Ender Wiggin: Awesome or Whiny? (The Ender's Game Thread)

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Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Titan » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:00 am UTC

Holy [insert deity here.]

I just finished reading that book all in one sitting, and it blew my mind. It was one of the most epic things I have experienced in years. Thoughts?

Also, do you think it makes a book more or less exciting when you read it all at once?
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:26 am UTC

I read Cat's Cradle all in one sitting as a memorial to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. the day after he died. I think it made it much more interesting.

I have very fond memories of Ender's Game, but I haven't read it in years.

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Narsil » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:44 pm UTC

Reading Cat's Cradle in one sitting is quite an experience. Not totally sure I want to do that again. But Kurt Vonnegut is an amazing writer, so I probably will.

Also, Ender's Game is fantastic, but I would wait a bit before reading Speaker for the Dead. Give yourself time to separate the two books into separate entities, and read a few other books inbetween, because the rest of the Ender novels are drastically different from Ender's Game.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby zealo » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:52 pm UTC

one thing i'd like clarified, how is the MDD actually supposed to work.
in ender's game ender is told something like 'the weapon creates a sphere of magic particles at the point where two beams overlap, it is not a missile, you can't shoot around corners' while in the forth book it most definitely is a missile.

enders shadow makes it seem like a missle also when bean is telling them to 'set it off inside the ship'.

a minor error on the part of the author or am i missing something? i realise how much the missile form is needed for some of the plot.

Also, Ender's Game is fantastic, but I would wait a bit before reading Speaker for the Dead. Give yourself time to separate the two books into separate entities, and read a few other books inbetween, because the rest of the Ender novels are drastically different from Ender's Game.

or just treat the shadow series as the sequels i guess...
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:02 pm UTC

zealo wrote:one thing i'd like clarified, how is the MDD actually supposed to work.
in ender's game ender is told something like 'the weapon creates a sphere of magic particles at the point where two beams overlap, it is not a missile, you can't shoot around corners' while in the forth book it most definitely is a missile.

enders shadow makes it seem like a missle also when bean is telling them to 'set it off inside the ship'.

a minor error on the part of the author or am i missing something? i realise how much the missile form is needed for some of the plot.

Also, Ender's Game is fantastic, but I would wait a bit before reading Speaker for the Dead. Give yourself time to separate the two books into separate entities, and read a few other books inbetween, because the rest of the Ender novels are drastically different from Ender's Game.

or just treat the shadow series as the sequels i guess...


I assume that the Dr Device was a beam at that point--tactical advice from Mazer is more reliable than Bean trying to be comforting. Maybe the beam can be set off inside the ship somehow? By the time of the later novels, though, it was a missile to make it intentionally harder to use.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby apricity » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:07 pm UTC

What I loved about Ender's Game is that it made me think, and it keeps making me think. Something about it has just gotten into my head and keeps replaying.

As for a reading time frame, I always try to read books in one sitting because I hate not knowing how they end. Also, if I don't read the whole thing at once, I start to guess what's going to happen and a lot of the time I'm right. I'd rather read it quickly and find out what actually happens, without guessing. I love to reread books, so usually I'll read it the first time in one sitting, think about it for a while, then later I'll go back and read it more slowly and carefully.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Pathway » Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:56 pm UTC

Well, you just read Ender's Game, so I don't think you've read Ender's Shadow. So I'll ask you to take this on faith. I would advise you not to read Ender's Shadow until after you've read the Speaker sequence, anyway.

It's a missile. I think the idea is that the apparatus for generating both beams is contained within the missile, and the beams are just focused together at short range so the MD field propagates from wherever the missile is. You'd have area-of-effect damage, where you don't have to hit an enemy point blank because if the field generated by the missile's disruption reaches the ship at all it's a success. That would be easier by far to engineer than trying to hit a spaceship with two beams simultaneously or no go, just to set up the field.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Jorpho » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:53 am UTC

I also thought it was a beam fired from a missle.

Pretty much everyone I've talked to about it seems to have read Ender's Game in one sitting; it's quite unique in that respect. I guess it can be called a masterpiece of pacing?

I quite agree that pretty much every other book associated with Ender's Game is not only completely different, but also considerably inferior - with the possible exception of Ender's Shadow, possibly because it recounts many of the same events.

