Ender's Game is one of the best books I've ever read - Don't judge a book by its shitty back-cover summary

Ender's Game is one of the best books I've ever read - Don't judge a book by its shitty back-cover summary


I also highly recommend the companion book, Ender’s Shadow which is some of the same events but told from Bean’s perspective. Both books have their own sequels, with the Ender books diving more into philosophical issues in the colonies while the Bean books cover the geopolitical events on Earth and the other Battle School graduates.


To add to this, OP if you plan on reading the next chronological book in the Ender series *Ender In Exile*, you should read all of the Bean series first. It sets up a recurring plot point throughout the book.


Yeah, I would hate to be the guy that reads ender in exile before the rest of the Ender series, or before reading the Shadow arc.


Wait a minute, I'm that guy. What did I miss?


You also missed Achilles (ah-sheel) devoting his entire life to ruining Beans. It's soap opera stuff. I also think ender in exile is best read having the context of Ender's story. The egg Ender finds at the end of Ender in Exile is the source of his motivations for the Speaker of the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind plot devolopments. Granted, I didn't have the option to read Ender in Exile chronologically because it hadn't been released when I was reading his books. The books I named above are heavier reads, but ultimately I was talking about Achilles' role in Bean's story more than anything when I commented. Achilles inspired Draco Malfoy levels of hatred from me when I read the books in late high school.


Pretty sure he finds the egg in the end of the first novel otherwise the next 3 books wouldn't make any sense. I'm pretty sure I missed Ender in Exile and I know about him finding the egg... I think I'll have to pick it up and read it.


The epilogue in which he finds the egg was added to later editions. Ender in Exile is the story of his finding that egg and I think will erode some of the mystery of Speaker and Xenocide by making what's going on with the egg clearer during those books. I think it's even mentioned in Speaker. In Speaker, it's implied the speaker wrote from the perspective of the Hive Queen. Ender in Exile, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind reveal that the nature of his Speaking the Hive Queen's death was a little more involved than that. It's a matter of personal preference and the fact that's just the order I read them in though.


Do you know which edition added the chapter where he finds the egg? My copy is labeled "authors definitive edition" (for whatever that's worth) and was published in 1991. It includes Ender finding the egg in the last chapter.


Card wrote that brief epilog about finding the cocoon but later realized the story needed deserved better. Exile contains the longer version of the story.


I'm reading my 8 year old Ender's Shadow (following Ender's Game) which he's enjoying. I only ever read the first book originally but get the impression some of the later Ender books may be too tricky to grasp for my son - would you have a recommendation following Ender's Shadow?


Mostly the emotional pain found within Ender’s family dynamic. Ender’s brother matured and became deeply sorry for the way he treated (tortured) Ender but Ender, one of the most compassionate people in the UNIVERSE, had no forgiveness to give his brother, even when he was on death’s door.


What do you mean? Ender writes The Hegemon for Peter.




Oh what the fuck. I went from enders game to speaker for the dead because my library always ordered series chronologically and that's how they had them. No wonder I was so confused, I read two books past that and remember almost nothing.


You read them right. The Ender quartet came out and then the shadow series went back and filled in a lot. I’m in the same boat I read the wonder quartet first. Still think it’s better than the shadow series but I love them both. I loved the turn the story took on speaker and the following books.


Ah, that means the confusion was just middle school, that's good to know. I'll have to dive back in as an adult.


Speaker for the Dead is a very different book. My personal favorite of his, but not very similar to Ender's Game.


The older I get, the more I love and appreciate Speaker for the Dead. It became my favorite after I had kids, because I realized I didn't want them to ever think of me as perfect. Also made me realize I dont want people talking about how wonderful I was when I die, I want them to talk about how human I was. Learn from me, don't canonized or idolize me.


Yep, it's a real shock, they are both great books but so wildly different, putting down this exciting sci-fi action/political drama and picking up speaker for the dead is like "oh clearly I've gotten the wrong book" When was 14 really disliked speaker cause I really wanted more tactical space battles but it's definitely grew on me. Also it's so strange how Card wrote a bunch of books about humanity and empathy and seems pretty devoid of those things personally


Speaker is my favorite book of all time, and I very nearly didn't read it after finishing Ender's Game because the military school setting was fun, but not something I was eager to get back to. Ho boy was I in for a surprise. Maybe it's time for my annual reread.


I completely agree. Speaker is my favorite as well.


Shadow of the Hegemon and Ender's Shadow are two of the best books I read while growing up outside of Harry Potter.


The sequels Enders shadow are absolutely fantastic.


Enders shadow is so good, the speaker for the dead books are my favorite though.


