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Ender in Exile

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Sci-Fi 507

stoolpigeon writes "Orson Scott Card's work Ender's Game began as a novelette, which he says he wrote as a means of leading up to the full story he had developed, Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game was published as a full novel in 1985, and won the Hugo and Nebula awards (as did Speaker for the Dead in '86 and '87). I think it is safe to say that Ender's Game is ensconced in its position as a science fiction classic. Now, 23 years later, Card has finished the first direct sequel to Ender's Game in his new novel Ender in Exile." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.While Speaker for the Dead was published right after Ender's Game, there is a huge gap in time between the two stories. Due to the effects of traveling at close to light speed, thousands of years pass between the two novels. Chapter fifteen of Ender's Game does give an explanation of the events that fill that time. Card also went on to write other novels set in the Ender universe that do not involve Ender directly but rather other students from the battle school and family. This makes Ender in Exile more of a 'midquel', a term Card uses in the afterword, than a sequel. Because of this, from a high level view of the plot, readers who have stuck with the saga will not find much new here. This is a closer look at events already related in other books for the most part.

Card is an able author and this story is solid. Much of it reminded me of some of my favorite classic science fiction. There is colonization, extended periods of life aboard space ships, discovery of alien civilization and not much in the way of hard science. Card's primary purpose is to analyze and consider the human condition as opposed to exploring technological possibilities or theories. Almost everything that is highly advanced is the result of alien technology and is never explained or understood. Much of it functions on an almost mystical or magical level.

Ender is a young adolescent with an incredibly unique life and mind. In this novel we see him transitioning and growing from a youth into a man. I was often reminded of Herbert's Paul Atreides when he was first on the run in the desert with his mother in the book Dune. Ender is aware that he is different and has amazing capabilities but he is unsure just what the full ramifications of that difference are. He is trying to find his place in humanity and in the universe as a whole.

The story encompasses four basic plot lines that flow one to the next. I never felt any great sense of urgency or climax and resolution in the story. Really what it felt like was a thread weaving together pieces from the earlier stories. While the themes and issues were great, sometimes the characters were remote or the working of the issues very subtle. The most impacting and emotional moments relied upon knowledge of events from the other books in the series to carry their full force. In that light the novel is very effective. I think that fans of the Ender series, already biased towards this work, are going to be very pleased and enjoy Ender in Exile greatly. They are going to get to dig just a bit deeper into this world and it's primary character Andrew Wiggin. They will enjoy moments of discovery and the answer to questions that may have been in the back of their minds, possibly for the last twenty years or so.

On the other hand, someone new to the series may not be as enthralled and may find the story to be a bit flat. If I could I would rate this book in two ways. For those who have not read all the other Ender books, a 6 or 7. This is not bad since the book is designed to sit in the middle of an existing set of tales. It is possible that someone could pick this book up without having read a single Ender story or novel and track with it. I think they would even find it interesting if a little flat. But for a fan of the series with a high degree of familiarity with the characters and events of this world it is probably a solid 8 or 9. At the very least, Card has done nothing to tear down what he has built up but has completed a sturdy addition to the body of work.

In the afterword Card has some interesting comments to make about reader involvement in helping him to write this story. He also explains how he would like to approach some discrepancies between this story and what is related at the conclusion to Ender's Game. I thought it was a sign of the times that an author, facing a large and complex world he had created but could not track on his own, was able to use the internet to call upon readers assistance in achieving as much consistency as possible.

This is a thoughtful, well written book. It may even motivate some to dig up an old copy of Ender's Game so that they can relive the enjoyment of a classic and see what is new to find. I think that most will not be disappointed. Some may not be as thrilled as they would hope, but there is something here for any science fiction fan.

On a side note, in conjunction with the release of this new book, Marvel Comics is doing a limited series comic adaptation of the original Ender's Game novel.

You can purchase Ender in Exile from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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507 comments

Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790449)

Yeah, kinda peaked at Speaker for the Dead, went downhill since. Cue XKFD comic but I'll let someone else whore for that karma.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790483)

Ender's game was never good.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790543)

neither was your mom, but everyone keeps going back...

don't remember anything of the sort (2, Insightful)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791187)

Ender's game was never good.

Amen, brother. One of the lamest books of all time. When it won the Hugo and Nebula I realized that those awards no longer meant anything.

