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Author Topic: "What OSC should I read first?"
vonk
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I recently had this question put to me, and i was stumped. I wanted to say EG, because thats the first one i read, but then, i wondered if that captured the full realm of all of OSC's works. i think i finally ended up saying Worthing Saga, but only because that is one of my personal favorites. Maybe Songmaster? i dunno, what do you guys think? What OSC novel would you recommend a person read first?
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0range7Penguin
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I would still say EG. But thats my opinion.
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JennaDean
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Depends on what type of literature they like. If they love sci-fi, then Ender's Game is the classic. My personal favorite is fantasy, so if they like that I'd recommend Enchantment; or they could start with the Alvin Maker series. Historical fiction? Pastwatch or Women of Genesis. He writes everything!

Worthing Saga is wonderful, but I don't even know what category that fits in. Probably sci-fi, so people who like EG ought to like that too.

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Oliver Dale
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JennaDean has a valid point. Cater to their particular likes -- he certainly has something for everyone. I started my mother with SARAH, my best friend with EG, a history major friend with PASTWATCH, etc. Of course, they all ended up reading all the others, so it is kind of a moot point. EG is usually a safe bet, though, if you're not sure.
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Mazer
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EG or Red Prophet.

Depends on the person, though.

For example, if they are a DeLint fan, I would start them on Treasure Box or Enchantment. If they are hot for Gaiman, I might give them Homebody. If they are somewhat openminded, I would show them to one of my favorites, Lovelock. A Brin or Ing fan might appreciate Folk of the Fringe And so on...

But you can't go wrong with EG.

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vonk
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Hmm, Folk of the Fringe would be a good one to start off with. I don't know about Treasure Box though. It was a good novel, but, to me, it wasn't up to par with the genius of some of OSC's other work.
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TomDavidson
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I started with Prentice Alvin, believe it or not, and have never regretted it.
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vonk
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Started with Prentice Alvin, eh? i've read a couple of series out of order before, but thats taking quite a leap. How do you know what it all means?

(How is everyone getting italics? i can't get it in this format)

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cheiros do ender
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Place [i*] before, and [/i*] after what you want italicized. (Minus the asterixes, of course, but I'm not sure they were even needed in this example, considering the spaces.)

My favourite is Folk of the Fringe, but if they're not LDS they might not like that. Then there's Wyrms, but if they're not at least, say, 16?, that's probably not suitable for them either. I read it when I was fourteen and didn't realise "it wasn't for me" until one of the last chapters. Then there's Songmaster, can't really go wrong with Songmaster.

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starter
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Ender's Game, although I'd agree with the original poster in saying that it doesn't capture the full breadth of MR. OSC's writing technique/style.
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Joshua Newberry
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Folk of the Fringe gave my girlfriend's father the (false) impression that OSC has an agenda in EVERY book he writes, specifically promoting the LDS Church. Bear that in mind, if the person requesting might be closed to Mormonism.
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JennaDean
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Heh, Joshua, it gave me the impression that he didn't think too highly of Latter-day Saints. Of course one of the short stories from Fringe was the first Card I ever read, and I knew he was LDS, but I didn't know if he was active or not. And it was quite a skewed look at Latter-day Saints.

Now I know better. [Smile]

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steven
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Start with his non-fiction. He is more interesting than his characters, at least to me. The discussions of toilet paper, etc. are hilarious. His other (Ornery site) essays are surprisingly well-thought-out, about 70% of the time. These are all my opinions.
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mr_porteiro_head
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I started with Treason, but it didn't take.

Then I read Ender's Game a few years later, and I started reading everything I could of his.

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Dr Strangelove
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I'd say Enders Game is a safe choice. I think it encompasses the best of his writing. Not everything obviously, but it is just a darn good work of literature, and that is a fact no one can deny. Some of the other books, while still brilliant, may or may not appeal to everyone. If someone doesn't like Enders Game, I don't think they have a very good understanding of good literature. But then, that is only my opinion.
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starter
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
I'd say Enders Game is a safe choice. I think it encompasses the best of his writing. Not everything obviously, but it is just a darn good work of literature, and that is a fact no one can deny. Some of the other books, while still brilliant, may or may not appeal to everyone. If someone doesn't like Enders Game, I don't think they have a very good understanding of good literature. But then, that is only my opinion.

In terms of literature, where do you place "Speaker For The Dead" in relation to "Ender's Game"?
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Dagonee
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I think Speaker is by far his best book.

