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  1. #1
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Toonzone Sci-Fi/Fantasy Reading Group Book 4: "Ender's Game" Talkback (Spoilers)

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    Ender's Game
    Written by Orson Scott Card




    "It's the teachers, they're the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other."



    "Card has taken the venerable sf concepts of a superman and interstellar war against aliens, and, with superb characterization, pacing, and language, combined them into a seamless story of compelling power. This is Card at the height of his very considerable powers - a major SF novel by any reasonable standards."
    - Booklist

    Welcome to the Week 1 of reading "Ender's Game". Discussion will be confined to the Introduction and Chapters 1 thru 4. Every chapter beyond that should not be discussed until next week.

    Comments?!

  2. #2
    Darklordavaitor's Avatar
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    GREAT book. I never was able to get around to reading the rest of the series, though. I'll try to look for a collection and I'll reread the first with you guys before delving into the sequels.

  3. #3
    Gatomon41's Avatar
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    I have to say this of the cover art (which is the same as mine own copy): That is so beautiful

    It may or may not have anything to do with the book, but it communicates awe enough to attract the reader.
    He is Risen.

    "Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila

  4. #4
    Gatomon41's Avatar
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    Talk about fast paced, Card's narrative flows fast and smoothly. While it lacks detailed descriptions of the environment, the author targets what he wants the characters to understand: the characters, what they live with, and what will change. The narrative never slows.

    The first chapters set up the stage, presenting Ender. Already we thrown in how different his world is from ours: The world is under threat and the world is authoritarian, and mankind endangered.

    We also see Ender's life. For a story about kids, it get's pretty violent and cruel. Ender can really kick butt if he wanted to, but also seems conflicted. He doubts himself, have issues with his siblings, he's always thinking about his actions. Ender is strange, isolated, and gifted...all the traits of a science fiction hero.
    He is Risen.

    "Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila

  5. #5
    Gatomon41's Avatar
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    One knows the future is in a bad spot if you have to train officers since they were elementary kids.
    He is Risen.

    "Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila

  6. #6
    Aquadementia's Avatar
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    Chapters 1-4
    Just picked it up and it reads pretty easy.

    If Ender showed anything it's that he knows how to finish a fight.

    They seem to credit their victory in the last war entirely to military tactics.
    With all the effort they put into looking for the next great leader I wonder how well they are cultivating talent in other areas.
    Maybe military genius is something that can be drilled into you at an isolated academy, but to be a genius in the field of science or statesmanship need to grow free range.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gatomon41 View Post
    One knows the future is in a bad spot if you have to train officers since they were elementary kids.
    Identifying talent early is one thing. Sticking a kid in a career path early can make them hate it, especially when they are removed from their families without so much as a Christmas vacation.
    But what really comes off desperate is how they monitor their brains to pick out good candidates.

    Stop by the Fun & Games Board.
    It's like dropping anvils on the ducks of your imagination
    Now with
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  7. #7
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Sorry, I meant to refresh this topic last night, but got busy.

    Non-spoiler post!

    "Ender's Game" Week 2!

    Welcome to the 2nd week of discussion for this book. Discussion can now be expanded to cover Chapters 5 thru 7, as well as continued discussion from Week 1. Everything beyond Chapter 7 is spoilers and should not be discussed yet!

    NOTE: I'm only up to Chapter 3 myself, but I've read this before (twice!), and it's all a refresher course for me. Still, I suspect we're all behind, so I will not update this thread again next Monday. Instead, we'll do "Week 3" two Mondays from now! Maybe by then we'll be ready to discuss Chapters 8 and 9 for Week 3! And maybe by then we'll hear from some people that haven't joined in to the discussion yet!

    But for now, so what do you guys think so far?!?

  8. #8
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    So as I mentioned previously, I've read this book twice. Not to date myself, but if I recall right, the first time was around 8th or 9th grade, around 1990 or 91. Or it may have been 7th grade around '89. For the record, those were also the years when I first read "Lord of the Rings" AND all of the "Chronicles of Narnia". Good, good times, all around. The second time I read it was shortly after high school ended, around '95 or '96. So that's been over 15 years ago now, but I'm finding that I still remember this novel distinctly.

    This was the 1st time I ever read the intro by the writer, by the way, but as was discussed in the intro, while this was a novel written for adults, you'd be surprised at how many kids loved this book! I would say that for the last half of the 80's and the early 90's, I think this was the book of a generation. It's no wonder that it came in at 3rd place on the list of "Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books of All Time!"

    I won't say too much more yet, but to my young "fantasy/video game" loving mind, Chapter 5 of this novel is where things really started to pick up, for me.

  9. #9
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    Recent affairs have keep me from getting on the computer and posting, or reading for that matter. But I'm almost done with the book. I'll post what I think latter.
    He is Risen.