Re:don't remember anything of the sort (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791249)

Right, because the validity of those awards is entirely dependent on whether they're awarded to books that catered to your specific tastes. Or you're a moron. One of the two.

Re:don't remember anything of the sort (5, Funny)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791395)

Orson? Is that you? Knock off the AC posting shit and take your flogging like a man.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790515)

I disagree. I felt Xenocide was easily the best in the series, and Ender's Game was easily the worst. The Shadow series is also quite good, but I'm not sure if you're counting that as separate or not.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (2, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790629)

I thought Xenocide was a good sequel. But it doesn't stand independant of enders game, and although it is good, it is only good because of the great book that the first one was...

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (2, Insightful)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790671)

I'm sorry but you need to put down the crack pipe NOW!. It is common knowledge that Xenocide and children of the mind where the worse. Speaker for the dead was the best of the books after Enders Game and Ender's Game was the best and should have stood alone. There should only one and all that jazz.

We won't even bother with the shadow books. Books that never should have been written.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

sab39 (10510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790885)

Xenocide was the only one that I actively disliked. I actually liked Children of the Mind and I'd like to see a sequel to that...

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791025)

I really hated Xenocide and Children of the Mind just a little less so. I like Speaker though. As for the shadow books, I sort of like the first one. I just mentally edited out the parts that made bean look like a god and ender like bumbling idiot. I made it halfway through the next shadow book, said "fuck it", and used it to even up the legs on a end table.

Ender's Game was my favorite book for a long time. The "sequel" have spoiled it to the point that I can no longer even think of reading it. Same Card has to piss on it all.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (0)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791113)

I'm sorry but you need to put down the crack pipe NOW!

Sir, it is you who needs to put down the crack pipe. Xenocide, worse? It's the best in the series, man! What is there not to like about it, seriously? And Ender's Game the best? I laugh at your crack-induced delusions, friend. Ender's Game is yet another run-of-the-mill sci-fi novel, it has nothing special or unique that stands out. It wasn't until we got past the Battle School that the series went from "good, but not special" to "truly outstanding".

And the Shadow books... insulting them is clearly not only from crack, but LSD and crack combined. Those were amazing books, something you'd see if it weren't for your serious drug habit. ;)

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (2, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790563)

The "review" fails to mention whether the book is as full of proselytising and glorifying christian "values" as his other later books.
Based on the direction his books have twisted in, I would like to know this before I buy (or don't buy).

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (5, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790679)

I'm not sure - he mentions monogamy as the optimum more than once - but I don't think it would really stand out unless one was already aware of some of the controversy around some of Card's statements on issues.
 
There is a lot of time contemplating the morality of killing especially in regards to self-defense. I don't know that their is necessarily any position espoused beyond it being better not to kill others if possible. The book raises more questions than it gives answers. It didn't feel overly preachy to me - from any viewpoint - Christian or otherwise. Hopefully that helps to answer your "question".

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (4, Informative)

Rayban (13436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790881)

He managed to keep the preaching out of the homecoming series, which had an openly-gay character. The character (Zdorab) had some bizarre views that were obviously influenced by Card's worldview, but it didn't take away from the book.

The homecoming series dealt (though not as the primary focus) with some of the morality of "forcing" monogamous relationships on a small tribe of humans disconnected from society.

I think he's an annoying editorial writer with back-asswards views, but this atheist can still enjoy his works.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791323)

The Homecoming series is a thinly-veiled rewrite (and interpolation) of the first part of the Book of Mormon (Card is Mormon). I didn't really like them from a literary standpoint.
On the other hand, they helped me see the works I'd been raised to believe were the word of God in an entirely new light--I'm also atheist now.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791247)

It isn't so much about 'preachy-ness' as it is about 'propaganda-ness'. In the Shadow series, for instance, we have the homosexual character of Anton. He is not in any way evil, Card doesn't ask us to fear or hate him as you might expect from a right wing writer.

Instead (and arguably worse), when we are first introduced to Anton we are asked to pity him. He is given a ludicrously strong cognitive dissonance to ham handedly symbolize the dissonance that Card assumes the man must have because of his lifestyle. He is utterly lonely and unhappy, and it is heavily implied that he has considered suicide as the only option to end his suffering.

Later in the story, Anton has *gasp* married. No, not to a man, but to a woman. In fact he is going to be a father. He is happy, talkative, and engaging. He mentions in passing that his homosexual tendancies have made his marriage harder but that with work they are able to get through it and live a full and happy life.

