1. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    Ferdinand&Alfonso Member

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    Orson Scott Card Fans?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Ferdinand&Alfonso, Aug 14, 2012.

    (Spoiler Alert: Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon.)

    I just finished the first book in Card's parallel Enderverse saga, Ender's Shadow, after already having read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. I'm itching to get into the pysychology of all this, but nobody I know has read it. There anybody here who has and loved Card's work as much as I did? :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I have read all three of those novels, and all were well done. I wouldn't refer to myself as a fan, though. Still, I am pleased to find a contemporary science fiction writer who actually knows some science and puts it in his work.
     
  3. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    (Spoilers ahead! Don't read if you haven't read the books: Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon.)

    I agree. I'm not usually one for wordy, reflective books--I'm usually in it for character development more than philosophical views--but both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead captured my attention with the same level of intensity that kept me reading the last ten or so chapters straight through. I enjoyed Ender's Shadow, as well, but it was a shock compared to the Enderverse stories I'd read. Ender was of course my favorite by far. You can't help but feel incredibly sorry for someone who saved the world, nearly at the cost of his own sanity, only to be turned around and labeled as a monster. He's the most beloved human being in the universe of Ender's Game and the most hated human being in Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Shadow focused more on Bean which I'd been expecting, but it was startling to learn that Bean was actually smarter than Ender. I kept wanting to tell myself all the reasons why Ender was still better, reconstructing my little bubble of Ender fandom, using the excuse that Bean was only better because he was genetically altered. Reminds me that just because Ender is my favorite doesn't mean Card is incapable of turning the attention to someone else, which is a quality I often wish I had. I have a habit of picking my favorites and then wanting to forget about everyone else.
     
  4. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I've read all three of those, they're awesome! The characters develop really well, and the story is really interesting. I recommend reading Ender's children and Xenocide too!
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I often use Speaker for the Dead as an example of how and when to incorporate scraps of a foreign language in a novel. The use of Portuguese phrases in the novel is not essential to following the story, but there are rich nuances delivered by many of the passages, nuances that would be too wordy to explain to a reader unfamiliar with the language.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I often use Speaker for the Dead as an example of how and when to incorporate scraps of a foreign language in a novel. The use of Portuguese phrases in the novel is not essential to following the story. But there are nuances delivered by many of the passages, nuances that would be too wordy to explain to a reader unfamiliar with the language.
     
  7. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    I'm a big fan of ender's game, Speaker of the dead, and Ender's shadow. The rest of his books are too preachy, and if you know OSC, he is a little preachy himself. I can look past that and enjoy is early work. I think Ender Game is one of the best book depicting a coming of age child though. I was glued to that book for three days straight.
     
  8. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    Spoilers ahead.

    His books have some really great quotes and examples in them. I really like the way he incorporated aliens into Speaker for the Dead, for example. He made them sound realistically inhuman without giving them an overdone tentacles-and-antennae kind of quality.

    I think the most impressive thing about the stories though are how Card has Ender as a main character in most of the books--Enderverse certainly isn't devoid when it comes to examples of how we are all drawn to Ender from the start--but he doesn't rely on Ender for good storytelling. Speaker for the Dead introduces a wealth of good characters--Olhado and Grego being my favorites of this bunch.

    He gives us the chance to attach to characters other than Ender in Speaker for the Dead, but (at least applying to me), is there anyone who has read these books whose favorite character isn't Ender? I'd have thought that Card wouldn't be immune to playing favorites but after reading Ender's Shadow, I suppose I guessed wrong. :)
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've read Ender's Game and I kinda hated it. I had a vague memory of the short story version published in Analog back in the 1970s, and it was pretty good, so I gave the novelization a try. Big mistake.

    The novel suffers badly from having a huge and very stupid subplot duct-taped to the main story for no apparent reason other than to fill up pages with irrelevant nonsense. I also found the Battle School to be a ridiculous way to train military commanders for too many reasons to go into here. And the social situation poor little Ender is forced into is preposterous - it seems that everyone Ender meets hates him for no reason, to the extent that they all try to kill him, from members of his age group right up to adults who ought to love and protect him.

    And the book is blatantly and unconscionably sexist.

    I once wrote a much more detailed review of Ender's Game on another forum. Members there told me I should like the book because the sequels are really good. This is a very silly reason to like a book. "You should love novel A because novel B is terrific!" Really? I don't think so.

    I also experienced something when I read Ender's Game that I'd never experienced before: it made me hate its author. I really don't like Orson Scott Card as a person, based on the evidence of Ender's Game.
     
  10. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    When you say there was a second plot "duct-taped" to the first one, are you talking about the story following Peter and Valentine? I really don't consider it irrelevant. Firstly, it becomes very important to know all of this when you go to read Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets, all part of the Shadow saga following Ender's friend Bean and the events on Earth after the Formic war. So it isn't irrelevant. And even if the story was never continued beyond Ender's Game, I still think the tale of Peter and Valentine is fascinating. They're like an extention of Ender. His good side and his bad side. And what's so cool is that all three of these siblings end up becoming possibly the three most famous humans in the world of Ender's Game. Valentine, a famous author across the galaxy, even 3,000 years later. Peter, the Hegemon and ruler of Earth. Ender, savior of mankind.

    It might be a little unrealistic how many want to kill Ender, but see it this way. Those that wanted to kill him were in some way inherently bad people. As Bean puts it in Ender's Shadow, good people love Ender, bad people hate him. Ender had plenty of friends. Even more so after he destroyed the buggers. And the adults of Battle School weren't trying to get him killed, at worst it's an example of a reckless teaching system.

    Either way, it's only a science fiction novel and there's nothing wrong with letting the restrictions of reality wander. It's all in fun and good writing. :)
     
  11. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I personally loved it. The story sucked me in and I thought that the psychological aspect was really well thought out. If the subplot you're refering to is The Game, well, it made sense to me for it to be there. It was a reflection of Ender's mental state.

    You're entitled to your own opinion, but I personally thought it was a great story, and not just for the sequels.
     
  12. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    You said what I was thinking, Pheonix--but in much fewer words, haha. And when you say The Game I'm assuming you meant the mind game?

    I thought the pyschological aspect of Ender's Game was well done, too. I really enjoyed the wealth of good characters in that book, and I love that throughout the Ender series, Ender takes on all these different higher qualities. In Ender's Game, it's military perfection. The entire book had me thinking, "Poor boy. You're brother's a sociopath. Your sister can no longer protect you. You don't miss your parents, that's how big an impact they had on you. You're surrounded by those who either love you too much or hate you too much, teacher's being on the lower end of the spectrum, of all people. You save the world, and then you're exiled from it. Poor, poor boy." And in Speaker for the Dead, lo and behold he becomes practically immortal! Ender is a masterpiece.

    Okay, I promise to stop ranting about him now. Lots of other characters are great, I swear!
     

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