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Other OSC books?

Discussion in 'Orson Scott Card' started by Brian G Turner, Mar 15, 2004.

  1.  
    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    Almost. I haven't had time to scratch my nose lately Brian. There is so much I want to do, and any free time I get I waste on sites like this.

    How are the kids so clever? Is any indication ever given? I have to ignore the Lord Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell undertones. I could have mentioned Thomas Hamilton but just did.

    Irrelevant point: Brian next year there will be a special Hugo award for the best SF/F internet site. I don't know what they're looking for.... but you never know.
     
  2.  
    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    I don't think there is ever any explanation, except that they test all the kids and pick the most likely ones.

    Actually, I think we talked about this a bit before, around the time I joined the forum. So, if I repeat myself here, sorry.

    It's just that there are kids out there, a few, who are frighteningly bright. I've known a few, not when they were that age, but older, in college, and I can absolutely imagine that something like what goes on in "Ender's Game" could happen if the testing methods were developed to the level they seem to be in the book. I mean, I know a guy, if warp drive ever gets invented for real, he's the one who will do it. I know one or two other people who are just so smart that they almost don't relate to the rest of the world at all.

    Now, me, I'm not nearly that smart, but I was in an MGM (mentally gifted minors) program my last two years of elementary school, when I was in fifth and sixth grades (10 - 11 years old). I got enough experience in that class of being treated as "different" (by teachers, by the other kids), that I could relate to what the kids go through in "Ender's Game", even though what is in the book is on a whole different level than the class I was in.
     
  3.  
    Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner Writing and reading Staff Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on the sites issue - I'm not sure this place would be up for a winning spot, as there are giants out there - sci-fi.com, say no more. However, this place is being heavily redeveloped, and it could be a way of getting some worthwhile attention.
     
  4.  
    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    No problem Brian.

    Not to stereotype, but the clever kids, no matter what martial art they had trained, always got a good hiding off the socially challenged kids at school. Not sure how relevant that point is. I was in all of the top groups at school too, as a six year old I could wire a plug, change a fuse, check that a bulbs filament was not blown, and make simple machines like robots that's eyes flash and spin around. But Ender goes well beyond that.

    I loved the book by the way. I consider it to be my favourite SF book ever. I love the part where he discovers his friends are going to be his sub commanders. The last two chapters were fairly shat though. Buggers recreating the Giants landscape??
     
  5.  
    Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner Writing and reading Staff Member

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    The opening scene is purposefully set up to force the reader to sympathise with Ender. It's a clever trick, forcing the reader to associate via emoting. The death aspect seems a little over done, though.

    There are elements of Ender's Game that I like, but also others that I don't. The individual scenes are well-written, but there seemed a lot missing behind the premise and plot. The strategy of it all just didn;t seem well-thought out at all - and issues such as children being required to figure out how to defeat the aliens, because no adult human was capable of thinking in third dimensional space like they, all seemed pretty lame. But I could see why he did it - he needed to tie that in with the whole "innocence" theme.
     
  6.  
    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    I suspect that there are some personal issues involved in why Card wrote "Ender's Game" and why he handled it the way he did.

    Card is an extremely bright individual. That is obvious, not only from his writing, but from his comments and his manner in panels and talks I attended the year he was guest of honor at LosCon. Life can be hard for a child growing up bright in American culture - being smart is not an especially valued characteristic; fitting in is much more valued. Additionally, the religious tradition Card grew up in (and which I have some experience with, as well) values the intelligent individual even less. That tradition also is not especially nurturing of creativity. That tradition sometimes denies these things, but I know from close experience that what I say is true. My suspicion is that "Ender's Game" was, consciously or not, at least partly Card's way of dealing with being the odd duck. By making the bright kids the salvation of the species, I think, he was trying to validate his own experiences. But in making these kids the salvation of the species, he had to make them really, really smart. Unbelievably smart, compared to most of us.

    I could be completely wrong about this, of course. But it certainly seems to me, from my experience in life and in reading "Ender's Game" several times, that it is a good possibility that this was at least one factor in the genesis of the book.
     
  7.  
    Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner Writing and reading Staff Member

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    Certainly I wouldn;t be surprised if there was some truth in that - a lot of Ender's Game seems very conceptual, to the degree of shaping plot, rather than allowing concepts to work within plot.
     
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    1711

    1711 New Member

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    i have read all of the ender series and consider speaker for the dead one of the true masterpieces of our time. its exploration of a closed society the unusual threat that befalls it and the way that we view other beings was a personal eye and mind opener.I strongly urge everyone to read this book and find out for themself the meaning it can bring to their life
     
  9.  
    Darken Rahl

    Darken Rahl Intrepid Voyager

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    I've read some of the Alvin Maker series and found it quite interesting. The setting is in a kind of alternate reality colonial/frontier USA. He meets with some rather famous figures in American history and folklore, so some of the references might not seem as touching to someone not versed in American history. I would not by any means say it is on the same level as Ender, it is not. It is however a different sort of fantasy, well written and entertaining. I would not recommed it to someone as an introduction to OSC, but do consider it worth reading if the idea of the setting sparks your curiousity.
     
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    marv335

    marv335 chief badger poker

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    i'm currently reading the sixth book in the alvin maker series. i've quite enjoyed them although there is a large hole between book 5 and 6. there seems to have been a lot of things going on that are mentioned in passing that could have been in a seperate novel.
     