I couldn't finish speaker for the dead! I heard it was amazing but I had to finally stop like 70% of the way through. It was so dense and slow imo edit: wow had no idea this was such a polarizing book


Yea but worth it, I started Xenocide but lost the book in a move, think I'll have to buy it again


Xenocide was my favorite in the series. Children of the Mind was okay but kind of felt like OSC was getting a little heavy with the proselytizing.


I’ll never again get a setup this good https://xkcd.com/304/


This is brilliant. :))


Xenocide is fantastic. I'll die on this hill.


Xenocide is absolutely fantastic. I liked CotM too but not as much as Xenocide.


Meh. I loved Enders Game and Speaker for the Dead but Scott Card really struggles to develop different and unique characters by the third book. By Xenocide everybody becomes same super intelligent wanna be saviors with a god complex. Ender, Valentine and new characters introduced all are so intelligent and preachy that the book struggles to find its footing. The first two books are fantastic though.


I just started Xenocide and I’ve enjoyed the books but I absolutely agree with what you are saying. The books are also completely lacking any humor or levity which adds to this


Yea it's way different and took me a few tries but it's my favorite too. The two sequels are amazing but everything to do with the World of Path can go fuck a gator


I wasn’t too thrilled about the sequels, but I enjoyed Enders shadow a lot — even though for the most part it is almost the same as Enders game. I thought that even though it was mostly the same, it added and enhanced so much of the original story.


edit: **I also** highly recommend this one especially after Ender's Game.


I’d strongly recommend everyone read Ender’s Game first though. I read Ender’s Shadow first and it ruins Game. The other way around would be an interesting change of perspective




I'd say release order almost. But do enders game > speaker series > enders shadow > shadow series > enders in exile then really whatever


I respect that opinion, and it's a good one, but I'd caution against following the rest of the Shadow series. They're... _fine_... but after years of reflection I've landed on the hypothesis that Ender's Game's style became his fallback moneymaker. Every single book in the main series is wildly different. Each one is literally a different subgenre. He experimented. He took risks. He explored. Shadow Shadow Shadow Shadow kinda feel like his publisher said "hey stop giving us this weird junk and write stuff that sells again". I _like_ the weird junk. I like how Ender grew up with me. The stories matured. I loved A Planet Called Treason, and the Worthing books, and Folk of the Fringe. The story with the elephants who held a vigil for the few humans, sterile and last of their kind. A somber understanding that they, the elephants, were taking on the mantle of shepherding the planet from then on out, and that they'd probably do a better job. Fat Farm was great, and so weird. Homecoming started so strong but couldn't sustain itself. Alvin Maker went out in such a bold way that I'm _still_ mad. Enchanted... exists. There's one short story that deeply disturbed me and I wish I could unread it. Treason, I've got to read that again. It's been so long and it stuck so deep with me. Anyway. All this is to say that Card is best when he gets weird, and to me, personally, the Shadow books (past the first one, which is more like Ender's Game 1.5) felt like he was just spinning his tires. Card's also real homophobic and uses his platform to spread it so maybe buy used if at all. It was a tough stage in my development that I learned the importance of Death of the Author as a concept.


> Shadow kinda feel like his publisher said "hey stop giving us this weird junk and write stuff that sells again". I just listened to the audiobook for Ender's Shadow and in the forward, he actually says he only started the series because publishers were mad that he aged Ender in the sequels and they wanted more books with a kid narrator in that universe, so you aren't far off


There’s also the batshit crazy essay he wrote about Obama


I hope the story you'd like to unread is the one involving a creature in a toilet. That story haunted me but made me want to read all of Card's short stories! My children are getting into Ender's Game and some of Card's other books, but most were lost in a house move. Really sucks that he's homophobic and the "co-written" additions to the Ender saga are tragically bad.


Yeah, came here looking for someone calling OSC out for being a real shitbag. Thx!




I didn't realise he held those views until the movie was coming out. Like you say a very humanist book that probably made me so much more empathetic . Ender was such a kind character that I honestly couldn't belive his author could have such homaphobic views.


I think it's because Card himself changed as a person. When he wrote the book in the 80s, he made a main character who was good and kind and, surprisingly, an atheist. His writing simplified as he aged. I couldn't finish the Alvin Maker series, and I disliked everything except the main Ender saga and Ender's Shadow.


Similar transformation of Scott Adams... Makes me a bit sad whenever I bump into a Dilbert toon.


I was waiting to see if somebody else in this thread would call out Card’s homophobia so I wouldn’t be the one to make a duplicate post. Also he’s not just a garden-variety homophobe. He has actively agitated and organized against gay rights and marriage equality and his works are full of condemnations of same sex relationships and rhapsodic paeans to heterosexuality. This is laid on so GD thick that the propogandistic bullshit rivals what you’ll see in Ayn Rand’s writing. I know he’s a fine, award winning author but FFS.


Yeah, I enjoyed Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Ender's Shadow. I'd like to revisit the whole series, but the author's terribad views just motivate me to find other stuff to read. There's plenty of good sci-fi out there.


