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Author Topic: Ender in Exile!
Objectivity
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Here's a continuity error that no one has mentioned yet, probably because it's earlier in the story.

In Ender's Game, Peter initially guides Valentine in telling her what to write, but she eventually breaks free and writes for herself. At one point, Peter gives her the silent treatment and a point is made in saying if there was any difference in the quality, no one noticed. From then on, it's implied Valentine carried out her own agenda independently, although she still worked together with Peter.

In Ender In Exile, Valentine is still under Peter's thumb. She's supposed to be this great writer who does the history of Battle School and Shakespeare Colony and Ganges, etc. yet she can't form an opinion as Demonsthenes without Peter's assistance.

I accept continuity changing because the world has evolved far more than originally imagined, but this instance really didn't seem necessary except to create a false conflict.

As a general note, I wonder if he writes everything in sequence or follows various plot threads to conclusion or integrates later. I question because the beginning and end of the book feel a lot different than the middle. There is more speechifying in the beginning and end than in the middle. It almost seems like those parts were written to fit into the original idea of the story while the middle played out as if the writer was discovering the story at the same time as the reader - making the book a journey rather than a travel log (if that makes any sense).

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El JT de Spang
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MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!!

Read it. Liked (but didn't love) it.

I was mildly irritated to have the shorts from IGMS included in the text of this book. Why am I paying for the same story twice? Henceforth, I'll just stop buying them at IGMS.

Not that big of a deal, though -- I did enjoy reading the stories without waiting for a whole new novel to arrive, and now that I know they'll be reused I'm prepared for it.

Also, was it just me, or was there major retconning in this book re: Ender's feelings about Bean? Suddenly Ender knew all along that Bean was the better tactician, could've defeated the buggers in his place, etc? That's not the way I remember EG.

And I agree with Michiel that Ender, as a character, was a bit flat in this book. I mean, it can't be easy to write a character knowing he has to end up a certain way to match the adult version you've already explored. But he just wasn't as captivating as EG-Ender or SftD/Xeno/CotM-Ender. IMHO.

I was also a little surprised at how easily Achilles II was bested. That was supposed to be the bulk of the storyline here, and it could've easily been cut and not hurt the overall arc at all.

And somec? That's a bit Asimov-ian for my tastes.

Anywho, it's always great for more Enderverse material, and it's inevitable that it's not all going to be the BEST READ EVAR! And I did enjoy it.

[ November 28, 2008, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: El JT de Spang ]

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DDDaysh
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You've never paid for the same story twice before? Many, I have about half of Card's books in print AND audio - and some in a couple of versions of print.
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El JT de Spang
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Not without knowing I was paying for the same story twice.

Let me know if that clarification confuses you.

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rivka
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If the only (or main) reason one subscribes to IGMS is the Ender stories, then the reaction makes perfect sense. Since I think many of the other stories are a better reason . . .
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CRash
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Also, was it just me, or was there major retconning in this book re: Ender's feelings about Bean? Suddenly Ender knew all along that Bean was the better tactician, could've defeated the buggers in his place, etc? That's not the way I remember EG.

Definitely not just you. It's quite a bit of a leap to read EG and then Exile, like I did, and go from Ender hardly noticing Bean's existence to being all best buddies ever and admiring all his abilities. It's certainly done to connect the Shadow series with Ender but I felt it was laid on a bit thick. I didn't see anything wrong with Ender's attitudes toward Bean in EG and didn't see the need for them to be so severely "corrected" in this linker book.
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neo-dragon
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Yeah... Even when Ender finally writes home to his parents he can't mention his victory over the buggers without pointing out that Bean was the better tactician and he only won because of his help. I was a bit taken aback by how out of place that seemed. Similarly, in an earlier letter to Graff he makes a point of mentioning that Bean could have won the war.

Okay! Bean's smarter than Ender! We get it! [Big Grin]

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BlueWizard
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Stasis, or suspended animation -

This is not that uncommon a concept, and it hardly qualifies as 'magic' since virtually every other science fiction writer has used it, and even real scientist are searching for a way.

Some one said that if Stasis was true, and you put yourself in permanent stasis, it would be immortality. Really? Or would it be the equivalent of death?

What good is it, if you never wake up, and what good is it if you wake up so far in the future that you simply can't function in the world any more. Star Trek did an episode on this, one guy woke up an wanted to know how the stock market was doing. he expected to be a millionaire. They told him that the stock didn't exist any more. So, instead of rich, his investments were either lost, or turned over to his relatives centuries ago.

If someone you love goes into space for the earth equivalent of 50 years, you could just go into stasis on earth. But, that's 50 years you don't get to live. Meanwhile, the space traveler has moved a few years into the future without you. Certainly it could be done, but it just doesn't seem a good way to live a life. When your lives run separately, then you tend to separate. I just don't think it would work except in a few cases.

Also, keep in mind, this only works if you know you are coming back. When have we seen a character other than Mazer Rackham who make a round trip. He chose not to go into stasis.

One one hand, you could stay time synchronized with a space traveler, but you could not stay synchronized with progress on earth. Think about the changes on earth between 1900 and 1950, the consider the changes between 1950 and 2000. If you went to bed and there was not TV, and woke up to the internet, and 250 channels of digital TV. That's pretty serious cultural shock. Let the time span become too great and the cultural shock also become too great. You can simply never again get in sync with society.

I think Val and Ender were able to do it, because they never really took part in society. The never accumulated possessions. What do they care if the iPod has been invented, they don't plan to buy one. At best, then might be tempted to keep their desktops (personal computers) up to date, but beyond that, gadgets and general possession were not the big with them.

A stop for a few months here and there, plus their access to information would do a fair job of keeping them up-to-date on social changes.

I'm wonder though, if Stasis wasn't introduced to sync Ender and Val's ages, make them a little close to what they appear to be in later books. Or to create an in-world circumstance that allows for discontinuity in their ages to be explained.

