I thought Ender's Game was an amazing book. It told a rich, diverse story that said so much about the human condition - not being in control of one's own destiny, pursuing excellence amid social conflict, and dealing with intention/consequences.
I though the 3 following books culminating in CoTM told a seperate, yet also compelling story. Ender was different, and yet he was still great. The problems he faced were just as daunting as the ones he faced as a child. His life experiences and knowledge didn't make moral decisions any easier. No matter how much experience and knowledge we have, tough decisions are always, well, tough. The addition of Jane added so much to the story of Ender Wiggen - and the recurrent theme in all 4 books -dealing with the death of a sentient species. Buggers, Pequinos, and Jane.
That being said, I thought the Shadow series was seriously lacking the luster of the previous books. As a matter of fact, the Shadow series detracted from the first 4 books.
The Shadow series has Bean picking out Ender's Army, knowing beforehand about the IF Invasion of Bugger territory, and handng Ender the strategy responsible for victory in the final battle. Bean figures out Locke and Demonsethses. He is instrumental in creating Jane! The teachers don't trust Ender and at the final battle offer control over to Bean (despite in EG describing Ender as "The only one). According to the Shadows, Ender was merely a well-liked figure-head, and Bean was the true operator. A kind of puppet master.
Bean himself was a poor, hollow character. Ender struggled in EG. He won and lost. As he defeated his opponents (won), Ender began to fall apart emotionally (lost). Ender grieved. He struggled and there was conflict. Bean, no matter what he faced, wins again and again.
He's the freakin Steven Segal of OSC characters.
Nothing phases him and he always kicks the bad guys butt with no harm to himself. Bean's only problem is he's growing. And since we don't get to see the pains he will experience as a result of the growth, it doesn't come off as such a big problem after all. Ender induced empathy. Bean didn't induce much of anything.
After OSC took away from Ender's accomplishments, he went after Peter. The Locke Proposal wasn't Peter's big break after all, the FPE was. (Which I loved. The FPE's plecibites was insightful view of world government. It cannot be an agreement among nations, but of people.) Peter, as a matter of fact, was a bumbling idiot who only rises to power because he has the will to power, contacts, his parents, and Bean. He only rises to power after all the other power heads mess up worse than he does. These don't seem like brilliant children anymore. In fact, the only brilliant person is Bean. Hooray.
I'm not even going to mention the obvious political references to today that detract from the fiction and pleasure of the universe. (We don't read your books for petty political commentary, but to escape from our world! Don't remind us that we're not living 200 years from now, but are actually listening to cnn as we read in our beds!)
Now let me sum up:
In the introduction to a re-release of Ender's Game, OSC says the story of EG is the one we create together. OSC's words and our minds create the story. And a what a wonderful story it was. Unfortunately, the Shadow series replaces the story we created with cheap, hollow memories that conflict with the original story. (No, not even particular events, but the "feel" we get. Ender and Peter were recast with what was printed in the Shadow books, and their replacements are not as extraordinary.) I like EG -> CotM better without Shadows, and I did not expect that. For me, the Shadow series will be thought of as if they were nothing more than fan fiction, and the original story I created with EG will live on, on its own.
The Shadow series was ok to read, I devoured them all, but I found myself dissapointed. People change. I just can't expect OSC to be the same author he was 20 years ago, and I guess I did. My mistake.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Feb 2005
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I thought they were ingenious. To go back and parallel things and show how things that happened deeper then we ever imagined gives the story even more creditability. I’m anxious for Bean to meet up with Peter/Ender. It’s so perfect since he had such an impact on helping them become so great.
Posts: 2845 | Registered: Oct 2003
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I hope people don't take this the wrong way, but the Shadow series is essentially a bunch of action books using the existing story line.
The Ender series is so much much much much more. As has been pointed out everywhere, Ender's Game operates on many different levels including (but not limited to) Leadership, organizational development, teambuilding, ethics, morality, etcetera.
Speaker for the Dead is much the same.
All in all, the Shadow series was entertaining and I have read the first three many times. But, the series is no where near the level of EG or SFTD.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Mar 2005
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Okay I know that it is somewhat impolite to rant on ones' first post but this is something I feel quite passionate about.
