Ender's Game (Ender Quintet Series #1)by Orson Scott Card
Once again, the Earth is under attack. Alien "buggers" are poised for a final assault. The survival of the human species depends on a military genius who can defeat the buggers. But who? Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battleschool. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. In simulated war games he excels. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battleschool is just a game. Right?
Gr 7 Up
This new young adult edition of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens, includes an original postscript by the author in which he discusses the origins of the novel is all about leadership. The novel asks: What does it take to successfully lead men into battle? The buggers have invaded Earth twice. The last time mankind survived only because of the brilliance of Mazer Rackham, commander of the International Fleet. Years later, a third invasion is feared and a new commander is sought. Ender Wiggin is only six years old when he is plucked to succeed Rackham and sent to the space station Battle School. He is isolated, ridiculed, bullied, and persecuted-but he survives and thrives. Using his astonishing intelligence, the boy learns to be a top-notch solider and, despite his youth and small stature, is quickly promoted up the ranks. By the age of 12, Ender learns the art of command and earns the respect and fear of his fellow soldiers. This audio version was created in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the novel and it's a gem. The audiobook is narrated by a full cast. Stefan Rudniki is particularly good as Ender. Despite Ender's age, this is not a children's novel. Its profound themes (and mild profanity) call for intelligent teens who appreciate a complex novel.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK
Read an Excerpt
ENDERS GAME (Chapter 1)
"I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."
"That's what you said about the brother."
"The brother tested out impossible. For other reasons. Nothing to do with his ability."
"Same with the sister. And there are doubts about him. He's too malleable. Too willing to submerge himself in someone else's will."
"Not if the other person is his enemy."
"So what do we do? Surround him with enemies all the time?"
"If we have to."
"I thought you said you liked this kid."
"If the buggers get him, they'll make me look like his favorite uncle."
"All right. We're saving the world, after all. Take him."
The monitor lady smiled very nicely and tousled his hair and said, "Andrew, I suppose by now you're just absolutely sick of having that horrid monitor. Well, I have good news for you. That monitor is going to come out today. We're going to take it right out, and it won't hurt a bit."
Ender nodded. It was a lie, of course, that it wouldn't hurt a bit. But since adults always said it when it was going to hurt, he could count on that statement as an accurate prediction of the future. Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.
"So if you'll just come over here, Andrew, just sit right up here on the examining table. The doctor will be in to see you in a moment."
The monitor gone. Ender tried to imagine the little device missing from the back of his neck. I'll roll over on my back in bed and it won't be pressing there. I won't feel it tingling and taking up the heat when I shower.
And Peter won't hate me anymore. I'll come home and show him that the monitor's gone, and he'll see that I didn't make it, either. That I'll just be a normal kid now, like him. That won't be so bad then. He'll forgive me that I had my monitor a whole year longer than he had his. We'll be
Not friends, probably. No, Peter was too dangerous. Peter got so angry. Brothers, though. Not enemies, not friends, but brothersable to live in the same house. He won't hate me, he'll just leave me alone. And when he wants to play buggers and astronauts, maybe I won't have to play, maybe I can just go read a book.
But Ender knew, even as he thought it, that Peter wouldn't leave him alone. There was something in Peter's eyes, when he was in his mad mood, and whenever Ender saw that look, that glint, he knew that the one thing Peter would not do was leave him alone. I'm practicing piano, Ender. Come turn the pages for me. Oh, is the monitor boy too busy to help his brother? Is he too smart? Got to go kill some buggers, astronaut? No, no, I don't want your help. I can do it on my own, you little bastard, you little Third.
"This won't take long, Andrew," said the doctor.
"It's designed to be removed. Without infection, without damage. But there'll be some tickling, and some people say they have a feeling of something missing. You'll keep looking around for something, something you were looking for, but you can't find it, and you can't remember what it was. So I'll tell you. It's the monitor you're looking for, and it isn't there. In a few days that feeling will pass."
The doctor was twisting something at the back of Ender's head. Suddenly a pain stabbed through him like a needle from his neck to his groin. Ender felt his back spasm, and his body arched violently backward; his head struck the bed. He could feel his legs thrashing, and his hands were clenching each other, wringing each other so tightly that they arched.
