Caution: there are spoilers ahead if you’ve not read Ender’s Game.
Since 1985, Ender’s Game has topped lists of best science fiction books. There’s plenty of good reason for that. The book has won numerous awards and is being made into a movie, due later this year. In anticipation of renewed interest in the book, Smart Pop Books has just released Ender’s World, a collection of essays from various authors that put a fresh perspective on Ender’s Game.
Aaron Johnston, who co-wrote some of the Formic Wars prequels, weighs in on why Ender Wiggin is really just a short Clint Eastwood and Matt Nix, creator of Burn Notice, weighs in on why the book was his guide to life. “The closest I came to Ender-like brilliance was programming a version of “Space Invaders” on a TRS-80 personal computer when I was eleven … I waited for Colonel Graff to come and tell me what it was I was supposed to be doing …”
Novelist John Brown looks at pre-cognitive appraisals and how, at the beginning of Ender’s Game, Ender is having his monitor removed. In a scene of 767 words, Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card uses just six nouns to set the description of the setting (three devoted to the characters). Brown points out that the experience of reading is much greater because “Card isn’t creating a setting. He’s helping us imagine one.”
Among the fourteen essays, Eric James Stone opines on how Ender’s Game should have ended. (In my not-yet-approved review copy, this was the first essay, a rather gutsy move.) Stone begins by asserting the book should have ended after the final battle. “Why did Orson Scott Card ruin a perfectly good humans versus aliens book with all that weird stuff at the end?” He goes deeper from there and the questions he asks and conclusions he makes are good ones.
There is a critique of Ender’s strategy from a former Air Force colonel and also an ex-Marine lieutenant. Plus, Card himself weighs in with some new thoughts on the book and answers readers’ questions like “If you could go back and re-write Ender’s Game, what would you change?”
All in all, Ender’s World is a fun and thought-provocative read, evaluating not just the novel Ender’s Game, but also its lasting effect on the science fiction genre. It provides a wide range of viewpoints and the contributors were well-selected, providing something, essentially, for everyone. As a reader of GeekDad, you’ve likely read Ender’s Game quite a few times before. If you’re interested in brushing up on the story again before the movie releases later this fall, check out Ender’s World. for some new perspectives on this science fiction classic.