In my opinion, this is a more disgusting attack on gay rights than any violent diatrabe could ever be.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790699)

Just read some of it at your local bookstore. Unlike the RIAA and MPAA, it's ok to obtain a free copy and use it a little before deciding if you want to purchase it or not.

There's also this thing called a "Library" that contains an ancient form of knowledge, conveyed using smudges of pigment on dried plant fiber.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791015)

full of proselytising and glorifying Mormon "values"

Orson Scott Card is a Mormon. Mormonism != Christianity

Spoiler (5, Funny)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791227)

Ender proves himself by posthumously baptizing all the souls of his victims, thereby justifying all the killing and giving the story a feel-good Hollywood ending.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

Dramacrat (1052126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791281)

Yeah, those darn 'Christian' values sure ruined the West. I rue the day uncle Genghis failed to liberate us from it's yolk.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

UNKN (1225066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791365)

Maybe it's the fact that I really don't have any religious beliefs so that's why I miss all these religious value links to his books, I don't know. It didn't seem to jump out at me as preaching anything or glorifying anything, they just seemed like fairly good books about humans fighting bugs. I try not to look that deep into something I suppose, I enjoy it much more for it I imagine.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (2, Interesting)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790567)

For me it peaked at the initial novelette, which I did think was very good. I read a couple of the books but I didn't find them interesting.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (2, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790615)

Card lost his mind. He's a fanatical religious hate-monger. He proposed violently overthrowing the government if gays are given the right to marry. I'm never buying anything he writes again.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (0, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790641)

Fantasy is very popular with religious people as fantasy is their life as well as a diversion.

flamebait (1, Flamebait)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790975)

and here's your flame:

1. sci-fi / fantasy is an object of much overwrought disapproval from many religious groups. While I had thought the issue to be mostly smoldering rather than active, the Christian Children's Fund declined a large donation from the estate of the late Gary Gygax one of the inventors of the Dungeons and Dragons game. http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2008/11/04/charity-declines-money-from-group-associated-with-gygax [arstechnica.com]

2. what pleasure do you get from trolling around /. looking for any possible angle to malign groups you are not a member of? Because you seem in danger of embodying the sort of intolerance most atheists accuse religions of.

3. just because you can make a circular argument does not make you some sort of mental giant. such things are only aesthetically pleasing when they express some truth or fact concisely. yours does not.

Re:flamebait (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791167)

I think that D&D donation thing was all a misunderstanding. Check google for the updates/retractions.

Re:flamebait (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791175)

1. Only certain sci fi or fantasy works, much like anything else. Lord of the Rings had a Christian influence; The Narnia Chronicles were written by a Christian Evangelist. I don't see too many complaints about those works.

2. Because nobody has time for stupid religious propaganda, especially Card's particularly noxious brand.

3. What are you talking about? I didn't see a circular argument, and since you intentionally left it out I think you just threw the accusation up there as a red herring from how empty your other two complaints are.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791139)

Yeah but science usually ain't their forte.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790655)

If only I had mod points.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (5, Funny)

bhima (46039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790771)

So... I have to ask. Did you come to that conclusion before or after you selected your nick?

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790927)

He proposed violently overthrowing the government if gays are given the right to marry.

Did you come to that conclusion before or after you selected your nick?

No. He probably became a fag after posting too many times to the Dot.

=Smidge=

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791083)

As you can tell from the UID, I've been using that name for a long time. I picked that name when signing up for slashdot in the nineties. I was reading Ender's Game at the time.

A decade later, I would like to change the name, but I don't want to lose the karma and the low UID :-(

But as a onetime fan of Card's work, I am saddened to learn that he shares much in common with groups like the Taliban.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (5, Funny)

dgris (454) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791405)

As you can tell from the UID, I've been using that name for a long time.

I don't want to lose the karma and the low UID

Lol. 6-digit "low" uid. Freakin' newbies. ;-)

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

Anghwyr (1245932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791003)

So he is fanatical on the point of marriage. Pretty much everyone has a few idiotic blind spots like that, and all but politicians in public have expressed those points to friends or online at some point in time. Don't belief me? Take the hypothetical example of coming home and finding someone raping your wife/daughter/sister. Pretty much everyone you ask will have an urge to commit a violent act, where merely stopping the crime in progress and handing over the purpetrator to the authorities would be the right response. I am not banning someone from my life for a single weird point he / she makes. It might be different if I were gay, and therefore more sensitive to his opinions, but in this case it is just an extreme opinion to me.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (1)

splatter (39844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791371)

So any bets how long before he starts a religion and what they will call themselves?