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    Stalker

    Stalker Seeker of Sense

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    OSC's series "The Seventh Son" or "Alvin, the Maker" is a wonderful insight to alternate American history I ever read with elements of cryptohistory "or hidden history" and it is not worse than Ender's Game series (The Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide etc.). Y
    ou probably know that that was particulary Takumse's brother Tesqatawa who imposed the curse on Harrison. When the latter became the US President in 1840 he died soon after that in all presidents after him with 20 years interval: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, FDR, JFK. The .38 revolver bullet passed close to Reagan's heart and at Takumse's time that was a mortal wound. Probably, Ronald Reagan with his injury took off the curse?;)
     
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    The Time Traveller

    The Time Traveller Retro-Future is/was here

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    Has anybody read Lovelock by OSC and Kathryn H. Kidd? It was suppose to be the first book in a trilogy. The book was excellent. Definitely his must underated book. Wyrms is another excellent book that doesn't seem to be discussed much.
     
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    Cyril

    Cyril Well-Known Member

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    I read the three first books of Ender but I don't consider them as his masterpiece even if I liked them. In my opinion, OSC's masterpiece is Songmaster, one of my favorite books ever, scifi or not, poetic, tragic and sooo beautifully written. I also loved the fantasy story Hart's hope.
     
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    -Demosthenes-

    -Demosthenes- Neo-Noncomformist

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    Paswatch was amazing, I liked it a lot. I read the first Alvin Maker and quit there.

    The Homecoming series was extremely odd. Card belongs to the LDS church, and this series is a clear retelling of the Book of Mormon, just in a scifi setting. Even the names are similar.

    His short stories can be bought all in one book (Maps in the Mirror, The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card). It's a collection of the four previous books of short fiction that he published. I have it, and have read every story, and the ones I like 3 or 4 times.

    Ender's Game was a short story to begin with. Card was considering writing a book about some kind of Speaker of the Dead, and decided that Ender could be the speaker. So he rewrote Ender's Game into Novel form to set up the story for Speaker of the Dead (notice the first time you read it that when you think it's over there's still 50 pages left? Set up for Speak of the Dead). And the story evolved from there.

    But the books are generally considered in series, Ender's Game as book 1, Speaker for the Dead as book 2, etc. And Some have Ender's Shadow (The first in the parallel series) as book 5, etc. which is interesting.

    That is a rather grand generalization.
     
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Sorry, Demosthenes. Just calling them as I see them. It is a subject I have had a lot of personal experience with, and I found that to be the case probably 95 percent of the time. If you haven't found that, then you are very lucky, indeed, and more power to you. Because we don't, as a rule, disucss religion in depth here, I won't elaborate on my own experience except to say that I was often told not to question anything and that I was doing something wrong to read anything not approved. I was also advised on more than one occasion not to think so much, and was often made fun of because I had interests beyond having kids and taking care of a house. It was not a positive experience for me.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to cause offense. However, that was my experience within that tradition.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2006
  16.  
    -Demosthenes-

    -Demosthenes- Neo-Noncomformist

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    I have extensive experience in the religion as well, and I must express that this has not been my experience. It's been stressed that I should in fact question everything, and find out for myself if I believe it or not. There were no incidences where I was told not to think, quite the opposite, I was encouraged to critically analyze every belief and test them against my own. My creativity has never been discouraged in any way, I am encouraged to do whatever I want, to exercise my moral agency and make choices for myself.

    So, as your experience my have been negative, not all have, and to state that all have been negative is an unearned generalization.
     
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    Nesacat

    Nesacat The Cat

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    My favourite and the first Card book I ever read is A Planet Called Treason. I believe it's been revised and reissued under the title Treason.

    Treason is a planet supposedly without metal to which the ancestors of the inhabitants were banished from a space-faring Republic. Through the ages, the descendants of each of the banished members (mostly scientists) formed nations which warred and allied with one another to gain an advantage over their rivals. Since Treason contained no hard metals, the nations were forced to trade for it with their off-planet jailers. A condition of their sentence on the planet was that they must stay until they could produce a ship to take them off planet.

    It's intriguing what each nation has to trade and what is truly happening on Treason. It's a wonderful piece of story-telling and has a twist.
     
  18.  
    Kettricken

    Kettricken Dodo Ffan

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    I've recently read two stand-alones, "Wyrms" and "Songmaster". I've especially enjoyed the last one, a wonderful and tragic tale.
    Like in Ender's game, also in Wyrms and Songmaster bright, talented young people are the protagonists. As mentioned in this thread before, I think OSC must have had a similar childhood, otherwise he has the best empathic imagination I've seen in a long while!
     
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    Carolyn Hill

    Carolyn Hill Brown Rat, wandering & wondering

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    I read the initial three Alvin books when they first came out, then sort of lost interest.

    More recently, I read Card's Lost Boys and Folk of the Fringe. Lost Boys is very scary; the realistic setting made the supernatural elements all the more suspenseful. And, not being a member of LDS, I was intrigued by the book's insights into that church. Folk of the Fringe, a collection of long stories linked by a few recurring characters and a postapocalyptic world, was less interesting to me--but still worth reading for Card's ability to create believable characters.
     
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    Leonardo

    Leonardo Child of the Internet

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    Well, the reason behind Beans intellect is explained thoroughly in the Shadow series. As for the Wiggins family, they have a history of brilliance - Both Enders parents, his sister and his brother are all geniuses. And if brilliance isn't a genetic trait, it's certainly a societal one.

    Apart from Bean and the Wiggins, I don't think most of the kids are overly intelligent. Overly mature, maybe. But then, who wouldn't be in a situation like that.

    According to the story, the Battle Academy only has a few hundred students, and only 40 are part of the group that make up Enders "jeesh". I don't think the possibility that there might be 40 ingenius kids in all of the world is completely unrealistic. : )
     
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