Movies: Ender’s Game

November 10, 2013

The problem with going to a movie made from a great book is that you know the movie will inevitably fall short, but you still want to see the story played out on the big screen. Because the author of Ender’s Game (the book) was one of the producers of Ender’s Game (the movie), I knew the movie would get the key things right. But I still had to keep reminding myself that the movie is a separate work, and that it can be good in different ways from the book, even while lacking so much that made the book great.

The first thing that surprised me was that the movie started with Ender as a preteen rather than a 6-year-old. To see a boy of around twelve use the violence necessary to keep a bully from ever attacking him again just does not have the same impact as seeing that happen with a mere 6-year-old. Still, it makes its point, while bowing to the reality that finding a much younger boy with the ability to play this role convincingly would be as hard as finding a real-life Ender Wiggin.

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Books: Ender’s World

May 17, 2013

Orson Scott Card is a prolific writer, and there are a number of his books that I haven’t read, but whenever I see another book related to Ender’s Game, I read it. First he wrote sequels, starting with Speaker for the Dead, then later he went back and wrote a parallel series in which the central character is Bean rather than Ender.

I don’t think any of them are as good as Ender’s Game, but I read all of them, because Card is a good writer and I’m interested in the characters and themes he explores in the series. So when I saw Ender’s World in the library, it was a given that I would read it, even before I knew what it was about.

Ender’s World is a book of essays, rather than fiction, and written by other people about Card’s classic novel (but edited by Card, who includes Q&A about how and why he wrote various aspects of the book the way he did). As one reader review at amazon.com says, it’s a bit like having a book club discussion about Ender’s Game. Everyone has a slightly different take on it.

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