Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Survival Game

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

"I told you. His isolation can't be broken. He can never come to believe that anybody will ever help him out, ever. If he once thinks there's an easy way out, he's wrecked."
- Ender's Game, p 40.

Ever since I read The Count of Monte Cristo as a boy, I have been a fan of the heroic genius who conquers all in spite of the odds. I also enjoy coming-of-age stories and the battle between good and evil. If you take all of these factors and place them in a future where the Earth is attacked by seemingly superior aliens from outer space you have an outline of the structure of Ender's Game. Orson Scott Card has created a young hero named Ender Wiggin and it his development at a school for potential space military leaders that makes up the bulk of the novel. It is here that teachers train them in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games including ones undertaken in zero gravity in the Battle Room where Ender's tactical genius is revealed. The gradual development of the character Ender Wiggin through his experiences at the school and his growing understanding of his relationship with his brother and sister are major factors that set this book apart from the average science fiction novel. They explain why Ender's Game won the 1985 Nebula Award for best novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for best novel. I found the combination of a likable young genius fighting for good against the evil from outer space to be absolutely captivating and was not disappointed that I took some of my reading days to return to the genre I loved when I was Ender's age.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.Tom Doherty Assoc., New York. 1986 (1985)

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