Mr. Card may have won me over with this splendid little novel. I must say that I found Ender's game to be slightly morally reprehensible(can one be slMr. Card may have won me over with this splendid little novel. I must say that I found Ender's game to be slightly morally reprehensible(can one be slightly morally reprehended?). The absolution given to a little boy that happens to murder two people over the early course of the novel, left me flabbergasted. What kind of message is that for a young adult(these novels are and were marketed for the YA audience). Feel free to crush that young mans sternum Ender, don't hesitate to crush the bridge of another young man's nose into his brain cavity. After all you are the savior of mankind.
With the next novel in the series Card seems to wipe the slate clean. The writer has managed to create one of the most personal stories I have yet to encounter within the Science Fiction genre. Able to manage the pains, trials, and tribulations of multiple characters perfectly. And some of those pains can be achingly painful.
Ender is finally able to find peace and redemption for his past(albeit from ignorance at the time) crimes.
I think I will end my experience with the Ender's series at this point. I see no way in which the series should continue quite frankly. Though Mr. Card must have succumb to both the artistic and monetary itch, because there are two remaining novels within this series, plus four more within a spin off series.
If only I could be that prolific.
I did take notice of a few flaws. Lazy grammar was stumbled upon from time to time, but it wasn't enough to take offense at, or to keep me from enjoying the novel.
I was looking for an appropriate entrance into the domain of the great Vernor Vinge for some time. Being an avid fan of the space opera sub genre of sI was looking for an appropriate entrance into the domain of the great Vernor Vinge for some time. Being an avid fan of the space opera sub genre of science fiction, and of science fiction in general, and seeing as Vinge is known to excel in both, I acquiesced.
Should I begin with light reading, a snapshot instead of an album? Say some of his earlier work like Marooned in Real Time? No fuck it I'll take the door stop. I have to admit that after the three weeks it took me to turn all 780 pages(odd work schedule lately, otherwise a more ephemeral reading time would have been expected), I am not disappointed.
I won't waste time with an outlining of the plot, since there are countless others that have came before me that have done a fine job of that already.
I will only say that this book was entertaining. And isn't that all you look for in a good novel? Even if a book feels banal, worthless, and a waste of my time, I will still finish what I have started, but the time does seem to go by much faster when I am reading something that suits my palate.
I will say that it is obvious that Vinge can't make heads or tales of how to write female characters. Always vulnerable, naive little girls, voracious nymphomaniacs, or incorrigible taskmasters cracking the whip. Also the lack of an authentic emotional response by anyone after the death of a young member of the Spider race after a run in with a band of religiously motivated kidnappers, left me somewhat cold and questioning of Vinges ability to highlight even simple parts of the human condition. Or Spider condition, or whatever.
These missteps can be overlooked however. The books strengths overwhelm the flaws strewn sporadically across its length.
I recommend it to all comers. And look forward to taking up A Fire Upon the Deep in the not too distant future. That is if I can find a copy because it does seem as if it may have went out of print recently.
On a secondary note, I will just say that I enjoyed the use of 18th or 19th century seaman nomenclature by Pham Nuwen from time to time. I only wish that it would be possible to one day go a-faring my self. If only to have been born two or three centuries later than I happened to have been....more
And I can understand the admiration one could have with a culture as utilitarian as the Japanese. But that was also the sameA very frustrating work.
And I can understand the admiration one could have with a culture as utilitarian as the Japanese. But that was also the same nationalistic hogwash that would have marched my grandfather off to die in some work camp of exhaustion or dysentery, or sliced his fucking head off with a kitana if he were to be so unfortunate as to have become captured as a POW when he was fighting in the South Pacific in the first half of the 1940's.
Well I guess Dick chose the lesser of two evils to be the good guys in his alternate history. Of course when you have to choose between the Ultra-Nationalistic Japanese Empire of Hirohito and Nazi Germany as as a pseudo-protaganist I assume most would choose the former. Though research into both reveals that the Japanese were no less brutal to their conquered indigenous peoples. Maybe even more so. Once again though, one can understand the moral ambiguity of having to choose between the two. And maybe that was a point Dick was trying to make after all.
And I won't even attempt to cover the ridiculousness of the religious psycho babble that pervades entirely too many of this books 250 pages. But I guess Dick was one of those particular types that threw away the first dogma they were given as a child, convince themselves they have become thoroughly enlightened by that experience, and then fall right back into that pit with some Eastern version of the same basic ridiculous concept. That a supernatural hand must be shaping events, otherwise the world is unexplainable.
Very well written and very entertaining read though. But unfortunately from what I have heard, very much the peak of Dicks career. Probably a downhill ride from here.