Steve/bluewizard

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El JT de Spang
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Who are you responding to, BlueWizard?
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:


I think Val and Ender were able to do it, because they never really took part in society. The never accumulated possessions. What do they care if the iPod has been invented, they don't plan to buy one. At best, then might be tempted to keep their desktops (personal computers) up to date, but beyond that, gadgets and general possession were not the big with them.


If you recall, in SftD Ender was completly useless with modern computers since he just let Jane do everything rather than bothering to keep up with it himself. I'm always amused by the part where he's working with Olhado and doesn't know how to do anything. [Big Grin]

But on the whole, it doesn't seem like technology has changed a whole lot in the Enderverse in a 3000 year period. I guess because it didn't need to, and also because I suppose things might naturally change a bit more slowly in a civilization that has to accommodate people skipping across time.

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Tara
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OSC has been personally responsible for 95% of all the procrastination I've been doing over the past three days... between the new book and Hatrack.

Thanks.

Having said that... I'm not finished it yet, but I think Ender in Exile is beautiful...

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Abel Magwitch
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My thoughts on Ender in Exile:
First I'd like to say that I enjoyed this book, and that anything new in Enderverse is a good thing.

Well, like a lot of people I was expecting Ender's time on Ganges to be the bulk of the plot, but it turned out that it wasn't. Didn't actually bother me much though, because the time between chapter 14 and 15 in Ender's Game definitely needed expansion.

I also wasn't bothered by the short stories being included (I hadn't read the IGMS stories), but frankly in many parts it felt like the plot was just a bunch of short stories stuck together. I personally think that this novel would have been better as a short story collection.

My biggest gripe is the inconsistencies. I have no problems with deciding that you would like to rewrite something that you have previously written (as a writer myself I often feel compelled to do this), and you address this after the book; however, you don't address the glaring differences in relationships and individual events that frankly have no effect on timeline or plot (ie Peter or Valentine, who kept Ender from coming home?, Ender's relationship with Bean, sudden love?, the writing of the Hegemon, did Ender see Peter or not? etc...).

And finally, while I don't mind stasis being included in this book, why was it never mentioned in either the Ender or the Shadow series?

PS I can't wait for Shadows in Flight [Big Grin]


quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Who are you responding to, BlueWizard?

CRash
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El JT de Spang
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Are you BlueWizard? Because nothing in his post addresses anything that CRash says in her preceding post.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Abel Magwitch:
the writing of the Hegemon, did Ender see Peter or not? etc...).


When was it ever said that he didn't? There are now three accounts of his interviews with Peter; EG, SotG, and EiE, and I believe that all three state that they communicated "face to face" via ansible. The only inconsistency is Peter's age, which was said to be in his 70s in EG and "nearly 60" I think in EiE. I'm not sure why OSC decided to make it so that the trip to Shakespeare only took 40 years rather than 50, but I guess he'll make it match in EG when he rewrites the final chapter.
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Michiel
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Well, in SotD it was said that Peter ruled as Hegemon for "sixty years". It's impossible to square that with the age at which Peter is said to have died in EiE.
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neo-dragon
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Does it actually say when Peter died in EiE? I still have a couple of chapters to go, but iirc it says how old he was when Ender was interviewing him, and Ender makes the point that the book won't be published until after he dies, and that's all that's said.
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Abel Magwitch
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quote:
Originally posted by neo-dragon:
quote:
Originally posted by Abel Magwitch:
the writing of the Hegemon, did Ender see Peter or not? etc...).


When was it ever said that he didn't? There are now three accounts of his interviews with Peter; EG, SotG, and EiE, and I believe that all three state that they communicated "face to face" via ansible. The only inconsistency is Peter's age, which was said to be in his 70s in EG and "nearly 60" I think in EiE. I'm not sure why OSC decided to make it so that the trip to Shakespeare only took 40 years rather than 50, but I guess he'll make it match in EG when he rewrites the final chapter.
Shadow of the Giant pg. 364
"No picture. Peter had to draw the line somewhere. And Ender hadn't insisted. It would be too painful for both of them-for Ender to see how much time had passed during his relativistic voyage out to Shakespeare, and for Peter to be forced to see how young Ender still was, how much life he still had ahead of him while Peter was looking coolly at his own old age and approaching death."


quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Are you BlueWizard? Because nothing in his post addresses anything that CRash says in her preceding post.

It's simple deduction really.
CRash refers to stasis as magic.
BlueWizard refutes that stasis is magic.
CRash states that people can use stasis to wait for others on voyages.
BlueWizard says that the culture shock would be to great.
CRash states that stasis while in starflight is immortality.
BlueWizard says that it isn't immortality if you aren't awake.

Personally I think that there is a pattern there. Also, CRash has more than one post on the page.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Abel Magwitch:
quote:
Originally posted by neo-dragon:
quote:
Originally posted by Abel Magwitch:
the writing of the Hegemon, did Ender see Peter or not? etc...).


When was it ever said that he didn't? There are now three accounts of his interviews with Peter; EG, SotG, and EiE, and I believe that all three state that they communicated "face to face" via ansible. The only inconsistency is Peter's age, which was said to be in his 70s in EG and "nearly 60" I think in EiE. I'm not sure why OSC decided to make it so that the trip to Shakespeare only took 40 years rather than 50, but I guess he'll make it match in EG when he rewrites the final chapter.
Shadow of the Giant pg. 364
"No picture. Peter had to draw the line somewhere. And Ender hadn't insisted. It would be too painful for both of them-for Ender to see how much time had passed during his relativistic voyage out to Shakespeare, and for Peter to be forced to see how young Ender still was, how much life he still had ahead of him while Peter was looking coolly at his own old age and approaching death."


Oh yeah... My bad. [Big Grin]

Well, I guess that's not a major issue even if it is a bit inconsistent.

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by Abel Magwitch:
quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Are you BlueWizard? Because nothing in his post addresses anything that CRash says in her preceding post.

It's simple deduction really.
CRash refers to stasis as magic.
BlueWizard refutes that stasis is magic.
CRash states that people can use stasis to wait for others on voyages.
BlueWizard says that the culture shock would be to great.
CRash states that stasis while in starflight is immortality.
BlueWizard says that it isn't immortality if you aren't awake.

