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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Ender in Exile contradiction

   
Author Topic: Ender in Exile contradiction
glagtropX
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I think that I found a contradiction in Ender in Exile. In Chapter 13 of Ender's game,when Valentine and Ender are on the raft in the lake, Valentine "told him what she and Peter were doing." However, in Chapter 2 of Ender in Exile, (specifically on pages 34-35 in my edition), Ender seems to have no idea who Locke and Demosthenes are and what they are doing. I can see that it is possible that Valentine didn't tell Ender the usernames they were using, but still I think Ender would have been able to figure out who they were. And this issue shows up again in an even more prominent spot when Ender is talking to Graff in Chapter 4, when Graff tells him what Peter and Valentine had been doing (page 71-72 in my book). I could be wrong, and I probably am, but I didn't see anything wrong with what I'm saying. If I'm wrong please point it out to me.
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Aris Katsaris
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One of the reasons I've abandoned the Ender and Bean series is that OSC no longer bothers to remember the details of his own stories. Even in Shadow of the Hegemon (which is otherwise excellent: my third favourite book in the whole combined series after Speaker for the Dead and Ender's Game) I could easily detect two significant discontinuities: whether it was Valentine or Peter that wanted Ender away from Earth and whether Nikolai had met Sister Carlotta or not.

One of those contradictions was hugely significant to the characterization of the characters, and should have been remembered by OSC as significant; the other contradiction wasn't really important but it was a contradiction to the end of the immediately previous book -- in short something OSC had written recently, and it again should have been remembered.

And there's a ton of other things from many books, large and small: whether Netherlands was under Russian control at the time of Ender's Game. How many child-commanders (besides Ender) were in the final battle. Whether Ender's parents neglected their children or not.

So if OSC can't bother reading his own works, why should I?

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Jeff C.
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I don't really see the big deal here. Those little details aren't the point of the story, and most people probably didn't even notice they were there.

What's more, just about every book or series has problems, but that doesn't mean they aren't good books. Look at Robinson Caruso. There was a scene where he swims out to an abandoned ship naked, and then swims back with "pockets full" of stuff. It's a pretty obvious contradiction, but so what? It wasn't the point of the story, and the book is now a literary classic regardless of this silly detail.

The same holds true for EG and the rest of the series. Who cares whether Ender was told about Peter and Val? It doesn't change the story in any significant way, does it? Can you honestly say that if Sister Carlotta had known Nikolai, the story would have drastically changed?

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glagtropX
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You're right, it's just that in the afterword OSC said that if you found contradictions you should post them here. So I did.
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Aris Katsaris
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Jeff -- consistency makes a series *more* than the sum of its parts, because you can see how it all fits together, like a big puzzle of lives and times and eras. Inconsistency on the other hand makes a series *less* than the sum of its parts.

For example George R.R. Martin's Dunk & Egg "Hedge Knight" stories which fit perfectly with his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series -- and thus a small reference in one of the latter books (e.g. the reference to the "green apple" and "red apple" Fossoways) becomes suddenly delightful when it combines with knowledge you gained from Dunk & Egg, about how those houses first arose. Even though its trivial in importance. Even though it's not the "point" of the story.

So, yeah, based on strength of its other parts alone Shadow of the Hegemon is a great book *despite* it having inconsistencies. But those inconsistencies means it fails to enhance the actions of characters in other books - instead it takes away from them, because it *denies* them. It was Valentine that wanted Ender away from Earth. Valentine. To see Peter's perspective on this event would enhance both stories -- to see the event *contradicted* reduces them both: because one story denies the other, so only one story can be true.

Unless we treat it all as a case of many-worlds, where each book is set in a slightly different Everett branch of the multiverse. But if so, I'd prefer it be explicitly stated.

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neo-dragon
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You're not going to find many fictional universes with more than one entry that don't have some contradictions. Authors are only human. Even non-fictional biographies and histories and such have contradictions.

