In your book Xenocide, youve said something to the affect, that it was inspired by your old project filodes. The whole concept of filodes is something that has resonated with me ever since I heard it.

All but the first two within the enderverse timeline, Ive listened to on EBooks. I remember you saying that hearing your stories is the medium you prefer. All of the core books Ive thoroughly enjoyed, listening to them, numerous times. Im not trying to fanboy you just enable you to understand the magnitude of this series has had on my life.

Your concept of filodes is something Im interested in. Im asking to know if you have that old project accessible to the readers? If not Id love to hear more of your thoughts on the concept.

Over anything else Id like to know where your inspiration came for the filodes concept? I understand that may require allot of explanation. If you have the time Id love to hear you out.


Your question about the philotes concept is an excellent one. But the philotic web novel was only a proposal I sent to Jim Frenkel at Dell, not a written-out work of fiction at all. The story was pretty flimsy -- the only valuable thing was the idea of everything in the universe being made of sentient geometric points whose behavior was governed by rules that we experience as natural laws.

Jim wisely called me to tell me that Dell wouldn't be making an offer on the proposed book, and then he added, "You shouldn't send this proposal to anybody else, either, because it's quite possible that somebody will give you money and a contract."

"Well, yes," I said. "That's kind of what I was hoping for."

"Scott," said Jim, "this is a very good idea, but you aren't ready to write it yet."

I knew the moment he said it that he was right. That's why it had been so hard for me to come up with a good story for that universe. So I thanked him, agreed with him, and sent the proposal nowhere else.

Years later, after I had written Ender's Game and was preparing to write Speaker for the Dead, my agent, Barbara Bova, gave me a call and happily announced that she had sold the "Ender trilogy" in England. The money sounded good, and I was delighted about everything -- except the word "trilogy."

"Barbara," says I, "when people buy the rights to a trilogy, as a general rule they expect to get three books."

When I explained that Speaker for the Dead would complete the story of Ender Wiggin, she didn't even seem crestfallen. "Can't you just think of a third book?"

Now, she was married to Ben Bova and she had written books of her own, so she knew it wasn't that simple. But of course, compared to people with real jobs, coming up with a book-length pack of lies is actually pretty easy. Besides, the moment she said that, I thought of the Philotes project and realized: I can write that story if it's Ender Wiggin who pilots the ship that goes Outside and comes back In.

Thus the novel Xenocide was conceived while I stood there in the kitchen talking to Barbara on our landline. (This was before anybody was carrying the satchel-sized mobile phones of the day.) It turned out to take two volumes to bring the story to completion, and maybe I still wasn't "ready" to write it, because sales and readership for Xenocide and Children of the Mind have always lagged behind the first two books. Maybe, though, that was simply because the philotic universe isn't easy to wrap your head around.

Maybe that's why I'm so happy whenever I run into somebody who declares that Xenocide or Children of the Mind is their favorite book in the series. It means that the metaphysics of the philotes has resonated with somebody else.