    "Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila

  10. #10
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Sorry, I should've updated this last week...as it stands now, I'll update this for this week AND last week.

    Non-spoiler post!

    "Ender's Game" Week 3 and 4!

    Welcome to the 3rd (and 4th) week of discussion for this book. Discussion can now be expanded to cover Chapters 8 through 11, as well as continued discussion from Weeks 1 and 2. Everything beyond Chapter 11 is spoilers and should not be discussed yet!

    So what do you guys think so far?!?

  11. #11
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    So I was basically reading through the opening chapters...and more and more, it occurred to me that I remember the events of every single chapter, I don't need a refresher course. I've read this twice before, I pretty much have the events of the book memorized. And with my daily life schedule being pretty full, I decided to stop reading it.

    Having said that, I will certainly continue to participate in discussion (as I know all of the events of the book). That is, if anyone else here will actually discuss it. Where are all the other people who said they were going to be joining in on reading this book!!?

  12. #12
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    Sorry Wonderfly I was hoping to post more thoughts on the book, but the Summer has been unexpectedly busy. I was hoping for more time, but sadly the month has been swamped. And likely that's what happened to other readers: The Summer is in full swing, and they found themselves caught up with it.

    Here's a few things I wanted to mention: My own childhood was rather sheltered, and I was very shy. So reading about the cruelty and violence of the kids in the book is startling. Granted, it's not nightmarish, but I wonder how much it reflects how children act.

    Another thing I noticed is the relationships. I didn't think much about friendship with my class mates that much as a kid. They were just there, and I tried being friendly as much I could. I never got bullied, or thrust into the politics Ender finds himself when he starts off in his Launch group.

    The only time I really disliked someone was a troubled kid, and looking back, I think I only disliked him was because he stood out. Sadly, one does realize that kids can be shallow or petty.

    I can understand Ender's own struggle with his family relations. He still wonders about Peter and what he said. It's strange, but I've done the same as a kid. My older brother was such an influence on my life, I almost did everything the same he did.

    As for the games, it's rather interesting. The Giant's Drink comes to mind, which seems to be just a fantasy free play. Yet the mysterious observers seem very interested in Ender's actions. I'm guessing they might have a plan for Ender, and it's important.
    He is Risen.

    "Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila

  13. #13
    Gatomon41's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquadementia View Post
    Chapters 1-4
    Just picked it up and it reads pretty easy.

    If Ender showed anything it's that he knows how to finish a fight.
    Not just finish it, but to end the next dozen or so.

    They seem to credit their victory in the last war entirely to military tactics.
    With all the effort they put into looking for the next great leader I wonder how well they are cultivating talent in other areas.
    Considering that their last War was won with inadequate numbers and technology by a military genius, it's a good idea to have one.

    Granted, most wars are decided by the technology, production, morale, military and civil policy and other trends. Any of those factors can really decide who wins or not. But one should be aware that individuals can still have a great impact on those trends.

    Speaking of military genius, this is a favorite convention in science fiction. Ever since "Dorsai", Military Science Fiction is filled with super-Generals, who win using superior tactics against a greater foe. My own favorite of them: Grand Admiral Thrawn of Star Wars.

    Identifying talent early is one thing. Sticking a kid in a career path early can make them hate it, especially when they are removed from their families without so much as a Christmas vacation.
    But what really comes off desperate is how they monitor their brains to pick out good candidates.
    Yeah. The only reason why anyone would live under such authoritarian conditions is because the other side is far worse.
    He is Risen.

    "Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila

  14. #14
    EroSennin's Avatar
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    I'll post my thoughts on the book after everyone is finished. I ended up reading the whole book in about 3 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatomon41 View Post
    Speaking of military genius, this is a favorite convention in science fiction. Ever since "Dorsai", Military Science Fiction is filled with super-Generals, who win using superior tactics against a greater foe. My own favorite of them: Grand Admiral Thrawn of Star Wars.
    Legend of the Galactic Heroes did it the best. Ender would give Reinhard and Wang a run for their money.
    "Winter is coming." "Bango Skank was here." "The enemy gate is down" "Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain."

  15. #15
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EroSennin
    I'll post my thoughts on the book after everyone is finished. I ended up reading the whole book in about 3 days.
    So is that what we've got with this reading group: half of us can read an entire novel in 3 days, and the other half of us have trouble completing it in the 5 or 6 weeks assigned?

    Well, we've got two more weeks for this novel, so we can discuss the entire thing after that (unless everyone speaks up and says they're finished)...