The books are shockingly compassionate and even have a ton of homo erotic tension for a writer who hates both those things.


I disagree vehemently. The entire Ender's Shadow saga basically invalidates Ender as a character as it retcons and minimizes his entire story. I absolutely hate it.


Came here to say this. Not to mention Bean's a total Gary-Stu.


IMO Ender's Shadow is every bit as good as Ender's Game. That's as high praise as I can give it.


Unpopular opinion, but I strongly disagree. I found Bean’s books read like fanfic. They felt forced, and in many cases took some of my favorite elements from Ender’s Game and cast them in a weaker light. It’s one things to have a brilliant very young child who is way smarter than everyone else with the fate of the world on his shoulders. It’s another to have an even more brilliant even younger child who has even more of the fate of the world on his shoulders. Other than Ender’s game, I think all of Scott Card’s books fell short. He had an opus in him, and that’s it. That said, I read all of them. They’re entertaining and not a waste of time. I just don’t think they’re in the same ballpark as Ender’s Game.


The entire series of bean and ender sequels is amazing. It also fucked me up as a ripe old 11 year old reading about the ins and outs of detailed murder, political intrigue, brutal warfare tactics… so good


I enjoyed Speaker For The Dead more. I really felt that he had found Ender's voice in that one and I found the ideas intriguing. Will be interested in your thoughts when you get to it.


I agree. I feel that in Ender’s Game, Ender really isn’t the story, he’s just the vessel. Speaker for the Dead is Ender’s real story. I loved both books though.


Speaker for the Dead is the book he wanted to write initially but realized he had to write a prequel (Ender’s Game) for it to make any sense. I’m just finishing a reread and it still blows my mind how fantastic the world building is. Card is a master at writing perspectives for alien species that are completely unlike our own…


Really? I did NOT know that. Thanks!


You can read a really interesting introduction by him about it in newer copies of the book. It discusses some of the writer’s block he had until it clicked he needed to write Ender’s Game and flesh out certain characters and goes into how he combined a bunch of ideas rolling around in his head that helped flesh out Xenocide and Children of the Mind.


They were unconnected projects, actually. Ender wasn't in Speaker for the Dead at all until the light bulb went on, and it fit so well that he revised the manuscript.


I thought that Enders game was originally a one off short story for a sci-fi magazine (about the battle room iirc) that he expanded into a novella before writing Speaker. Edit: I just looked it up. Ender's Game (the short story) was published in '77 and expanded in '85. Speaker for the dead was published in '86.


I believe the original short story did come before, but in wanting to write SftD he commandeered the characters in the short story and fleshed it out to have the details he needed for Ender to continue the journey into SftD.


Apparently his editor pushed him to change the MC for Speaker of the Dead to be Ender. (Explained in a later edition's commentary/forward.)


Actually he wrote Ender's Game as a short story first. Later he wanted to write Speaker for the Dead and realized that Ender would make a good Speaker but Ender's character wasn't fleshed out enough yet. He considered writing a sequel to Ender's Game that would take place before Speaker for the Dead, but ultimately decided to expand Ender's Game into a full novel instead.


I love them all but especially children of the mind, that one was awesome


Which is incredibly ironic given his view on LGBT rights. But yeah Speaker is by far my favorite of his work. >!I always get a little emotional when Ender and the Piggies finally come to understand one another.!<


When I became aware of his intolerance about 5 years ago I honestly have had the same thought repeatedly. Speaker is just one of the most incredible books in my opinion, probably in my top five of all time and I’ve read it three times, and I don’t understand how he can have the views he has after writing that.


Orson Scott card said that the real reason enders game exists is to set the stage for Speaker for the Dead


What is the intended audience for Ender's Game? For some reason I imagined it as a book for children/teenagers.


I would describe it as a young adult book that verges into wider appeal.


Enders game is really for all audiences. And the following series is definitely for adult readers. It gets a little cerebral


Required reading for marines. [link](https://mca-marines.org/blog/2019/06/10/call-to-action-enders-game/)


This is fascinating. Military training IRL seeking to emulate the grievous folly of the fictional military. Based on the articles, it seems some of them see it as a warning about training fighters without the necessary context to make informed ethical decisions, and others see it as a playbook for training fighters to make effective combat decisions. I guess it comes down to whether you thought the secret of the game was an unforgivable betrayal or brilliant leadership. It scares me to think that at least some of the people in charge think that the outcomes of Ender's various fights in that book are good. And that the way Ender is subtly encouraged and enabled by the adults around him is ethical.


