Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ender's Game

Here I am again, rushing to get a post done before an entire week has passed. (I will do better, I will do better, I will do better....) Part of the problem is that it's March and life is boring. Here's what I've done this week: Revise. Teach. Revise. Walk the dog. Revise. Play with my new DSL (at last! Jon Stewart clips! Because, yup, no cable or satellite). Revise.

Oh yeah, I did laundry. Want to hear about it? Didn't think so.

So all I have to write about is books. I did finish Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, a sci-fi about a bunch of children trained to save the world from an expected alien invasion. I loved it and have been pondering The Hero ever since. Usually, I like my heroes to be enough like me in the beginning that I can imagine myself performing the heroic feats they manage by the end--the Harry Potter model, or better yet Frodo Baggins, who doesn't even have wizard parents.

Ender is introduced right off the bat as spectacular in brain power and strategic ability. Card gets you on Ender's side because he's initially the target of bullies. And his response to the bullying starts him torturing himself about whether his extraordinary talents might be accompanied by an underdeveloped moral sense. It crosses your mind that he may be right, and that the bureaucracy that has trapped him may be banking on that fact. You have to keep reading to find out whether he keeps his soul.

I was further entranced by the quality of Card's thinking about his world, in this case a couple of academies on space stations. He devotes a lot of ink to the way one would fight in zero gravity, for instance, and his conclusions are pretty cool.

Also on the bedside table: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman (2k8er!), The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones, and Shakespeare the Thinker by A.D. Nuttall. That last one's going to require a rainy Sunday, I'm afraid. It's too dense for bedtime reading, which is all I seem to do these days.


Jody Feldman said...

Ooh ... I'm on my 8th load of laundry today. Thought you'd like to know.

(And love being on bedside tables. Thanks!)

Barrie said...

I stayed up all night to read Ender's Game.

The Gollywhopper Games is coming to me via amazon.

I'm up late, revising and doing laundry. ;)