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Ender’s Game

Ender's_game_cover_ISBN_0312932081Hollywood has a history of taking blockbuster (extremely popular and successful) fiction novels and turning them into (making from them) blockbuster movies. A recent example was The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins. The film version grossed (earned, before expenses are subtracted) over $680 million worldwide. Another popular novel is being made into a film and will soon be released as a movie: Ender’s Game.

Ender’s Game has some parallels (similar points or characteristics) with The Hunger Games. The protagonist (main character) is a child/teenager rather than an adult, the story is set (takes place) in the future, and the world is in crisis (in a very difficult situation likely to get worse at any moment).

Ender’s Game is a science fiction novel (book set in the future where technology is important) set in a world where an alien race (culture of people who come from another planet) has already attacked the Earth twice, killing many people and causing great destruction (damage). To get ready for a third world war, the government is looking for children to train as soldiers (people who fight in a war). Ultimately (most importantly), they are looking for a child genius (extremely smart person) who can save the world. Ender may be that child.

This may seem like a strange premise (basis for a story), and I’m normally not a reader of science fiction. However, in addition to this being a very exciting and hard-to-put-down (difficult to stop reading because it is so interesting) novel, it is a look at what it takes to train and produce the ultimate (the most; the greatest) soldier, strategist (person who plans actions and policies), and leader.

When the novel begins, Ender Wiggins is only six years old and an extremely intelligent child, who is then manipulated (controlled in a clever and subtle way) to become a tool to use to fight the enemy. Through years of training, we see from Ender’s point of view what happens to him psychologically (in the mind) as a result. It brings up difficult questions such as: “What are we willing to sacrifice to save others?” and “What are we willing to do to ourselves and others to achieve our the most important goals?”

Ender’s Game is sometimes called a young adult novel (novel for teenagers) because the protagonist is a child. But after reading it, I can say that the themes are very much adult themes that have relevance to our world today, and there is nothing childish about the novel. It’s an intelligently and sympathetically (with understanding of what others are feeling) written novel that had me on the edge of my seat (excited, waiting to see what will happen next).

The novel was published in 1985 and has won several prestigious (well-respected) awards for best science fiction, including the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. If you like Ender’s Game, the author Orson Scott Card has written a number of sequels (continuing books that follow the same story).

The film is set to (scheduled to) be released in November here in the U.S. If you get a chance, I highly recommend reading the novel. I’m glad I did.

~ Lucy

Image Credit: Ender’s game cover  from Wikipedia

13 Responses to “Ender’s Game”

  1. Dan Says:

    Thank you Lucy.

    Downloading a sample for the Kindle right now.

    I am going to read it next week. I am having a week off.

    Bye

  2. emiliano Says:

    Well Lucy, that´s my point of view. I love science fiction books from the age of 15?, may be so more or less.

    One of last blogs was about this subject, and I love novels of the good authors like Orson Scott Card, in fact I have read the book twice several years ago like too much other from him like the saga of Alvin, seven books I think, first of them is “Seven Son” and second “Red Profet”, one of the best of course it is Ender´s Game but also “Song Master” it is incredible a good, very good book.
    Ender´s Game have some other books, it is a saga also, but they are not so good as the first. Sorry Lucy, but I have read them too year ago.

    Lucy you may know that OrsonScott Card great-great-grandfather was Brigham Young, an important leader in the Latter Day Saint movement, and all of Card’s ancestors from at least three generations have been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). His ancestors include several other figures notable in the LDS Church, including the Cardston colony founder Charles Ora Card.
    As such, his faith has been a source of inspiration and influence for both his writing and his personal views.

    Some how his novels has a strong feeling about faith, religión, ethic, human rights, and so forth.

    I have been interested in this writer also because my daughter Eva loves all his books, and she have read all of them. Some time she rocomended some of his books to his mother Cuca and me.

    Of course that first responsable of her science fiction reading taste have been her fater Emiliano, as he had several, hundred. of books about this kind of literatura that I liked so much when I was a Young boy and a your man.

    Another good, very good writer whose novels have gone to be made several good movies is Phil K. Dick., just I could mentioned three or four movies made on his books here:

    Blade Runner (1982), based on Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,
    Total Recall (1990), based on the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”,
    Screamers (1995), based on Dick’s short story “Second Variety”,
    Minority Report (2002), based on Dick’s short story of “The Minority Report”, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise.
    Next (2007), directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Nicolas Cage, loosely based on the short story “The Golden Man”.

    and several more……Yes, I am a maniatic about these subjects……Sorry Lucy, you have pushed my heart.

    Greetings and good novel readings, now in English if you are in good disposition.
    All this novels, less Alvin Saga, were read in Spanish for me, such a pity, and of course all the movies have been seen for the crazy
    Emiliano mor tan once.

    Good wishes, emiliano

  3. emiliano Says:

    Sorry Lucy and friend, writing so fast I have made several mistakes.
    To much to say about this, one of my favorite topics for years and years.
    Remember Ray Bradbury´s fan was me from long, the same as Isaac Asimov
    “I Robot” and lot of novels from him.
    But other older one were C.Simack, Robert Heinlen, John Sturgeon, Alfred Bester, ….and
    so forth.

    Remember and old, very old movie about a man who is going small every momento….
    The Incredible Shrinking Man. of Richard Mathenson, the same writer than
    wrote “I Am Legend” taken place in Los Angeles, California, afterward a movie
    of Will Smith.

    Of course the movie is worst than the book, as nearly always, you know it quite
    well dear Lucy.

