Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

Presumably someone else has made the point already about Orson Scott Card's masterpiece, Ender's Game: currently, America's most ballyhooed high school basketball player is a Canadian named Andrew Wiggins. You ballin punks who haven't heard of this fricking amazing SF novel? The kid who just might save humanity, Ender, is named Andrew Wiggin, and you can't hardly find him on Google anymore.

Strange days, indeed.

My god, but this book tricked me. For so long, so long, it's about the travails of an impossibly young, impossibly talented kid, regularly facing torments and abuse, regularly put into impossible situations. Contented, that's how I felt, contented at the thought I was reading a novel that SF readers appreciated for making sense of their own childhoods: NOT that SF readers' childhoods are worse than those of other kids, though maybe they are, what do I know, but I'm seriously comfortable with the idea that most of us still need to make more sense of our childhoods than we think we do.

In other words, I mean to slight neither the novel nor its readers in making this claim. Adults need books about children, perhaps more than children do, so I was going along happily thinking that this was one of those books, lovely in its pain, freeing in its depiction of Ender's absolute captivity.

And then the book exploded, went three kinds of sideways, ended slowly and remarkably, did things I could not have expected.

Things I'll never tell you about, newbie.

You've read it? You know me personally? Why yes, I just might be prepared to buy you a meal just to get enough time to talk it over properly.

You haven't read it? Well, consider yourself warned. It's past time, and if you read one more breathless Andrew Wiggins column from some corporate shill on Yahoo! Sports before you meet Andrew Wiggin in Ender's Game, don't blame me.


Bookworm Chick said…
This has been on my To Be Read list forever..
Fraze said…
Welcome aboard! Now that you've read Ender's Game you qualify to be a 15-year-old SF nerd/geek. (You're not allowed to talk to girls though). Not that our childhoods were any more difficult. But still.

I agree that the ending was a big change of direction, but that's why I never liked it. It felt tacked-on. Loved a lot of the other stuff that seemed integrated.
richard said…
Get on it, BWC!

Fraze, I agree that the ending was tacked-on, but maybe because I'm so VERY much older than 15, I found some of the school travails a little tiresome. The ending came as a relief, to be honest. There are a couple of novels smushed together in this one, but even though both could have been better than they are here, Ender's Game is really effective in part because of its weaknesses.

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