Sci-fi and Heroic Fantasy discussion

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)
This topic is about Ender's Game
141 views
Book Discussions > Ender's Game (novel & novelette)

Comments (showing 1-50 of 84) (84 new)    post a comment »

message 1: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments This is our January 2013 classic read!


Bev (Greenginger) | 116 comments I read Enders game years ago and really enjoyed it. At the time it was an unusual concept although that may not be the case nowadays.
I suggested my hubby read it and he loved it but then he is ex military.
Great writing and good strong characterisation but not everyone will get the underlying ideas or meaning. or want to. Do give it a go as it is a classic in every sense of the word.


message 3: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments I believe it's actually required reading for many military personnel in the US is that right? Alongside books like The Art of War?


Adam Matthews | 26 comments Ha. I'm not sure it's required reading but I have heard it's popular among military personnel. It's a fantastic book. I've read it.


message 5: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments It was something I read in a blurb along those lines.


D.A.-bully victims suffer more than a ★ on their commercial product (Mourning-book-catalog) I'm going to re-read. A very favorite author and series; but, rather lost track over the years. I actually got the new, I guess it's a prequel, Earth Unaware autographed and promised myself a series re-read.

Works out nicely that I can do in a group read!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi there peeps. My first comment on this board.

I read Ender's Game a long time ago and absolutely hated it. Tried other stuff and couldn't get into that either, so I'm going to give it another go and see what exactly I didn't like about it so I can share.

Off to scrounge a copy now...


Corinne | 11 comments I just read Ender's Game. I loved it! I didn't even know it was a book choice for January! Even though it is an older book, the concept involving children seems fresh, and pretty disturbing. Just what you want in a sci-fi story! I also totally dig that the ending is not predictable-he gets you to empathize with------well you have to read the book!


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 485 comments I found this quite surprising when I first read it, too. The whole idea was both ludicrous & yet fascinating. I read it when it first came out & some of the ideas were pretty new.

What really surprised me was how much I liked Ender's Shadow (view spoiler) & disliked the rest of the series. As fast paced as these two books were, the others were quite slow & preachy, IMO.


Adam Matthews | 26 comments I heard Ender's Shadow was excellent. If I read another in the series it will be that one


message 11: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments I read most of well after Ender's Game was released, and honestly many of the Shadow sub-series have blurred together in my mind.

But for me, I think Speaker for the Dead was my favorite of the lot.


Bev (Greenginger) | 116 comments G33z3r wrote: "I read most of well after Ender's Game was released, and honestly many of the Shadow sub-series have blurred together in my mind.

But for me, I think Speaker for the Dead was my favorite of the lot."


Me too.


message 13: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments Sam wrote: "Hello again everyone its been a while since i've posted in this group. I read Ender's Game about a month ago for the second time and it was fantastic. I personally enjoyed the Battle Room scenes th..."

I did like those scenes too and hope they look good in the movie!


message 14: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (last edited Jan 10, 2013 06:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments Sam wrote: "Wait Ender's Game is being made into a movie????? I have to know the details!"


See Ender's Game on iMDB

Watch Ender's Game Trailer (YouTube)

Stars Asa Butterfield (kid from Hugo) as Ender and Hailee Steinfeld (girl from recent True Grit remake) as Petra and unknown Aramis Knight as Bean and Abigail Breslin (younger girl from Zombieland) as Valentine. With adults Harrison Ford (Graff) and Ben Kingsley (Mazer).

Coming this fall (November 2013).

By the schedule, 2013 is going to be a big year for YA science fiction movies: Ender's Game, Catching Fire, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. The latter doesn't have full cast and crew attached and they are still in pre-production, so I'm doubting that'll really make their calendar schedules.


message 15: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments I think the later will fall into 2014 more than likely.