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791399)

I looked into this because it's marked informative.

I found the source at: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2008-10-12-1.html "Upholding the Constitution."

I guess it is informative that by reporting the opposite of what Card said you earned a good score on /.

Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (4, Funny)

Leebert (1694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791273)

I kind of liked Ender's Shadow, but a while after I read it, I realized that I now looked on Ender more as middle-management. :)

Finally this book gets reviewed? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790471)

Just kidding, who gives a fuck!

LOL, first post for GNAA!

Nope, sorry (2, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790481)

Much as I enjoyed the Ender series, Scott Card has revealed himself [examiner.com] to be a massive douche. I'm not buying or reading his books anymore.

Re:Nope, sorry (-1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790583)

you can enjoy someone's work without condoning their lifestyle... grow up. Just because he thinks different than you doesn't make his books any less enjoyable.

What about all of the music we enjoy? Most musicians do things that many people don't condone.

Besides, he's written many best selling books. He's filthy stinkin' rich because of his opinion and his writings. And you are ... probably not.

Re:Nope, sorry (5, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790867)

you can enjoy someone's work without condoning their lifestyle... grow up.

I believe an important part of growing up is taking the bigger picture into account, and deciding who and what we support based on more than just our immediate personal result.

Just because he thinks different than you doesn't make his books any less enjoyable.

Personally, for me it does. I never got around to checking out Card's workt though it's often been recommended to me by those who know my tastes, but if one of his books were put in my hand now I'd see the name of a man who has seen fit to loudly classify many of my family and friends as second-class citizens.

My money and time is best spent elsewhere.

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791061)

I believe an important part of growing up is taking the bigger picture into account, and deciding who and what we support based on more than just our immediate personal result.

I think this goes hand in hand with getting over fanboyism, and realizing that confining yourself to a narrow worldview doesn't really help anyone. But I don't think "PC and Sony Fanboy" will understand this anytime soon.

Re:Nope, sorry (1)

SLot (82781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791181)

My money and time is best spent elsewhere.

Like, oh, shaniquacon mebbe? :P

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791183)

My money and time is best spent elsewhere.

cf. L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction.

I don't know how much of Orson Scott Card's money goes toward directly supporting his political causes, but we know that it is at least possible for money spent on science fiction books to go toward agendas that we might otherwise oppose completely.

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790893)

Just because he thinks different than you doesn't make his books any less enjoyable.

For me it does.

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790971)

Except Card has been against the free press for a long damn time too, that is why I will never do anything to help that idiot.

Re:Nope, sorry (4, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790991)

I don't blame him. According the article, Card said some pretty hateful things, and seems to have some ideologies that could really damage America's future. Personally, I still might read the new book, but it might be a purchase that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

What about all of the music we enjoy? Most musicians do things that many people don't condone.

While doing drugs and engaging in rampant promiscuity are things I don't really condone, inciting hatred, bigotry, ignorance, and possible violence is on a whole other level. I can't think any musicians that I listen to who provoke such horrible things.

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791291)

Don't purchase it. If you must, wait until your local library has a copy. Or find an ebook online! *cough*

Re:Nope, sorry (3, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791043)

You are free to do so at your leisure. You will notice I didn't urge anyone to do the same. I was merely voicing my opinion.

As for "growing up", please go drink some Drano. This guy has a louder voice than most *because* he is wealthy thanks to people who buy his books, and he's using that voice to advocate hatred of people who do not share his values, all snuggled up in a nice Christian delivery blanket for the mainstream to gobble up.

Perhaps you have no friends or family members who are gay. I do. And I respect them a hell of a lot more than I respect people like Scott Card or you.

Re:Nope, sorry (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791049)

while i agree with the first part of your post, you go on to contradict yourself.

i'd say he's "filthy stinkin' rich" because of his writing skill and *despite* his opinions which he sometimes manages to keep veiled enough in his writings and the rest of the time admits.

Re:Nope, sorry (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791059)

Personally, I think that if PC and Sony Fanboy is continued to be allowed to post on Slashdot, we should drive to his house and depants him.