I feel that the Shadow series is the True sequel to "Ender's Game" The language of the writing is the same and since it is in the same time-frame it makes more sense to group them together. Also, in the Introduction to "Speaker for the Dead" paper-back "Author's Definitive Editiion" Mr. Card makes it clear the the "Speaker for the Dead" series was a different idea in and of itself, and "Ender's Game" is setting for the universe that "Speaker for the Dead" and happens to have the same main character, just 3000 years in the past. Doing so gives substance to the character of Ender. Which is fine, but knowing this and then reading the entire Shadow series, including "Shadow of the Giant," it is obvioius that the Shadow series is the sequel in story and in spirit of "Ender's Game".
One of the things that is a somewhat subtle theme of "Ender's Game" is the politics that the children in the Battle School play at between each other. The friendships that Ender attempts to make to break the Teachers isolation aside, the other kids' have their own power struggles between each other that we only get glimpses of. For example, Petra's deference to Bonzo, Petra's relationship with Dink, they are only eluded to, and yet we want to know about these characters and how they really feel and think. The Shadow series is where we find these interactions, and we also get the entire world revolving around the personal politics of these Battle School graduates as they get wrapped up in the politics of their home countries. This is something that the Speaker series could never hope to even implement, it's literally all ancient history.
Even upon my first reading of "Ender's Game" I identified most with the character Bean. I loved Ender as well and the struggles that he went through trying to find himself and decide to be the commander that he felt would let him finish, but somehow this supporting character that Ender saw himself in was even then giving Ender the tools he needed to accompish his legendary feats. From the very beginning of the entire Ender Series, Bean was set up to be the character that was the facilitator for Ender's greatness.
That's what I saw right from the start. Every time I re-read "Ender's Game" (and it's somewhere around 20 times now), I saw it more and more. So when "Ender's Shadow" came out and Bean filled this role that he originated in even more, it became obvious that Mr. Card had meant for Bean to be the one that made Ender the Xenocide possible. The only way you can have someone in first place is if there is someone in second place and that person for Ender is Bean.
So since "Ender's Game" is about action and fighting army against army battles, the microcosmic and xeno-anthropological conflicts that the Speaker series present to us seem somehow incongruent. I loved every second of reading the Speaker series, but I will be reading the Shadow Series again long before I pick up "Children of the Mind" again because I want to see how the original Peter Wiggin develops as a person and how Bean manages to always be number 2, all while learning what it is to live from the heart and not the mind. These two characters are the motivations for our Hero Ender, but only in the Shadow Series do we get to explore thier humanity. Yes, we are presented with very different characters than we first developed in our minds after our first readings of Ender's Game, but the view we had of them was the view that Ender had, that of a child.
As we grow up with them, we see Bean learn to live for more than just survival which is all he was presented with in his pre-Battle School period. We get to see Peter develop as a person from the monster that he was in our minds at the end of "Ender's Game". He was always as capable as Ender in terms of manipulating people to his will, and he was the first one bred to lead humanity to survival. We get to finally see why Peter came into Ender's room that night and whispered "Ender, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know how it feels, I'm sorry, I'm your brother, I love you."
So which one is truly Ender's Shadow? Bean? Peter? Even Valentine? I feel that they are actually lights, they shine on Ender so that we see him, we see the amazing things he is capable of because of thier influence.
To finish this rant up I just want to voice my utmost gratitude to Mr. Card for exercising his talent for story-telling and creating characters that I identify with and that I can't seem to get enough of. Kudos to you Mr. Card.
Azuki Bean brings up some good points - the Shadow series was a good read... but I disagree with how he sees it fitting in with the rest of the universe. I see it exactly opposite.
The Shadow series shares the same universe as the original series, but in name only. Everywhere the two series intersect, the Shadow series does more than reinterpret the original characters, it recasts them completely.
The original cast:
Ender is a once in a lifetime military genius who is the only person who can save humanity from the buggers.
Peter is a genius monster who eventually grows up to be a good ruler. (Not comlpetely changed in Shadow, but all of his initial mistakes aren't in character.)
Jane is the result of the bugger queen attempting to mentally connect with Ender through the mind game, and destroy him.
Bean is a smart soldier who excels tactically, but not at strategy.
Contrast to new and improved Shadow characters:
Ender's parents are suddenly deceptive, calculating, and manipulative.
Ender is recast as not quite so brilliant or irreplacable.
Peter is a bumbling fool who errs again and again.