Jen (disc0rdia) | 2 comments I read this book last year (prompted by my nerdy boyfriend ;p) and I really liked the writing style: kind of technical with a balance of emotion and, frankly, psychopathy among many of the major characters. This book took my thoughts in many different directions, I was provoked by the socio-political constructions of the international government living in fear, and then by the personal struggles with goodness and uncontrollable power in Ender.

I followed Ender's Game with Ender's Shadow, which is almost the exact same story but focusing on a different character (my favorite, Bean). While it's quite a lot of Battle School to read through, I suggest Ender's Shadow as a follow up since it complements Ender's Battle School experience seen from within his own inner life with Bean's experience closely examining the Battle School environment.

Happy reading!


Prin Chuk (grizzlysnickers) | 5 comments Jen wrote: "I read this book last year (prompted by my nerdy boyfriend ;p) and I really liked the writing style: kind of technical with a balance of emotion and, frankly, psychopathy among many of the major ch..."

I liked the book for a lot of the same reasons. Especially Ender's inner battles and his performances in the Battle Room. I loved it so much in fact, I immediately bought the Ender's Game Quartet. While the rest of those books read different than Ender's Game, I still liked them. I've got the Ender's Shadow series and will be reading that very soon. I'm excited to see that it follows Bean and has more of the story from Battle School because I really enjoyed that part of the book.


Suzette | 4 comments I loved the whole idea of the story. We all know children learn new concepts easily and are shaped by their surroundings. Taking that to the extreme and doing the battle school was fantastic. It's not a new idea to use children in war but it was a new idea to make them the intelligence behind the battle. Adding to that is a protagonist that manages to hold on to his own moral center while winning his battles and becoming a leader that other children look up to, all done without sappy sentimentality. OSC managed to portray Ender's longing for personal connections as a child without making him childish or weak. I think this is unlike any other story out there. My personal favorite character is Bean and I love his backstory (as told in other books). I have recommended this book to many of my family and friends who don't read sci fi and they all loved it as well.


Corinne | 11 comments Although I love all that futuristic stuff, what got me the most about Ender's Game is what was going on within Ender himself. Card is gifted in that he makes you feel that this is a real person. I totally empathized with Ender and felt so protective of him.


Ansar (Aradesh) | 2 comments I've heard so much about this book, I nearly got the impression that I was committing a cardinal sin or high treason by not having read it.

To say I was excited would be the least but I tried to temper my excitement, I waited a while to read it because I had just finished reading Old Man's War and didn't want to get into another military sci-fi book so soon afterwards.

Having read it I have to say I gave the book a solid 4 stars which is basically "great, recommended". I didn't feel as strongly about the book as most people do, it felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone at times and it didn't resonate well with the military sci-fi angle in my opinion. I also hoped to find out more about the hyper intelligent children but there didn't seem to be a lot of detail about it. It was a mostly military camp, boy who cries a lot and people devoid of emotion surrounding him.

Of course that isn't to say that it was a bad book it had its strengths too, I thought the comradery was the high point of the book and Ender questioning himself, the military and the choices he was asked to make gave the book tremendous texture and depth, it opened the book up. I'm not sure if I would commit myself to a long series but I would like to read another one, perhaps a prequel/sequel.


message 21: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (last edited Jan 22, 2013 09:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments I guess I feel similarly to you about Ender's Game, Bard.

If you want to try another in the series, there are basically two paths you can take:

The best choice, in my opinion, is the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. According to the author, it's the Ender novel he really wanted to write. It picks up Ender's story sometime later. Despite being the savior of the human race, he's infamous for the xenoside, so he's chosen a new name and he acts as a Speaker (someone who delivers an extremely extended eulogy, including all the bad as well as the good.) That book is self-contained, but Ender has a further sequel, Xenocide. Personally, I think Speaker for the Dead is the best book of the lot. These are not military SF.