So the answer to my question is no, then, right?
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CRash
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Indeed it is, JT. Or at least I'm pretty sure that Abel is a separate entity from BlueWizard but you can never really know, eh? Since I'm also fairly certain that BlueWizard was responding to one of my previous posts, now I'm going to make a ridiculously long post responding to that response point by point.

quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
Stasis, or suspended animation -

This is not that uncommon a concept, and it hardly qualifies as 'magic' since virtually every other science fiction writer has used it, and even real scientist are searching for a way.

Note: I never said that stasis is "magic." I likened it to Card's noting that two "magical systems" in one book is overwhelming and confusing to readers. Stasis in this comparison may be regarded as a "magical system" in this sense: it gives humans a power to prolong the relative lifespan of a person that is utterly beyond what we have today. Since this is a science fiction series, all "magical systems" need to be able to masquerade as science, but otherwise there is no difference between stasis and the ability to magically send Rip Van Winkle to sleep for a hundred years and wake up the same age.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
Some one said that if Stasis was true, and you put yourself in permanent stasis, it would be immortality. Really? Or would it be the equivalent of death?

What good is it, if you never wake up, and what good is it if you wake up so far in the future that you simply can't function in the world any more. Star Trek did an episode on this, one guy woke up an wanted to know how the stock market was doing. he expected to be a millionaire. They told him that the stock didn't exist any more. So, instead of rich, his investments were either lost, or turned over to his relatives centuries ago.

Since I'm relating stasis-as-immortality in this case to starflight-as-immortality, perhaps I simply need to redefine the term or use a different one. What I'm trying to say is that both systems allow a human's relative "lifespan" - the range of years over which that person's body exists in space - to be ridiculously lengthened in comparison to what would be a more normal lifespan. I agree with you that NEITHER is a form of life, because NEITHER allows you to truly "function in the world," as you say.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
If someone you love goes into space for the earth equivalent of 50 years, you could just go into stasis on earth. But, that's 50 years you don't get to live. Meanwhile, the space traveler has moved a few years into the future without you. Certainly it could be done, but it just doesn't seem a good way to live a life. When your lives run separately, then you tend to separate. I just don't think it would work except in a few cases.

Aha - but what if the space traveler ALSO goes on stasis in flight? Then the difference could be far less, only a matter of months. The difference at that point will not necessarily be enough to "separate" either person from the other irrevocably. (For example, I have been at college for three and a half months but I still felt a strong connection with my family when I visited on break.) And as a second point, only ONE of the two would be running a separate life. For the traveler, then, there are a few months of separation in the hypothetical example. But for the person who has been on stasis the ENTIRE time, there is no time for his or her life to grow apart from the traveler's. The one who stays will come out of stasis precisely the way he or she went in, so the only barrier between the two people is the traveler's experiences on the other planet.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
Also, keep in mind, this only works if you know you are coming back. When have we seen a character other than Mazer Rackham who make a round trip. He chose not to go into stasis.

Just possibilities: 1. Perhaps Mazer could not go into stasis because it wasn't a viable option at that point in the Ender universe. There is plenty of time between when Mazer leaves and EinE for stasis to be invented, or refined, or whatever. 2. Mazer had planned to keep going, so he did not know for sure if he was coming back. Perhaps he wanted to remain off stasis because he had the intention of fiddling with the ship's computer, or perhaps merely because he wanted to be conscious as he zoomed outwards toward infinity.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
One one hand, you could stay time synchronized with a space traveler, but you could not stay synchronized with progress on earth. Think about the changes on earth between 1900 and 1950, the consider the changes between 1950 and 2000. If you went to bed and there was not TV, and woke up to the internet, and 250 channels of digital TV. That's pretty serious cultural shock. Let the time span become too great and the cultural shock also become too great. You can simply never again get in sync with society.

I would argue that people survive culture shock. But one may not want to live with the thought that the beloved space traveler will basically be dead to the one remaining on the planet the moment the voyage begins. Stasis is essentially a self-suicide, because the person is removing themselves from the world and whatever progress it makes and will only rejoin it at some later point. So this hypothetical person is making the voluntary choice to do so--and this person may not care one whit for culture shock. They will still do it. Maybe they'll regret it later, but the initial choice likely will not be stopped by the vague threat of cultural progress in one's absence.

There may even be curiosity to see "what's next." And I would add that humans are used to culture shock. People these days move halfway across the world and manage to survive. I've read about immigrants from Africa who didn't even have electricity in their home village and yet manage to assimilate to life in the modern, technology-driven USA. I don't think that culture shock is the barrier you presume it is.

Also, I would note that by this point in the Ender universe progress has appeared to slow drastically from what we know in our world today. Sure we never get a look at Earth in the Speaker trilogy, but humans on Lusitania really aren't that different from the ones we see in the Shadow series. The effect on sending out colony ships has appeared to retard the rate at which progress had been accelerating, or perhaps it just declined for some reason we don't know. Aside from whatever the heck a "flivver" is and fancy new computer technology (for which you can hire people, as Ender showed in SftD), there isn't much of a shock to be had. And assuming things did progress drastically on the home planet by the time the traveler had returned, the two people could ship out to a colony planet if they wanted and start a NEW culture. There are alternatives.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
I think Val and Ender were able to do it, because they never really took part in society. The never accumulated possessions. What do they care if the iPod has been invented, they don't plan to buy one. At best, then might be tempted to keep their desktops (personal computers) up to date, but beyond that, gadgets and general possession were not the big with them.

A stop for a few months here and there, plus their access to information would do a fair job of keeping them up-to-date on social changes.

