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Book Clubbing

Introduction

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

Title

Movie

Author

Orson Scott Card

©Terry Manier

Author Interview

About the Book

Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the "buggers", an insectoid alien species. In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult games including some in zero gravity, where Ender's tactical genius is revealed.

Ender's Game. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender's_Game

About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools. His most recent series, the young adult Pathfinder series (Pathfinder, Ruins, Visitors) and the fantasy Mithermages series (Lost Gate, Gate Thief, Gatefather) are taking readers in new directions.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts, including his "freshened" Shakespeare scripts for Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Merchant of Venice.
Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.
Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, where his primary activities are writing a review column for the local Rhinoceros Times and feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possums, and raccoons on the patio.

About Orson Scott Card. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.hatrack.com/osc/about.shtml

Website: http://www.hatrack.com

twitter: @orsonscottcard

Discussion Questions

  1. Is childhood a right? Does a person robbed of a "normal" childhood have any possibility of stability as an adult? Does Ender have any chance of living "happily ever after"?
  2. The Buggers communicate telepathically using no identifiable external means of communication. Was it inevitable that war would have to occur when two sentient species met but were unable to communicate?
  3. Card has stated that "children are a perpetual, self-renewing underclass, helpless to escape from the decisions of adults until they become adults themselves." Does Ender's Game prove or disprove this opinion?
  4. The government in Ender's world plays a huge role in reproductive decisions, imposing financial penalties and social stigma on families who have more than two children but exerting pressure on specific families who show great generic potential to have a "third" like Ender. Is government ever justified in involving itself in family planning decisions? Why or why not?
  5. Is genocide, or in the case of Ender's Game where an entire alien race is annihilated, xenocide, ever justified? Was the xenocide of the buggers inevitable?
  6. Ender's Game has often been cited as a good book to read by readers who are not fans of science fiction. Why does it appeal to both fans of science fiction and those who do not usually read science fiction?
  7. Peter appears to be the personification of evil, but as Locke, acts as a good person. How does Card treat the concept of good versus evil in Ender's Game?
  8. In their thoughts, speech, and actions Card describes children in terms not usually attributed to children. In the introduction to Ender's Game he states that he never felt like a child. "I felt like a person all along -- the same person that I am today. I never felt that my emotions and desires were somehow less real than an adult's emotions and desires." Do contemporary teens feel this same way? Do only gifted children feel this way or is it a universal feeling?

Research Area - Hatrack River - The Official Web Site of Orson Scott Card. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.hatrack.com/research/teachers/endersgame.shtml

Awards, Nominations, etc.

Ender's Game won the 1985 Nebula Award for best novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for best novel.