After reading the books, I am left with the distinct impression that Card will continue the storylines from Shadow of the Giant and Children of the Mind in the same book, but I guess that's not going to be forthcoming for a while. And I reckon the movie's going to be stuck in development hell for a few more years too.

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby reflectia » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:40 am UTC

I like to read books in one sitting - it's easier to remember events from the beginning and you get that satisfied feeling at the end when everything ties together. I read Killing Time in ten-minute increments throughout a week, and it confused the heck out of me because I couldn't remember what events connected to each other. So yeah, it's easier to read books in one sitting. Ender's Game went by very quickly in this way.

I didn't think the connection between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead was too difficult, though you had to understand that the settings are completely different, though of the same world, if that makes any sense.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Lord Bob » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:29 am UTC

Does anyone but me actually like Speaker for the Dead more than Ender's Game? Or is that blasphemy?
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Jorpho » Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:14 am UTC

I am inclined to believe that I might have found Speaker for the Dead to be considerably more enjoyable if I didn't see Mr. Card's whacking great spoiler in his introduction.

(He comes across as quite full of himself in his introductions, I think.)

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Ender » Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:17 am UTC

Does anyone but me actually like Speaker for the Dead more than Ender's Game? Or is that blasphemy?


I personally like both equally. But there is a big difference between the two. Speaker for the Dead was a bit of a leap from Ender's Game. Since many people expect that Speaker for Dead will be a scifi and action like as Ender's Game was. And find that they are different in a few ways.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:36 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:(He comes across as quite full of himself in his introductions, I think.)


There's a reason for that. <_<
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby bbctol » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:47 pm UTC

I always interpreted the MD Device as a missile (which you can't shoot around corners because you're in space and all). Or perhaps it's more of a bullet, with no fuel source, because that's unnecessary without air resistance.

I liked Ender's Game, but didn't find it mind-blowingly good. "Mazer Rackham", however, is in fact the most badass name ever.

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby b.i.o » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

I too read Ender's Game in one sitting...I just didn't want to put it down. The next day, I read it again, straight through in one sitting that time as well.

I didn't find Speaker for the Dead nearly as gripping.

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

bbctol wrote: Or perhaps it's more of a bullet, with no fuel source, because that's unnecessary without air resistance.


That makes an amazing amount of sense...
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Maseiken » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:54 am UTC

I just finished Speaker for the dead.
So
Fudging
good.


Of course it doesn't hold a candle to Ender's game.

Must keep reading.


I'm hoping to read the Shadow series in conjunction with the Ender series sometime soon, but Speaker is the only one I own...
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby HighCharity » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:06 am UTC

I read Ender's Game a while back, don't remember how long it took me. Probably about a week or so, but I'm not sure, I had a lot of work to do. Anyway, that book was AWESOME. Best book I've ever read, although the best series was probably the Homecoming series.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Stereo » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:59 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:I always interpreted the MD Device as a missile (which you can't shoot around corners because you're in space and all). Or perhaps it's more of a bullet, with no fuel source, because that's unnecessary without air resistance.

If anything I'd guess they just found a more usable version (rather than building a long range generator/target system for each ship they'd make a small one and mount it on missiles which could possibly use their own mass to begin the reaction), because the technology was developed soon after the Buggers were defeated & immediately put on the first ships sent away.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:02 pm UTC

For further interesting reads, check out Ultimate Iron Man, written by Mr Card. He knows his child genuises.

Greatness ordering in my mind;
Enders Game=Speaker>Xenocide(by just a bit!)>>>>>>>Children of the Mind.
The other books in the series are crap. Utter crap.

Children of the Mind was woefully inadequate. Xenocide could have been about 100 pages shorter.

