that tells of the terrible first contact between humans and the alien "Buggers".
Card has been a working writer since the 1970s. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 -- the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelet version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog.
The novel-length version of Ender's Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.
Card was born in Washington state, and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he runs occasional writers' workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.
He is the author of many sf and fantasy novels, including the American frontier fantasy series "The Tales of Alvin Maker" (beginning with Seventh Son), There are also stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart's Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card's recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old.
Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, He and Kristine are the parents of five children and several grandchildren.
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The librarian eventually nabbed me, and asked what sort of books I liked reading. For some reason that I still can't explain to this day, I thought that all the "cool" kids read science fiction. So that's what I said.
"Then you should read this book," she told me, handing me a fairly worn copy of 'Ender's Game,' and telling me that she loved it enough to re-read it every year.
I wasn't thrilled with it, to be honest. The cover seemed kind of hokey. It smelled funny (hey, I was a kid). I had no idea what a "Hugo" or "Nebula" award might be. But the bell was ringing, testing would begin shortly, and I was kind of stuck for options. I checked out the book, and went on my way.
I've always been a fast test taker, and so about an hour into a three-hour test I was done and bored. I opened the book and started reading. And a two hours later I was done.
Up to that point, I'd read tons of books—mostly of the "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and "Encyclopedia Brown" variety. This was the first "grownup" fiction I'd ever read. And I was hooked. I went on to read everything I could find by Orson Scott Card. I wrote tons of short stories as creative writing assignments, all featuring Battle School or Ender himself. And I took what was a sorta-hobby of writing short stories and "books" (very short books, I assure you) and ended up turning it into a lifelong pursuit.
And, like the librarian, I've taken to re-reading this book every year. I've given away more copies of this single book than I can count. And I've owned every English-language version of it ever released. It's a benchmark, life-shaping book for me.
'Ender's Game' was the book that taught me that books could be what you do for a living. And for that, I'm incredibly grateful. My only regret is that I can't give it more than five stars.
Does this book really need another review? Probably not. Clearly, Ender’s Game is the mark of an excellent sci-fi read, so a lot of people probably agree with my assessment of Card’s work. But let me just say, any book that has aliens (check), really really ridiculously smart children (check), a fast-paced and interesting plot line (check), action and battle and war! (check), and beautiful writing (check), should be read.
Yes, there is a movie, and if you never read the book you will enjoy it but to be honest I enjoyed the movie more having read the book. That is rare, but it gave great visuals for what was hard to imagine in the book.
Note: If you read and enjoy this book, check out Ender's Shadow. It is a parallel novel about the character Bean and is every bit of exciting.
Basic premise of the book: future dystopian world undergoing population control. The world has been attacked by aliens and humans were so scared, they decided to track down and wipe the aliens out. But they realized adult reflexes were too slow and their decisions weren’t ruthless enough. So they created a battle school to find the smartest, most ruthless and most strategic of kids, and so they found Ender. To train him, they used games simulating battles they were actually having in space and they were amazed at the choices he made. Through video games, they were able to make Ender into a perfect military leader.
I won’t tell any more than that because I don’t want to spoil the book. But if you find yourself thinking “why is this kid so freaking important to these battle school leaders”, at least you will understand going in. Definitely read it. I’ve read it twice now and it still amazes me.