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Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (1977)

by Orson Scott Card

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
34,23493341 (4.32)1109
Child-hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.
Recently added byrena40, Parhy, MASP, private library, JulianaMD, Shimi-Meow, Garden., yulischeidt
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  1. 476
    Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card (Patangel)
  2. 395
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (ekissel)
  3. 282
    Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card (sturlington)
    sturlington: I thought the second book in the series was actually better than the first.
  4. 243
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (5hrdrive)
  5. 212
    Old Man's War by John Scalzi (ohdio, jlynno84)
    ohdio: This book contains a lot of action, while still maintaining a nice human element.
  6. 112
    The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (Aquila, EatSleepChuck)
    EatSleepChuck: Both main characters are kids who make up for their meek physical stature with cleverness and perception to rise up the ranks of military. Ender's Game is noticeably darker, however.
  7. 159
    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (mariah2)
  8. 72
    The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: testing a kid for the greater good of the world
  9. 72
    The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Livesinthestars)
    Livesinthestars: Both fantastic books about a future in which gifted children are used without their consent to attempt to save their world.
  10. 84
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (Death_By_Papercut)
  11. 30
    Psion by Joan D. Vinge (SockMonkeyGirl)
  12. 30
    Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks (BrynDahlquis)
    BrynDahlquis: Both books are about child geniuses, though the setting and stories are quite different.
  13. 41
    Hot Sleep by Orson Scott Card (ostgut)
  14. 31
    The White Mountains by John Christopher (mcenroeucsb, mcenroeucsb)
  15. 20
    Chaos Walking: The Complete Trilogy by Patrick Ness (natzlovesyou)
    natzlovesyou: Both explore a "child"'s innocent yet perceptive take on a changing world in which so many things have gone wrong and no one can differentiate who to trust from who to blame. The worlds these authors have created send you both literally and metaphorically into outer space, to handle and ponder the implications of a world about to autodestruct and an alien species whose role in the future of humanity has or will be decisive.… (more)
  16. 31
    Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card (Scottneumann)
  17. 20
    Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon (jlynno84)
  18. 10
    The Burning of Cherry Hill by A K Butler (Amanda.Richards)
  19. 21
    Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein (5hrdrive)
  20. 10
    Insignia by S. J. Kincaid (kaledrina)

(see all 38 recommendations)

1980s (29)

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» See also 1109 mentions

English (907)  Spanish (9)  French (6)  Italian (3)  Latin (1)  Icelandic (1)  German (1)  All languages (928)
Showing 1-5 of 907 (next | show all)
So nice to read it again. I suppose I can point to this book as being one of the very first to open my eyes to just how much can be accomplished in SF.

I mean, sure, I first read Chriton's Sphere right after King's Tommyknockers so I was feeling the love already, but Ender's Game set a new standard in readability, emotional impact, and sheer cussed F***ed-up-ness.

Since then, I've read over twenty novels that shared echoes of this novel. And yet, I keep coming back to this and its companion, Speaker for the Dead, glorying in the wonder of all these little pieces coming together in plots both interesting, tragic, and wonderful.

This is one of those rare cases where popularity is not unfounded. A great tale meets great acclaim.

I can rank this up near Dune as one of my most beloved novels of all time. No question about it.

Do I pity Ender? Hell, yes. But more than that:

I admire him. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
DNF at 35% ( )
  RajLT | May 28, 2020 |
I was twenty when I first read “Ender’s Game” back in 1987. I was completely absorbed in it., turning the pages eagerly to know what would happen next and being shocked, even outraged, when I understood the sustained deceit and betrayal on which the book was based.

Twenty-six years later, I decided to listen to the audio book version. It was a delight. The narrators give it the feel of a radio play without missing a word of the original prose.

Perhaps because I knew the ending or perhaps because I am older, this time my attention was caught by the sadness of the book. Ender is almost always alone, almost always being pushed into situations where none of his options are good, and always burdened by the knowledge the choices that he takes change who he is. I was also more sympathetic to the adults who do the terrible things that shape Ender’s fate; knowing that they are terrible, necessary and unforgiveable. Ender’s assailed innocence and the compromised integrity of the adults are a lesson it what it means to be “grown up” and why children deserve to have time to be children.

