Jeff Yoak's Reviews > First Meetings: In Ender's Universe

First Meetings by Orson Scott Card
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's review
Aug 05, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2009, audio-collection
Read from July 19 to 23, 2009

First Meetings is a series of short stories detailing stories of major and minor characters of the Enderverse from before the time of Ender's Game. Overall, I found it a good read, though I enjoyed some of the stories enormously more than others.

One of my favorites was Mazer in Prison which details Mazer's decision to fly away at relativistic speeds, abandoning his family, to be still alive and able to train the unknown future commander of the human fleet. During his flight with ancible communication he meets then Captain Graff and shows the sort of political manipulation later battle school kids would exhibit to manipulate the system and not only solidify Graff's job, but also gets him the power and autonomy to make battle school what it should be.

Another favorite was the Polish Boy. It details the meeting of Ender's parents and the IF's machinations to put them together. It isn't until Shadow of the Hegemon that we start to see some of the brilliance of the parents emerge, but this story provides some explanation of how Ender, Peter and Valentine happen to arise in this family, and why they're so closely watched.

I less enjoyed reading the original short story of Ender's Game, Pretty Boy and Cheater. The original short is simply too much a duplicate of the far superior original novel. Some of the other shorts don't really have a compelling character. Those these kids are part of the loved background of the major novels, their stories just end up reading as two-dimensional descriptions of kids with remarkable abilities.
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