And that's not a knock on any of the other books.

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Dr Strangelove
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Ah ... I don't know ... this happens every time I try to choose a favorite. You're right, Speaker is very good, and easily arguably better than Ender's Game. But my reasoning goes that Enders Game is a great read for pretty much anyone while there are people who wouldn't like Speaker as much. For example, I doubt I would've enjoyed Speaker much in 3rd grade, but I loved Enders Game. And I know that we're not talking about 3rd graders here, but that's my basis for choosing Enders Game over Speaker. I'm yet to meet anyone who didn't like Enders Game while I have met some, al beit very few, who didn't like Speaker.
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ender2785
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I think you should start off with The Memory Of Earth. It is an amazing book that really shows Card's understanding of humanity. I think he does an awesome job detailing his characters, especially so in this book. I couldn't put any in this series down.
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Dagonee
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I suggest Ender's Game be read before Speaker, certainly. I was responding to the literature comment. [Smile]
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El JT de Spang
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I want to see more support for The Worthing Saga.

That's a phenomenal book. Although I too started with EG.

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vonk
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Worthing Saga was phenominal. I am so incredibly happy that Hot Sleep is now on IMS. But i think that ender2785 is on to something. i think MoE that entire series show the magnitude of what OSCs is capable of (IMO of course).
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Leia Atreides
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I started with Speaker when I was younger, around 15/16 if my memory serves me, maybe one year minus--- and well, there are too many interesting moments in character development that I would recommend it even without knowledge of EG.

However, for starters, you say? Definitely EG. It catches freeze breath, couples it with breath of the reader and when they're already done with the book, the memory of that speed stays forever. And it's so damn depressive and funny at the same time (hate to admit it, but first time I read it, I wasn't interested in any battles at all, though otherwise I read genres that include just that kind of stuff. I wanted to see all *jokes* that might be offered to me, because they were brilliant)

Of course, just some gibberish, make your own mind.

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lisha_rose
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ah i dont know how you guys do it ........reading books out of order...... it drives me insane if i skip books i literally cant do it....thats just like watching movies i start with the first one and go from there no matter the order they were published < ie starwars> yes i did wait till the newest three were released to watch the older three. kept having people tell me oh your soposed to watch them this way yadda yadda yadda no you start from the beginning not the middle silly people:d but that is just me and my obsessiveness with the way things are SOPOSED to be lol
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Jimbo the Clown
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Personally, I always recommend Ender's Shadow to all my friends first. From there you can go on to Game, Hegemon, or Speaker. So far I've only read the Enderverse and most of Alvin Maker, though. (I'm working on Pastwatch after I finish the Alvin series.)

P.S. Mazer, are you a de Lint fan too, then? email me sometime so we can compare notes. (jimbotherisenclown@gmail.com)

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Carrie
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In this order: Ender's Game, Worthing Saga, Enchantment.
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vonk
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Jimbo, you recomend ES before EG? I don't know how i feel about that. that would instill Bean as the main character in the readers mind from there on out. besides, IMO, EG is a much better novel (not that ES is not good)
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Jimbo the Clown
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I don't think so. I read Shadow first, but I jumped right into the Ender stories just as easily as those who start with Game.
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JemmyGrove
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I'll second (or third, or eleventeenth) EG.

quote:
I wanted to say EG, because thats the first one i read, but then, i wondered if that captured the full realm of all of OSC's works.
I don't think you necessarily need something that 'captures the full realm of all his works,' you just need a hook. Make your friend take that first puff and he's addicted for life. EG seems to be one that catches people and won't let go until it's done with them.
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Julia
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That's what happened to me!
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opiejudy
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I would have to say Enders Game, rarely do I find someone who has read Enders Game and their breath wasnt jsut taken away. It was my first many years ago, a boyfriend said I had to read it, and I was reluctant. It took him about 4 months to convince me. I jsut couldnt fathom a science fiction book being interesting to me. But I started it and it took me about 14 hours and I did not put it down. Then I read everything I could get my hands on. I will agree with the many people that have stated that Enders Game is not their favorite OSC work. I doubt that it is mine. I am not sure that I could pick mine. Speaker would most certainly be my quick answer if I were to just say without thinking. But Ender opened up a new world to me, that makes it special. When my substantially younger sister brought it home for her English assignment, I took it from her and read it again, I made her late, lol. But she then couldnt stop reading either and had to keep going and going. Enders Game will do that and for that reason should be the first. Of course I am completely biased as it holds a place in my heart.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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My suggestion would be Seventh Son. The first book I read was, of course, Ender's game-that's what got me hooked on OSC, but Seventh Son is shorter, and easier to get into. It also starts a nice, long series that's easy to read. My next suggestions for first OSC book would be
2. Maps in a mirror (Complete Paperback version)
3. Ender's game (Obviously)
4. Treasure Box (If you're a horror fan)