    By the way, I think that Stephanie Meyer, like Orson Scot Card is also from the
    same believers, she is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
    Mormons, and in her novels are some similar ideas than in the Orson S. Card.

    Inredible that two of them have same religión and live in Arizona lot of years.

    Sorry, enough for today, I have the Word and don´t stop.

    Bye friends. emiliano

  4. Hamid Says:

    Hi Dr. Lucy
    I come back to this best site. I like your style of teaching, especially your blog.
    About this blog, I think, it’s better to see a novel on movie rather than book. I think it is more interesting.
    I like to write you more. But it’s too late and I’m so tired.
    Again, thank you Dr. Lucy for your good topics.
    Hamid (IRAN)

  5. Parviz Says:

    Dear Lucy,
    Thanks for great overview.
    I am busy today, and I had decided I wouldn’t have to read ESL blog. Granted, your post is very exciting, somehow hard to put down. I can’t resist reading it.
    I would like to read the book, though I am not into science fiction.
    When I was a teenager, I would like nothing more than reading novels. but, To tell you the truth, I haven’t read any science fiction to date.
    I don’t like science fictions on the premise that they deals with imagination rather than what might actually happen to people. Neither do I like to see people in disaster.
    It’s good that Ender would finally save the world, but it makes me sad that we are always in the fight with ourselves or the aliens.
    Thanks,
    Parviz

  6. Parviz Says:

    Hi
    Me again
    Interestingly enough I came across a very short science fiction today.
    a small group of students undertake a group project for their science class. One of them, Lee, has trouble writing his part.
    He thinks his group would fail because he is under working on his job. his share is to make a model of planet Mars.
    Finally, and alien came to help him. He took Lee with himself. Shewed Lee the universe and Planet Mars. He helped Lee get the Idea.
    Way back home Lee made the model. He finally went back home happy, thinking that their project would be the best.
    Thank you,
    Parviz

  7. Wang Says:

    Dear all!

    In my country, up to 75% of blockbusters, which are undeniable coming from The US, are fighting movies. I don’t know why all of my friends, they are craving for those violent movies

    After several times I turned up their invitations, I felt bored. I think it is not in my interest of being bombarding by loud noise. To be candid, I came along my friends merely because I treasure

    our fellowship. In my thoughts, we all have enough troubles in life, so why don’t we seek something that is funnier, more hilarious or at least tenderer to lighten up our days. I brought up the question

    to my friends a couple times and asked them to try out other themes, they seemed don’t like the idea.

    But honestly, sometimes I also went to bookshops, looked up for those novels and headed back home then devoured as fast as I could. However, I prefer novels those are also taken into

    some historical marks…right now, I’m reading Vienna Prelude from Bodie & Brock Thoene. It is a novel about love, religion but it also provides me a picture of Nazi at that moment too.

    Yeap, I’d like to settle back into my chairs, read the book while dunking a small cookie into my mug of cocoa. relax…I wonder occasionally whether or not other people have a similar feeling like mine

    while turning the pages. I feel like I get into another world…put down all of duties, leave all of troubles behind my back at the moment, I just dig deeper and deeper into holding books :D and the more

    time I spend to read it, the more likely it become a hard to put down book :D

    Best regard!

    Wang

  8. emiliano Says:

    Dear Wang,
    There are people like you, be sure about that, Reading a book you like it is one of the best pleasures any
    persons who likes to read could have.
    You have said it perfectly well and very clear. Congratulations.
    I do feel the same for years, Cuca do the same but either my daughters too, may be because they have
    seen us doing it and enjoying reading books as the best.

    Slowly your mind goes wider and it is opened to other cultures, feelings, and different times of history.

    Good wishes, emiliano

  9. Jesus P Says:

    Hello Lucy,

    In the future we´ll see, and our children, and grandchildren will see things that today
    may be called unbelievable, but nothing strange that what happens in the story of the
    novel Ender’s Game, will happen in the future. Thanks for sharing this story.

    If the movie will be released in November in US, I think that I will see it about in the
    first months of next year, that´s what usually takes for a movie to be released here.

    Today I was reading an article about a billionaire man from Russia, who is working
    along with scientists to be able to live forever, that´s right, be immortal. What they
    are working on is creating a technology in which the human body can be created as
    an avatar and your mind will be putted somehow in it, and you will be able to live for
    many years, maybe forever. That´s something really unbelievable! Here´s a link to
    his video:
    [Link removed according to ESL Podcast policy. Search YouTube for “Dmitry Itskov on the Philosophy of Immortality.”]

    Thanks,

    Jesus P.

  10. Dan Says:

    Hi there,

    Bought it today after reading a sample. It was quite cheap, only 5 US dollar.

    Thanks

  11. Lassana Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks Lucy for this funny topic.

    I like some much blockbuster movies. I think it’s because I’m still a child. I had saw many of them such as Wolverine, transformers, superman and so forth.

    I think that currently it’s Marvel Production which is the best producer of these kind of movies.

    Besides I’d like to go to the cinema this week end with one of my friends to see the last Wolverine ;-)

    See you soon !

  12. Wang Says:

    Dear emiliano!

    Thank you for your compliments. Sometimes i can get to the peak

    but most of the time i fall down haha. I appreciate your notes and would like to

    take ít as a motivation to keep moving on!

    best regard!

    Wang

  13. Peter Says:

    Yup
    I saw its preview yesterday on the trail before the actual movie started
    It will be released this coming November
    Staring Harrison Ford
    It is gonna be the beginning of a series of movies

    Cool