Ender 'verse reading order recommendation

Danny McG

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Orson Scott Card

The original Ender Quartet and the Shadow books and the Formic Wars books and the prequels.

Is there a recommended reading order for all these?

I'm making a (belated I know!) reading plan for this year/10 months.

Sometime late summer I will be going at all the Ender Universe books, but the publication order seems to jump about in time with regard to the story.

I've done a Goog but there's a lot of conflicting opinions out there.

Cheers
 
I've read the first three a long time ago, and last year I read the first of the Formic Wars books.

I just thought
"I wouldn't mind Ender's Game again so I may as well do the full Monty"

It looks as though the books quality dropped off, going by the comments
 
Read Unaccompanied Sonata Omni March 1979.
Thereafter my advice roughly follows that of @Jo Zebedee and @Star-child : either Enders Game or stick pencils in your eyes, or read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. All roughly equivalent options.
 
Read Unaccompanied Sonata Omni March 1979.
Thereafter my advice roughly follows that of @Jo Zebedee and @Star-child : either Enders Game or stick pencils in your eyes, or read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. All roughly equivalent options.
In fact, just read Maps in a Mirror, his collected short fiction (which includes the excellent Unaccompanied Sonata, the original short story of Ender's Game - far superior to the novel, in my opinion - and the ace Songmaster. It's brilliant. Much better than the extended Ender tosh. IMHO.
 
I'm very much with Jo on this one. This is the order for me: Ender's Game --- Brilliant!!! Speaker for the Dead ---- Very Good. Xenocide --- Good --- Skip the rest

But SongMaster, a stand alone, as far as I know, is very worth seeking out.
 
There isn't necessarily anything bad about the rest, but I'd rather read several other OSC books before I read Speaker or Xenocide. They simply don't grab you like Ender or Treason or Pastwatch.
 
There isn't necessarily anything bad about the rest, but I'd rather read several other OSC books before I read Speaker or Xenocide. They simply don't grab you like Ender or Treason or Pastwatch.

I haven't read all of OSC. There was a time about 20 years ago when I read him a lot. And I agree that Pastwatch was very good as well. It has a very unique setup. I've thought about the plot a lot. But after digging into about 4? or 5? in the "Songs of Distant Earth" series which I thought were marginal to begin with, I then discovered that in that series he was retelling the Book of Mormon ! :eek: I have had little desire to read more of him since then.

*I remember reading a book about a main character who had very severe OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which I think was his but in looking through the titles I'm not sure which one or if it wasn't his at all. That one has stuck with me too. --- It might have been one of the later Ender Series?

Edit: when memory fails Google. I found it as a short story Gloriously Bright but I was sure it was a novel.
Further Edit: Reading deeper I discovered that most of that story was part of Xenocide. So I guess my opinion of Xenocide has to move up a notch.
 
After Enders Game, I really struggled with Xenocide and Speaker for the Dead.

The Shadow series was okay but not great.
 
I quite enjoyed the Ender Quartet, to me it was incredibly unique and a fresh take on aliens (granted I was super duper sheltered growing up). So while I understand that it had its dull moments, I thought Children of the Mind had a fresh take on what it is to have a soul. OSC has influenced a lot of my own sci fi because of it. I really thought his expansion in those four books alone was impressive.

However, I had no idea there was more for the Enderverse.

I'll happily take more suggestions of either more of his works or of authors similar in taste to his.
 
I quite enjoyed the Ender Quartet, to me it was incredibly unique and a fresh take on aliens (granted I was super duper sheltered growing up). So while I understand that it had its dull moments, I thought Children of the Mind had a fresh take on what it is to have a soul. OSC has influenced a lot of my own sci fi because of it. I really thought his expansion in those four books alone was impressive.

However, I had no idea there was more for the Enderverse.

I'll happily take more suggestions of either more of his works or of authors similar in taste to his.

Would suggest

The Killing Star by Charles Pelligrino and George Zebroski
The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook
Bolo and Rogue Bolo by Keith Laumer
Berserker by Fred Saberhagen and the rest of Berserker Saga by him
Hammers Slammers by David Drake
Ranks of Bronze by David Drake
The Founding by Dan Abnett The first serval novels in the Gaunts Ghost Series
Horus Rising by Dan Abnett the first book of the Horius Hersey saga
Hero of the Imperium by Sandy Mitchel composes the first book of Caiphis Cain saga
Honor Harrington by Davis Weber
Bolos for the Honor of the Regiment David Weber, David Drake and Mercedes Lackey
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
The Nicholas Seafort Saga by David Feintuch
In Conquest Born by C S Friedman
 
John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War would probably be enjoyable. I think they style and pace is quite similar to Ender’s Game.
 
I really like Enders Game and read Speaker for the Dead which was not bad but more philosophical and just haven't bothered to continue. OSC seems a bit on the preachy side or is it just me?
 
I really like Enders Game and read Speaker for the Dead which was not bad but more philosophical and just haven't bothered to continue. OSC seems a bit on the preachy side or is it just me?

Oh, not doubt OSC is on the "preachy side." I also enjoyed Xenocide a lot, mostly they went downhill from there with a few bright spots.
 
I liked Ender's game, and to a lesser extent Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide (for me, the actual Ender character becomes just a drag after the first book, and not all the others are compelling, but the quality of writing itself never falters). Children of the Mind got a little weird, but again, writing quality generally very good.

Ender's Shadow was a pure enjoyment to read. I read it long after Ender's Game and I knew OSC was a good author, and so I was able to savour it over the course of a couple of weeks in a way I rarely get to with other authors--because I knew what was coming next was going to be fun, which took the pressure off of wondering if the ending quality was going to match up to the beginning.

Shadow of the Hegemon was a different sort of story, but pretty near as fun, and starts getting into international politics on Earth--but also deals with the interpersonal relationships between the characters, and this is where the character of Peter really starts to take on a more complex and enjoyable cast. Shadow Puppets continues this, but as with the Ender quartet, books three and four are when the plot starts to falter a little.

The main criticism I have in the series (I don't mind the philosophical delvings, and they tend to be very relevant to the plot and characters) is the constant amount of snark from our "genius" main characters. It's all generally very clever, but therein lies the problem. At times it feels as if the characters are being needlessly hostile to each other just for the sake of making them sound clever. OSC is very good at witty dialogue, and it's fun to read. But sometimes his characters can end up sounding rather lacking in empathy as a result. I wish he'd been able to come up with a different way to ensure they all sound smart without being quite so...snippety about so many things.

Still, like I said, immensely fun to read.
 
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