Jane is the product of Bean's rather far fetched idea of using the Mind Game to control Ender's pension. (I laughed when Bean mentioned this to Graff it was so stretched.)
Bean is a genius child who knows every secret he didn't know in Ender's Game. He is actually an excellent commander, and just isn't in charge b/c ppl aren't sure if he's "human". Hands Ender final strategy.
Now I'm all for reinterpretation - but Shadow goes too far. The story could have been told better if two things happened:
1) Didn't drastically change old characters' identities. Bean didn't need to be "pumped up" so much in order to do the things he did. Ender didn't need to be given a crutch in the form of Bean.
2) Left political commentary out. Fiction is fiction, and the commentary on today's political landscape make the book feel antiquated the day it was published. They stick out like sore thumbs and jolt the reader from an otherwise pleasent fantasy.
Again - The Shadow series was ok to read... but for me, it lacked the wonder of his earlier works that would have let me overlook its flaws. So - thank you Mr. Card for writing four new Enderverse novels, but I wish you left Ender alone in them.
Bean proved to be an uninteresting character when compared to the universe's previous stars.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Feb 2005
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I wonder if Card's reinterpretations of these characters indicates a propensity to only write main characters who are near-perfect geniuses. So when he's writing the Ender books, Ender is brilliant, but when he switches to Bean, it's Bean who has to know everything and be smarter than everybody, rather than Ender. And so Ender now suffers by comparison. Similarly, Ender's parents look like idiots next to Ender in the original book, but once they step into the limelight, they get much, much smarter.
I'm actually having trouble thinking of a main character in any of Card's recent work that wasn't absolutely brilliant and didn't have a wit that could shred anyone else to blubbering pieces with little effort. Is that an indication of the traits that Card himself admires?
Posts: 1539 | Registered: Jul 2004
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I like how Peter went from villain to hero. Bean was there in the series and a major focus, but it was Peter who seemed to be who grew in the series. Bean might have become a giant, but Peter succeeded in his dream of uniting the planet and in the end resolves his own inner struggle with Ender. I think I teared up for Petra and am still doing the why in my head with how things wound up with her and the kids.
Posts: 2845 | Registered: Oct 2003
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I loved how the Peter story was resolved. I totally understood where Peter was coming from in regards to Ender. I don't know if OSC could have written a better ending.
Posts: 421 | Registered: Jan 2001
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*nod* The ending was excellent. I'm actually complained quite a lot about the Shadow books, but found much less to complain about this time around. I thought it was for the most part a great read, and while I still think the revised Bean is a putrescent blister and have developed a reflexive ability to block out whole paragraphs of political diatribe, the character arc Peter took in particular was beautiful. I also enjoyed the whole Alai/Virlomi bit, and the "shooting Battle School grads into space."
It was very well done, and made the Shadow series worth it for me. The only obvious black mark this time around was the "Bean the Sooper-Genius pushes Jane into becoming a financial advisor."
(For my money, I'd always assumed that Jane, having been called into being specifically to understand and observe Ender, had just developed an obsession with him and took to watching his accounts out of curiosity. I'm not a big fan of using Bean's Giant Brain (tm) to spackle over every possible plot uncertainty. *grin*)
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999
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I'm not a Bean fan. When I re-read the Shadow Series I pretty much skipped over the chapters about Bean. I just have a difficult time understanding him. Does he have to be right all the time? If Bean cared a little more, if he wasn't so aloof, I just find myself not caring about him at all. Maybe Bean isn't human after all.
Posts: 421 | Registered: Jan 2001
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Let's talk about Peter. In the first book he is a mean vicious monster, who apologizes to Ender when he doesn't think that he can hear him. He is also the most brilliant mind the IF has seen until Ender comes along and this is obviously genetically based since we learn that the IF manipulated John Paul and Theresa to come together just so that they would marry and have children in "First Meetings in the Enderverse". Why would they do this if the Wiggin parents were just normal Mom and Pop? They had brilliant minds to begin with, Ender just couldn't see this, and that's why we don't get any insights on this in Ender's Game, it is written from Ender's point of view. On the other hand, we finally get to know these character's in the Shadow series, and still only briefly. Is Ender truly the only character that we feel we can love? That we can identify with? Why is it so hard for us to empathize with someone who's greatest deeds are to facilitate greater deeds for someone else?