Reading this comment constit

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Interesting)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791091)

you can enjoy someone's work without condoning their lifestyle

Ironic given that Orson Scott Card has advocated the violent overthrow of the government due to his bigotry and hatred of gays (outright disapproval of their lifestyle). What makes you think that he deserves anything better from us?

Besides, he's written many best selling books. He's filthy stinkin' rich because of his opinion and his writings.

A popular opinion is not an opinion based on the truth. There was a time when the general sentiment of the country was for slavery and after that segregation. We see those times as backward and shameful.

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791097)

The mature thing is decide for yourself if you can stand the knowledge that your purchase of his book facilitates his bigotry. The man wrote brilliant novels, for sure but as he is living today I will never purchase another because I can't stand the idea of him having more money to spend on anti-civil rights measures.

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Funny)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791195)

"...he thinks different than you..."

differently.

pet peeve.
fucking apple.

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Funny)

flajann (658201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791393)

Hitler, Stalin, and Ghengis Khan thinks differently than you, too!!!

Re:Nope, sorry (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791425)

you can enjoy someone's work without condoning their lifestyle... grow up. Just because he thinks different than you doesn't make his books any less enjoyable.

His is the more mature reaction, I'd say. It's a pretty grown up response to say "yeah, I liked the work, but I'm not going to fund an ideology I don't believe in" He didn't say you shouldn't, he said he wouldn't, and why.

And knowing that the author has a view that is antithetical to your own very much will effect your enjoyment of an art, particularly with a book or music, because you are going to ask yourself "Is there a hidden agenda or message with this story, or with this song?" and that will distract you at least some.

Re:Nope, sorry (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790625)

good call, thats why I don't use ReiserFS, watch any movie with heath ledger and don't use DC power (Edison was a big douche bag).

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790665)

ReiserFS is buggy and unsupported, Ledger wasn't a very good actor, and as douchey as Edison was he didn't advocate violently overthrowing the government based on his own outdated prejudice.

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790851)

no edison just electrocuted an elephant as a publicity stunt.

Re:Nope, sorry (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791185)

Well then I'm sure the elephant community has a strong stance against using DC power.

There's a big difference between not using the inventions of douchebags past, and not financially supporting current douchebags. Hey, I don't usually care either, but it's not such an insane position to take.

Re:Nope, sorry (5, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790719)

I don't really get it... I mean ok, even if you really think he is a mega-douche, why stop reading his books? Does that really do anything positive? Does somebody who has an opinion that you disagree with really offend/startle/upset/whatever you so much that you can't read anything they've written? I personally feel this is a big problem with our society today--somebody's political beliefs are enough to earn them boycotts, scorn, hate, risk their jobs, etc. Of course you as a free individual have every right to do whatever you want to do--including boycotting Orson Scott Card--but I just think our society should take a collective chill pill!

I can see not BUYING more of his books, though at this point he's got so much money he could never sell another book and be ok, so it's a somewhat futile action, but I guess that matters..

There are a ton of authors, actors, musicians, etc who I think are moronic halfwits when it comes to politics. I think the same thing about some of my friends and family too! I get past it. Douche though they may be, I couldn't care less what their political opinions are when it comes to listening to their music or reading their books. Why do you have to be in ideological lockstep with an author to enjoy their works?

Apologies if I'm somehow misinterpreting your post...?

Re:Nope, sorry (1, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791377)

If it were a case of "Red vs. Blue", I'd agree with you. Take the product as a separate item and if it is enjoyable on its own, forget that you may hold a different worldview than the author.

When it comes down to someone being a step away from Fred Philips land, I draw the line. Supporting radical hate by funding it, regardless of the flavor of hate, is not acceptable. As long as someone holds or espouses an opinion that makes me feel it's likely that money I pay to them for their work might go into the hands of people who hate, me or someone else, I'll be damned if I give them a red cent.

From the article linked in GP:

"Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. Only when the marriage of heterosexuals has the support of the whole society can we have our best hope of raising each new generation to aspire to continue our civilization.."

"In the first place," he writes, "no law in any state in the United States now or ever has forbidden homosexuals to marry. Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. Ditto with lesbian women. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage."

"However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be, what they are doing is not marriage. they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is. They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes."

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791385)

The number of English language books that have been printed is so large that it is impossible for any one person to read them all. I could read all day every day and not read every book. I probably wouldn't even be able to read every book that people think is good.

