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Author Topic: Help with Hive Queen for the Comics
Orson Scott Card
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For the Ender comics, we want to make sure that we have the right description of the Hive Queen. Only I've been through so many different descriptions for various movie scripts that I am no longer sure what the original description was like.

In Xenocide (I think, but it could be COTM), Ender (or Miro?) goes down into the tunnels and sees a hive queen. Also, at the end of Speaker, we see the hivequeen come out of the cocoon etc., and she might be described there.

Can anybody steer us to the description? Or paste it in here? Enquiring Marvel Editors need to know <grin>.

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Orson Scott Card
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OK, Jake Black, of Ender's Game Companion fame, did find the one long description in Xenocide:

"The Hive Queen was smack in the center of the light. There were workers all around, but now, in the light, in the presence of the queen, they all looked so small and fragile. Most of them were closer to one meter than a meter and a half in height, while the queen herself was surely three meters long. And height wasn't the half of it. Her wing-covers looked vast, heavy, almost metallic, with a rainbow of colors reflecting sunlight. Her abdomen was long and thick enough to contain the corpse of an entire human. Yet it narrowed, funnel-like, to an ovipositor at the quivering tip, glistening with a yellowish translucent fluid, gluey, stringy; it dipped into a hole in the floor of the room, deep as it could go, and then came back up, the fluid trailing away like unnoticed spittle, down into the hole.


Grotesque and frightening as this was, a creature so large acting so much like an insect, it did not prepare Valentine for what happened next. For instead of simply dipping her ovipositor into the next hole, the queen turned and seized one of the workers hovering nearby. Holding the quivering bugger between her large forelegs, she drew it close and bit off its legs, one by one. As each leg was bitten off, the remaining legs gesticulated ever more wildly, like a silent scream. Valentine found herself desperately relieved when the last leg was gone, so that the scream was at last gone from her sight.


Then the Hive Queen pushed the unlimbed worker headfirst down the next hole. Only then did she position her ovipositor over the hole. As Valentine watched, the fluid at the ovipositor's tip seemed to thicken into a ball. But it wasn't fluid after all, or not entirely; within the large drop was a soft, jellylike egg. The Hive Queen maneuvered her body so that her face was directly in the sunlight, her multiplex eyes shining like hundreds of emerald stars. Then the ovipositor plunged downward. When it came up, the egg still clung to the end, but on the next emergence the egg was gone. Several times more her abdomen dipped downward, each time coming up with more strands of fluid stringing downward from the tip."

Are there any other descriptions you can think of, folks?

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scholarette
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I don't have any books here, but I thought that there was a more flattering description at one point from Ender's viewpoint in Children.
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sylvrdragon
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One thing to note that I think is very important is that how the Hive Queen looked was very much subjective depending on link the observer had with her.

Ender and Plikt stood in awe at the Hive Queen's beauty (Plikt was actually in tears iirc) upon seeing her on Lusitania, while some of the others were more or less frozen in terror.

I recall that the people who saw the Hive Queen who only knew of her as she was described in "The Hive Queen and the Hegemon" saw her in a much more positive light than, say, Valentine who had grown up with Buggers in her nightmares as a child.

I think the description that you have above is likely the most objective one you're going to find (if not the ONLY one).

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mr_porteiro_head
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There's a brief description at the end of SftD:

quote:
Behind them, in the dank and humid air of a shallow cave by a river, strong mandibles tore at the cocoon, and a limp and skeletal body struggled forth. Her wings only gradually spread out and dried in the sunlight; she struggled weakly to the riverbank and pulled strength and moisture into her desiccated body. She nibbled at the meat of the cabra. The unhatched eggs she held within her cried out to be released; she laid the first dozen of them in the cabra's corpse, then ate the nearest daisies, trying to feel the changes in her body as she came alive at last.

The sunlight on her back, the breeze against her wings, the water cool under her feet, her eggs warming and maturing in the flesh of the cabra: Life, so long waited for, and not until today could she be sure that she would be, not the last of her tribe, but the first.

In addition to the above quote in Xenocide, I found these two passages:

quote:
And along with this thought came a glimmer of genuine emotion toward the hive queen. All at once her mental image of the hive queen included no loathing at all. Instead she seemed majestic, royal, magnificent. The rainbows from her wing-covers no longer seemed like an oily scum on water; the light reflecting from her eyes was like a halo; the glistening fluids at the tip of her abdomen were the threads of life, like milk at the nipple of a woman's breast, stringing with saliva to her baby's suckling mouth. Valentine had been fighting nausea till now, yet suddenly she almost worshipped the hive queen.

quote:
Ender took a single step toward the hive queen, reached out a hand toward her. She didn't extend her arms-- she was using them to jam the last of her sacrifices into the egg chamber. Instead the queen raised a wing-cover, rotated it, moved it toward Ender until at last his hand rested on the black rainbow surface.