I agree that the adaptation to culture shock depends entirely on the individual. But since exceptions such as Ender and Val do exist, then the starflight traveler and the one who remains on stasis could also exist. At the point that this hypothetical example is a possibility I return to my original argument that stasis serves no real purpose in the Ender universe besides clearing up plot points in Ender in Exile. I think the stores post-EinE in the series would benefit more from stasis's absence than its presence, and the technology should be somehow removed. It is no longer necessary and from this point on only serves to confuse readers and muddle the integrity of near-to-lightspeed starflight as the only source for prolonging the lifespans of humans in the Enderverse.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
I'm wonder though, if Stasis wasn't introduced to sync Ender and Val's ages, make them a little close to what they appear to be in later books. Or to create an in-world circumstance that allows for discontinuity in their ages to be explained.

Quoth I in my previous post:
"(Stasis) works in EinE because it explains the Valentine/Ender age discrepancy, but if that continued then Val would keep aging (as SftD stands right now she has to be 41 when she reaches Trondheim and marries Jakt)."

So I absolutely agree with you that one of the reasons for Ender to go on stasis in EinE is to reconcile the siblings' ages for later books. That and prolonging Graff's lifespan were stasis's two great purposes in existence. And now it has accomplished those I say let it die. [Smile] That is all.

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neo-dragon
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I've finally finished EiE after being "almost finished" for days now. I had actually started typing a semi-lengthy review, but then, partway through, I realized that I suck at writing reviews. [Razz]

So I decided to sum things up as simply as I could: EiE tells a story that didn't need to be told. It has its flaws, and it's not the best book in the series. But I am very glad that OSC wrote this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to subsequent readings in years to come.

Shadows in Flight cannot come soon enough.

And if you happen to read this, Mr. Card, thanks again for the signed copy!

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Arthur Stuart
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quote:
Originally posted by Scrooby:
Long time OSC fan, first time poster.

I finished reading EinE last night and I must say that while I enjoyed many things about the book, overall I am rather disappointed. Those of us who have been reading all of the Enderverse short stories over at IGMS have already read a rather large portion of this book. This in and of itself wasn't that big of a deal seeing as the characters and events in those stories were expanded upon and given closure.

I suppose my main issue with this novel was that it just felt so pointless. To me it didn't feel like a cohesive novel, but more a string of short stories. I was left feeling that a couple more stories over at IGMS would have accomplished what this novel was trying to do.

That being said, there are little nuggets throughout the novel that I simply loved (that last scene with Graff is chief among them). And the publication of ANY Enderverse novel or short story is cause for celebration.

So thank you Mr. Card for this gift.

Now it's time to sit back and wait for the next installment in the life of the greatest fictional character ever put on page, Bean.

Ya, Bean is possibly my favorite Character of ALL time. I like that he is dark like me. <---humor.
I am waiting on Master Alvin.


Ya know, the little story in the book in the beginning about Alessandra, and her mother.
The way he ended the chapter with "Find you a nice boy with prospects."

It was so touching it almost made me cry.
The only other book that had me that emotional was in LOST BOYS when the boy tell his father "I had to show them dad!!"

OMG. I jsut KNEW what had happened.
Screw M Knight Shamalan.

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BlueWizard
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Are you BlueWizard? Because nothing in his post addresses anything that CRash says in her preceding post.

Naturally, I'm responnding to several people who comment on the likelihood or unlikelihood of Stasis and why it was introduced in the plot.

Some suggested that if Stasis existed when your friend or family went into space, you could just go into stasis. And you could if you could afford it. But, you become very unsynchronized with time and progress. Yes, you and your space friend are still alive, but everyone else who mattered to you got old and died.

That didn't matter to most space explorers because they never intended to come back.

Someone else suggested that Stasis could be a form of immorality, but it could just as easily be a form of death.

Specifically who I was responding do, to me, didn't matter as much as the concepts I was responding to.

I was just commenting on a tangential point.

Steve/bluewizard

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scifibum
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One comment on becoming out of sync with progress: one thing we might expect in future centuries is a lot more knowledge and skill in manipulating learning, emotional state, and even things like loyalty. If I went to bed in 2000 B.C. and woke up in a 1925 A.D. metropolis, I might have some serious problems coping, and the people around me would be pretty helpless at softening the impact, without going to extraordinary lengths such as giving me a primitive isolated habitat. This has been explored in fiction plenty of times.

However, if I woke up in 2425, the people around me might be able to cheaply simulate a world that seems familiar to me, and within that simulation, speak to me in my language, teach me gradually, help me learn to trust what might at first seem like devil magic, and lead me to a mental state that can cope with modern reality. Drugs and subtle neural manipulation could facilitate this and keep me stable and happy. Or they can just leave me in the simulation. (They could even give me the choice.)

A society that can put people into stasis and travel at near light speed shouldn't be far off from powerful techniques of psychology and neural manipulation.

Granted, in the Enderverse, technological progress seems to have halted sometime before 2100, with the exception of starflight, the Little Doctor, and the ansible (for all of which they can thank the Formics). Perhaps that society would be unable to help someone get up to speed, since they've abandoned any signs of technological ambition.

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BlueWizard
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In response to CRash's lengthy comment...well said, several excellent points, and if we may dwell on this tangent a bit longer, one though kept coming into my mind as I read your reply -- MONEY.

While you sleep for 100 years, who pay the bills? Who pays for Stasis? Who maintains your apartment? Who pays the utilities? Who stores your cloths? If you remain in Stasis, and your space traveling friend comes back, what does he come back to? I'm not saying it can't work, only that it is very complicated.

In the case of my Star Trek example, one of the reasons that the stock market ceased to exist is because the Replicator has been invented. If you want anything, the Replicator simply pulls it from the elemental atom surrounding it, and ...boom... 'tea, Earl Grey, hot'. I suspect the ship even recycles the elemental atoms of the garbage and waste from the ship, and Replicates those atom into ...whatever... a turkey sandwich.

One point I made is that few travelers intent to make a round trip. They go out, and for all practical purposes stay out.

The ship that took Ender to Shakespeare Colony, was then going to travel to another world, and from there on to another, and would eventually make the round trip back to earth. But the real-earth time span would have been massive.

So, again, who pays the earth-side bills during those many centuries of space flight?

I do now understand your 'immortality' comment. In a sense, you are merely commenting on what Ender and Valentine did. Despite being roughly mid-30's when the reached the Nordic colony, they had lived 3,000 years earth-side time.