There is a finite amount of time until I die. I'm not going to spend hours of my life reading something written by an outspoken bigot. There is something else out there that is just as good if not better written by someone who doesn't have opinions I strongly disagree with.

We all pick and choose what we will read, watch, listen to based on a number of criteria such as storyline, genre, actors, directors, or any number of other factors. I just add things like known bigot to that list of factors.

Anything I can do to narrow down the very very long list of books I still want to read then that helps me to spend my time more effectively.

Re:Nope, sorry (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790731)

What's really ironic about your post is that the author of the linked article specifically says that you should separate the man and his opinions from his work.

Re:Nope, sorry (3, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790949)

Why? As a single consumer, I have very little power in the economy. But my one ability is to not patronize those I disagree with. It has very little overall effect, but it is my only effect.

Orson Scott Card is a homophobe and douche? His life's work is meaningless to me.

Tom Cruise supports an oppressive regime? I don't need his films.

Owners of local BBQ place talking about how social safety nets are bullshit and a gun and your own wits are all you need (because nothing bad ever happens to you out of your control) and how in an ideal world they could just shoot all the corrupt *local* politicians that make them charge sales tax and pay for library bonds? I won't eat there again. (And they should learn to keep their political views to themselves while patrons are in their restaurant, unless they wish to only cater to their nutball crowd.)

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790737)

Wow. I knew he was a little off, but I didn't know he was THAT crazy. Shiiiit.

Re:Nope, sorry (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790939)

I can't fathom giving money to a man that uses his speaking platform to try to say I'm subhuman or that I'm defying God.

Re:Nope, sorry (1)

Dramacrat (1052126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791041)

Fascist.

Re:Nope, sorry (3, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791055)

Much as I enjoyed the Ender series, Scott Card has revealed himself [examiner.com] to be a massive douche. I'm not buying or reading his books anymore.

Go to the article you listed and notice that the first highlighted section says "mortal enemy" in it. If you go to the article it links to that was written by Card, this paragraph is not to be found in it. Could it be a case of someone distorting what he said? Hmm...

Card is not a favorite here because
1) He's against gay marriage.
2) He's one of the very few popular writers who admits (gasp!) to being a Christian.
3) He's not a flaming liberal.

Re:Nope, sorry (4, Insightful)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791109)

The article you link to links to Card's essay on homosexual marriage [ornery.org] . Reading the original Card essay, I didn't find the quoted statement. I find that a bit odd since the quote is quite lengthy. So it appears either the quote was never there and the article's author is fabricating a story or the quote was redacted. I'm curious what the truth is.

Re:Nope, sorry (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791375)

If you read further, all the quotes are fabricated, or changed so much that they do not represent the original. This "editorial" is in fact libel.

Truth is he wrote it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791453)

Not in the article in 'Civilization Watch', but in his blog for the Mormon Times.

Link is http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=3237 [mormontimes.com]

Personally, bigotry like this isn't enough, in itself, for me to reject a writer. But, it would certainly color my view of what he writes - any lessons or morals expounded in the book would have to be put to extra scrutiny in light of the moral defect of the writer (to put it plainly).

Re:Nope, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791461)

Thank you for sharing this information - I was not aware, and this sort of thing matters to me.

Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790503)

That the story below this one is about a woman wanting to use a bionic eye.

I didn't even know... (1)

slackerfilm (520597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790509)

I have been impressed with the enderverse at any point. This is a good topic to look at but I am curious what happed with Bean after his personal exile. I have difficulties even imagining how that turns out but, I can't see the excitement in that becoming a story unless Ender finds him in giant form on some other planet that a child killed and turned into a playground perhaps.

Re:I didn't even know... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790887)

I got more impressed with the hyperionverse, but ender's one is not so bad. Anyway, found that keep reading some series tend to degrade that whole universe instead of enriching them (felt at least that way with hyperion, ender and dune ones).

About Bean's subserie it started well, but was a mistake to keep reading the next books.

Re:I didn't even know... (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791301)

After a read, I have a hard time leaving the Hyperionverse and returning to reality. Don't even get me started about the Duneverse - it was bad enough when Frank prattled on about his Fish Speakers and Honored Matres, but the hideous defiling that his son has done to the series has nearly runied the original magic of even the original book for me.

A very good read, captivating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790513)

You really never see where this thing is going until the end.