Ender saved all of humanity, maybe. The Hive Queen shows him how she felt, "The Humans did not forgive us, she thought. We will surely die." (p. 223, hard-cover version) Ever since I read that line I knew that the Bugger's weren't a threat to us at all after they stopped the second invasion. They didn't know how to apologize though, which is the very problem that began the whole Bugger Wars, or rather the Formic Wars. So if we try to look at the whole picture from Ender's point of view and the Hive Queen's point of view, he isn't a hero at all, as we are wont to portray him, but he is not guilty of the crime of Xenocide either. He has compassion for the Buggers as well as love for humanity.
This isn't a story about surmounting unsrumountable obstacles and defeating the villian. The story of the Wiggins is a story of Family, of the great deeds that they all were born to do and of the friends that were there to help them through it. Even in the Speaker series, Ender shows up and starts trying to become a part of Novinha's family. Without the support of the Wiggin family though he wasn't himself, as a character, that's why Valentine had to come and join him. Mr. Card even comes right out and shows in "Children of the Mind" that Ender portray's himself as a combination of Valentine and Peter combined, but the Valentine and Peter from his Childhood.
The real Peter is deeper than this, he was the man who unified Earth, so that all those colonies that Ender visit's on his thousands of light years of travel could even come to be in existence. The real Peter was jealous as a child, and learned to forgive his brother and love him anyway, and then learn to forgive himself and love others. This is the real Peter Wiggin. The first born of brilliant parents, who were carefully selected to produce off-spring with the capabilities of saving mankind.
As to the political commentary in the Shadow series mirrorring or rather, shadowing (pun intended) the political stereotypes of today, Mr. Card does this because the politics are not based on economics but rather on religion. Religions that have stayed the same for the last few hundred years probably won't be changing anytime soon so expecting the climate of faith to change just because it's the future is ridiculous.
I'm sorry if you feel that Ender was the greatest thing since sliced bread. You are right in your assessment that he is brilliant and charismatic and compassionate. But how much does he change over the course of the novels? He is the same from the first chapter of "Ender's Game" until he passes in "Children of the Mind". Brilliant, charismatic and compassionate to the core. I am so much more drawn to characters that let their environments affect them, to change them and Bean more than any other character in the whole Enderverse displays this characteristic. He begins life stoic and uncaring, fueled only by the barest of needs, to survive, and we leave him as he leaves to the stars, only leaving because he is caring for his babies and giving up HIS life for the mere chance that they may have a normal life and showing us the deepest kind of love that we can share. That of giving up one's life for his friends, in this case, his children.
I don't know, maybe Lusitania is too foreign for me, I really like it here on Earth you know, so maybe that's why I relate more to the Shadow series. At any rate, telling people how I feel about these books and characters is fun for me, even if you disagree with what my opinions are.
Posts: 9 | Registered: Mar 2005
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What in the next Shadow book? It did end somewhat open ended didn't it? No, I doubt that Bean will have any real interaction with Jane per se. Bean did get Graff to get the mind game to watch Ender's finances, and the mind game was already Jane then just not as smart and not really as alive since the ansible network is still in its infancy in the Shadow series. I don't really call that interaction though, or the baby search that Bean asks the mind game to perform either.
Nevertheless, Jane doesn't go off-line for 3000 years and the likelihood of Bean also seeking immortality through relativity and being present when Jane goes "off-line" would be old news since Ender already did it. I think Mr. Card will do something entirely different with Bean and his child who will think that he is the son of Achilles.
I think Bean’s other baby will somehow figure out Bean left Earth and follow him. Eventually being the bad guy in the linking book, who of course in the end will find out that he’s really Bean’s son.
I wasn’t saying Bean is having interaction with Jane. I was meaning that when the ansible network goes down to purge it of Jane, so would Bean’s connection to the universe. And as smart as Bean is he’ll be able to figure that something went wrong and lead him to Jane and of course Peter-Ender and with that ship will be able to cure Bean and his kids. And somewhere in there play with the descolodia (how ever you spell it, no time or chance to look up right now).
Posts: 2845 | Registered: Oct 2003
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Bean's other child, who also shares his condition, has presumably already left Earth on a colony ship, that is, if Randi actually made it through all the security that precedes an interstellar voyage. I'm not sure Bean will survive the voyage since he only has a few more years to live.