One caution I would extend to Mr. Card is, don't feel the need to make every little detail consistent. Even real life is never consistent, no reason why fictional life should be either.

Steve/bluewizard

[ December 04, 2008, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: BlueWizard ]

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DDDaysh
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I wouldn't worry about that Steve - while I absolutely adore his writing, he is one of the more "inconsistent" story tellers I've encountered. I have to do alot of mental gymnastics to make some of the problems fit together well enough to handle. I don't really mind, his stories are worth a little imaginative leeway, but I do think it is fair to say he doesn't go out of his way to maintain internal consistency.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:


So, again, who pays the earth-side bills during those many centuries of space flight?


What earth-side bills? You're not exactly using any earth-side utilities while in transit, and as was mentioned, it's not usually a round trip, so travelers must sell their homes and whatnot before leaving. As was explained in The Investment Counselor, upon arriving at a destination travelers must take care of outstanding taxes before they can go about their business.
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CRash
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
In response to CRash's lengthy comment...well said, several excellent points, and if we may dwell on this tangent a bit longer, one though kept coming into my mind as I read your reply -- MONEY.

While you sleep for 100 years, who pay the bills? Who pays for Stasis? Who maintains your apartment? Who pays the utilities? Who stores your cloths? If you remain in Stasis, and your space traveling friend comes back, what does he come back to? I'm not saying it can't work, only that it is very complicated.

Interesting thought. Well, I guess I would assume that if you're rich or influential enough to go on stasis, you can just repurchase whatever you need to survive when you come out of it. I'm putting stock in the idea that the average person didn't have access to stasis and one who does is either in a position of power or has quite a lot of money. Perhaps stasis would be a luxury similar to what a trip into space is right now: it is complicated and expensive of course but people still pay for the experience. Also, it may even be necessary for the traveler to be rich as well, to be able to afford a round-trip flight. So perhaps the issue of finances again decreases the likelihood of the hypothetical happening, though as you said it could still occur.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
One point I made is that few travelers intent to make a round trip. They go out, and for all practical purposes stay out.

The ship that took Ender to Shakespeare Colony, was then going to travel to another world, and from there on to another, and would eventually make the round trip back to earth. But the real-earth time span would have been massive.

That is a good point; in at least the early days of starflight there wouldn't be casual round-trip voyages. However, if stasis did exist then the very concept of such round-trip voyages becomes viable, which was not true in the Enderverse at any time up until EinE was published. The sacrifice that OSC originally wrote about, the disconnection from loved ones that can never be made up for, vanishes...at least for those who, accepting your money criticism, are rich enough to afford it.

The concept of suspended animation feeds into this loop of extended lifetimes that I remember from Worthing and have thought a lot about; I disliked greatly what that society became under somec, and that may be why I am concerned about the introduction of stasis to the Ender universe. Or it could be that I have become so used to what I considered the canon of the previous Ender books that it startled me to have this new twist. I guess that's a common fan reaction when it comes to sequels of any well-known body of work. [Smile]

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MrSquicky
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Is Ender broken in this book? I was hoping that it would handle the question of how Ender (semi-)recovered from cracking under the insane amount of stress he went through, but I get the feeling that this isn't really covered.
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CRash
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Hmmm, it is sort of skipped over, isn't it? Perhaps Ender's somewhat fanatical obsession with the buggers becomes his way of coping? We don't really get too much of his internal thoughts in Exile compared to EG so it's hard to tell.
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BlueWizard
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One last point of clarification on 'Stasis'.

It is not the cost to the person doing the space traveling that I was worrying about, it the cost, financial, social, and practical, to the person who stays behind is Stasis waiting for them to return.

For example, if my Brother makes a round trip to Colony1/Shakespeare, that's...what...60 years of my life but only 3 or 4 in his life. So, while he is gone and I'm in stasis for 60 years, what happens to my house, my car, my possessions, my investments, ...everything? With the exception of investments, I give everything up; it's all gone.

When my brother returns, he has is familiar and friendly brother there to help with the transition, but we have no place to live, we have virtually no cloths, no furniture, no general possession. Plus, how much help am I going to be, the world moved 60 years (1948 to 2008) forward while I fell behind. My brother is far more likely to have kept up on changes than I will have.

So, it is the money of the person who stays behind in stasis that I'm concerned about.

I think it is far more likely that people who go are people who are able to cut their ties with their past. And people who stay, simply say their farewells, and move on with their life.

Keep in mind that for the person on the starship, we are not talking about that much time; weeks, months, a few short years. I think those who travel in stasis do so for two reasons. The first is that the crew of the starship simply can't have 10,000 wide awake passengers to deal with. I think most are encouraged to go into stasis to relieve the work load on the crew and on the ships resources. If nothing else, it's effective crowd control.

So, I don't see your hypothetical situation coming up that often.

True Stasis does add some complications, and since we suspect that was done to relieve an existing inconsistency, while actually creating more inconsistencies, I again caution OSC not to become too obsessed with fixing inconsistencies. Most I can fix myself with an imagination and an off-page explanation. I would rather keep the heart of the story, than lose the heart, but make the data consistent.

As to extended lifetimes, lives are extended over time, but the lives themselves are not extended. Despite having existed for 3,000 years, by all reasonable measure, both Ender and Valentine are just beyond middle age. The only lifetime that matters is the 'real-time' life that you live. The fact that the world has lived 3,000 years doesn't matter that much to Ender who saw less than 60 year of it.

Steve/bluewizard

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Arthur Stuart
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I have always been curious as to whether there were laws prohibiting people from putting money into financial institutions, and then using time dialation to make more money....

You know kinda like the Resturant at the end of the universe.

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CRash
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More thoughts on stasis - I feel like a thread hijacker. But I guess it makes sense to discuss stasis in an already spoiler-rich EinE thread. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
It is not the cost to the person doing the space traveling that I was worrying about, it the cost, financial, social, and practical, to the person who stays behind is Stasis waiting for them to return...if my Brother makes a round trip to Colony1/Shakespeare, that's...what...60 years of my life but only 3 or 4 in his life. So, while he is gone and I'm in stasis for 60 years, what happens to my house, my car, my possessions, my investments, ...everything? With the exception of investments, I give everything up; it's all gone...So, it is the money of the person who stays behind in stasis that I'm concerned about.

