0304: "Nighttime Stories"

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AlphaPyro
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0304: "Nighttime Stories"

Postby AlphaPyro » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:06 am UTC

http://xkcd.com/304/

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Alt text: Cue angry letters from all seven fans of Xenocide.

I liked Xenocide a lot, but it was nowhere near as good as the first two in the series.

Shale
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Postby Shale » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:07 am UTC

When I reread the series, I found Xenocide surprisingly...well, readable, compared to my memories of it. Children of the Mind is still crap, though. Also, and I fully expect to be murdered for this, Shadow of the Giant is my third-favorite book in the series (if you want to call the Ender and Bean books one series).

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Postby joeythehobo » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:13 am UTC

Flies over my head, as I have never read anything by Orson Scott Card. But, nonetheless, I love the idea of an XKCD romance actually not ending in greatness.

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Postby Rasputin » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:15 am UTC

I've been meaning to reread the series (it's been 6 years now). My girlfriend just read it (she borrowed my books), and we both love the previous Ender comic. Putting the book in this context is awesome, and inspiring. Unfortunately, walking about the city alone at night with a book in my hand isn't exactly the safest thing in the world.
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Postby CorranH » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:21 am UTC

lmao, nice ending. It's been a while since I've read the Ender books, but I remember enjoying Xenocide quite a bit. As good as Speaker for the Dead or Ender's Game? Hell no. But still, good.
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Postby MerchMinion1 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:21 am UTC

I love Card, but Xenocide being a favorite? Or even Speaker for the Dead?!?! Ender's Shadow is the best of the bunch! (Enders Game a *very* close second.)

The 3 Ender books are much better now that I'm older (When I first read them at 13ish I hated them). The Bean books arn't nearly as good. Although Shadow of the Hegemon is ok.

Ok I'll stop going crazy about Card now... :roll:

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Postby UltraAyla » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:24 am UTC

I'll admit that Xenocide was a bit...dense. However, what a trip! "Outside?" Whooooa. I think he took his whole spirtitual/metaphysical speculation to a new level with that book and I enjoyed it. It still probably doesn't make top 4 in the whole Ender/Bean series though.

Surprisingly enough, when I originally bought the books, the girl who was ringing me up commented that Xenocide was her favorite. Having only read Ender's Game at the time, I was ready with an open mind. However, I now see how hard it is to top it Ender's Game. I think Xenocide might just need to be measured on a different scale.

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Solt
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Postby Solt » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:24 am UTC

That was hilarious (and different!).

I dig the color, too. Randall, you have set a new artistic standard :lol:



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Postby thedancecmmndr » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:25 am UTC

This reminds me of a relationship I was in several years ago. She such a sweet girl, and it seemed we could talk about anything. We even liked to read the same books. This was the point in my life where I'd just gotten into Orson Scott Card. I'd read the first two of the Ender's series when I entered rather busy time, finals and AP tests and whatnot, and recreational reading just got pushed aside. Not for her. She borrowed Ender's Game, read it, and returned it. Same for Speaker of the Dead. Then, she borrowed Xenocide. We broke up a few days later, and despite numerous pleas, I haven't seen it since. I suppose she felt the same way about it as the girl in this comic.

Moral: Women can't be trusted.

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japanese_jew
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Postby japanese_jew » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:25 am UTC

Xenocide the best? Utter blasphemy.

My personal favorite in that 'verse was Shadow of the Hegemon. More politics, more of the time. I could barely bring myself to read the books in the ender series after ender's game (speaker, xenocide, children all bored me to tears) and puppets and giant were both pretty miserable in the shadow series, but Shadow of the Hegemon was epic.

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Postby Your.Master » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:25 am UTC

I've found that in general, everything I've read by Orson Scott Card begins very interesting and ends crappy when the ideas he introduces start to contradict and he reconciles it with nonsense. Now, that applies at the overarching story level, not the individual book level. So, for instance, Treason starts with some interesting concepts and devolves into babbling crap. But Ender's Game is awesome all the way through because it resides entirely in the early part of the series.

The Bean series, running in parallel to the original series, exists in a sort of twilight limbo here where it bothers me frequently but is still fairly good to begin with (Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon).

Yes, I know Ender's Game started as a short story and so on and so forth. The law of nature only applies after he's finished with a "Universe".

That said, I haven't read all his work.
Last edited by Your.Master on Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:31 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Xxpeyotedragon » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:26 am UTC

Now that's more like it.

I am glad you took my advice and began making better comics.

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Postby Herman » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:33 am UTC

IMHO, Xenocide is nowhere near as good as the first two. But it is conceivable that someone could like it more; it's just within reasonable variation of taste. Now, if she had been reading this on the other hand... yeah. [/url]

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Postby HyperGeek7 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:33 am UTC

As far as I'm concerned, (I'm gonna get shot for this, aren't I?) the order of the books from best to worst is Game, the Shadows in no particular order (I like them all pretty equally...maybe Hegemon a bit more than the others), then the rest of the Ender series in chronological order. I'm not including First Meetings, since I never got around to reading that.