"Deedee!" shouted the doctor. "I need you!" The nurse ran in, gasped. "Got to relax these muscles. Get it to me, now! What are you waiting for!"
Something changed hands; Ender could not see. He lurched to one side and fell off the examining table. "Catch him!" cried the nurse.
"Just hold him steady"
"You hold him, doctor, he's too strong for me"
"Not the whole thing! You'll stop his heart"
Ender felt a needle enter his back just above the neck of his shirt. It burned, but wherever in him the fire spread, his muscles gradually unclenched. Now he could cry for the fear and pain of it.
"Are you all right, Andrew?" the nurse asked.
Andrew could not remember how to speak. They lifted him onto the table. They checked his pulse, did other things; he did not understand it all.
The doctor was trembling; his voice shook as he spoke. "They leave these things in the kids for three years, what do they expect? We could have switched him off, do you realize that? We could have unplugged his brain for all time."
"When does the drug wear off?" asked the nurse.
"Keep him here for at least an hour. Watch him. If he doesn't start talking in fifteen minutes, call me. Could have unplugged him forever. I don't have the brains of a bugger."
He got back to Miss Pumphrey's class only fifteen minutes before the closing bell. He was still a little unsteady on his feet.
"Are you all right, Andrew?" asked Miss Pumphrey.
"Were you ill?"
He shook his head.
"You don't look well."
"You'd better sit down, Andrew."
He started toward his seat, but stopped. Now what was I looking for? I can't think what I was looking for.
"Your seat is over there," said Miss Pumphrey.
He sat down, but it was something else he needed, something he had lost. I'll find it later.
"Your monitor," whispered the girl behind him.
"His monitor," she whispered to the others.
Andrew reached up and felt his neck. There was a bandaid. It was gone. He was just like everybody else now.
"Washed out, Andy?" asked a boy who sat across the aisle and behind him. Couldn't think of his name. Peter. No, that was someone else.
"Quiet, Mr. Stilson," said Miss Pumphrey. Stilson smirked.
Miss Pumphrey talked about multiplication. Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions from every angle. The teacher would know, of course, that he wasn't paying attention, but she wouldn't bother him. He always knew the answer, even when she thought he wasn't paying attention.
In the corner of his desk a word appeared and began marching around the perimeter of the desk. It was upside down and backward at first, but Ender knew what it said long before it reached the bottom of the desk and turned right side up.
Ender smiled. He was the one who had figured out how to send messages and make them marcheven as his secret enemy called him names, the method of delivery praised him. It was not his fault he was a Third. It was the government's idea, they were the ones who authorized ithow else could a Third like Ender have got into school? And now the monitor was gone. The experiment entitled Andrew Wiggin hadn't worked out after all. If they could, he was sure they would like to rescind the waivers that had allowed him to be born at all. Didn't work, so erase the experiment.
The bell rang. Everyone signed off their desks or hurriedly typed in reminders to themselves. Some were dumping lessons or data into their computers at home. A few gathered at the printers while something they wanted to show was printed out. Ender spread his hands over the child-size keyboard near the edge of the desk and wondered what it would feel like to have hands as large as a grown-up's. They must feel so big and awkward, thick stubby fingers and beefy palms. Of course, they had bigger keyboardsbut how could their thick fingers draw a fine line, the way Ender could, a thin line so precise that he could make it spiral seventy-nine times from the center to the edge of the desk without the lines ever touching or overlapping. It gave him something to do while the teacher droned on about arithmetic. Arithmetic! Valentine had taught him arithmetic when he was three.
"Are you all right, Andrew?"
"You'll miss the bus."
Ender nodded and got up. The other kids were gone. They would be waiting, though, the bad ones. His monitor wasn't perched on his neck, hearing what he heard and seeing what he saw. They could say what they liked. They might even hit him nowno one could see them anymore, and so no one would come to Ender's rescue. There were advantages to the monitor, and he would miss them.
It was Stilson, of course. He wasn't bigger than most other kids, but he was bigger than Ender. And he had some others with him. He always did.
Don't answer. Nothing to say.
"Hey, Third, we're talkin to you, Third, hey bugger-lover, we're talkin to you."