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gsim
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if you like history or anything like that, read Pastwatch, if you you like survival, read enders shadow, if you just want to get hooked on OSC: im all enders game.
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hatrkr81
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OK, I would recommend Ender's Game first only as a prequel to Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. I'm not saying I didn't like Ender's Game, I loved it, but Speaker, X, and COTM are my three all time favorite books (I really can't choose between them but could prob. limit it to Speaker and Xenocide). I think that these are even better than Ender's Game and are more exemplary of OSC's works. This is how I read them. Read Ender's game, loved it...read Speaker..and I was hooked.
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RunningBear
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I read Ender's Shadow first, and that hooked me, I read homecoming next, and was reeled in. I got to the Ender series and I was in the frying pan.
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Jay
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This would be a neat one for OSC to answer.
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scholar
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
Heh, Joshua, it gave me the impression that he didn't think too highly of Latter-day Saints. Of course one of the short stories from Fringe was the first Card I ever read, and I knew he was LDS, but I didn't know if he was active or not. And it was quite a skewed look at Latter-day Saints.

Now I know better. [Smile]

Reading Folk on the Fringe actually made me come find the web site to see if he was active or not. Also, didn't help that my brother in law likes sending me links to a very lds genre writer who made some kinda mean statements regarding OSC faith (implying a lack)
But I think that which book someone reads first really depends on the person and what they normally read. My first OSC book was EG.

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Darakemba
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I have been a lurker here for awhile and then I saw this thread... I just finished the Homecoming Saga not 30 minutes ago and it was incredible. I have also read all the Ender/Bean series and Homebody. My opinion would be to start out with the Homecoming Saga. Card's development of the characters and his development of the plot is simply amazing. I have already given my copy of TMOE to a friend and he is loving ti so far. I myself am taking a break from Card (i havn't read anything but Card for the last two and a half years) right now to read The DaVinci Code, but I have Enchantment on my shelf waiting to be read.
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Darakemba
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Quick Edit... I started out with EG as well.
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vonk
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I love the Homecoming Series. Yesterday on the train home from work I finished it for the third or fourth time. I know it is impossible, but I always find myself wishing there were about a dozen more books in between Earth Fall and Earth Born.
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Darakemba
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I feel the same way, and it there could very easily be a dozen books in between there. There is what 400 years between the two.
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Dog Walker
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"I love the Homecoming Series. Yesterday on the train home from work I finished it for the third or fourth time. I know it is impossible, but I always find myself wishing there were about a dozen more books in between Earth Fall and Earth Born." Vonk

I also agree that many books could be made in between those times but i would like to see an "EARTH BORN" series. I always thought of Earth Born as seperate series from Homecoming. I would love to here more about the new characters introduced.

As for what book your friend should read i would say Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow. Wyrms was also very good but i don't think that would be a good book for someone that is being introduced to OSC.

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hatrkr81
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Darakemba, u should really read Enchantment if its sitting on your shelf...i read that book in one night because it was so good...i just couldn't put it down.. u should read that before you take a break from OSC..TAKE A BREAK FROM OSC?! just kidding, we must remember that other authors do exist.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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I'm still saying Seventh Son. t's easy to read and thoughtful.
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Cheezecake214
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I would say to read Enders game first. I read it first and it got me hooked on OSC. I think that its one his best books. I found that after reading the Ender books I was really attached to the characters, and thats what made me love OSC books.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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Ender's Game is really good but I like Speaker better. Of course, you have to read EG before Speaker so I would have to say EG is the best to start out with.
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Jimbo the Clown
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quote:
u should read that before you take a break from OSC..TAKE A BREAK FROM OSC?! just kidding, we must remember that other authors do exist.
There's a few good ones... Neil Gaiman... The Eddingses... CHARLES DE LINT!!!!!... Alan Dean Foster... The nameless scribe that wrote Gilgamesh...
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