On Earth, Volescu and Anthon guessed that he would maybe live 25 years, but since he would be in space where gravity would not have as detrimental effect (as long as he takes his calcium and works out in gravity to prevent his bones from becoming hollow, a condition for anyone who spends a lot of time in Nul-G) then maybe he'll get until he's 30 or so. Still, I am hoping that we get an entirely new cast of characters in the 4 key-turned Childern, who only find out about each other's existence after anyone who could tell them the truth about thier identities is dead and gone. (Yes, even Bean, my favorite character in the entire Enderverse!) I think it would present some very interesting plot twists, 3 Bean-minds facing off against one of Achilles-temperament-but-Bean-intellect, and being siblings unknowingly. It would be something entirely new, but it could be fun.
I think that this Shadow series is just different. You know, have you ever had an argument and said something like "That thing you did was stupid" and had the other person say "dont call me stupid"
Same thing, different sides of the same story.
Maybe it isnt Beans brain at all - maybe he just thinks that it is. Maybe he just listens to his inner voice better than others.
And, really, getting upset about how Peter just is the least idiotic... Do you not pay attention to politics??? On the big scale, the winner either has more guns or makes less mistakes.
I liked the series but for a different reason than I liked EG. I connected with Ender on a totally different level than I did with the characters in this series.
Try to look at this as a different series. Read it again and pretend that it is a diff writer.
Posts: 3 | Registered: Mar 2005
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My understanding of what happened was that Bean's ship was meant to come out of lightspeed when a "cure" for his condition was found. Now that the "wishing makes it so" principle and "outside" was discovered, Bean just has to get where he can have a realtime conversation, and Jane can make arrangements to have a virus made. What I'm not quite sure of is whether the viruses created in Xenocide such as the ones that made everyone on Path like Wang Mu new. Did humanity already have a virus that could alter the genome of a living being and keep them alive at the same time? As for the Shadow books, I liked seeing most of the recasting, especially Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin. I was sad that good old Johnny P. was left out of SOTG almost entirely. I also wished that some reference to the two new First Meetings short stories could have been made (although I would hope for nothing like what JK Rowling did with her charity books in Harry Potter 5). I didn't like that after develpping Peter over the Shadow series that Card couldn't leave him as anything less than a good guy. I liked Peter better as a jerk. Instead he gets treated to the ultimate OSC happily ever after. Married with 10 kids! Peter's the Hegemon, but the two-kids stigma can't be that far gone for anyone to have that many (even though five weren't "his"). I think the Speaker series is better, because although there is danger in both quartets, the older books really take the characters to hell and back again. There is more passion and more danger, and more... everything.
Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004
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Anyone who feels that the Shadow series detracts from the the Ender Saga or is somehow less polished or well written, doesn't truly understand the Ender Saga at all. The very differences between the two sagas is what make them so great and so real. They are two entirely different and yet equally poignant explorations of human interactions, growth, and history. It's not all about Ender...not even Ender's Game is all about Ender. It's about how people help eachother succeed dispite their gifts or disabilities (and for anyone who grew up being labled "gifted" in some of the same ways as the Battle Schoolers as I did will understand that those two words are not all that distinct).
The whole premise behind the Shadow books is not that any one particular character is so brilliant that he can bring about peace, but that each character grows and learns from the others, becoming a complete person by the end of SoTG...becoming adults instead of brilliant children. None of the characters was whole in SoTH, but they are by the end of SoTG despite what they lose in that book.
The gifted lable can be debilitating to a childs growth. Believe me, I know. I appreciate OSC's writing because he truly understands, for lack of a better word, the plight of the gifted child. Intelligence can be a curse as much as a gift, and there are two ways to deal with it. The Ender saga way, and the Bean saga way. That's why there are two series. The Ender saga couldn't say it all.
As for the complaints that Peter didn't really do much...Bean is not the force behind Peter, he was only one component. While I loved the story progression of Bean and Petra and felt like it came to a good conclusion (though a farewell scene between Bean and Petra was ostensibly missing), I really felt like SoTG was about how Peter truly became a good person and learned that it was okay to be good. While his inner thoughts are not shown extensively in SoTG, Peter's dialogue and actions contantly show that he is finally seeing what is actually around him, instead of what his brilliance wants to see. He realizes it isn't about him. Bean and Petra helped him to see that. When I read how Peter had become the great Hegemon before the Shadow books were written, I wasn't sure I liked that thought. But I felt the Shadow series was a very real portrayal of the evolution of a true leader in Peter who could be great. Once again, OSC has shown his fundamental understanding of what it means to lead.