    Legend of the Galactic Heroes did it the best. Ender would give Reinhard and Wang a run for their money.
    Not to get too sidetracked, but did that have a different name when it was released in the U.S.? WAS it ever released in the U.S.? How come I've never heard of this anime?!? I knew all of the great sci-fi 80's animes back in the day (here's looking at you, Robotech)...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatomon41
    As for the games, it's rather interesting. The Giant's Drink comes to mind, which seems to be just a fantasy free play. Yet the mysterious observers seem very interested in Ender's actions. I'm guessing they might have a plan for Ender, and it's important.
    "The Giant's Drink" and that whole video game sequence: when I was a teenager first reading this book (in the late 80's or early '90s) I thought: THIS is what video games will be like someday! Total free format, to do whatever you want. And then a decade later, along came "Everquest", and I thought the days of Ender's world were here at last...

    Seriously though, I'm wondering if this was the first novel that depicted video games in such a manner (something like what is now referred to as "MMORPG").

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderfly View Post
    Not to get too sidetracked, but did that have a different name when it was released in the U.S.? WAS it ever released in the U.S.? How come I've never heard of this anime?!? I knew all of the great sci-fi 80's animes back in the day (here's looking at you, Robotech)...
    It was never released over in the US. It's a shame, because it's truly one of the great space opera anime series.

  17. #17
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Non-spoiler post!

    "Ender's Game" Week 5!

    Welcome to the 5th week of discussion for this book. Discussion can now be expanded to cover Chapters 12 and 13, as well as continued discussion from Weeks 1 thru 4. Everything beyond Chapter 13 is spoilers and should not be discussed yet!

    We're nearing the home stretch for this novel, gang! So what do you guys think so far?!?

  18. #18
    Aquadementia's Avatar
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    It's a good book.
    I'm looking to get back on track. Doing a couple chapters a day with a write up.
    Looks like I went one over for week 2.

    Chapters 5-8

    Quite prophetic computer technology. His desktop hardly is science fiction anymore.
    The trick with user names is a good one for today.
    The Giantís Drink was no doubt a bit shocking when it was first written. I suppose the way he finally killed him is still a bit gory. I was expecting him to find a way to get the giant to drink first or something. Instead he made a sort of InuYasha type trip.

    The most important lesson Ender has to learn at school is that life is completely unfair.
    He is making a complete shambles of their games, which is what they are there for. Most of the tactics he learned are things that should have been taught. It sounds more like play then top gun training. But the real lesson is independent thinking.

    The most clever part was how he got revenge on a bully, diffused his power and even turned him into an ally, and he didnít even have to break another arm.
    Even in a hyper competitive environment he was somewhat lucky to make a few friends.
    Whatís interesting is how he isnít seeking power, and doesnít believe himself popular enough to be accepted as a leader, yet has nearly restructured the whole school in pursuing his own training needs.

    Stop by the Fun & Games Board.
    It's like dropping anvils on the ducks of your imagination
    Now with
    Caption My Avatar! Caption Your Avatar!

    Questions Only as seen on TV
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  19. #19
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Non-spoiler post!

    "Ender's Game" Week 6!

    Welcome to the 6th week of discussion for this book. Discussion can now be expanded to cover THE ENTIRE NOVEL!!

    I know some of our readers are still a bit behind, but we welcome them to post on the chapters they have read. But for anyone out there that has read the entire novel, SO WHAT DID YOU THINK?!?

  20. #20
    Aquadementia's Avatar
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    Chapters 9-11

    We get the return of Valentine and Peter to the story.
    Peter has gotten even worse, having gone through what today is widely regarded as a serial killers childhood phase.

    Itís disappointing to see Valentine give in and become the voice for an argument she doesnít believe. Looks like Peter has set her up as an ideological straw man so he can swoop in like a hero to defeat, claim her grass roots following and simultaneously discredit his sister.
    Not only that, but it looks like he found a way to insert himself into Enders fantasy game as a way to get to him. He had to be incredibly jealous that Ender made it and he didnít. Thatís probably whatís driving his world domination scheme.

    And did Valentine get an award or a slap in the face? Hereís a piece of paper saying you got our
    most prestigious medal. You canít tell anyone about it and read this quick, itís already on fire to erase all evidence.

    Ender finally gets his own army and has the deck stacked against him every way they can think of.
    Itís a really strange way to structure games. The fact that the war videos are there for propaganda only and have all strategy and tactics edited out means that they arenít really preparing to fight against the Buggers, but each other. Maybe itís not until after they turn 12 when theyíve picked out the best that they start with "know thy enemy" training.

    Funny that as a hedge against becoming over confident he appoints Bean to come up with stupid tactics to keep him on his toes.

    Stop by the Fun & Games Board.
    It's like dropping anvils on the ducks of your imagination
    Now with
    Caption My Avatar! Caption Your Avatar!

    Questions Only as seen on TV
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