Needless to say, though, all of them are way above par as far as writing goes.

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Postby frezik » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:34 am UTC

A question on the series: I've read Ender's Game, but not anything else by Card. What I was particularly intrigued by was the tactics that Ender develops and adapts in the battle room.

However, I'm rather skeptical of Card's idea of an intentions-based morality (not thrown out of hand, just skeptical). From what I've seen, the rest of the series tends to have expound Card's philosophy, with little to no military tactics. If so, I've got a feeling I'm not going to like them much.

Do we get more tactics, or is it more stuff out of the Book of Mormon?

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Postby sleepykit » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:40 am UTC

On a random whim, would a disagreement about a favorite book be a real tie breaker in a relationship. The girl in the comic seemed to interest the other stick figure until he asked about the book.

PS: Take Orson Scott Card with a grain of salt.
We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes. ~ Gene Roddenberry

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Postby froth » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:40 am UTC

Card is a jaw-droppingly inept philosopher and his Xenocide was almost as bad as Children of the Mind (the highest insult available in this context I assure you :?).

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Postby Alisto » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:40 am UTC

A+++++++++++++++ comic! Would read again!!!!1!!1!one!!1!cos(0)!!1!
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Postby froth » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:41 am UTC

sleepykit wrote:On a random whim, would a disagreement about a favorite book be a real tie breaker in a relationship. The girl in the comic seemed to interest the other stick figure until he asked about the book.

PS: Take Orson Scott Card with a grain of salt.


Not normally, but lord if she likes xenocide the best she's probably a phychopath or something..

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Postby dragoneye1589 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:41 am UTC

I'm a little embarrassed I didn't even know there were further books in the series other than Ender's Shadow and Ender's Game. I've only read Ender's Shadow, it was quite enjoyable, unfortunately its been so long that I forget what most of it is about.

yoshi
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so question

Postby yoshi » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:47 am UTC

So question for you all: Card writes a weekly column on world affairs. He is against homosexuality (wants laws against it) and pre-marital sex - he is also a supporter of Bush. In addition he is a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have never read Card books and after reading some of his columns I would say I would never send a dime his way. How important is the politics of the author to you all? If the story is good would you buy it even if the guy is a nutcase (injecting personal opinion there)?

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Postby Ttwitchh » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:48 am UTC

I loved this one. Something about it struck me as both really romantic and really sad. Perhaps I'm just in that kind of mood.

Oh well. I just needed to tell someone that, and none of my friends would understand this one. Nor are they up at this time of night.
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marco
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I really liked the colors in this one.

Postby marco » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:53 am UTC

Never really read anything by Orson Scott Card, but I must say, this one really hits a spot. The details that can absolutely change the way you see someone. ugh memories :(
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Re: so question

Postby Shale » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:55 am UTC

yoshi wrote:So question for you all: Card writes a weekly column on world affairs. He is against homosexuality (wants laws against it) and pre-marital sex - he is also a supporter of Bush. In addition he is a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have never read Card books and after reading some of his columns I would say I would never send a dime his way. How important is the politics of the author to you all? If the story is good would you buy it even if the guy is a nutcase (injecting personal opinion there)?


I consider him a political nutjob, but a good majority of his stuff is either nonpolitical or has ignorable religious elements. He has written some absolutely ham-handed, terrible political "allegories" that should be avoided at all costs, but they're not hard to see coming. Anyway, the Ender books don't fall under that category, and they're really damn good - especially Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.

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Re: so question

Postby sleepykit » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:58 am UTC

yoshi wrote:So question for you all: Card writes a weekly column on world affairs. He is against homosexuality (wants laws against it) and pre-marital sex - he is also a supporter of Bush. In addition he is a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have never read Card books and after reading some of his columns I would say I would never send a dime his way. How important is the politics of the author to you all? If the story is good would you buy it even if the guy is a nutcase (injecting personal opinion there)?


I see no reason to pass up a good book just because I happen to disagree with that person's political/religious standards. The books...well, no two are alike, whereas personal opinions are a dime a dozen.
We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes. ~ Gene Roddenberry

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Re: so question

Postby CosmicWaffles » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:58 am UTC

yoshi wrote:So question for you all: Card writes a weekly column on world affairs. He is against homosexuality (wants laws against it) and pre-marital sex - he is also a supporter of Bush. In addition he is a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have never read Card books and after reading some of his columns I would say I would never send a dime his way. How important is the politics of the author to you all? If the story is good would you buy it even if the guy is a nutcase (injecting personal opinion there)?


Oh, that isn't cool. I knew he was a mormon (I was raised as such, and as I'm a minor am still forced to go to church most of the time) but he wants LAWS against homosexuality? Wow. (I guess it would be a good time to say I'm a lesbian. Only in this context it matters.)