Also, Bean...as the titles indicate...has always been the shadow. He didn't want to be the one casting that shadow. That was the true face of his greatness. Ambition to do right, not to be great. As was said several times, Bean was the best of them all...and not because he was the smartest. If anything, it was because he loved the others the most...even before he realized it himself. The true face of leadership is love.
I would love to see another book to tie up the fact that Bean isn't quite dead yet, and there is another potential Achilles being raised by the most unfortunatly ignorant Randi. Much as I would love a follow on to Children of the Mind. The end of SoTG was very reminiscent of Children. I need to know what happens!
The problem I see with Randi and Achilles II flying around for three thousand years, is that Randi wouldn't have the money to purchase a starship. She makes mention of how little money she has in the SotG, and it doesn't seem like there would be many oppurtunities to make a lot of money on a new colony. I just don't see how she would have the finances to travel thru the ages, especially seince its supposed to be something that is primarily reserved for the elites. Perhaps the two of them could be affiliated with the pirates that Novinha mentioned in SftD. That we give Achilles the means to survive, and identify with Achilles nature. Just a thought.
Posts: 129 | Registered: Sep 2003
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The things i really enjoyed in Ender's Game were not duplicated in Speaker for the Dead. I really enjoy reading about the exploits of the genius children who were chosen by Battle School. I think everything in the Shadow serious is the rational explination of things that were merely summed up in Ender's Game. With the world the way it was, would Peter's Locke Proposal really grant him instant Hegemony? The idea of uniting the entire world under a single government with peace i think is a grand enough idea that it takes three Shadow books to come about.
The points people bring up about Bean's intelligence compared to Enders are valid, but i think you're missing the point. Bean is the anomolly. Ender is probably the smartest human ever ( at the time of the Bugger Wars ). Well, Bean isn't human. I don't think it takes anything away from Ender's intelligence if there is a genetically engineered boy whose basic physiology exceeds the basic human structure of Enders. One of the things most re-itereated throughout the Shadow series is the fact that Bean would not have been able to defeat the Buggers the way Ender did. The other chilren in Battle School/Command School never followed Bean the way they would follow Ender. And without the co-operation of his soldiers, Ender never would have been able to defeat the Buggers. And OSC says over and over again, that the other kids hated being commanded by Bean. they didn't like him, or love him as much as they loved Ender. I think you could even go so far as to say that Bean knew that, which is why Ender had to do it. So what if Bean was smarter? Bean never would have been able to understand the Buggers the way Ender did, and therefor he never would have been able to defeat him. Only in Puppets does Bean ever give any inkling that he understands an enemy the way Ender did, and he only comes to that conclusion because Ender mentioned it to him.
I haven't read the entire Xenocide series. It didn't really appeal to me. But i've on my second read-through of the Shadow series, because i love the explination of things which were barely mentioned in Ender's Game. I think OSC created really good characters with the children of Battle School in EG, and i think it's only right that he explain the lives of these characers once they returned to Earth.
Thats my take on it all. I like the combination of international politics, especially little drops of things which haven't happened yet, like the ' Nuking of Mecca ' mentioned in SotG, which i thought was an interesting prediction of the future of the Islamic world.
Posts: 5 | Registered: Mar 2005
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quote: I haven't read the entire Xenocide series. It didn't really appeal to me. ... Thats my take on it all. I like the combination of international politics, especially little drops of things which haven't happened yet, like the ' Nuking of Mecca ' mentioned in SotG, which i thought was an interesting prediction of the future of the Islamic world.
I wouldn't worry about missing my point, HJ.
Yeah, Porter. *grin* Because using a common phrase like "making Baby Jesus cry," which is hardly a Blue Moon reference on this site alone, is certainly more offensive to Christians than, say, finding the nuking of Mecca intriguing would be offensive to Muslims.
Because, y'know, Christians are just so sensitive about Baby Jesus.
Porter, a Jehovah's Witness uses the "Baby Jesus" cliche on this site even more than I do. Are you going to suggest that she's less respectful of things she herself considers holy and sacred than I am?
