Hold onto your hats...I finally read it. And found it extremely hard to put down! More thoughts coming soon. Friends, what do you recommend a fan of t...moreHold onto your hats...I finally read it. And found it extremely hard to put down! More thoughts coming soon. Friends, what do you recommend a fan of this series read next? I get this question a lot and am just as clueless having read it. It's not like anything else I've read (but I'm not particularly a sci-fi reader). Asimov, Star Wars, military history?
And then, as so many science fiction readers have done over the years, I felt a strong desire to write stories that would do for others what Asimov’s story had done for me.
I understood, at levels deeper than speech, how a great military leader imposes his will on his enemy, and makes his own army a willing extension of himself.
Soldiers and commanders would have to think very differently in space, because the old ideas of up and down simply wouldn’t apply anymore.
It occurred to me then for the first time that the idea of the story is nothing compared to the importance of knowing how to find a character and a story to tell around that idea. Asimov, having had the idea of paralleling The Decline and Fall, still had no story; his genius—and the soul of the story—came when he personalized his history, making the psychohistorian Hari Seldon the god-figure, the plan-maker, the apocalyptic prophet of the story. I had no such character, and no idea of how to make one.
I learned to separate the story from the writing, probably the most important thing that any storyteller has to learn—that there are a thousand right ways to tell a story, and ten million wrong ones, and you’re a lot more likely to find one of the latter than the former your first time through the tale.
And in writing Ender’s Game, I forced the audience to experience the lives of these children from that perspective—the perspective in which their feelings and decisions are just as real and important as any adult’s.
The highest praise I ever received for a book of mine was when the school librarian at Farrer Junior High in Provo, Utah, told me, “You know, Ender’s Game is our most-lost book.”
Why else do we read fiction, anyway? Not to be impressed by somebody’s dazzling language—or at least I hope that’s not our reason. I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not “true” because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: The mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about ourself.
The story of Ender’s Game is not this book, though it has that title emblazoned on it. The story is the one that you and I will construct together in your memory. If the story means anything to you at all, then when you remember it afterward, think of it, not as something I created, but rather as something that we made together.
* * *
Human beings are free except when humanity needs them.
Ender’s anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo’s was hot, and so it used him.
“See? This is what historians usually do, quibble about cause and effect when the point is, there are times when the world is in flux and the right voice in the right place can move the world."
the power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can’t kill then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you.
In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.
When it comes down to it, though, the real decision is inevitable: If one of us has to be destroyed, let’s make damn sure we’re the ones alive at the end. Our genes won’t let us decide any other way. Nature can’t evolve a species that hasn’t a will to survive. Individuals might be bred to sacrifice themselves, but the race as a whole can never decide to cease to exist.
“Strange dreams are a safety valve, Ender. I’m putting you under a little pressure for the first time in your life. Your body is finding ways to compensate, that’s all. (view spoiler)[ “And it had to be a child, Ender,” said Mazer. “You were faster than me. Better than me. I was too old and cautious. Any decent person who knows what warfare is can never go into battle with a whole heart. But you didn’t know. We made sure you didn’t know. You were reckless and brilliant and young. It’s what you were born for.”
“People always go. Always. They always believe they can make a better life than in the old world.”
it was plain to him now that they would not bring him back at all, that he was much more useful as a name and a story than he would ever be as an inconvenient flesh-and-blood person. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I know I'm too liberal with my five stars, but I'm seriously going to give this to the next person who says there aren't any good teen books being wri...moreI know I'm too liberal with my five stars, but I'm seriously going to give this to the next person who says there aren't any good teen books being written lately. This one has excellent writing paired with a gripping futuristic plot that kept me turning pages in every small crack of time available!
Jenna Fox wakes up from a coma with no memory of who she is, or of the people who want her to call them Mother and Father. She seems to have no friends, yet she finds herself able to recite entire passages of Thoreau. And when she does begin to remember things, they are not things a normal person should remember -- such as her own baptism at two weeks old.
Another sci fi with a girl protagonist -- would be very interesting paired with Life As We Knew It. Begs to be discussed! Incredible suspense and succession of plot twists. It's hard to add favorite quotes without any spoilers, but here are a few:
"When you are perfect, is there anywhere else to go?"