Hah, and then you learn it was only written as backdrop/backstory for the story that the author *actually* wanted to write. (Seriously, the sequels are even better imo)


xenocide blew my mind, I've heard a lot of people complain about the later books but holy cow. the sections with Qing-Jao and Wang-mu confused me for a bit but I got invested and it all tied together super nicely. as an ex evangelical the bit where Qing-Jao gets stuck in rituals, believing the knowledge they learn to simply be explinations of the gods actions, even after her dad essentially recanted his beliefs and statements, felt extremely poetic. At the same time I'm confused what the point was. how could someone so religious write something like that? I feel it was meant to say something other than what I got out of it, but I certainly didn't know at the time and I'm still unsure now. I hardly know anyone who has read enders game and nobody has read the sequels so I'm dying to talk to somebody about this.


[relevant xkcd](https://xkcd.com/304/)


It is such a weird book to me. I love it and feel its a very powerful message in favour of acceptance of the other. And then the author is an awful bigot. I really don't get how a person like that can write a story like that.


I totally agree! I read the whole series initially without knowing anything about Card, but re reading it after finding out his beliefs (and also he is apparently the great-great grandson of Brigham Young??), it all becomes so fascinating! I have to imagine those books were him struggling with his own internal beliefs without having to directly face his doubts.


Read Homecoming lmfao The series is basically Sci-Fi Book of Mormon; it's bonkers and still entertaining to read even knowing what it is! :)


I highly recommend enders shadow next.


I've only read 2 of the Shadow books. They were okay? I liked Bean's backstory, but I'm not sure why they're recommended more than the originals. I absolutely *loved* the Ender quartet.


Shadow is like the exact wrong direction imo. The Enders game series is good because it's deeper than just a story about space battles, it's introspective. Shadow is just a bit more shallow.


I liked shadow more than the original but they're both badass


I liked Ender’s Shadow more than Ender’s Game, too, but Ender’s Shadow relied so much on all the work done in Ender’s Game, that it’s almost best to think of them as one book.


Whatever you do don't watch the movie


Yea, I assumed that 6yo fighting wouldn’t translate good on screen


It should have been an animated movie IMO.


It should have been a series with the amount of depth it had.


The movie isn't anywhere near on the level as the book but I believe the movie is good if you don't try to hold it to the same quality as what the book is.


Yeah I agree with you. Movie was good, books were great. Not the same.


I know we are talking about Ender's Game but I would love to see a series done by someone like Netflix, HBO or Amazon that covers the shadow series. I think it could be done with a somewhat small budget.


Good lord, that was an atrocity. Absolute proof that no one involved “got” the book.


It was sad - I read a forward of an edition shortly before the movie came out, and it was so hopeful for the movie. Apparently the author had shut down movie deals for decades because he didn't want it screwed up - most commonly by making the characters teenagers - which would ruin the whole vibe of intelligent/naive thing which makes it work. Orson Scott Card only signed on if they agreed to make them actual kids (though all of the actors ended up too old for it to make sense) and apparently he wanted to mesh Ender's Game with Ender's Shadow to make it more of a buddy movie - since he realized it wouldn't be a good one-to-one conversion. Nope - it's just a bad adaptation. They tried to convert it wholesale - even stealing big chunks of dialogue verbatim - didn't work. IMO - I think the only way it could be done justice is as an animated movie. That way the characters could actually start at age 6 and it could show them growing substantially over time. And even then - probably better off as a mini-series than a movie.


I agree, the whole thing would have done better with a Game of Thrones series adaptation. There are whole arcs of the story for Ender to go through, and having it as a series can give those moments to breathe. You can even blend in Ender's Shadow in so we're not completely focusing on Ender all the time. Technically, it is leading up to Ender, but we (the audience) are given more info to better understand the characters. Heck, if it does well, and people (who haven't read the books) show interest in Bean's story, they can always have Ender's Shadow spin off on its own series and adapt those books. There is just too much content in the book to properly adapt into a 2 hour movie. Then the challenge of finding competent child actors to portray the characters depth and emotion, where it's hard enough to find one, but enough for the entire roster? I think having it animated would be the best. You could have professional VA's provide voices that really capture the inner conflict and emotion that not many young actors can do. If the series goes on for a while, you don't have to hand-wave explain why your 6 year old kid is suddenly grown and is 12 when only a year is supposed to have passed in-story.




This happens so often I wish people would just blatantly steal plot elements and what not and put out a mostly unrelated film. Something like [this](https://hollylisle.com/how-to-legally-and-ethically-steal-ideas/) technique.


Great link, I like "you stole it fair and square"


Good artists copy. Great artists steal.


its like the visual effects team were huge fans of the book and no one else had even read it.


It's a technically capable, big budget movie. The lighting, cinematography, special effects, etc are all fine. The pacing and "story" are unforgivable. If I hadn't read the books the movie would be nonsense, that's not a good movie. The pacing was horrendous. I was getting whiplash from all the jumping around they did. I don't even know who directed it but who gives a fuck, it's a terrible movie. Edit: also thinking back, the acting was pretty shit too. Harrison Ford phoned it in big time and most of the kids were terrible.