Odd, then, that you would not comment upon it until now. I shall look forward to your delightful lectures every time Christian mythology is mentioned obliquely on this site. But tell me: why do I suspect that I am receiving some special treatment?
And, again, I wait with bated breath for your passionate defense of Mecca, and/or long posts about the inappropriateness of Darwin fish bumper stickers.
Come on, get over it. If I can take the extremely offensive characterization of my novel as "cheap," you can stop with the "did so" "did not" level of quarreling here.
For what it's worth, I have written many novels about characters who were not born geniuses or the very best of (or at) anything. (Saints, FotF, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel&Leah, Lost Boys, Treasure Box, Homebody, Enchantment, Wyrms, Hart's Hope, Pastwatch, Treason, Stone Tables, five Homecoming novels.)
But the whole point of Battle School was that they found the very best kids on earth (at the tasks required) and then tested them to find the best of the best. And I made it clear in EG that Bean was the one closest to Ender in ability.
And as for "characterization," it would be illuminating to know what is meant by that phrase, if you think it is something that does not occur in Shadow of the Giant. Do you perhaps mean that you are not personally interested in the character? That will happen, of course, to many readers of any book; but it doesn't mean that characterization is not taking place, merely that you are uninterested in the result.
Posts: 2005 | Registered: Jul 1999
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Just who does this 'Orson Scott Card' guy think he is, to assume he knows more about these books than we do?
(Insert Robert Jordan-esque ostentatious *sniff* here)
Actually, I enjoyed the Shadow series, though there were times that Peter's growth seemed to be more of simply moving from arrogance to acceptance instead of deciding whether he should be a jackal or not, or however it was that Graff put it. He never seemed to have the qualities of a person who would dissect a living squirrel. He was too likable, in a way. Too Ender-ish at times, though with less empathy for others, which was in character enough, I suppose. The whole bit about him thinking that his parents were idiots was actually plausible. I didn't realize until I was in my 20's that my parents were actually pretty smart people and not the knuckle-dragging drooling morons I had thought they were, despite the fact that my brothers and I all had mensa level IQ's in school. (Sadly, there are no buggers for my smarter little brothers to kill, but we did kill a nest of wasps, once. Maybe that counts.) Also, the idea that really, really smart people like the elder Wiggins would 'dumb down' when dealing with others isn't that much of a stretch. Society as a whole is suspicious of intelligence on one hand, while expecting too much from it on the other. At the end of the series, when Peter was thinking back on his relationship with Ender, that seemed reasonable enough, too.
I think part of the problem is that to show how smart Bean could be, it had to come at the expense of Peter and Ender's intelligence at times.
It should be noted, that Bean (for all his brilliance) was not capable of leading in the way that Ender was, and was ultimately unable to see a way to win the last battle (Ender's Shadow, towards the end, more or less):
quote:(Bean's POV) I did not know it. I would not have pursued this strategy. I *had* no strategy. Ender was the only commander who could have known, or guessed, or unconsciously hoped that when he flung out his forces the enemy would falter, would trip, would fall, would fail. Or *did* he know at all? Could it be that he reached the same conclusion as I did, that this battle was unwinnable? That he decided not to play it out, that he went on strike, that he quit? And then my bitter words, "the enemy's gate is down," triggered his futile, useless gesture of despair, sending his ships to certain doom because he did not know that there were real ships out there, with real men aboard, that he was sending to their deaths? Could it be that he was as surprised as I was by the mistakes of the enemy? Could our victory be an accident? No. For even if my words provoked Ender into action, he was still the one who chose *this* formation, *these* feints and evasions, *this* meandering route.
And of course there is what the Hive Queen has to say about Ender (Xenocide, some page or another):
quote: <We also realized that you were dangerous and terrible. You in particular, dangerous because you found all our patterns and we couldn't think of anything complicated enough to confuse you. So you destroyed all but me. Now I understand you better. I've had all these years to study you. You are not as terrifyingly brilliant as we thought.>
So maybe Ender isn't all that and a bag of chips, anyhow.
quote:Originally posted by urbanX: I loved how the Peter story was resolved. I totally understood where Peter was coming from in regards to Ender. I don't know if OSC could have written a better ending.
I agree completely, The conversations between Peter and Ender were great, and (as corny as it sounds) it was good to hear from Ender again. the end of SotG left me craving some Speaker
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