Can't think of anything to answer. Anything I say will make it worse. So will saying nothing.
"Hey, Third, hey, turd, you flunked out, huh? Thought you were better than us, but you lost your little birdie, Thirdie, got a bandaid on your neck."
"Are you going to let me through?" Ender asked.
"Are we going to let him through? Should we let him through?" They all laughed. "Sure we'll let you through. First we'll let your arm through, then your butt through, then maybe a piece of your knee."
The others chimed in now. "Lost your birdie, Thirdie. Lost your birdie, Thirdie."
Stilson began pushing him with one hand; someone behind him then pushed him toward Stilson.
"See-saw, marjorie daw," somebody said.
This would not have a happy ending. So Ender decided that he'd rather not be the unhappiest at the end. The next time Stilson's arm came out to push him, Ender grabbed at it. He missed.
"Oh, gonna fight me, huh? Gonna fight me, Thirdie?"
The people behind Ender grabbed at him, to hold him.
Ender did not feel like laughing, but he laughed. "You mean it takes this many of you to fight one Third?"
"We're people, not Thirds, turd face. You're about as strong as a fart!"
But they let go of him. And as soon as they did, Ender kicked out high and hard, catching Stilson square in the breastbone. He dropped. It took Ender by surprisehe hadn't thought to put Stilson on the ground with one kick. It didn't occur to him that Stilson didn't take a fight like this seriously, that he wasn't prepared for a truly desperate blow.
For a moment, the others backed away and Stilson lay motionless. They were all wondering if he was dead. Ender, however, was trying to figure out a way to forestall vengeance. To keep them from taking him in a pack tomorrow. I have to win this now, and for all time, or I'll fight it every day and it will get worse and worse.
Ender knew the unspoken rules of manly warfare, even though he was only six. It was forbidden to strike the opponent who lay helpless on the ground; only an animal would do that.
So Ender walked to Stilson's supine body and kicked him again, viciously, in the ribs. Stilson groaned and rolled away from him. Ender walked around him and kicked him again, in the crotch. Stilson could not make a sound; he only doubled up and tears streamed out of his eyes.
Then Ender looked at the others coldly. "You might be having some idea of ganging up on me. You could probably beat me up pretty bad. But just remember what I do to people who try to hurt me. From then on you'd be wondering when I'd get you, and how bad it would be." He kicked Stilson in the face. Blood from his nose spattered the ground nearby. "It wouldn't be this bad," Ender said. "It would be worse."
He turned and walked away. Nobody followed him. He turned a corner into the corridor leading to the bus stop. He could hear the boys behind him saying, "Geez. Look at him. He's wasted." Ender leaned his head against the wall of the corridor and cried until the bus came. I am just like Peter. Take my monitor away, and I am just like Peter.
ENDERS GAME. Copyright 1977, 1985, 1991 by Orson Scott Card.
Meet the Author
Orson Scott Card is a bestselling science fiction and fantasy author. His novels Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win these two top prizes in consecutive years. There are seven other novels to date in The Ender Universe series. Card has also written fantasy: The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of fantasy novels set in frontier America; his most recent novel, The Lost Gate, is a contemporary magical fantasy. Card has written many other stand-alone sf and fantasy novels, as well as movie tie-ins and games, and publishes an internet-based science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. 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, Card directs plays and teaches writing and literature at Southern Virginia University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and youngest daughter, Zina Margaret.
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Date of Birth:
- August 24, 1951
- Place of Birth:
- Richland, Washington
- B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I've seen this book in libraries, on best-of lists, and pretty much everywhere. But I've always dismissed it because of the cover and the premise which just seemed corny and something meant for 14-yr-old StarWars fans. So I was surprised when I saw my math teacher reading it. My math teacher is pretty, in her early 20's, and a conservative Bible-thumper, so I was curious to what she saw in it. Once I see somebody with a book in their hands, I become very nosy. Her rave review convinced me to read it. What can I say about this book is that it's very fun and entertaining. I read it in one day. The sci-fi itself was pretty basic, and the most interesting part for me was Ender's trials at Battle School. Even though I had trouble following the null gravity battles. I did not understand Ender's explanation at all. It seems I would not be fit for Battle School :( The most unbelievable part for me was the age of these kids. They were very young, yet talked like your average adult. I understand they were supposed to be genius's and everyone was chosen as the best in something, but the only I saw that in Ender. I wish I could have known the other characters more. The "twist" ending didn't surprise me as much as the final chapter did. It just seemed so completely different from the rest of the book. I'm not sure whether or like it or not. This book definitely made me think in places. Overall, I recommend it to sci-fi and non sci-fi fans alike. I'm interested to read the sequels to see what happens to their universe afterward, if I can find them at the library. The library has a nasty habit of only carrying some books in a series- and never the ones I want.