I actually disagree that the costs are that much different for the traveler. He is ALSO giving up 60 years of human history the same way the earthbound one does. His possessions, etc. also have to be given up (can't take your house along on a spaceship). He will also suffer the types of costs you describe: financial, for having to pay for the flight and perhaps the price of stasis for the other; social, for leaving that home for 60 years relativistically as well as having to endure the 3 or so years subjectively without his loved one. I'm not clear on what you mean by "practical" cost.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
When my brother returns, he has is familiar and friendly brother there to help with the transition, but we have no place to live, we have virtually no cloths, no furniture, no general possession. Plus, how much help am I going to be, the world moved 60 years (1948 to 2008) forward while I fell behind.

I think that this sort of hypothetical illustrates the choice one has to make about what is important to them. If a person truly valued their family more than any worldly possession they might attempt this. It's not a matter of being of "help" to the one who left on the flight, but a matter of being a person who so truly loved this traveler that you are willing to give up everything in order to continue to live your lives together.


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
As to extended lifetimes, lives are extended over time, but the lives themselves are not extended. Despite having existed for 3,000 years, by all reasonable measure, both Ender and Valentine are just beyond middle age. The only lifetime that matters is the 'real-time' life that you live. The fact that the world has lived 3,000 years doesn't matter that much to Ender who saw less than 60 year of it...I think it is far more likely that people who go are people who are able to cut their ties with their past. And people who stay, simply say their farewells, and move on with their life...So, I don't see your hypothetical situation coming up that often.

(Combining quotes so I can address both.) I agree with you that what you describe would be more normal. But what I'm trying to explain is the idea of the hypothetical - that this scenario is POSSIBLE creates a fundamental change in the human society of the Ender books. Stasis creates this exception, no matter how rare, that appears to ultimately undermine the intense emotional costs of pre-FTL starflight, the fact that a traveler would never see his family again.

Not only that, stasis destroys the monopoly starflight had on "immortality" - the ability to prolong one's lifespan. Stasis is a form of life extension that even has lesser emotional costs than starflight: you don't have to travel to another planet. The introduction of this system appears to me to be a step on the path to the nightmarish society of Capitol. People will do anything to avoid death, and if some buy into the delusion that stasis is immortality as was done in Worthing, people will do anything to get stasis. I'm sure many would realize the falseness of the "extended lifetime" you talk about. Maybe I lack faith in humanity, but I'm sure just as many would not see it that way. Or perhaps, just before they die and have no attachments left to the world, they go on stasis, just to see what happens on Earth as far in the future as they can pay for it. I'm sure this would also have happened with starflight, and it could be that restrictions were introduced to prevent such actions.

Practically the only way I see this not devolving into chaos has to involve SEVERE restriction of stasis. This seems possible in EinE as Graff is the only man on Earth we know of that had used it. Stasis would have to be either the deepest of secrets (hard to do, when you have a prominent character like Graff suspiciously living far beyond his normal life expectancy) or practically illegal. It would have to be so far removed from the public that no amount of money could purchase it and no amount of corruption could feed it into the hands of those who desire it. Or society as a whole would have to see through its farce of immortality (which I think would be an incredible feat). We've seen what people would do to find the Fountain of Youth...what would they do for stasis?


quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
True Stasis does add some complications, and since we suspect that was done to relieve an existing inconsistency, while actually creating more inconsistencies, I again caution OSC not to become too obsessed with fixing inconsistencies.

Or at least don't fix them with stasis. [Wink] I agree with you. I believe OSC has talked before about how stories evolve and change, and perhaps things don't fit together in one pretty big picture, but that doesn't change the value of the stories themselves to the people who read them. Makes sense to me.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Minor spoilers, minor contradiction:

In Children of the Mind, it is said that the interplanetary currency that was made standard was derived from the Japanese yen. In Ender in Exile, it appears as though the FPE adopted some form of the dollar and made it standard. But with the gold bug subplot, it is mentioned that the colonists generally barter for trade, and eventually it is speculated that colonists would use their own local currencies when the colonies become large enough for a more complex economy to develop.

There are letters, particularly toward the end of Ender in Exile, that talk about trade between the colonies. It is hinted that there would come a time when there would be need for a universal currency or at least a way to compare the values of the local currencies, so eventually the FPE, or maybe Starways Congress (would it take that long?) would standardize something.

But how the heck does it get to the point where the Japanese yen becomes the dominant standardized currency, more powerful than the universal Hegemony dollar, or the US dollar, or the Euro (all three mentioned in the Shadow books). It's not completely impossible, but it must have taken some surge of Japanese-centered progress in some economic front to get to that point, and if that were the case the Japanese nationalistic characters in Children of the Mind would be bragging about very different things.

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Orincoro
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CotM mentions that there are a string of Japanese planets in the Starways Congress, and that they are highly influential, if not dominant, in policy formation. This may have happened very quickly in the colonization movement, and Japan may have been in a position to leverage quite a lot of influence among the planets and the FPE.

Also, you notice that Earth is mentioned only a handful of times in any of the Ender books, and the idea of someone being born there is seen as ridiculous. I think it's possible OSC is holding out references to Earth because he hasn't decided or doesn't want to reveal what happens there after Peter becomes Hegemon. It's quite possible that the FPE breaks up following his death, or that the Earth is destroyed in the future by some man made or natural disaster, and loses its influence on the Starways Congress, or among the planets.

There's no reason ultimately to assume that the Starways Congress currency, or even the entity of SC itself, comes from Earth at all, and it may indeed come from Divine Wind, or another Japanese by culture planet.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
and the idea of someone being born there is seen as ridiculous.