I tried to find any kind of physical description in CotM, but failed. Note the complete and utter lack of physical description when Miro meets her face-to-face again:

quote:
Suddenly Miro felt a hand groping for his. No, a claw. He gripped the foreclaw of a worker and she led him forward through the darkness. Not very far. Then they turned a corner and it was lighter, turned another and they could see. Another, another, and there they were in a chamber illuminated by light through a shaft that led to the surface. Val was already there, seated on the ground before the Hive Queen.

When Miro saw her before, she had been in the midst of laying eggs-- eggs that would grow into new hive queens, a brutal process, cruel and sensuous. Now, though, she simply lay in the damp earth of the tunnel, eating what a steady stream of workers brought to her. Clay dishes filled with a mash of amaranth and water. Now and then, gathered fruit. Now and then, meat. No interruption, worker after worker. Miro had never seen, had never imagined anyone eating so much.


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mr_porteiro_head
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Another passage, a little bit before the first Xenocide passage I quoted:

quote:
The hive queen was smack in the center of the light. There were workers all around, but now, in the light, in the presence of the queen, they all looked so small and fragile. Most of them were closer to one meter than a meter and a half in height, while the queen herself was surely three meters long. And height wasn't the half of it. Her wing-covers looked vast, heavy, almost metallic, with a rainbow of colors reflecting sunlight. Her abdomen was long and thick enough to contain the corpse of an entire human. Yet it narrowed, funnel-like, to an ovipositor at the quivering tip, glistening with a yellowish translucent fluid, gluey, stringy; it dipped into a hole in the floor of the room, deep as it could go, and then came back up, the fluid trailing away like unnoticed spittle, down into the hole.

Grotesque and frightening as this was, a creature so large acting so much like an insect, it did not prepare Valentine for what happened next. For instead of simply dipping her ovipositor into the next hole, the queen turned and seized one of the workers hovering nearby. Holding the quivering bugger between her large forelegs, she drew it close and bit off its legs, one by one. As each leg was bitten off, the remaining legs gesticulated ever more wildly, like a silent scream. Valentine found herself desperately relieved when the last leg was gone, so that the scream was at last gone from her sight.

Then the hive queen pushed the unlimbed worker headfirst down the next hole. Only then did she position her ovipositor over the hole. As Valentine watched, the fluid at the ovipositor's tip seemed to thicken into a ball. But it wasn't fluid after all, or not entirely; within the large drop was a soft, jellylike egg. The hive queen maneuvered her body so that her face was directly in the sunlight, her multiplex eyes shining like hundreds of emerald stars. Then the ovipositor plunged downward. When it came up, the egg still clung to the end, but on the next emergence the egg was gone. Several times more her abdomen dipped downward, each time coming up with more strands of fluid stringing downward from the tip.


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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by sylvrdragon:

Ender and Plikt stood in awe at the Hive Queen's beauty (Plikt was actually in tears iirc) upon seeing her on Lusitania, while some of the others were more or less frozen in terror.

That's probably what I was thinking of- without the books, I am probably misremembering where it came up. [Smile]
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hunt2005
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I agree with the above posts - whose viewpoint will we be coming from in the comics? Enders or someone elses? I remember being struck by how it almost seemed like two different queens depending on who was giving their view of her.
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Blayne Bradley
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WE'RE NOT WORTHY! [Big Grin] It's awesome seeing Mr Card posting here again [Smile]

But yeah the way the Hive Queen looked was subjective, you should be prepared to show either two versions or compromise by finding a middle grown for comic format, basically something that is kinda frightening and awe inspiring but definitely looks pretty and fascinating to look at, at least if your an insect specialist.

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Scott R
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Speak for yourself. I'm totally worthy.
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The Black Pearl
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Just rip off starcraft or something.
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Chris Bridges
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Personally I'd like to see the reawakened Hive Queen kept in shadow and unrevealed until the moment the group sees her, and then we'd see the different characters' viewpoints. Any clear image of the Hive Queen away from those mixed points of view would become, for the reader, what the Queen "really" looks like and that would, I think, lessen the impact of the group's scene and different perceptions since the reader would "know" they're all seeing her wrong.

That's the drawback of comics (or movies) vs. print. In print, to hide details all you have to do is not describe them [Smile]

My two cents.

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Merrlin
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There is a very brief description in the old chapter 15 of EG.

quote:
Then the new queen was laid before the old, a magnificent creature clad in soft and shimmering wings, which had long since lost the power of flight but still contained the power of majesty. The old queen kissed her to sleep with the gentle poison in her lips, then wrapped her in threads from her belly, and commanded her to become herself, to become a new city, a new world, to give birth to many queens and many worlds-

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