I'm not sure how I've never made the time to read Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game". It came to my attention about 15 years ago because of it's prescient inclusion of something like the Internet - a supercomputing, connected and communication experience. Viewing Ender's "desk" through the lens of 2010, one can't help but also applaud Card's anticipation of the iPad. The book is not standard sci-fi fare. Oh, it has its aliens (called "buggers" throughout the book), space- ships, travel, and battles, but it has much more than that. It has a unique depth. After reading it, I see now why schools are including it on their reading lists. Ender is a genius. A six-year-old genius. It becomes clear early in the book that Ender's intelligence is ridiculously off the charts, even by the standards of Card's fictional future. Card's mastery is on full display in how deep and dimensional he's able to make the characters. Like many children who have some distinguishing characteristic, whether it's a good or bad, Ender finds those characteristics under attack. He's very withdrawn, insecure and closed off to most of the real world. I couldn't help but feel Ender's claustrophobic view of his world.I couldn't help but feel his anger, frustration and outrage. I'm looking forward to reading more on Ender Wiggin. But like Ender, I need to step away for a while. I need some fresh air. I need to stretch out and catch my breath before I re-enter Ender's game...and Orson Scott Card's world.
In the running for top 10 sci-fi books of all time, in my opinion. I am only sorry that I waited so long to read this gem. Card has kicked off his Ender Wiggin series in grand fashion here. With all the sclock coming out of hollywood these days, it would be nice to see a faithful screen adaptation of this novel- it could not go wrong. Truly an original story with gripping characters and an engaging plot. I could hardly put it down.
This is a very good book. Orson Scott Card wrote an interesting book. In the book kids are taken from their homes and put into a school that teaches them to become the best naval fleet commanders they can be. The main cause of this is an alien enemy called the Formics, and are generally called the Buggers as a more unofficial name. It is a strange step to use children and train them from age 6 to about 18. This is similar to Sparta where the best and smartest were the only ones allowed to fight and started at age 7. Ender however will not have that much time to become the best commander he can. The book goes through his struggles of isolation, being younger than most other kids, and the resentment of others at his perfection of everything. I recomend this book for anyone who just wants a fun read while still making you think a little bit.
I read this for english class in high school 15 years ago,and loved it. I have reread it about every other year since. Definitely recommend.
This is a classic novel in the sci-fi genre. Non sci-fi fans will love it too!
This is my favorite book of all time no doubt
I happened to stumble across this book by accident. I have so enjoyed reading it that I gave it to my Grandson. He so liked it that I have purchased a number of other books in this series. This is a great books for kids to read.
Everyone should read this book at least once. The imagery O.S. Card uses is so extreme and futuristic, considering that this book was written in the eighties; indeed, ahead of its time, some instances have recently appeared in the last few years. The overall plot keeps you turning the pages. Read it- you wont be disappointed!
This book is an openly amazing, exciting, and wonderful. It pulls you right in and you can't stop reading! I'm 11 and I read this book in a day, and I haven't done that since the Harry Potter, or Twilight, series. That just shows you how this book compares with many other greats.
One of the best books ever written
Favorite book ever
Easy read, and very entertaining. Author does an amazing job of making the reader care deeply for Ender.
Btw there is a movie of this book coming out in 2013. It has the kid with the awesome eyes who played hugo...and the chick from nims island. Sorry only movies i can think of with them in it. Go to IMDB for more info! Hope that helps!!!!
Great story. Intriguing. Big. Fantastic.