The other path is Ender's Shadow, which is the story of Bean (and a couple of the other kids from Battle School). It retells the same story as Ender's Game, but from Bean's point of view. (A little like Zoe's Tale :) Bean's storyline runs on for six books as he becomes a great general/consultant in various conflicts on Earth, fighting for good causes. This would be the military SF option.


Ansar (Aradesh) | 2 comments Thanks G33z3r, I had a look at Speaker for the Dead and it does sound interesting. I might have a look at Ender's Shadow sometime but Speaker for the Dead sounds more appealing to me.


Joe Dombrowski | 1 comments I read it a long time ago. Definitely one of my faves. I can see why they're making this into a movie, the gamers are gonna love it.


Tz | 5 comments The forthcoming movie actually worries me. This book was the first scyfy book I ever read and has been one of my favorites ever since (about a decade). It is definitely in contention for the book I've reread the most times. I'm worried the movie wont be able to do it justice. I love Harrison Ford as Graff, but I'm worried I'll be too distracted by the age of kids, and the host of other changes that will inevitably be made (Anderson as a black woman for example simply for the sake of making the cast more diverse) and characters cut out. I think I'll probably pass on the movie...I was wondering if other fans are having similar reservations


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 485 comments Always, Tz. Hollywood rarely does a good movie from a book. There are some notable exceptions. It can depend on which one I've seen first since they change the point, but I prefer to see the movie & then read the book. Life rarely works that way.

In this case, the book means too much to you, so just divorce the two in your mind. They have the same title, not a big deal. Happens all the time. Otherwise, they are two separate entities, like I Am Legend & that horrible movie Will Smith was in a few years ago. The book was great & had nothing in common with the movie save the title.


Suzette | 4 comments That's a good way to look at it Jim. I have the same problem Tz. I have already looked at the age of the actors and thought it will detract from the story. One of the things that makes the story so compelling is how young the Battle School students are. I've seen much younger actors who could have taken the roll of Ender or Bean and done them justice. Some of the other students were much older so the whole cast didn't have to be very young. I don't understand the decision to cast the way they did but I'm going to try to "divorce" the book from the movie as suggested. The only movie that ever did justice to the book, in my opinion, was the mini series The Stand. Enders Game centers on the whole idea of very young people being put in the position of being the minds behind war. It's a lot less moving when they are teens and becomes just another story about war.


message 27: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments I'm actually looking forward to the movie. I liked the book for its sci-fi but I was distracted by the ideology that OSC was trying to preach to the reader. I think the movie will have the sci-fi and lose most of the preaching.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 485 comments I've heard others talk about Card's preaching. It didn't seem bad in this book at all. Maybe that's a memory comparison, though.


Suzette | 4 comments I have read Enders Game a dozen times and I have never got any "preaching" in it. The discussion between Ender's siblings is meant to be thought provoking, I think, but I don't think it rises to the level of preaching. I didn't feel the preachiness in the rest of this series of books either. Maybe it's because I've read some books that preach without even trying to weave it into the story.


message 30: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments Jim wrote: "I've heard others talk about Card's preaching. It didn't seem bad in this book at all. Maybe that's a memory comparison, though."

Maybe it's just that I very much disagree with Card's ideology and just read into it where he subtly 'insists' on certain things being true through the plot as being preachy...


Xdyj | 417 comments Just curious, which part of O.S Card's ideology that shows in this book do you dislike?


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 485 comments Xdyj wrote: "Just curious, which part of O.S Card's ideology that shows in this book do you dislike?"

I'm curious too, Jonathan. I hate preachy books & quit one last year even though I happened to share most of the views.


Anthony Cardenas (aecardenas) | 4 comments G33z3r wrote: "I guess I feel similarly to you about Ender's Game, Bard.

If you want to try another in the series, there are basically two paths you can take:

The best choice, in my opinion, is the sequel, Spea..."