But yeah, Enders Game was the first book I reread. And I did a lot.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby BatmanAoD » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:27 am UTC

I liked Ender's Game, but I thought the last part
Spoiler:
(after the destruction of the buggers)
was fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons.
1. The entire Locke and Demosthenes subplot built up to a climax that occurred during a break in the narration. What's the point of reading about the build-up if the end result is just going to be that Ender wakes up and hears about something that happened while he was asleep?
2. The first concern is really more of a sub-point to this one: the entire Ender/Peter conflict was essentially resolved in a paragraph or so
Spoiler:
when Peter tells Ender about his life via long-distance communication so that Ender can write the book about him.
This makes no sense from a narrative perspective, because the book essentially opens by introducing this conflict, so it seems to be extremely important. Arguably, from a humanist perspective, the Ender/Peter relationship is the most important element in the book, and is definitely one of the most compelling; moreover, to a large degree Ender's character is driven by his relationship with Peter, even when they are not actually in contact with each other.
3. Basically, to me, the whole last third or so of the book seemed rushed. It's as if Card realized that he needed to resolve a whole lot of character issues and plot conflicts but didn't really want to have an entire book between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead (which I have not read yet).
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Akula » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:15 am UTC

In addition to all the other various things... I found it pretty interesting that Card seems very in touch with the US Military's current combat doctrines, which weren't adapted until just before the Gulf War, and after Ender's Game was published.

A couple articles on the subject, that do a decent job of illustrating the basic ideas.
http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/cowan_proceedings.htm
http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/pdf/bazin_ooda.pdf

For you TL;DR folks, the gist is that by making and executing decisions faster than your adversary, you put them in a position where they are constantly reacting to circumstances that no longer exist. Thus, the person making the FASTER decisions is better off than the person making perfect but slower decisions. 10 perfect decisions in a row are meaningless if they're in response to a situation that no longer exists. When you're more than 1 full step ahead of your opponent in this matter, you are said to be "inside their decision loop," and at this point victory is all but assured.

I'm sure you can draw parallels to a number of events in the book.

As for the rest of the series... might be my favorite story, when taken as a whole, from Ender's Game up through Children of the Mind.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Pathway » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

BatmanAoD wrote:2. The first concern is really more of a sub-point to this one: the entire Ender/Peter conflict was essentially resolved in a paragraph or so


One could argue that it's never resolved, and the thing that frees Ender is that the Peter he knew is essentially dead--replaced by this old Hegemon.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby BatmanAoD » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

Pathway: that makes the book much, much weaker.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby harpwner » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:48 am UTC

I enjoy reading books in one sitting. It gives me a greater sense of accomplishment.
A few memorable books I've read in one go :
Anthem
Ender's Game
The Five People You Meet In Heaven
Fahrenheit 451
Dune

I'm sure there's more, but I'm too lazy to list.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:07 am UTC

Pathway wrote:
BatmanAoD wrote:2. The first concern is really more of a sub-point to this one: the entire Ender/Peter conflict was essentially resolved in a paragraph or so


One could argue that it's never resolved, and the thing that frees Ender is that the Peter he knew is essentially dead--replaced by this old Hegemon.


One would be able to support this with the things that happen in Children of the Mind, I think.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Pathway » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:00 pm UTC

BatmanAoD wrote:Pathway: that makes the book much, much weaker.


Well, it's not as if the end of the book is supposed to offer much resolution. Just read the last sentence: "He looked a long time." And if you read what Card's written on the subject, you'll see he intended Ender's Game to lead into Speaker for the Dead.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby BatmanAoD » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

Sure, but from what I've heard, Speaker for the Dead doesn't resolve the conflict either, which leaves us with the same problem, just on a larger scale now that two books have failed to even address what seems to be the major issue.

Granted, I haven't read Speaker for the Dead myself, so maybe it does address the issue--is this the case?
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

My roommate often talks about how he read Old man and the Sea in the bath.

I read a good portion of House of Leaves in an abandoned apartment building I was squatting at for a summer.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Jorpho » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:17 am UTC

Pathway wrote:Well, it's not as if the end of the book is supposed to offer much resolution. Just read the last sentence: "He looked a long time." And if you read what Card's written on the subject, you'll see he intended Ender's Game to lead into Speaker for the Dead.


I thought the introduction to Speaker for the Dead said something along the lines of, "I had this cool idea for a story, but I wasn't sure where to go with it, so I thought I'd throw Ender back in."

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:28 pm UTC

As I've read the same copy of Ender's Game many times, I can attest that the introduction for it says that Ender's Game was originally only meant to be a prequel of sorts to what Card imagined would be the greater plot arc of Speaker for the Dead.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby BatmanAoD » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:21 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:As I've read the same copy of Ender's Game many times, I can attest that the introduction for it says that Ender's Game was originally only meant to be a prequel of sorts to what Card imagined would be the greater plot arc of Speaker for the Dead.