And in the end, Trinity dies. Never saw that coming.

WARNING SPOILER ALERT

Limited goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790527)

Why is is that the backstory is always more interesting than the "real story they want to tell."

Speaker for the Dead was a good book, but nowhere near as good as Ender's Game.

I think its the George Lucas effect, limited goals and limted means make for a lot more creativity and originality.

Re:Limited goals (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791231)

I liked Ender's Game, I think mostly because I first read it when I was very young and genuinely didn't see the "twist" coming.

Over the years I've read a few more and the only one that I really liked was Ender's Shadow.

-1 karma for picking on "incredibly unique" (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790529)

I know someone is going to point out "unique" is a boolean state, but I think that's the wrong way of thinking about it... technically, everything is probably unique, since you can just redefine your thinking of "its kind". And then again, nothing is 100% unique, because it falls under the category of "thing". So it makes sense to think about degrees of uniqueness.

Admittedly "incredibly unique" probably still isn't the deftest choice of words, but I've seen much worse.

Shadow (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790535)

Card also went on to write other novels set in the Ender universe that do not involve Ender directly but rather other students from the battle school and family.

This is of course, the Shadow series featuring Bean, Petra, Achilles, etc. I'm pretty sure in Ender in Exile we get to see the results from Achille's children being out in the universe.

What do I read first? (1)

dspkable (773450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790547)

I have only read 'Ender's Game' a few years back, but I wanted to get into the series, but from what I hear this series (based on book release dates) jumps all over the place. So to those that have read more books in the series than I have....which books and in which order should I tackle this series. Should I read then front cover to back cover or start somewhere in the middle:). Is this like the Star Wars series, in that it won't really matter unless which ones I read unless you want to go back and re-read some books to look for inconsistencies.

Re:What do I read first? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790599)

there are two lines to the story, one that continues the story of ender, and one that continues the story of the world he left behind. Follow one, or the other, but don't mix them - you'll get confused.

Re:What do I read first? (2, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790747)

I would recommend reading all of the Ender stories first, then going back and reading the Bean stories second. While the two series are remarkably consistent; the Bean stories will change the way you think about the Ender stories. You realize that the monolithic messiah figures of the Ender stories are nothing of the sort, that their destiny is intertwined with that of all the other characters, major and minor.

On the other hand, Card has recently pressented himself as a bigotted asshat in regards to homosexual rights (I'm sure there will be other posts in this article that will link to the relevant information). So if you really want my advice; don't lend him more of a voice by purchasing his books. It's a hard decision, for myself included. I have been a huge fan of the series since I read Ender's game in middle school, but I will not be purchasing any more books of the series; it just doesn't feel right to support someone whose views clash so violently with my own.

Re:What do I read first? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791203)

You could get the books from a library or download the PDF from a torrent.

Re:What do I read first? (2, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790919)

It doesn't really jump around, and the published order is a good as any other. There are two story lines - the Ender Series which follow Ender he goes out into space, and the Bean Series that describe what happens meanwhile back on Earth. The stories in each series should definitely be read in order, but the two series really don't depend on each other or feedback into each other in any important way, so which of the two you read first (or in parallel) is up to you.

As far as quality goes, I'd recommend reading Speaker for the Dead first as I think it's the best book of both the series. I'd then read Xenocide next, just because it brings better closure to some important plot item in SftD, and is a decent story itself. Children of the Mind can be read last or skipped altogether without harm :P

Re:What do I read first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790961)

This is the best order to read them in:

Ender's Game
Speaker for the Dead
Xenocide
Children of the Mind

How we respond to technology (5, Insightful)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790643)

Card's primary purpose is to analyze and consider the human condition as opposed to exploring technological possibilities or theories. Almost everything that is highly advanced is the result of alien technology and is never explained or understood. Much of it functions on an almost mystical or magical level.

I always thought this was the point. In science fiction, the high technology is a plot device and how our interaction with said device describes aspects of human behavior is the story. I do not need to know how a technological fountain of youth works. I just need to know it makes people young again and requires something of a high cost personal cost, say the ability to feel love. How society treats the creator of this device, whether people who refuse to use it are ostracized by society, do people who use the machine experience regret? The dilithium crystal configuration of the device is irrelevant compared to those aspects of the story.

Just my two cents.

Those are usually pretty light. (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791029)

The problem is that as you get further and further away from current science you end up more and more in the realm of "magic".

