Nerdfighters

Blurbing book club book from 1 January - 31 January 2011.  

Here's a few things you should probably do:

1. Read the book (obviously).

2. Come back to this forum and leave your thoughts about the book. You
can write a sentence, you can write an essay, it doesn't matter,
whatever you want.

3. Blurb the book.
Some of you may not know what a blurb is so allow me to explain: A
blurb is a sentence of 10 words or less, that sums up the book in
question. If you want an example, look on the back (occasionally the
front) of some books lying around your house. Those are blurbs.

Keep in mind that you can also compose lol-cat blurbs if you'd like (the same thing but with internet slang).

 

This book was chosen for January because it's one of my favourite books ever, it's widely available and I hope we can start the New Year off with a great book discussion.

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I read this book last January for a sci-fi book club at my local library.  Last summer, I met a woman who'd named her son Ender.  We instantly became friends. 

I love Ender's Game! The first time I read it, I was like, well, that was sad. And then I read it again and I was like, WOW! That's super depressing. And every time I read it, it gets more and more saddening. I think that Card did an awesome job of portraying the corruption in the government and I really liked how he exposed the talkers in italics at the beginning of the book as it went on. 

I read this and it was terrible. The book is the worst. Simply terrible, for those who don't agree, let me just say that:

a) The author seems to love child nudity, when this book is made into a movie it will be banned as child porn.

b) The book makes way to many leaps of faith, I mean, I can take a few leaps of faith, but this book says that aliens attack so the government is training 6 year-old kids to fight them, and that two 10 year old kids can take over the world by forum posts and blogging.

c) The main (6 years-old kid) character kills another 6 years-old kid, comes home from school, his brother threatens to kill him and his sister in one paragraph, then the kid goes to battle school and breaks a kids arm, sees a naked girl, kills another kid, and does a mass genocide on one species.

d)All kids use vulgar words as measurements. Actual quotes: "He's so small, he could walk beneath my legs and not touch my balls." and "This articles not to bad for two kids who probably only have 8 pubic hairs between them."

Really, if we're gonna rid the world of suck, lets start with this book.

I read it a while ago, and while I respect your opinion, I heartily disagree and would like to explain why.

a) Orson Scott Card was not, I assure you, a pedophile. The scenes of nudity were, if I correctly remember, to exhibit the dehumanization and harsh environment Ender was placed into. At no point did the author launch into detail about children's genitals.

b) It is fictional, but admittedly I did not find much of this hard to believe. Ender is a child prodigy, who they can mold into a super-soldier and strategist, and they train him over the course of a number of years before setting him on the task. The ten year olds are also shown to be geniuses, and any well-crafted writing can influence me, regardless of the author's ages. Certainly there have been young kings and leaders before.

c) He does kill Stilson, yes, Ender is shown to be capable of doing this. Honestly, I could imagine it happening. His brother is shown to be cruel and capable of inflicting harm on others. All of which you describe do happen in the novel, most I could imagine happening, and none require any series suspension of belief.

d) Two instances does not necessarily qualify as "all kids." Yes, there is usage of vulgar language: it is not a book for nuns. It again reflects the harsh environment they were placed in and I can easily see 10-13 year olds saying those things.

Again, I respect your opinion to dislike the book entirely, but I felt some of your points were invalid or based on misinterpretation, and as I quite enjoyed Ender's Game, I felt the need to do it some justice.

To build on what you said David Nica, this is also a military environment. These aren't kids being sent to a school for geniuses to return to society. They are being trained by the military to be in the military. Therefore their 'vulgarities', which I find mild personally, are not at all detrimental to the military environment. There is no need to stop them, so they don't. From one perspective it toughens them up, which would then make them desirable. Since these are children being trained to make adult decisions they will act as adults in many ways.  I actually find the lack of sexuality more unrealistic than these situations presented by David Spencer.  

I agree with David Nica completely on this. Ridding the world of suck should not include this book, because this book was not meant to be completely politically correct.

In many of the situations you describe, you seem to be forgetting that these "kids" are child prodigies that the government is forcing to grow up way to fast.

 

Your point about the violence may hold some credence, I agree that there is a lot of violence in this book, but that is because it is a book about a war. Maybe not the conventional war you have come to expect, but a war nonetheless. And in direct response to your comment about mass genocide of one species, Ender had no idea it was actually happening! He thought he was sticking it to the man, failing their test with style, he did not know that he was actually commanding fighters into battle - actually fighting in the war! He thought that he was still in training, that he was about to pass his final test before they put him in real situations! And do you remember what he does after that, he realizes what he's done and basically goes catatonic. He understands that he's been used and has accidentally killed billions of "buggers" and he is horrified at himself.

Lastly, the leaps of faith you see as insurmountable are also not taking into account the fact that the children are not six years old forever. Ender gets older, as do all the other children, the training may begin at six years old, but that does not mean that the government is sending six year olds into battle or anything like that. The beginning, when they take Ender to battle school, they see the potential he has to be a great battle commander. They don't think he's perfect right then. So they train him, and they use him, until they get what they want. And you're also ignoring the fact that Ender is brilliant. He's not a regular kid and neither are any of the kids he is constantly around, so the rules of regular kids and how they behave cannot actually apply.

 

I respectfully disagree with all of your points, and the reasons why have been enumerated above. I have not addressed all of them, I know, but the ones I have addressed are the ones I feel most strongly about, I think.

DFTBA :)

What I find interesting about this book is that I am torn between wanting to be a genius of that caliber, and wanting to protect these children. Yet as I read it I follow the logic of battle school and find myself agreeing that it is necessary. It pushes my morals.  

Besides being an amazing book, I used it to help my wife overcome feelings of guilt toward things in her past. The idea of fighting to not just win the current fight, but prevent future fights is a challenging on, but one that I think is the best way to go sometimes. Living with it after is hard. You can know something is the right decision and still struggle with it.  

All of the Enderverse books are great. I just wish Orson Scott Card wasn't such a homophobe.

My blurb (is this where we post these things?) Challenge your morals. Just what is right and wrong? 

It was good, but 1st period and already tired + while reading along with the low boring guys voice that was somewhat monotone reader, was the worst! haha.

Even though it is February I am posting anyway because I love this book.

This book left me in awe and wonder and in a puddle, nay ocean, of tears. Tears for humanity, and especially the way humanity is seen through the eyes of a child. I have read it many, many times. It is one of my absolute favorites. And it sent me down the rabbit hole of complex plots, and characters, and universes that is the Enderverse. I am better for it.

Just finished the book :) I fell asleep reading it last night with about 10 pages to go. I love it, the idea, the premise. I had read Orson Scott Card's book on How to Write Sci Fi & Fantasy before reading this, and he talks about coming up with the idea, so I went into the book thinking "I have a bit of an idea what happens here," and then when I actually started to read the book, that didn't matter anymore. Even though I knew that eventually they would realize that they were actually directing squadrons, I conveniently forgot because I was so pulled in by the storyline. And in the end, I was still shocked when the fact that they were actually fighting battles was revealed. Somehow, my brain had allowed me to read the book for what it was and lock any previous knowledge away, so that it wouldn't get in the way of the story. And I think that the book itself, the story, the plot, something about the book, contributed to that. Something about this book pulls you in and makes you forget the outside world. And I like that.

 

Anyway, here's my blurb: When children are weapons, worlds collapse and genocide reigns.

Read it 2 months ago.  It was pretty slow starting out, but it got interesting pretty fast.  I liked the internal conflicts that went on inside Ender's mind... Life, death. Aggression, peace. Reality, perception.  Good book.

Blurb:  Don't send men to do a child's job.

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