In my time as a reader, I have seen so many good books, and for some reason, I never read it, the book title " Enders Game" somehow kept me from reading it, by the time I even considered reading it I had had it recomended it to me by almost all my friends. To my great surprise I loved the story line, whitch was much deeper than any books I have read before, I am not close to the military genius that ender was but I still found that I could relate to him, being used and forced to do bad things. The strangest thing in the book in my opinion was how mature ender was, and the way he thought whitch was more sofisticated than most modern adults. All in all, the book was a thrilling and fun read and I recomend it for all that like books that make you think.
Everyone should read Enders Game, 3 chears for enders game
So ive watched every single movie Marvel Studios has made, and this is still my most favorite sci fi story of all time. And thats one damn high rating.
My all-time favorite book!
I started reading <i>Ender's Game</i> , by Orson Scott Card, for a few reasons. Some friends like it, Card's statements about political issues were in the news, so on. I picked it up, and read it. It was very thought-provoking and entertaining, to say the least. As the book starts, it is late in the 21st century, and the planet earth has already been the victim of two invasions by the Formics, an insect like alien creature. The Formics, derogatorily called the “buggers” by the people of earth, are feared and there is a constant lookout for the next invasion that many believe to be inevitable. In this environment, the best and brightest children are recruited to go to “battle school” and then further education, where they will learn how to command fleets and personnel in any future war against the buggers. This environment as well is rife with some dystopian themes such as a very soft, yet entirely too efficient, suppression of religion and population controls. There is, of course, the horror of child soldiers and psychological abuse, which we'll discuss in a moment. Into this setting, we have Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a young boy who is called a “Third” for being a rare child beyond the two per family limit normally enforced. He is sent to school to learn to fight the buggers. The abuse Ender underwent in his training were disturbing, but seemingly necessary, for the sympathetic truths that were eventually revealed by Ender were not known at this point in the story, and yet the military leadership who were convinced that they were doing the right thing <i>still</i> had doubts. One of the main points of this series is that war is not fun or pretty. It's messy and ruthless. I have criticized certain characters or people who have what I consider warped views of martial matters, and that made our protagonist all the more disturbing, in a way. Ender was, arguably, the moral ideal of a military commander. Yet the empathy and imagination that made him so morally upright also made him a coldly precise military commander. Of course, part of the reason this is has to due with the reveal at the end of the novel, so we'll leave that alone. Card certainly paints a very depressing picture of humanity, but a nuanced one. When I finished the book, I wondered if the Formics weren't the good guys and the military leadership who so hurt Ender and other children, the bad guys. It is something to mull over, as I'm sure those who have finished the book will so do. As for the military training and such aspects, it was fairly realistic, within the confines of the fictional and dystopian settings. Though there were no NCO's (Non-Commissioned Officers) per se listed, the concept of them was very much in play. The “toon” leaders and sub-leaders with autonomy enough to work within Ender's command were an example of how real-life NCO's work in battle within their units. Of course, there are some plot points that would never fly in real life, and the reader will quickly guess which ones. War is hell, the old phrase goes, but sometimes it is necessary. The real struggle, besides, and perhaps more than, the battle, is the struggle to not lose one's morality, one's humanity, in the fight. Often ruthless decisions are required, so how can one fight like a heartless killer, yet not truly be heartless? Not truly lose their souls? That is a quandary that <i>Ender's Game</i> presents, but doesn't answer. We, the reader, must answer that question for ourselves.
This story needs to be put in film. I'd see it and own it!
If you like sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and/or really good books, then you should read Ender's Game. Someday this will be a classic read in school alongside Brave New World, 1984 and The Hobbit.
My all time favorite book in the world!!!!!!!! Can't wait for the movie to come out next year.
'Ender's Game' kicks off a series of books beloved by readers of all ages. Card's clean & straightforward prose elucidates the challenges, hardships & eventual vindication of one boy's rise through Battle School in a future where gifted childrrn are robbed of their childhood and cynically honed as weapons in a war against alien invaders. Ender's story is gripping on a psychological, social & action level as he outsmarts everyone who treats him unfairly. A great mix of futuristic tech, tactical game theory and coming of age all too early tale. This is the book that got me hooked on science fiction as a kid!