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Ender’s Game

January 17, 2010

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite books. I return to it again and again. I recommend it to good friends, both as a good book, and as part of the field guide to my own mind and worldview. I first read it when I was 15 or 16. I remember not intending to stay up all night reading it. And then hearing birds waking up as I turned the last page. I read Speaker For the Dead immediately after. Both books got under my skin, stayed part of how I explain things to myself. Speaker For the Dead may be what prompted me to major in anthropology.

If not for Orson Scott Card’s introduction to both volumes, I might have been more confused by Ender’s reappearance as an adult, in a world whose attitudes had changed so drastically. I always felt like something was missing. Turns out, that something was Ender In Exile, released last year.

I’ve been talking about books with my downstairs neighbor, Neil. I got him to read Ender’s Game, which he’d never read before. And then I realized— he could follow that with Ender In Exile, before going on to Speaker for the Dead. Almost everyone else I know who’s read Ender’s Game, read its sequels in the same order I did.

So– I am using Neil as a bit of a literary experiment, getting him to share his thoughts about the evolution of
Ender and the story’s progression as he reads. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Thoughts behind the cut, so as not to spoil those who haven’t read.On Ender’s Game…

“At first I thought the buggers were a lie, or a conspiracy. The gaps in the films that Ender notices, I thought they were something the government had made, to justify the war. Gaps, funny angles, missing times. Or that the first film was the truth, with the dead buggers. And then the second film was a conspiracy or propaganda.”

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