My copy says that as well, but it wouldn't surprise me terribly if the introduction for Speaker does indeed contradict that.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Maseiken » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:58 pm UTC

BatmanAoD wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:As I've read the same copy of Ender's Game many times, I can attest that the introduction for it says that Ender's Game was originally only meant to be a prequel of sorts to what Card imagined would be the greater plot arc of Speaker for the Dead.


My copy says that as well, but it wouldn't surprise me terribly if the introduction for Speaker does indeed contradict that.

Not in my copy.

It does however, spoil half the book, which I feel is kind of against the idea of an Introduction, but maybe that's just me...
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby BatmanAoD » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:37 am UTC

I hate it when they do that, and also when the book jacket gives away a major turning point. Here's a quote from the back of my version of A Tale of Two Cities (the Signet Classic version, which you'd think wouldn't do this sort of thing):

Spoiler:
Mr. Dickens-Summarizer-Man wrote:...the heroic Sydney Carton, who gives his life for the love of a woman who would never be his.
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Cooley » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:25 am UTC

Just thought I'd point out that the last part of Ender's Game was written first to be a stand-alone, from the first battleroom battle to the end of the war. Card wrote it as a short story, turned it in, and then (for some reason I can't quite remember at this point) turned it into a novel (although I'm glad he did :mrgreen: ). It was done fairly well, though.

To be honest, I much prefer the Shadow series to the Ender's Game storyline. I read Ender's Shadow first, so I guess I identify with Bean's character more than Ender's, although to be honest, the difference is about as big as that between Ender's and Bean's test scores... The Shadow series also has that "really big game of Risk" feel, too, which really grabs me (big megalomaniac that I am :roll: ).

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Maseiken » Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:12 am UTC

Cooley wrote:Just thought I'd point out that the last part of Ender's Game was written first to be a stand-alone, from the first battleroom battle to the end of the war. Card wrote it as a short story, turned it in, and then (for some reason I can't quite remember at this point) turned it into a novel (although I'm glad he did :mrgreen: ). It was done fairly well, though.

Years after he wrote the short story, he was preparing to write Speaker for the dead, but was having some trouble with the character, so he played around with the idea of Ender being the Speaker.
This is why people often feel the last part of Ender's Game feels tacked on, it was, to facilitate the beginning of Speaker for the Dead not being filled up with Exposition.
For such a transition, I think he hanled it quite smoothly...
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Muonu » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:24 pm UTC

Ender's Game was a great book; but I feel as if Speaker for the Dead ended the suspense Ender's Game had built. In a way, it also felt like Speaker for the Dead was an entirely different book. Although the protagonist Ender was simply older, the environment and surroundings simply were not in conjunction with Ender like the previous book. Since when do piggies have to do with anything? Ender wasn't even able to accomplish his primary goal!

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby pooteeweet » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

I finished the Speaker series last fall and I've been wondering... People keep saying the other series are shit, so I'm not sure I'll pick them up. So can anyone who has read them tell me if any of Card's other books pick up the Descolada home planet storyline again? I don't care if everybody says Children of the Mind was inferior, I really wanted to know what they were going to find there.
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Jorpho
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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Jorpho » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

pooteeweet wrote:I finished the Speaker series last fall and I've been wondering... People keep saying the other series are shit, so I'm not sure I'll pick them up. So can anyone who has read them tell me if any of Card's other books pick up the Descolada home planet storyline again? I don't care if everybody says Children of the Mind was inferior, I really wanted to know what they were going to find there.


Nope. Not in the slightest. But as I mentioned, I can very easily see Card picking up the storyline again with characters from the Shadow series. But perhaps I have an overly fertile imagination.

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Re: Ender's Game / time frame

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:54 pm UTC

Granted, I read Children ages ago, but I seem to remember it ending something like this:

Spoiler:
"Oh noes, we found the planet that is responsible for this incredible virus, they must be yet another form of sentient life! Oh well, lets leave"


Major disappointment. Felt a lot like the 6th or 22th Dune book, just sinking in a quagmire...
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.


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