>Harrison Ford phoned it in big time I feel this way for anything he's done in the last 20 years.


To be fair, he’s an old man that keeps getting cast in roles that are really for someone in their 40s. This new Indiana Jones movie coming out is probably going to be an absolute train wreck.


I couldn't explain to anyone why this kid was only in battle school for like a week and a half in the movie.


I think that's overstating it considerably. It was just kinda sucky, not an atrocity.


Also don't look into the author.


Card is a lot of things, but I feel most of them can be summarised by sighing increasingly loudly and increasingly despondantly the more you read his biographical records. Interspersed with loudly whispering "oh buddy why do you think that? Did someone hurt you? Did you get bitten by a radioactive confederate flag?"


>"Did you get bitten by a radioactive confederate flag?" I'm stealing this, it's freaking perfect.


Yup. Read the books as they are good but use the library or the high seas. Do it in ways that doesn’t benefit the author/s estate


I think it's a good idea to look into the author, to help readers understand that people are complex and that people you disagree with on core issues can write stuff you love, and have other values you deeply support. Pretending the world is only of people who are Always Right and only those people write stuff worth reading gives you a warped and shallow view of the world.


On the flip side sometimes the things that the creator has said or done hit home and can ruin your enjoyment, whether you want it to or not. I used to love a bunch of Kevin Spacey or Mel Gibson movies but now I can't see or hear either of them without getting a little sick. No one suggested pretending anything here, that's just trying to twist the conversation into something it's not.


Surprised this is so far down the thread.


This. Only dark tower adaptation is maybe same level of disappointment


I couldn’t bring myself to watch it, if it’s Ender’s Game level of bad I’m glad I didn’t. I’ll also throw in the Eragon adaptation was truly terrible but the source material wasn’t the same level so not quite so heinous of a sin to mess up the movie for it.


It is worse. Substantially. Ender's Game at least still followed 80% of the key story beats, if a lot out of focus and completely imbalanced narratively. Dark Tower literally rejigged half the fucking tale, and didn't even \*include\* the rest of the Tet. Just Roland and Jake. And even then, Jake was all wrong.


Ah,, I see you are suffering from trauma induced memory loss. Let me see if I can help: Eregon. Artemis Fowl.


What are you talking about? There is no Eragon movie


Hy crap Harrison Ford phoned it in in that movie


With Harrison Ford you either get a brilliant performance that couldn't be paralleled, or he just wants a paycheck and doesn't care how much it shows. I love him so much.


What the last good Movie he made? Indiana Jones 4 was embarrassing.


I've heard nothing but praise for him in _Blade Runner 2049_, though I haven't seen it yet.


It was really the amazing direction and incredible visuals that made the movie so good. Ford is barely in it and Gosling does a better job than him in the scenes they do share.


He was “fine” and barely in the movie.


Myself like most others waiting on the movie just knew it wasn't gonna hold up. But...it did reasonably fine


Such a classic use of the one ninja good many ninjas bad trope. When they deal with one monster it’s unstoppable but a bunch of them are picked off by cowboys. Wow.


I was never going to watch the movie anyways, but casting him as Graff made me sure not to


Buy it used though. The author went full on crazy, saying things like "real Americans need to be prepared to violently overthrow the government to repeal gay marriage". Turned into a total right wing lunatic.


Didn’t it also come out that he was using his profits to literally fund hate groups too? so…probably don’t want to be helping to fund hate groups.


What do you mean "turned into"? I've only read Enders Game not any of the other books- but from what I remember there is a character that is hinted at being gay and they are treated pretty poorly (is all I'll say for sake of spoilers). I might be completely misremembering though


He also has intense issues writing women. Most of his female characters explicitly revolve around their lustful, sexual nature. Petra's character gets slaughtered in the sequel novels. She was already the token woman in Ender's Game, but in the Shadow series she gets reduced to Bean's lover and a damsel in distress before she remarries Peter. There's an Indian Battle School grad who sleeps her way to the top of the Islamic Caliphate because that was her grand plan for power (double yikes because of how he treats other religions). The short story telling of the romance between Ender's parents is explicitly resolving around the possibility of them having sex, which is OK for a couple college students to have that relationship, but it is part of a pattern of how Card writes the women in his books. In Speaker for the Dead, the two most important women, Novinha and Valentine, are continually characterized by their relationships to men, specifically their husbands and lovers (Novinha) or brother (Valentine). These characters are written as reactionary to the actions of the men around them, and while Novinha has motivations of her own, they also center around the death of, suprise surprise, another male character. It wasn't something that stood out to me when I read the books as a kid, but it absolutely became apparent when I looked back years later. This pattern is also consistent with how he writes women in his other series, like the Mither Mages series, where the women are inferior to their male counterparts or seductresses who prey upon the weak minds of men. Overall, pretty gross.


