Friday, October 24, 2008 By: Suzanne

Ender's Game

This is less about the book, which I just read for the third time, and more about the series itself.

I read the book for the first time when my mother introduced it to me. I think it might have been about 10 years ago. I was very impressed. For a long time I had been reading nothing but Fantasy and this wonderfully constructed novel of children in space learning to be battle commanders fascinated me. As celebrated as this book is, I found myself drawn more to the Speaker for the Dead. Ender's story continues for many novels and in each one he is challenged in ways that seem impossible to live though much less continue living sanely. Speaker for the Dead drives home the message that was under the surface of Ender's Game: life is sacred, even if that life is the enemy. This is something I actually didn't truly get until this third reading. I understood it on the surface but just realized only recently how much the reinforces my own beliefs. Interesting considering my beliefs are nothing like the author's.

After reading several of the novels focused on Ender a wonderful thing happened. Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Shadow. If it's possible, I liked Bean even more than Ender. It showed how it wasn't just Ender being self centered that made it seem like he was the entire focus of the Battle School, and yet there were so many other little dramas happening all around him that he could never have possibly known about.

So why did I read Ender's Game a second and a third time? Well, after I read Ender's Shadow when it came out, I felt compelled to look at Bean in Ender's story. I was surprised to find that a character I had suddenly come to love was barely mentioned. It made me wonder why Orson Scott Card chose to tell Bean's story instead of any number of stories that could have been written and were alluded to with the other children. So that was the second time.

This past week, Card was in Denton, TX of all places. I had the chance to see him speak about writing Ender, where the idea for the book started, and when (oh, please when????!!!!) will the movie finally be made. (He doesn't know hehehe) So, I bought a beautiful hard back copy of Ender's Game and his new book of short stories and got him to sign them. While he signed, I mentioned that even though I was having him sign this, Speaker for the Dead is actually my favorite. I was thrilled to hear him say, "That's the real story. The only reason I expanded Ender's Game into a novel was in order to write that story." That brief moment was well worth the 2 hours I stood in line. Yes, I stood in line for 2 hours to meet this man, something I've never done before and will only do for a very limited number of people. I met a wonderful girl in line and we discussed these books, Buffy (and Joss Whedon) as well as other fanstay and sci-fi we both love. Unfortunately, I don't remember her name (I'm terrible with names) but I will remember our conversations as fondly as I remember my short one with Card.


rcIsHere said...

I also went to the Orson Scott Card book signing. In my opinion, although I immensely enjoyed the talk that Mr. Card gave from 4 to 5pm, the actual book signing which started at 5pm was the worst run book signing I've ever seen! There was no one there to move the crowd through, and after standing in line for over an hour and a half, I said 'screw it!' and walked out and sat in the car. And to make matters worse, we were not that far back in the line! My daughter finally came out after 7pm after waiting in line 2 hours! I can imagine the people at the end of the line were there probably until after 11pm! As far as I'm concened, no one that I know (or don't know for that matter, except my daughter) is important enough to me to stand in line for that long for a signature! My daughter tells me, that after 2 hours was almost up, SOMEONE finally came and tried to move the line along, and the AUTHOR got angry with them! When I walked out to the car, I was so angry, that if I could have, and the folks selling his books had still been there, I would have taken my receipt and gotten a refund. His treatment of "his" public was atrocious and I will more than likely NEVER buy another book the man writes.

tonyablum said...

At first I felt this way too but when I realized he was angry because he felt he should be able to give everyone who spent time in line some of his attention, then I felt he was doing it so he WOULDN'T be treating his "public" badly. I do feel that he should find a way to do it a little quicker though when so many people are waiting.