I concur. Ender's Game is good, but the "sequel" Speaker for the Dead is Excellent! Loved it. Extremely heartfelt and complex and truly the stepping off point for the entire series. I say "Sequel" in quotations marks...because if memory serves Card actually wrote this book first...but then felt that he needed to put it context and so wrote a "prequel" for it...which was Ender's Game. I could be totally wrong about that, but I seem to remember reading that somewhere, and it made sense to me having read both works.

Anyway, I do suggest that you give Speaker for the Dead a try. It's a really good book.


message 34: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments Anthony wrote: "if memory serves Card actually wrote this book first...but then felt that he needed to put it context and so wrote a "prequel" for it...which was Ender's Game. I could be totally wrong about that, but I seem to remember reading that somewhere"

You probably read it in the Postscript Card wrote to the Ender's Game novel:
"Funny thing about Ender's Game is it was never supposed to be a novel. I conceived it as a short story... And was perfectly content to leave it that way.... But I wanted to write a story called Speaker for the Dead, and it was a difficult one that was very hard to write, until I realized, what if Ender Wiggin was the Speaker for the Dead... And immediately the story came to life for me.... And I realized what I really needed to do was re-write Ender's Game as a novel in order to set up Speaker for the Dead." — Orson Scott Card



Prin Chuk (grizzlysnickers) | 5 comments Jonathan wrote: "Jim wrote: "I've heard others talk about Card's preaching. It didn't seem bad in this book at all. Maybe that's a memory comparison, though."

Maybe it's just that I very much disagree with Card'..."


I've read about some of Card's ideologies and while I completely disagree with his beliefs I never felt his books came off preachy. I know some people who won't read any of Card's books because of things he has said in the press dealing with his religion but I guess it just depends on whether you can separate the author from his books. I love the story that Card weaves and Ender's Game is one of my favorite books so I don't pay attention to his personal convictions and just stick with his novels.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 485 comments I don't generally care what an author does in his private life unless it changes a style of writing that I've come to enjoy. For instance, I actually felt betrayed by Laurell K. Hamilton. She had a great heroine in Anita Blake & a fantastic series until she went through some changes in her own life & ruined it. I used to buy her books new, even pre-ordered them. Now she doesn't make a dime off me.

I don't feel betrayed by Card, but his writing changed over many years & series. I love this book & Treason, but quit reading the Alvin series after 2 or 3 books & haven't read much of his stuff since.


message 37: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments Jim wrote: "Xdyj wrote: "Just curious, which part of O.S Card's ideology that shows in this book do you dislike?"

I'm curious too, Jonathan. I hate preachy books & quit one last year even though I happened t..."


I felt there were subtle ideas that shone through. (view spoiler)


Suzette | 4 comments I didn't get that from this book. Almost all sci fi has some "message" in it about morals or the failings of humans or overcoming bias or whatever. The politics of Ender's siblings was meant to be political. You can't get political without making some kind of stand. I don't think they added to the book at all and I really believe that they could have been left out of the story altogether without taking away from it. That being said I saw nothing else in the book that was "preachy". Just as torture is used in some stories or the killing off of family and friends changes a character in this book the harshness of the training was part of the story that shaped Ender. It wasn't presented as an ideology but rather was just part of the framework of the story. I am a huge Star Trek fan and almost every single show has a moral issue of some kind and tries to teach some lesson. I enjoy the shows while being perfectly aware of the lesson involved. I don't see that kind of attempt to put forward some agenda in this story. There was the obvious morality issue with exterminating an entire race but, again, that was part of the plot combined with the character's feelings. If all moral dilemma was removed from sci fi I don't think there would be anything left to read.


message 39: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments Its not that there was a moral dilemma, it was the way it was handled for me. It seemed a touch preachy, a touch patronising and a touch deus ex machina. I like all the scenes where Ender is training to fight and learning with others but the ending frustrated me. I thought it was a little unsubtle...hence the 'preaching' tag.


message 40: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments In case anyone's misunderstood me, I'm not saying it's a bad novel I'm simply saying that personally when I read it I thought it was okay but a little bizarre (and as mentioned the ending unnerved me and did not feel quite right). And this was as a 15/16 year old, which I presume is part of the target audience age. And if you don't see preaching in it that's fine since I hardly see the 'preaching' in Narnia for instance. I suspect it has a lot to do with the individual reader's ideology...