In his Homecoming series the one gay character’s ‘happy’ ending is that he learns to accept being married to a woman so he can help save humanity.


I'd forget he was Mormon for a time until suddenly the women were obsessed with having babies. Like, ah, there it is.


He’s from my hometown and I’ve never met him but I knew several folks that went to the same church as him growing up and they all said he was a dick.


I loved those books as a kid. Bummed the author turned out to be such a homophobe. He started mixing in more blatant Mormon propaganda into his novels. I wish I could unlearn everything I know about him now so I can enjoy his works untainted again.


He wrote a 5 part series that turned out to just be a sci-fi version of The Book of Mormon. The first book was good, the second was decent, the third was meh, the fourth was horrible, and the 5th was utter garbage. Finding out it was The Book of Mormon in Space was disappointing and also made me go "Oh, okay" because it explained why the later books were so crappy. He had to follow the plot he was using instead of having characters make choices that made sense.


Same! I still love all the books but realising the creator of them irl actively campaigns against rights for people like me and what supporting his content means as a parallel, that was a hard truth. I've settled with telling people the author is a POS but they should still absolutely read them but to try to buy the books second hand or I give them the torrented epubs so at least I'm not funding his anti-LQBT lifestyle through revenue even just a little bit.


Ender’s Game had a huge impact when I first read it back in the day. Just so you’re aware, there are a *lot* of sequels and spin-offs of varying levels of quality in the Enderverse. Off the top of my head you have the 3 direct sequels (starting with Speaker for the Dead which is also fantastic, then Xenocide and Children of the Mind), the Shadow series which stars Bean, and at least 1 interquel between EG and SftD.


Ender’s game is one of my favorite books.Love the following Speaker for the Dead trilogy.Currently reading the shadow saga and they are good too.


I can't lie, I despised this book, but I'm always happy to hear other people enjoyed stuff I didn't


I'm happy for the people who like it and think the writing is good and I wish I was one of them, but I think it's one of those books you absolutely *have* to read as a kid and not as an adult. I do like some YA but Enders Game was a struggle.


> I do like some YA but Enders Game was a struggle. Be careful, there are some adult nerds who will throw absolute fits if you even suggest that Enders Game is YA (no matter how much it obviously is).


That makes sense - as others have pointed out, it may largely be a factor of when you picked it up. For me, this book was my 11-year-old entrance to sci-fi, with Harry Potter and Eragon (Inheritance?) being the only comparatively similar books. While maybe thematically similar, I remember having my mind blown wide open by Enders Game. A very "wait can science DO that???" Feeling, which probably has a ridiculously short age span to target.


Maybe it's because I read it in my 30s after reading a lot of other stuff first, but I felt that the book was predictable while also feeling pointless.


I enjoy this book, but I had several students in my science fiction who despised it. They don’t like the character of Ender and that he is a bit of a Mary Sue in his own way. I see their arguments, but I still really enjoy it myself.


Also there’s the whole “women aren’t suited to command. In fact they’re generally so bad about it it’s crazy we have this one girl commander!” Throw away line.


That's just the author being himself every now and then.


Don't get me wrong I loved the book as a kid. Now I see Ender as a Mary Sue with average intelligence in a world of morons. The whole up/down in zero gravity, his strategy for the ball game, even the end was all pretty obvious.


He was also 6-9 in the book. The spatial capabilities of the average child that young are pretty minimal.


I devoured this when I first read it in my late teens, tried to read it again in my 30s and I was shocked at how bad the writing was. I almost thought I got some rough draft copy or something. The story is good, but the writing is downright bad.


I thought that the *dialogue* was atrocious. As long as there was no one speaking the scene moved along fine for me, but every character had the same stilted awful voice, children and adults.


I read it as an adult, and was grateful to have never read it as a teen. As if I needed more reinforcement for the idea that I was super-smart and that everyone hated me for it. Completely toxic outlook.


I really don't see what's good about the story either, I found it very simplistic and predictable - not much suspense either.


I didn’t care for it either. In general, I really can’t stand books about child prodigies (the major exception being Matilda, which I loved). I feel like they conflate genetic luck with virtue.


Especially a child genius with a persecution complex. The plot goes completely overboard in trying to gin up sympathy by surrounding him with sociopaths.


While I don't despise it, I found it to be flimsy and one-dimensional. It's a fun light read but certainly nothing to write home about.


I didn't get the hype. I don't remember it too well, but I feel like I remember that it read like the author was really arrogant. It was constantly like 'and then Ender thought of something that no one had ever thought of before because he is such a genius" which was really the authors way of saying 'I'm a genius'. I don't know... Just how I felt reading it. I think Dan Brown does a bit of that too, and I know everyone hates him as well but his books didn't bother me as much as Enders game. Plenty of detective books get me impressed with the detective work without the author seemingly patting himself on the back throughout.