And if the writer is resorting to that, then the story is probably going to be pretty light and dependent upon plot contrivances to get the writer out of any corner he ends up writing himself into.

In the fountain of youth example, it could matter. How available is the process? Is it possible to restrict who gets it? What about pricing? Would there be wars over it with eternal youth offered as the plunder? Or is the secret something anyone can cook up in their kitchen using dandelions and shower scum?

Light stories are good for obvious moral statements (think "Twilight Zone"). But they tend to fall apart on anything longer.

The more basic the change is (eternal youth) the more ramifications it will have on society. And the less likely the writer will have addressed them. Or even thought of them.

I enjoyed it (1)

adml_shake (1196483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790663)

I thought the book was one of Card's better ones, if this is the last one in the (Ender) series then I think he should be happy with how it ended. It was nice to finally see a resolution to the bigger cliff hanger we got at the end of Shadow of the Giant (there is supposed to be another book in the works that takes place after Giant to finish up some of the other loose ends).

"Time Travel" (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790853)

I always thought Ender taking short trips but leaving the universe behind was an interesting idea. Talk about fleeing from your past. A short trip to you and everyone you ever knew is dead. Even being famous, he was able to start fresh.

Does intolerance count? (1, Redundant)

icknay (96963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25790941)

I've enjoyed his work before, but I'm shocked by his intolerant and fearful views about gay marriage. His ideas are weirdly inline with the Taliban ... let's have the government kick everyone's ass to enforce the view of one religion. As opposed to the best aspects of the American tradition centered tolerance and individual liberty. It's so so shockingly bad, I encourage everyone to re-consider buying or supporting anything he touches, but judge for yourself... http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=3237 [mormontimes.com]

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

YARH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25791121)

Yet Another Repressed Homo?

Thinly veiled literary references to buggery (ie: sodomy) not withstanding.

I don't like books by Bigots. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25790983)

Sorry. I just do not.

Rich Irwin.

Re:I don't like books by Bigots. (1)

Dramacrat (1052126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791147)

Yeah, we should burn all his books. Big ole' pile of 'em. We can chant, too. Wouldn't that be fun?

Orson Scott Card is a homophobe! (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791315)

Card is a wonderful SF writer, and I enjoyed the first 3 in the Ender series. However, I later found out that not only is Orson Scott Card is a homophobe, but a rather nasty one, having written things like gays should be moved to Leper Colonies and the like.

http://urlbit.us/e4v [urlbit.us]

Card is certainly entitled to his opinions. However, this ex-fan of his will never be able to read another word of his until he has a change of heart.

Why is it that such great minds like Orson Scott Card, William Shockley, and even Charles Darwin have to have a nasty bigoted side that sullies up what would otherwise be great accomplishments?

The world will never know.

This is what Card writes about his book (1)

changos (105425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791331)

1. Ender in Exile is the first sequel to Ender's Game that is actually centered around Ender Wiggin himself, while he's still a child.

Most of it takes place between chapters 14 and 15 of Ender's Game. It involves characters from the Shadow books, including the mother and son who go off to a space colony at the end of Shadow of the Giant.

So Exile is a sequel to two different books. But you don't have to have read either of them. All the information you need to understand Ender in Exile is contained within the book. If you've read the other Ender books, you'll recognize characters and events -- but it's been tested on readers who've never read an Ender book, and they understood the whole story without a problem.

It's a tale of soldiers who can't go home. They won their war, but they end up so far from Earth that if they tried to return, by the time they got back, everybody they knew and cared about would be dead. What was the point of returning? So they stay and colonize their former enemy's land.

Ender Wiggin is appointed to be governor of such a colony. But because he's still only a child, it is assumed by the captain of the starship carrying him there that Ender will only be a figurehead, while the captain himself becomes the real governor.

That's far from being Ender's only challenge -- for instance, there's the mother who thinks her daughter will be the perfect mate for Ender (that's the Jane Austen portion of the novel), and an alien species that is discovered on the planet before Ender arrives.

I think this may be the best of the Ender novels. It comes out on 11 November in bookstores everywhere.

http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2008-11-02.shtml [hatrack.com]

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow (1)

Shohat (959481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25791445)

Ender's game, and many years later, Ender's Shadow, were two good books.
The other six books, 3 in the original and 3 in the shadow series are written with even less talent that Douglas Adam's later books.
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