Really? I don't recall that.
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BlueWizard
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Regarding currency, in the Ender in Exile books, Ender discusses the problems with currency, but remember that is only about 70 years after he left earth, so it is possible that some form of Dollar was still the dominant currency. But in later books, say First Meetings-Investment Councilor, we are now 500 years in the future. By this time, star travel is more common and the planets are more establish. Ultimately and eventually, the develope the universal currency of 'Star Counts'.

As to the idea of being born on earth being ridiculous, I'm not so sure that is so far off. Earth would be an ancient planet with a very long history and a very long history of inter-country conflicts, hences in the very long run, I don't see it as being as productive and prosperous as the newly developed planets. The new planets can be more carefully planned, and many seem to be somewhat of a mono-culture. That makes things easier.

At some point, once the planets start to develop, the new innovations and the new technology break throughs are going to come more and more from the planets and less and less from earth. As this happens old ancient earth become less and less relevant. At some point it become the 'quaint old uncle' to the rest of the world. You look upon him (it) with fondness but little relevance.

When there is only one earth, earth is pretty important, but when there are a hundred earths, each with new pools of natural resources and technology, then the earth becomes far less relevant.

Finally, when an interplanetary government is established, which likely is not located on earth, earth, for the most part, become irrelevant. Like I said, to the Hundred Worlds, earth is like a quaint old uncle. Nice to see him at Christmas, but the rest of the time, he just slows you down.

Steve/bluewizard

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BlackBlade
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Just finished the book, it took all my will power to buy the book and not read it until I was on the airplane to Japan.

I still need a bit more time to let the book settle inside but I was so pleased with it when I finished. It didn't knock my socks off like Ender's Shadow, but there was a goodness to it that just left me very happy. I agree completely that it should be read after one has finished the shadow series. Chronologically it does not make sense to read it right after Ender's Game.

I hope Mr. Card continues to write books this good, if he does, I'll continue buying them.

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badman
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After reading this I was also a bit confused about why Bean didn't go into stasis. It definitely didn't give any reason. If Ender doesn't age, why would Bean age? This will probably be explained in the next Shadow book.

My thoughts are that someone needs to pilot the ship, even if it is completely autonomous, somoene would need to be awake at least just in case. Or, babies can't go into stasis and Bean has to look after them (although I'm pretty sure some of the colonists in stasis were probably babies so this is less likely)

All in all a pretty good book, one annoying thing was that since being bowled over by Ender's game, I've grudgingly put up with Bean being given a lot of the credit for what we all thought was all Ender originally. Now in this book it is suggested that the formics LET Ender destroy them all. Sometimes I think OSC is determined to undermine Ender for some reason. Of course that's his perogative.

[ December 19, 2008, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: badman ]

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by badman:
After reading this I was also a bit confused about why Bean didn't go into stasis. It definitely didn't give any reason. If Ender doesn't age, why would Bean age? This will probably be explained in the next Shadow book.

My thoughts are that someone needs to pilot the ship, even if it is completely autonomous, somoene would need to be awake at least just in case. Or, babies can't go into stasis and Bean has to look after them (although I'm pretty sure some of the colonists in stasis were probably babies so this is less likely)

All in all a pretty good book, one annoying thing was that since being bowled over by Ender's game, I've grudgingly put up with Bean being given a lot of the credit for what we all thought was all Ender originally. Now in this book it is suggested that the formics LET Ender destroy them all. Sometimes I think OSC is determined to undermine Ender for some reason. Of course that's his perogative.

I disagree. In Ender's Game Ender shows twice his willingness to accept impossibility. When he saw the masses of ships he simply stopped caring as victory was impossible. Bean's admonotion simply pushed Ender enough to at least throw out an attempt at winning anyway.
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badman
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Please hilight only the specific thing you disagree with. Besides, this is not the only thing Bean took credit for. In Ender's Shadow Bean describes how Ender's orders were often vague and he interpreted them to the Jeesh more clearly. Also Bean was responsible for putting together Dragon Army and responsible for their final victory against 2 armies. Ender says in Ender's Exile that bean practically told him how to win the final battle. It's almost like Ender's Game has been unwritten by the bean quartet.
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Fonix
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I just kinda get the idea that neither one really wants to take credit.

Remember that Graff assured Bean in Ender's Shadow that Mazer would tell Ender the truth about Bean after the war. Out of respect maybe Mazer told Ender the entire truth about Bean. Now that's not to say that Bean would have won the war. Bean acknowledged in Ender's Shadow that only Ender could have understood the Bugger's well enough for the plan to work. Bean gave him the nudge.

However that being considered, Ender never seemed to have a read on Bean. Ender always thought Bean was angry with him when in reality Bean just figured out the true situation and stated it bluntly. Comments like "Found the note after you got out of the shower?" Ender took them as insults, instead of Bean figuring out what really happened. Ender seems to have an idea of what everyone else is thinking, but with Bean he never did.

I also think it goes back to what Mazer said to Peter. Peter couldn't make men want to serve under him. Every soldier under Ender would die for him. That wasn't the case with Bean. Ender's jeesh just wouldn't have been as good under Bean.

I think both characters realize these factors on some level, but both want to acknowledge how good the other one is. Ironically I felt Ender in Exile cleared quite a bit of this up. Instead of Ender being a brilliant tactician, he was instead just a great commander. Bean is given credit as the tactician, but Ender is in every way that matters shown to be a better commander. Graff even says that Ender's gift is to make people love him.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Ender seems to have an idea of what everyone else is thinking, but with Bean he never did.
That's because one-directional mind-reading is one of the most important ways Card establishes his hierarchy of intelligence. [Smile]
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BlueWizard
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Ender vs Bean - The People

Mind reading -

I'm not sure 'mind reading' is really the right term to use here. Both Ender and Bean have a very fast and deep intuitive understanding of the people around them and of the immediate situation. They both understand before anyone else has even begun to analyze. But a deep fast intuitive understanding is not quite the same as mind reading.

I think one of the reasons for the conflict in intuitive understanding between Bean and Ender, is that on shear raw intellect, Bean is superior to Ender. Yet, there are other aspect that put Ender ahead. When you are smarter than everyone else in the room, it is easy to figure other out. But when you have two people who are hyper-genius but in different ways, it is next to impossible for either to understand the other in this intuitive way.