I can't believe that "in zero-g combat move feet-first to present a smaller target" wasn't the very first thing they figured out...


It's narcissistic escapism and I couldn't get past that.


I've fallen out of love with it as i've grown older. When i was younger it was a fun adventure to me and everything OP had to say about it. As i've gotten older, i've become bored with the way he just wins and wins and wins and, indeed, *has* to win, because the way the narrative is structured he has to win or there's no book. I've also come to feel like a lot of the book is about a good person unfairly persecuted for being better than everyone else, and getting to watch him brutally kick the asses of everyone who is mean to him, but it's okay because he's not picking those fights but being forced into them by other people. And i won't deny it gives a certain cathartic pleasure to read, but i also started becoming uncomfortable with the fact that i was enjoying it.


I hear you. I often wonder if I just didn't understand the book, tho I read it when I was 30. I just kept thinking it was utter pointless nonsense. It's just so well loved that I assume I completely missed something important.


I mean, also consider that at its core it's about a bullied kid who is brilliant at everything and everybody hates him because of how clever he is. It's the exact type of things repressed nerds latch on to.


Yeah, it’s a nasty Ayn Rand type of thing. People are surprised the author has awful political views after reading what he wrote? He couldn’t really have made it much clearer.


Super on point. I couldn't believe what I was reading in Ender's Game. Made me want to avoid anything from Card afterwards


Absolutely, I liked the plot and the twist, but these characters didnt need to be 6 years old. A super genius 14 yr old taking over the political establishment via blog posts? Come on. Talk about Titans holding society up Ayn Rand style. None of the little people matter, only the smart ones who will guide the sheep unto safety.


Speaker For The Dead is so much better and I don't think there's any changing my mind. Nor is there a chance I'll ever buy another book written by that actual fascist.


This book changed my life. Even though I had been reading books before it came to me, it was only after I read it that I considered myself 'into' reading/writing/literature. It made me feel less alone in the world, and was a friend during a period when I felt like I had none. It lifted me up from a dark place and gave me hope and purpose when I had very little of either. There will never be another book like Ender's Game for me, because it came to me exactly when it needed it and with exactly what I needed to hear. But I don't particularly like the author or many of his other works. Which is fine. It doesn't diminish what this book means to me.


The only other series by Card I’ve read was the Alvin Maker one which while religious in nature spends a LOT of time bagging on organized religion which I always thought was interesting. Pretty decent magic system as well with the Knacks


I couldn't get through the Alvin maker books. I finished mither mages and liked it quite a lot, I also read the pathfinder series, made it almost to the end but couldn't quite finish the last book (I should revisit it sometime) card is an amazing writer but after a while I started to see patterns in his writings and once I finished magic street it was just too much xD haven't read anything by card since. I'd say the pathfinder books are worth looking into if you like dense sci-fi, but man is it dense. whatever you do, do not read magic street lol


Which honestly the bagging on organized religion was an aspect of OSC writing that I found really interesting especially when coming from a Mormon. The way he philosophically breaks down organized religion into its utilitarian benefits for keeping a society structured in speaker for the dead is so stark that I wouldn’t be surprised if his bishop wanted to have some words with him after reading it lol


It’s actually on the reading list for people going through a few military services worldwide. Lots of good lessons.


TLDR: Loved Ender series and follow-up Bean spinoff series. Discussion point about author's bigot remarks vis-a-vis his very open-minded character and story. Happy for you! Enjoyed the whole Ender's Game Universe myself too! I hope you enjoy the sequel books. Oh, and thanks for the reminder. I left off my reading of Card when the Bean series (Ender's Game spin-off focusing on Bean) was still unfinished. Will pick it back up as part of my list now. 😇 Also, bonus discussion point if you're interested: Card and his work are a very interesting example of the separation of the artist from their art. Card has come under fire about his views on same-sex marriage (Card quote: “Married people attempting to raise children with the hope that they, in turn, will be reproductively successful, have every reason to oppose the normalization of homosexual unions.”) and his likening Obama to Hitler (Card wrote a 3000-word essay on the topic). On the other hand, you have his body of work and his claim-to-fame character Ender which together show such deep empathy for humanity (and other beings) and a hopeful movement toward a better more inclusive society. Overall, makes me ambivalent toward Card but I can't deny how eye-opening and poignant his books were for me. So many feelings! 😅


I know!! Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time, and years ago, I found out OSC was coming to my city for a book signing. After hearing him talk for a bit, it became clear that he was a climate change denier, and my heart sank. I left without him signing my copy of the book, and reading about his personal views afterward just increased my disappointment. I still love some of his books, though, and there's a copy of Ender's Game on my bookshelf as I write this - I'm just not gonna buy any of his works new. It makes for a neat moral compromise, in that I'm not supporting a guy I disagree with, but I get to support a used bookstore of my choice instead.


