Last Tuesday Manchester SciFi book club got together to discuss Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. The main characters are three particularly intelligent children who shape the world at the time of conflict with insectiod space aliens known as the Buggers. The main protagonist, Ender Wiggin, is sent off to the Battle School space station where he develops his skills as a strategist. While Ender is unknowingly killing the buggers, his brother and sister, Peter and Valentine, use the blogosphere to gain political power and prevent warring factions from destroying each other on Earth.
Did We Like It?
Whilst some of us may have tried to hate it, the majority of us did enjoy Ender’s Game. That’s not to say it was without fault. Criticisms included uncompelling characters, children who were too self-aware, too many descriptions of battles and a quick ending that felt like it had been tacked on at the end.
The author is a playwright and that came across in the writing style. Initially written as a short story, the first edition of the novel was published in 1985, with a second edition printed in 1991. The second edition contains an introduction which helped readers to understand the circumstances of the characters and the plot. Those of us who had not read this introduction felt that they had not understood the book as well as those of us who had read it. One criticism of the book was that if it had been better written, it would not have need the introduction. It was postulated that Ender’s Game is one of the author’s earlier works and that his writing style has probably improved.
At beginning of each paragraph there was a short conversation by two of the characters controlling Ender’s progress through Battle School. We thought this was not really necessary since Ender was mostly aware of what was going on, however it added extra characters into the story which helped break the battle scene monotony. (more…)