The book focuses relentlessly on the violence we are willing to commit and the “sins” we are willing to live with in order to survive. It doesn’t glorify these things but it doesn’t diminish them either. It tackles what it means to be different and how often an inability to communicate turns difference into conflict.

At its heart, “Ender’s Game” tells us that all games are real, all choices matter, everything that creates an enemy has a consequence. What makes the book remarkable is that it tackles all this while doing a good job of seeing the world through the eyes of a (very bright) vulnerable, lonely, child who is equally gifted with empathy and ruthlessness.

Re-reading the book more than twenty years on adds other points of interest: Card’s imagining of the role of the web, the “desks” the children work on and the concept of war executed by tele-presence are all pleasingly accurate. This time round I was very aware that the ending of the book felt like an add-on to set up “Speaker for the Dead” – which I also read twenty-six years ago.- whereas, on the first read, I saw it as a slightly clumsy effort at redemption. The audio book includes an interview with Card, where he explains that he did indeed rewrite the ending and how that came about. I now find Card’s politics a little thin and unconvincing – too American to be truly global- but I found the way he writes Ender’s sister much more moving than before.

The movie will be out soon here in Europe. I don’t have high hopes of it, although I’ll watch it all the same. In my view, the most entertaining and engaging way to experience “Ender’ Game” is to listen to this audio version. I recommend it to you.
( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
This is excellent!

Brilliant, horrifying, and beautiful by turns. Honestly, I feel gutted, as though someone has shattered me and only partially put me back together.

Ender Wiggin is a brilliant child, training to save the world from the Formac, the "buggers." (Knowing what I know now about the author's rather blatant homophobia, I find this name ironic. I did not purchase this book, but was given it by a friend.)

I agree with people who say that it's terrible to think that young children can think the way Ender does in this novel, but I also agree with OSC that children do in fact think like this, especially when they are gifted, precocious, and isolated. Reading this book created the same kind of discomfort I experienced reading the Canadian book When Everything Feels Like the Movies. Fifth graders can be cruel, and kind, and have flashes of insight that change the world.

I found the depiction of religion moving, and there was a certain kind of Mormon trajectory to the religion of the colonies that I found intriguing (speaking as a gay, Protestant Christian theologian).

The movie (finally available on Netflix--I've been waiting for years, it feels like!) was what sucked me into this world--why did it take me so long? I will return, and read the rest of the series. (Hopefully by buying it used--sorry Mr. Card. If you ever recant your homophobic statements, I'll consider buying all your books.) ( )
  Kharisma1980 | May 5, 2020 |
Kept my interest - and Ender's challenges were tough and consistent - and then it all became resolved so fast that it feels like it feel apart. New ender without challenges was not as interesting. ( )
  leebill | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 907 (next | show all)
I am aware that this sounds like the synopsis of a grade Z, made-for-television, science-fiction-rip-off movie. But Mr. Card has shaped this unpromising material into an affecting novel full of surprises that seem inevitable once they are explained. The key, of course, is Ender Wiggin himself. Mr. Card never makes the mistake of patronizing or sentimentalizing his hero.

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Card, Orson Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birney, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuir, Gabrielle DeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemoine, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubinstein, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Geoffrey,
Who makes me remember
How young and how old
Children can be
First words
"I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one."
And then a worse fear, that he was a killer, only better at it than Peter ever was; that it was this very trait that pleased the teachers.
Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.
-- Valentine Wiggin
Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf. Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it.
Remember, the enemy's gate is down.
[P]ower will always end up with the sort of people who crave it....
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This is the novel form of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Please do not combine the original novella or the movie to this work, as each are uniquely different entities.
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Ender Wiggin is a very bright young boy with a powerful skill. One of a group of children bred to be military geniuses and save Earth from an inevitable attack by aliens, known here as "buggers," Ender becomes unbeatable in war games and seems poised to lead Earth to triumph over the buggers. Meanwhile, his brother and sister plot to wrest power from Ender. Twists, surprises and interesting characters elevate this novel into status as a bona fide page turner.
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