But, Ender's Game was excellent. So I'm waffling on this.
Last edited by CosmicWaffles on Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:00 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Third in a trilogy...

Postby dann » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:00 am UTC

...always has muppets.

Damn pequeninos.

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Postby Bakemaster » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:00 am UTC

I've always found Card's short stories to be better overall than his novels, and The Worthing Saga (which is sort of stories and a novel, combined in one volume) the best of the latter. I very much enjoyed Ender's Game and even moreso Ender's Shadow, but they're sort of borderline pulp in some ways. Highly entertaining, well-written, absolutely classic borderline pulp.

Card's book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy is also a very good read, for anyone who likes to write.

frezik wrote:I'm rather skeptical of Card's idea of an intentions-based morality

Teleological ethics is a lot older than Orson Scott Card, and he didn't do a great job at reinventing it.
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Re: so question

Postby dabigkid » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:04 am UTC

yoshi wrote:So question for you all: Card writes a weekly column on world affairs. He is against homosexuality (wants laws against it) and pre-marital sex - he is also a supporter of Bush. In addition he is a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have never read Card books and after reading some of his columns I would say I would never send a dime his way. How important is the politics of the author to you all? If the story is good would you buy it even if the guy is a nutcase (injecting personal opinion there)?

George Orwell was a "Social Democrat" (which I totally object to) and I still loved 1984 and Animal Farm.

I think that's a bit silly, what to not buy the books because of his beliefs. Even if his beliefs are a bit silly. Ender's Game is awesome.
wut

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Postby japanese_jew » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:22 am UTC

Except that the argument for Orson Scott Card is that he doesn't let his religion seep too strongly into his writing, while Orwell's politics were the basis of his writing, so I don't really see the correlation.

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Postby Foil » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:27 am UTC

Count me as one of the "Xenocide" fans. (Actually, I enjoyed Speaker for the Dead a bit more, but they were pretty close.) 8)
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Re: so question

Postby chorpler » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:28 am UTC

dabigkid wrote:I think that's a bit silly, what to not buy the books because of his beliefs. Even if his beliefs are a bit silly. Ender's Game is awesome.


Unfortunately, in Card's case he has begun blatantly injecting his politics into his books. His last novel, Empire, involved left-wing terrorists being defeated by right-wing heroes, and now it appears (just from the information available about the book on Amazon) that he's turned his latest Enderverse book into another anti-liberal screed.

I'm probably the only person on the planet who enjoyed Xenocide and Children of the Mind (despite the many problems with both books) and was looking forward to his upcoming sequel to Children of the Mind that is supposed to tie the Ender books and the Bean books together, but now I fear it will be used as just another political tirdade.

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Postby 5theye » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:42 am UTC

I haven't even read these books and I still laughed out loud, which is a rarity for me.

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Postby space_raptor » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:46 am UTC

I read the whole Ender series. I didn't think it was that great.

*ducks*

Really. Maybe it was because I read it as an adult, and not a kid. I've gone back to read a few books I loved as a kid, and not thought they were so hot anymore. Things change, I guess.
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Postby Castaway » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:47 am UTC

i liked xenocide a lot. i'm going to get out now. bye.
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Postby RandomPrecision » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:47 am UTC

Not to be pedantic, but we're 35 posts in, and the name of this comic is "Nighttime Stories", not "Midnight Stories". :wink:

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Postby azadi » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:52 am UTC

This comic makes me sad. It seems that no one understands the subtle greatness that is Xenocide.

I would never go so far as to say it is better than Ender's Game, which is like a bible to me... but I do think that maybe they have to be measured on different scales. I mean... come on... the metaphysics? The religion? Identity politics/philosophy?

I'll go back to my corner now. :(

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Postby Raphael » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:03 am UTC

I just wish to point out that the girl is floating in the last two panels.

Can someone point me to this Intro thread people keep shouting about, please?

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Re: so question

Postby Herman » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:05 am UTC

yoshi wrote:So question for you all: Card writes a weekly column on world affairs. He is against homosexuality (wants laws against it) and pre-marital sex - he is also a supporter of Bush. In addition he is a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have never read Card books and after reading some of his columns I would say I would never send a dime his way. How important is the politics of the author to you all? If the story is good would you buy it even if the guy is a nutcase (injecting personal opinion there)?


Yeah, Card has some views I disagree with. But I don't think he actually wants to outlaw homosexuality (no anti-sodomy laws or anything), he's just against gay marriage. Similarly, pre-marital sex: he thinks it should be discouraged when discussing sex with kids, but doesn't want police monitoring your bedroom. Which, for me, puts him in the "wrong, but unfortunately pretty mainstream" column.

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Postby manFey » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:07 am UTC

thats the first comic in over a year i cannot relate to.
a shame :(
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