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Author Topic: Ender's Game: Authors Definitive vs. Original HB
Zevlag
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Near the end of Ender's Game, Valentine is speaking with Ender at ISL:

quote:
"I know what you're thinking, Ender. You're thinking that I'm trying to control you just as much as Peter or Graff or any of the others."
"It crossed my mind."
"Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to be controlled by good people, by people who love you.

But I was listening to the audio book, which is based on the paper back "Author's Definitive" edition, and I found that it was different:

quote:
"I know what you're thinking, Ender. You're thinking that I'm trying to control you just as much as Peter or Graff or any of the others."
"It crossed my mind."
"Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to fill the roles given you by good people, by people who love you.

I actually really like the change.

My questions is, what other changes were there?

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Zenox
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Part of the discussion between Alai and Ender when they were in the battleroom together for the first time, after they just raced to the corner, was cut out for the audio version.. Other stuff was too, I'm sure, but I can't think of anything.
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Dan_Frank
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If it's the version I'm thinking of, Zenox is right. In the original version, Ender and Alai exchanged a few racial slurs, which were removed.

If I remember right, some sporadic cursing was removed or toned down as well.

I don't know of any other significant changes.

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Blue Pyro
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I read both of them, the original one when I was in fifth grade. I later saw other books by OSC in the school library and noticed...

A sequel to Enders Game!!!

In my rush and greed to get it out of the library first, I was oblivious to the fact that it said Authors Definitive Version on it.

well, heres my point. Remember when Ender kicked the crud out of that bully at his bus stop? was that in the definitive version as well?

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vonk
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quote:
In the original version, Ender and Alai exchanged a few racial slurs, which were removed.
I've heard this a lot, but in the 2006 hard back printing my sister got for me the slur is still in there. Was it edited out and then put back in?
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CRash
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That version is still printed--I have a copy from just a couple years ago. It's a trade paperback. It has "AUTHOR'S DEFINITIVE EDITION*" on the front, but not in the sunburst like my mass-market paperback copy. The mass-market copy has been revised and does not have the slur, but was printed years before my trade paperback.

So, I would guess it is possible to find both versions now, it just depends on what edition you buy. I believe the new "gift" hardcover has it edited, but the other hardcover edition doesn't. I may be wrong, though.

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skeptical scientist
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In case anyone wants the exact quotes, it happens when Ender and Alai decide to freeze the rest of the battleroom at their first practice:
quote:
Original version:
They grinned. Then Ender said, "Better invite Bernard."

Alai cocked an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"And Shen."

"That little slanty-eyed butt-wiggler?"

Ender decided that Alai was joking. "Hey, we can't all be niggers."

Alai grinned. "My grandpa would've killed you for that."

"My great great grandpa would have sold him first."

"Let's go get Bernard and Shen and freeze these bugger-lovers."

quote:
Changed version:
They grinned. Then Ender said, "Better invite Bernard."

Alai cocked an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"And Shen."

"That little butt-wiggler?"

Ender decided that Alai was joking. "If you didn't hold yours so tight it would wiggle, too."

"Let's go get Bernard and Shen and freeze these bugger-lovers."

It's pretty surprising that OSC would include a word like "nigger" since he says in one of his various author commentaries that Ender's Game was original full of obscene language, but then he edited most of it out because he figured a lot of children would be reading it, and didn't want them learning bad language from him. I wonder if originally it blended in with all of the other obscenity, but when he edited out the other obscenity he was searching for more common swear words and missed this passage as a result, and then fixed it in a later version. However, it is kind of nice that in the world of Ender's game, the racial problems of today are gone to the extent that they can be used for friendly banter without anyone getting offended.

Edit: It turns out that OSC discusses this particular change here. He claims that it is obvious (or would be, if the word "nigger" were not so jarring to the modern ear) that what is really going on is that Alai is using a racial epithet in a way which offends Ender, and Ender responds in order to show Alai his error. I don't think this is really clear, and I interpreted it to mean that society had reached a point where racial insults were no better or worse than any other type of insult, and could be used in a friendly joking manner.

