Let it be known, Orson Scott Card is not the end-all-be-all for science fiction writers, but he’s damn close. Regrettably, I was only introduced to one of his best selling books a few months ago, so I am not a long time fan. I say regrettably because (like any fantastic author) he hooked me within the first page.
SPOILER ALERT: There will be spoilers in the following paragraphs!
The premise of Ender’s Game is simple: people of Earth discover alien species that “wishes” to harm them. We engage in epic wars that last decades, until the governments of Earth band together, and decide to enlist children in the International Fleet to help save the world. They train children as space soldiers, breeding them to be smarter and quicker than ever before. Ender (Andrew) Wiggins becomes a special student of the I.F. and soon learns he has been destined to save the world against these Buggers. Through the careful training and help of his friends he is able to defeat the Buggers through a battle simulation, controlling the real soldiers remotely. He saves the world, but unknowingly has destroyed an entire race.
Now, one of my friends had suggested this novel a long time ago, but the military/ genetic thing didn’t wet my whistle, so to speak. However, the trust of an old friend, and forcefulness of his attitude beckoned me to give it another shot. When I mean forcefulness I mean: taking out 13 books in the Enderverse and putting them in my car to make me read them, secretly knowing that once I read the first book I would not stop. And I didn’t stop, I have worked through the books at a slower rate than I would like (school books and all that stuff). I have finally finished all books on the Ender side of the collection. I have just begun the Shadow Series (Ender’s Shadow), which is a mini-series following Bean, one of Ender’s comrades in battle school.
It has occurred to me that Card has knowingly/unknowingly created one of the most elaborate and well thought out universes I have ever seen. Save for the elaborate books on Star Wars or Star Trek, I have never seen a collection of book so dedicated to one main story. For me, I prefer a series or collection of books on one character or place rather than a standalone novel. It’s like a t.v. series that I can go back to every day, and have more and more to discover. I know they can’t last forever, but at least I have a steady stream of the same good writing, and a great story. So, discovering Card’s dedication to the Enderverse is like discovering a gold mine for me.
In addition, I think that I have found my source for constant inspiration. It happens every time I read Stephen King and now every time I read Orson Scott Card. He makes me want to stop in the middle of reading to write, but t the same time I don’t want to stop reading his amazing books! Just as I started Ender’s Shadow, I had ideas for my own short story, which I haven’t touched since I received notes from my mentor a few weeks ago. It has been slow starting after these comments, but somehow it’s always better if I’m reading about Ender and the kids from battle school.
On another note, I want to suggest all of these books. Just type in Ender or Orson Scott Card and it will take you to the list of books surrounding Enderverse. I as always read the series somewhat out of order, but it was very easy to piece things together. If you are remotely interested in space, aliens, or science fiction, this is the book for you. Even if you aren’t this book is not super heavy on advanced technology or weird languages for the beginner science fiction reader. I would/have suggested this book to everyone I can because it changed my perspective on science fiction. I can’t wait to be finished with Enderverse and explore the other worlds that Orson Scott Card has created. If his other books are half as good as these, I think I will have a lot of inspirational material to use in the future.