Ender’s Game

A while back (at least a year, probably more), Marty sent me a quick e-mail. “Have you read Ender’s Game?”

Ignoring the name of this blog for a moment (if you didn’t know, “tins” is an acronym for “There Is No Spoon”, a pivotal scene in the Matrix when Neo realizes that he’s in more control than he realizes, that rules are made to be broken), I’m actually not that much of a sci-fi fan. I hadn’t read Ender’s Game (had never heard of it, actually), and asked why he e-mailed me about it. “Seemed like you’d like it.” We left it at that, and haven’t revisited it since.

When Audible turned on their RSS feeds (powered by FeedBurner, thank you very much), one of the titles that caught my eye was Ender’s Game. No idea why I remembered it from our brief e-mail exchange… but I did. Apparently there was a 20th anniversary edition, and after reading a bit about it, I was intrigued. Picked up a copy at the library a few days later, and dove in.

Wow, was Marty ever right. Ender’s Game is the first book of a seven book series, The Ender Series. I’ve since read Ender’s Shadow (not a sequel, more of a companion to the first book, even though it was published fifth), and both are spectacular, riveting reads. I won’t give anything away — if you’re fortunate enough to not know anything about the story going in, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the ride that Orson Scott Card takes you on.

The titles are listed as ‘young adult’ titles, which is surprising to me. I have no doubt that teens would love these stories, but they are equally fulfilling for adults. My wife is now racing me to see who can get through the books first (we’re now back on track in the order they were published: next up, Speaker for the Dead).

Considering that Card first conceived of Ender’s Game in 1977 (when his short story was first published), his notions of the role of video games, networked information, and opinions expressed online are uncanny. Nearly 30 years ago he first wrote of the things that today we take for granted (but that even five years ago seemed novel): the Google library, blogs as opinion leaders, video games as military tutorials — he saw it all, and wove them together into a compelling combination of military strategy, politics, and the coming-of-age of a gifted and tragic leader.

I’m hooked. Can’t wait to go deeper into Card’s world.

Oh — and they’re working on the film.

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