Incidentally, my English version of Ender's Game is the same as the audiobook, but my French version is a translation of the original. (The translator is amused by the "arrogant seperatism" of the French - he says so in the only translator's note in the whole book.)

[ July 11, 2007, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: skeptical scientist ]

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vonk
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I thought it was pretty obvious he was using irony to make a point.

I'm not sure if I came across another change or not. I'm not complaining or anything, either way it's still good, I just don't know if I'm misremembering my other readings.

***SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ ENDER'S GAME***

So I just finished the gift edition. At the end, just before the very last battle at the bugger's home planet Mazer is explaining the game to Ender. Ender asks what will happen if shoots the planet with Dr. Device. Mazer says that it is Ender's tactical decision, but that the bugger's had never attacked a human settlement, so he should consider if there would be retribution if he did.

I could have sworn that in the other editions I've read the answer to that question was a flat "No, you can not shoot the planet. It's against the rules, don't do it." (<-- paraphrasing) This recolection is backed up by Ender's decision later to break the "rule" and that if he broke the "rule" he wouldn't have to go through anymore games. He thought he had cheated when he won, but how could it be cheating if Mazer specifically made it Ender's decision and not against the rules?

I don't have another edition right now (gave them all away), so can someone check for me? Appreciate it!

(edited to fix homonyms)

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DDDaysh
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I remember the "Ender, the Bugger's have never knowlingly attacked a civilian target" thing that Mazer said, but I don't remember if it's in my novel version or if it was in the short story version. However, when he's talking about breaking a "rule" it was more along the lines of making them think he was too dangerous to trust as a commander.
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Occasional
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"It's pretty surprising that OSC would include a word like "nigger" since he says in one of his various author commentaries that Ender's Game was original full of obscene language, but then he edited most of it out"

Although less than positive in its use, only recently has it been upgraded/downgraded to obscene language. Before that it meant a black person of low status.

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skeptical scientist
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I found another difference between the versions. It comes when Ender is first going into space:

Original:
"The launch wasn't bad. A little scary. Some jolting, a few moments of panic that this might be the first failed launch in the history of the shuttle."

Revision:
"The launch wasn't bad. A little scary. Some jolting, a few moments of panic that this might be the first failed launch since the early days of the shuttle."

I think it's pretty clear what prompted this change. [Frown]

Also, vonk, about Mazer's instructions to Ender preceding the "final exam":
I'm pretty sure that in all the novel version he says that Ender should consider whether it is wise to adopt such a strategy without saying that it is against the rules. Certainly the exchange is the same in all versions I have access to (which include a version published in 2002, the 20th anniversary audiobook, a French-language version published by J'ai lu, and a version I found online* which is apparently from the late 90s which I've been using as the source for my "orginal version" quotes above, and which is certainly illegal. Hopefully OSC will forgive me for using it since I have 3 legally purchased copies of the book and 1 of the short story. [Razz] )

However, Mazer (Maezr, actually) did explicitly prohibit it in the original short story (novelette) version. In my copy (from Maps in a Mirror), the exchange is as follows:
quote:

"Also, it's against the rules to use weapons against the planet itself. All right?"
"Why, don't the weapons work against planets?"
Maezr answered coldly, "There are rules of war, Ender, that apply even in training games."

So you probably were remembering it from somewhere, and that somewhere was the original short story.

-----
*I won't say where online it is in order to discourage people from reading an illegal copy instead of obtaining a legal one, although most people in this thread probably have a legal copy anyways. I will, however, email it to OSC in case he wants to ask for its removal.

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vonk
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Ah! I believe the part quoted above is in the novel too. It's during the conversation when Mazer (or Graff?) explain the little doctor, before the training, right? I must have gotten that conversation mixed with the one just before the final battle. Thanks!
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skeptical scientist
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Nope. It's not in the novel at all, as far as I can find, and certainly not when Mazer first tells Ender about the M.D. Device.
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