Ender vs Bean - The Story -

I personally see no real conflicts between Ender version of the story and Bean's. We are all the hero (or central figure) in our own life story. We live it, we see it, we tell it from our own unigue perspective, and that alone is more than enough to explain the difference.

Ender was indeed the Commander, he had the ability to make people love him, and make them willing to die for him, and make them willing to follow them against all reason and odds.

But Bean had this ability too, at least when he wasn't overshadowed by Ender. Once Ender left earth and Bean stayed behind to continue fighting the fight on earth, we find that many many loved him, were dedicated and loyal to him, and would follow his order against all logic and reason.

Out of Ender's shadow, we see that Bean really was Ender's equal. But you can't have two supreme leaders. Someone ultimately has to lead, and someone ultimately has to follow. In Battle School and Command School, Bean, who survived by not getting too deeply involved in the world around him, followed. Let Ender carry that weight and danger.

But later when circumstances force Bean to become involved, he really did have all the leadership attributes we assign the Ender.

So, again, I see no conflict between the Bean and Ender stories. Bean did what Ender could not, and Ender did what Bean could not. Yet, between the two of them, misunderstood as they were, they were an absolutely unbeatable team.

Yes, Bean did lots of things in the background. Partly because he was smart enough to figure out what was going on. And rather than try to suppress information from Bean, and effort that would ultimately fail, they decided to use Bean's talents to everyone's advantage.

Yet, Ender did things like this as well. While everyone was obsessed with the pointless Battle Room. Ender was concentrating on the Buggers. He knew that was where the answer to defeating them lied, even if no one else did. Ender saw things that Bean did not, but Bean saw things that Ender simply didn't have the time to see.

They were both heroes, and one being a hero does not steal anything away from the other being a hero as well. There is room in the world for more than one hero in my opinion.

So, I really don't see Bean's story diminishing Ender in the slightest.

Just one man's opinion.

Steve/bluewizard

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Fonix
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I will still say that Bean did not have that ability. The fact is Ender's Jeesh were the best of the best and none of them "loved" Bean outside of Petra. It should also be noted that Petra said that Ender was the best she had known. Ender was not an option for her to be involved with, so she settled for Bean. Settled may be a bad way of saying it, but I can't think of any better way to say it.

The men who loved Bean were the small force of soldiers he acquired in Shadow of the Hegemon. Besides Bean learned the proper way to command an army from Ender.

Tactically, Bean just saw it. The same way Ender just tends to see people for what they are.

However if anyone has been undermined in all of this, I would say it has to be Alai. Ender on first impulse thought that Alai could do his job. When asked to really be honest with himself then he took it back. However, Alai in the Shadow books is afraid to go to war against Bean.

Some things that the shadow books showed us are that Bean tended to agree with Ender's strategies. Which meant he thought Ender was doing the right thing. Even if Ender's strategies were different they were still successful. I say this to just to point out, that just because Bean could see everyone's strategy doesn't mean that he could necessarily defeat it if the other side had an overwhelming advantage. Bean never really gained that advantage of Earth, so much as the others with more capable armies lost it due to the factors of other people involved.

All in all, after rereading most of these books after getting Ender in Exile, I just saw two things. Bean was smarter, Ender was a better commander. Bean's vision of himself was as Ender's right hand. Ender didn't see things in terms of tactics, he saw them in terms of objectives. He relied on everyone else to develop their own tactics.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Ender was not an option for her to be involved with, so she settled for Bean. Settled may be a bad way of saying it, but I can't think of any better way to say it.
The way you have it worded there seems to imply that if Ender had come back to Earth, it would have been a natural lock that Petra would try and hook up with him. I don't think at any point that that was ever really an option. At no point in their relationship was their a chance for that kind of relationship to even be seeded let alone grow. Especially at the end of their friendship, when it was a commander to commanded relationship, it was far, far too professional for anything to develop. There was a wall there, and an even bigger one perhaps given what happened with Petra's breakdown. Sure they all made nice at the end, but I don't think that his coming back to Earth would have made the awkwardness of their formality go away. Even more so, given what we know about Ender in the future.

Besides, Petra had several other male options, ones that were toyed with in the books as potential suitors.

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Chris Bridges
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Still not seeing where on IGMS I can find the newly revised last chapter of EG. Link, anyone?
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Jeorge
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I got Ender in Exile as a Christmas present, which made me happy (not as happy as the Yo-Yo Ma concert ticket, but still...). I just finished reading it yesterday (the book, not the concert ticket).

I'm with those who enjoyed the book, but definitely don't think it was Card's finest work.

I know the Achilles thing was supposed to be the grand climax of the story, but it sure didn't feel like it. The parts about Virlomi's colony, because they were completely disconnected from the rest of the story lines, felt...well...disconnected. Which meant that, for me, the Achilles conflict felt like a tacked-on epilogue.

I wish he'd done what he did with Xenocide/CotM - split it up into two books.

Although, in fairness, I guess people who had read the short stories would have felt even more cheated if he'd done that...

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CRash
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Recently posted on IGMS:
quote:
Re: The revised Chapter 15 of Ender's Game.
OSC says: I meant to write it immediately, while all the events of Ender in Exile were fresh in my mind. But I didn't, and now it has been months, and I will actually have to WORK to do it right. So please bear with me - I'll get this fix in place as quickly as I can.


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vonk
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I really liked EiE. Specifically seeing Ender at that age again. I always felt like we missed a great deal with the age jump in SftD. To me this gave a lot of insight as to how Ender got to who he ended up being.

I kinda thought Achilles II would be smarter, but he was raised by his crazy, lied-to mother in relative safety, while Bean had to hone his instincts and intelligence in the streets and then in Battle School, so it makes sense to me that Achilles II wouldn't have been as prepared to deal with Ender as Bean obviously would have.

One of my favorite lines:
quote:
"It's not your war," said Valentine.
Ender laughed. "It's always my war."


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