Tuolivia | 7 comments Finally I read a book of the month during the actual month. I really enjoyed it! Ender's Game is a book I should have read 20 years ago as a teen. At the time I reread Dune every year so Ender would have made a great compliment. There were a few very small aspects that I wasn't crazy about...nothing big. Some of the characters important to the plot we lose track of (Peter) but I know there's a slew of other books in the series so he's (maybe...??) approached more in depth as an adult in another book. Loved it though...Now I need to read Ender's Shadow before the movie comes out so that book's not ruined for me. (I can't stand seeing a movie before I've read the book)


message 42: by Xdyj (last edited Feb 01, 2013 11:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Xdyj | 417 comments Jonathan wrote: "Jim wrote: "Xdyj wrote: "Just curious, which part of O.S Card's ideology that shows in this book do you dislike?"

I'm curious too, Jonathan. I hate preachy books & quit one last year even though ...

I felt there were subtle ideas that shone through. (view spoiler)"


Idk, but I think this article http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch... , with major factual mistakes fixable through a simple wikipedia lookup, is hardly something written by one (view spoiler) I like his position on immigration though.


message 43: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments Perhaps it's simply the fact that he has written for children and it comes across a touch patronising which I don't think we need in children's literature. Interesting article too!


message 44: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments I think the most blatant political diatribe I can remember in a science fiction novel by a mainstream author was from Poul Anderson. I forget the title, it was some time-travel story, I think, in which the protagonist reached the present day (which was then around 1970), and picked up a bunch of political leaflets which were then reprinted in full in the book. Subtle it was not. :)


message 45: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments Jonathan wrote: "Perhaps it's simply the fact that he has written for children and it comes across a touch patronising which I don't think we need in children's literature."

George Lucas has been indoctrinating kids with his Jedi mind tricks for decades.


message 46: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments G33z3r wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Perhaps it's simply the fact that he has written for children and it comes across a touch patronising which I don't think we need in children's literature."

George Lucas has been ..."


Oh certainly. All adult authors do it I've seen. But there seems to be a way that seems patronising that I dislike. Reading snippets of the Enders Game short story reminded me of how apparent it was that Card seems to talk down to his audience. Admittedly he's not the worst but he does it. Something about his writing just gets me the wrong way...


Xdyj | 417 comments Jonathan wrote: "Reading snippets of the Enders Game short story reminded me of how apparent it was that Card seems to talk down to his audience."

I agreed. & I think it gets worse in Speaker for the Dead.


message 48: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments Jonathan wrote: "Reading snippets of the Enders Game short story reminded me of how apparent it was that Card seems to talk down to his audience."

I read through the Ender's Game novelette earlier today, and I just don't see the condescension. Seems a perfectly straightforward short fiction. Would someone care to cite an example of what they didn't care for?


message 49: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 515 comments Well I don't care for the way he repeats himself. It works fine in the short story but it reminded me of how in the longer fiction he can come off a touch patronising because of it. I think I like the shorter work better in many ways because it loses more of that sense of 'telling' kids information rather than showing. I don't know what it was but something really just didn't grab me about the book as a kid... Maybe one day I'll re-read and get a whole different perspective.


message 50: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 4 stars

G33z3r | 2111 comments Random thought #034 on the short story: it seems all the characters here are male. The adult officers, main characters, & toon leaders, army commanders. There's a brief reference to Ender in the civilian area seen small animals following women and children (presumably real men don't have dogs.)

The novel adds a few female characters, some in the military, including Petra (who, of course, is the one to crack under the strain.)


« previous 1
back to top