Thursday, May 31

Book: Ender’s Game

This is my first sci-fi book this year. Though I don’t think I did read any sci-fi last year or the year before that. This was recommended by one of my friends, and to my delight, it was a fantastic book.

Ender’s Game follows the story of Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggins, a six year old boy who lives sometime in the future. Earth has gone through two battles with buggers, or insect-looking aliens, and is getting ready for the next invasion. We are introduced to Ender on the day when he has his monitor removed. The monitor, well…. it monitors his actions and behaviour and transmits this to the IF or the International Fleet, the organisation responsible for recruiting commanders for their starships to fight against the buggers.

Being a Third in a United States that only allows two children per family, Ender is always the object of scorn and ridicule, more so now that his monitor has been removed and no one is there to ‘protect’ him. Kids at school bully him and hate him for being the extremely intelligent child that he is. On the day his monitor is removed, Ender gets into a big fight and injures one of the kids badly.

A day after the fight at school, Ender receives a visit from the IF, who take him away to Battle School to begin training for military command. The Battle School is a space station, thus Ender has to leave his family behind. He doesn’t mind it much, as he dislikes his brother Peter, who has such contempt for Ender that he often threatens to kill Ender. However Ender will miss his sister Valentine, as she is the only one that he truly loves and cares for.

At Battle School we follow Ender through his strife and the many obstacles that stand in his way. He goes through a very tough time, even for a six-year-old genius. He is manipulated and pushed to the limit by his teachers. He is shunned and alienated by the other kids. It is here that I find the book most interesting. The tactical strategies of battle that Ender comes up with, the leadership qualities and how he commands respect, the unorthodox ways of teaching and leading his army: these are the things that make the novel great in my opinion.

I love Ender and I feel for him. I understand how harsh and challenging it can be when you’re different. Ender’s intellect, conduct, and his way of thinking and treating others are the things that make me love him so much. I just can’t explain how fantastic and creative and imaginative this novel is. I just love it to bits….

The novel won two awards for Orson Scott Card: the Nebula Award for best novel in 1985, and the Hugo Award for best novel in 1986. The Nebula and the Hugo are the two notable awards in science fiction. Hurray for Orson Scott Card!

Ender’s Game is highly recommended. And just another bit of info, the movie (based on the novel and its parallel novel, Ender’s Shadow) is currently under production. No cast list yet, but you can bet that I will wait to see it.

No comments: