Ender's Game: a book report

This here, this is my first science-fiction book report.

My teachers (there are many out there) tell me to have an introductory paragraph, a body of some sort (three paragraphs), and a conclusion. This, the five-paragraph (page) essay. My thoughts don’t organize like that though, so I wrote this my way. And in Carsonation, you can’t edit me (Ha!).

Ender Wiggin: He’s got game. That’s what the title of the book implies anyway. Ender’s Game. I want to say it to you like I think it. It's intimidating.

"G-A-M-E, sinced it's been started I've been in it."

I was asked(?) to read Ender's Game. It was recommended to me, and I take book recomedations serious. I normally don’t read Sci-Fi. Have been told it’s anti-game. You know, chick retractor. But a special lady friend of mine gave it to me, and so I put away the 300-plus page paperback this past week as sort of a tribute to her. By the time I got through with it I found a connection with the book, the girl, this genre. Let me try(?) to explain.

I’m into coming-of-age novels. Like everyone, I’ve read Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Great voice, good narrative, a classic. Bank’s Rule of the Bone: another fantastic, first-person story of which main character I could relate to. Ender’s Game, by best-selling author Orson Scott Card, and winner of the Hugo Award, is the story of a pre-teen boy-genius, who’s special powers include: strategic planning, imagination, quick learning, operating on a low-calorie diet and limited sleep, computer-hacking abilities, and boyish athleticism. (Okay, maybe I can relate.) Ender Wiggin, which seems is recognized as having the ability to rule the universe in the womb, and seen -- with a monitor, mind you -- as the answer to all of Earth’s prayers as a military cosmonaut. Ender is the solution to a problem faced in the year 3030(?) against, you’d never believe it, Buggers.

Growing up, I was taught that picking buggers was a bad habit. I’ve come to realize that everybody gets them. They are a collection of debris that we breathe in. They can sometimes roll down the back of the throat, congregate as phlegm, and be spit out as something I’ll refer to as lugees. Buggers: bad? Or a natural, biological phenomena? Part of our daily lives, for sure. Prescription: Kleenex. Card parially portrays Buggers as the ultimate evil. The universal threat to man’s existence in this fantasy world. I’ll appreciate this creativity. I didn’t think of it, so I’ll read about it, contemplate its possibility(?). Yeah, okay. I’ll picture them (and you should too) as those animated gremlins from that one foot-fungus commercial.

Carefully crafted in the 1970s, (cough, and, Cold. War.), Card, a Mormon/Fascist/Racist/Sexist, attempts in Ender’s Game to incorporate political satire(?). I question this (notice the parenthetical punctuation) because satire – funny and thought provoking – it isn’t. The major flaw in this made-for-mass-market paperback novel is its failure to captivate a literate, politically insightful audience. I’m not about to write here that I’m an expert when it comes to satire, politics, the Russian Red, the political position of this time, or the fantasy world. I do, however, having read a book or two in my day, have the ability to acknowledge when an author has dreamt a story so far out of his own mind’s reach that he can't write his way out of it. In this case the universe is the setting, and Card cannot grasp that far. We can't blame him there. The political spectrum isn’t intergalactic, though, and Card writes his characters (pre-teens!) with worldly, John Locke-like insight. But it's clear he does not have it. For Mr. Card can’t describe political positions what his characters supposedly have. He tells but doesn't show.

As mentioned, I haven’t attempted the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre before – and don’t see myself doing so in the near future, even though I’ve recently acquired other such strippable paperbacks. I’ve heard from others that, with the stars as the setting, authors can and have grasped fantasy bigger imaginations. (I’ll take their word for it.)

There’s an Earth setting in this (no I won’t; yes I have to) novel, and it is Greensboro, North Carolina(!). Why in God’s name does Card make this the relatable setting to us Earthlings? I have no God’s-forsaken idea. It makes sense, however, if you read the forward. This is where he lives. Sheesh, is this the only place he’s lived? Greensboro, somewhere(?) in North Carolina, is out in the middle of nowhere. Okay, my opinion, but there’s woods, and some sort of town-like setting. There’s like a dozen universities there, is what I've read (elsewhere).

There’s one school there that I care about. One the average reader probably hasn’t even heard of. It’s a Quaker and private, liberal arts(?) college. It’s called Guilford, and it’s where this special lady friend of mine, who recommended the book is attending. Now, if you have a map in front of you, or have ever seen an image of the Continental United States you’re thinking: Dang, that’s about as far as two people (I'm in Portland, Ore.) could possibly be.

Clearly you haven’t read Ender’s Game.

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