Listening card talk was the thing that made me think that he, of all people, was the one that misunderstood Ender the most.


He certainly seems like a complicated person. I am an ex-Mormon who attended BYU. Card came to speak at one point, and his talk was all about questioning everything and being open minded. Not a message you hear very often at a place like BYU.


I can imagine. I'm glad he delivered that particular message to you and your fellow students - I think it's important for younger people to hear that sort of thing, particularly in a pretty insular environment like that. I give him a weird sort of credit for even showing up for that book signing in a very liberal West Coast college town - that's scheduling an event for what you know is a hostile environment, and you don't see a lot of that from typical conservatives these days - it's all preaching to the choir. Still think he's wrong, though.


Yes, I feel the same. Love the art, not the artist. I was drawn in by enders game and then read pretty much everything he wrote. Stayed away from some of the overtly religious stuff.


If by overtly religious stuff you mean Alvin Maker, I even enjoyed that, although I find a strange lack of self-awareness in what's basically "let's make Mormonism even weirder" It's a shame Card is such a shithead, sometimes I'd like to be able to chat about his books without worrying that people will think I'm supporting a religious bigot.


What’s fascinating to me is the Shadow series takes a massive nosedive in quality as Card shovels his more toxic religious views into the subtext and text of the later books. You see it to some degree in Children of the Mind, but it’s *far* more pronounced in Shadow.


I always thought the moment with Alai and Ender was a weird thing for an anti homosexual author to put in the book and that he was maybe projecting just a little. I know the kiss (or whatever happened exactly I forget I’m due for another re-read of the series) wasn’t supposed to be sexual but it certainly didn’t feel like something someone who was anti-gay would voluntarily include.


He didn't involuntarily project sexual tension between the two. His purpose was to convey Alai's culture. You see Islamic culture being represented all through the Shadow series too. The reason you notice a discrepancy between his older works and his current political opinions is because he became more extreme as he got older. Not to mention that his religion became vocally and politically homophobic over time and he followed their lead.


I don't judge a book for its shitty back cover, I judge an author for his support of homophobia


It's just so odd how the themes in Speaker don't seem to align with his personal beliefs. This is one of the easiest books for me to separate from the author because of that.


I don’t think it’s so odd. People are so complex and it’s been seen time and time again throughout history that people can be extremely prejudiced, bigoted and hateful towards certain groups yet totally block that out of their conception of themselves, and consider themselves very compassionate, fair, just and empathetic, and are even able to display that towards people they approve of, or in this instance in their writing.


In this case Ender is the ideal person that we all wish Card could be. Empathic, insightful and burdened by the impact of the choices he’s made (both knowingly and unknowingly) Absolutely recommend the books and for those that have concerns about supporting the author can always get it via the library or other resources.


I saw Card speak at a convention once many years ago, before I truly understood what a terrible person he is. He talked about how Peter is the real hero not Ender, and how Peter is based on himself, so there's that.


The fact that OSC managed to write Ender’s Game blows my mind. He’s such a fucking idiot in his bigotry and political beliefs, and yet somehow he managed to stumble on lightning in a bottle with Ender’s Game, while seemingly failing to learn aaaaany of the lessons one might have taken from the book aside from “destroying your enemy with brutal overwhelming force is always good.”


OSC is the greatest tale of death of the author.


So pirate the book or buy it used.


Used from a local second hand book store. Really stick it to the man, man.


Yeah, I forgot he was a right wing nutjob.


I loved this book as a kid, absolutely LOVED it. As an adult, and after finding out what the author's views were like, I found it hard to bring myself to reread it or even watch the movie, partly because I didn't want him to profit and partly because I was afraid it would influence my thoughts on the book.


Eh, I always felt it was a great short story blown out to novel length.


That's because that is exactly what it was. http://www.hatrack.com/osc/stories/enders-game.shtml


Too bad Scott Card Is a douche. Yes, I’m judging based on his politics


OSC is a conservative Mormon prick. I saw him twice in the late 80s because I was such a fan. I'm a former Mormon from Utah and this guy wrote some outstanding stuff early, then decided his next move was to write a fictional account of the book of Mormon. He's a condescending ass that wrote amazing short stories and then jumped the shark. I would encourage you to read his early short stories. They are really good and absent his overbearing Mormon morality of his later garbage.


Favorite book of all time. +1 across the board to everyone mentioning Enders Shadow. Great pairing of perspectives, other books change direction much differently but are interesting albeit not quite as satisfactory.


I spoke with Card about 20 years ago about his influences.. He was an asshole.


Enders Shadow tells the Enders Game story from Bean’s perspective. I seriously recommend reading that while you’re fresh off Enders Game.