"Maybe that is all any life is composed of, trivia that eventually adds up to a person, and maybe I just don't have enough of it yet to be a whole one."
"Do certain events in our life leave a permanent mark, freezing a piece of us in time, and that becomes a touchstone that we measure the rest of our lives against?"(less)
Listened to this in my car and it was a delight. Frankie is so well-drawn, especially the inner conflict between her desire for independence and her d...moreListened to this in my car and it was a delight. Frankie is so well-drawn, especially the inner conflict between her desire for independence and her desire for love, and how she falls for a guy (Matthew Livingston!) for whom those two things in a girlfriend are mutually exclusive, and how she comes to terms with that (answer: that is not the guy for her). That's what resonated for me in this book, underneath all the "boarding school, boys clubs, pranks, interventionist art, urban exploration, and so on." The last page is perfect.
the three ways that women react to male social events (p. 84) the entire chapter on "the neglected positive" (p. 107)
"In the first few days after the breakup, Frankie had been tormented by the idea that Bess must have been better than she was. Ordinary, pleasant Bess must be prettier, more charming, more experienced, smarter than Frankie -- or Porter wouldn't have cheated. It didn't matter that Bess hadn't become Porter's girlfriend after the incident. It didn't matter that in her heart Frankie knew she was smart and charming. What mattered was that feeling of being expendable. That to Porter, she was a nobody that could easily be replaced by a better model -- and the better model wasn't even so great. Which meant that Frankie herself was nearly worthless. It was a bad, inconsequential feeling, and every word of every email Frankie had sent to Porter had been fighting against it. She had made him apologize in more ways than one, had flung neglected positives at him, criticized his grammar -- and made him wait for her to accept his invitation. All because of how bad she felt when she remembered how little she'd mattered to him." (p. 137-138)
"She felt like she never got him alone. Felt like she was always in his world and he was never in hers. And here was evidence: that no matter how hard she pushed herself into his world -- heck, she was running whole sections of his life at this point, not that he knew -- no matter how hard she pushed her way in, he could always close a door on her." (p. 278)
Mandie forced me to drop everything and read this, and I'm glad she did. Its status as one of the must-reads of fall is rightfully earned. It kept me...moreMandie forced me to drop everything and read this, and I'm glad she did. Its status as one of the must-reads of fall is rightfully earned. It kept me up past bedtime and distracted when I should have been thinking of other things. And it's only Book 1 of a trilogy and I can't wait to find out what happens next!!!
(Nitpicky aside: I did wish someone would have caught all the comma splices, but hopefully that will be corrected in the next edition!)
I won't restate the good synopsis given by Goodreads, but if you like gripping, burn-the-midnight-oil sci-fi or dystopia, have ever wondered how far goverment control and/or reality TV will go, liked House of the Scorpion or Life As We Knew It or Uglies or The Giver, this book is for you. It also reminded me of the short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.
And Mrs. Drake, wherever you are, here is MORE science fiction with a girl protagonist (with plenty to keep the boys engrossed as well). Go out and read it!(less)
In this haunting, layered mystery, Branwell Zamborska is struck mute after his baby sister is injured while he and the au pair are in the house. Only...moreIn this haunting, layered mystery, Branwell Zamborska is struck mute after his baby sister is injured while he and the au pair are in the house. Only his best friend Connor is able to communicate with Branwell to try to unravel what really happened -- both on that fateful day, and in the weeks leading up to it. Connor feels Branwell is innocent, but until Branwell decides to speak, nothing can be proven.
I read this on a plane and it kept me turning pages. Great cover, great dialogue, and excellent characterization. A good portrait of blended families; I love the relationship between Connor and his older half-sister, Margaret. Connor's independence and resourcefulness, as well as his humanity (he always tries to be completely honest about his feelings, even when they aren't pretty) will appeal to middle-school and high-school readers. Would be interesting paired with Speak by Anderson...(less)
Couldn't put it down; now I keep thinking about this world. It's got adventure, romance, special powers, a journey, survival -- a bit of everything! I...moreCouldn't put it down; now I keep thinking about this world. It's got adventure, romance, special powers, a journey, survival -- a bit of everything! I really felt Katsa's internal dilemmas regarding her Grace and what is expected of women. (less)