There's no harm in pointing them out (OSC is good with making corrections for future editions and crediting helpful fans [Wink] ), but I say don't sweat the small stuff.

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BlueWizard
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I'm inclined to agree with Neo-Dragon, this series of stories span decades, and anyone who has ever done any writing knows that as intimately involved as you may be in the writing, over time, you forget details.

And when the universe expands to the number of stories that the Ender/Bean saga has, and considering the span of time it covers, and considering the many many other books that O.S.Card has written, it is no wonder a detail gets lost here and there.

Mr. Card frequently comes to this group for advice on details of the story, as, oddly, the fans know it better than he does.

For the story, "Ender in Exile", he ask about some conversation between Valentine and Ender near the end of the "Ender's Game" story. Wondering if those conversations didn't occur in EG, could they then occur at the beginning of EIE?

OSC was even considering re-writing the end of EG to make it more consistent with the beginning of EIE. Personally, I think that would have been a mistake.

I pointed out that the end of EG is not told in real time, not every minute is accounted for, so the conversations at the beginning of EIE could very easily have occurred off-page in EG.

And in EIE those conversations did occur.

The point is, the number of minute details and interactions between the books is massive, beyond comprehension, and as such, I'm more than willing to forgive a minor error here and there.

However, one of the reasons, he invites up to post continuity error here, is so that he can go back and correct them in later editions. Though I hope, he is not tempted to make any fundamental changes to the stories themselves.

Steve/bluewizard

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Kelly1101
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
One of the reasons I've abandoned the Ender and Bean series is that OSC no longer bothers to remember the details of his own stories. Even in Shadow of the Hegemon (which is otherwise excellent: my third favourite book in the whole combined series after Speaker for the Dead and Ender's Game) I could easily detect two significant discontinuities: whether it was Valentine or Peter that wanted Ender away from Earth and whether Nikolai had met Sister Carlotta or not.

One of those contradictions was hugely significant to the characterization of the characters, and should have been remembered by OSC as significant; the other contradiction wasn't really important but it was a contradiction to the end of the immediately previous book -- in short something OSC had written recently, and it again should have been remembered.

And there's a ton of other things from many books, large and small: whether Netherlands was under Russian control at the time of Ender's Game. How many child-commanders (besides Ender) were in the final battle. Whether Ender's parents neglected their children or not.

So if OSC can't bother reading his own works, why should I?

[ROFL] Wow, what a drama queen. Try reading this post out loud in a funny voice, it's even better.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
One of the reasons I've abandoned the Ender and Bean series is that OSC no longer bothers to remember the details of his own stories. Even in Shadow of the Hegemon (which is otherwise excellent: my third favourite book in the whole combined series after Speaker for the Dead and Ender's Game) I could easily detect two significant discontinuities: whether it was Valentine or Peter that wanted Ender away from Earth and whether Nikolai had met Sister Carlotta or not.

One of those contradictions was hugely significant to the characterization of the characters, and should have been remembered by OSC as significant; the other contradiction wasn't really important but it was a contradiction to the end of the immediately previous book -- in short something OSC had written recently, and it again should have been remembered.

And there's a ton of other things from many books, large and small: whether Netherlands was under Russian control at the time of Ender's Game. How many child-commanders (besides Ender) were in the final battle. Whether Ender's parents neglected their children or not.

So if OSC can't bother reading his own works, why should I?

The only one that *really* never made sense to me was Ender's childhood home. Depicted in Enders game as in a metropolitan city, and in later books as in Greensboro. Ender's game even specifically states that they moved after he was gone.

Obviously my own objections to the Graff timeline were addressed in the last book, but it's typical of OSC to let whatever character serve new purposes in new books. Sometimes he brings it off, sometimes no.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
One of the reasons I've abandoned the Ender and Bean series is that OSC no longer bothers to remember the details of his own stories. Even in Shadow of the Hegemon (which is otherwise excellent: my third favourite book in the whole combined series after Speaker for the Dead and Ender's Game) I could easily detect two significant discontinuities: whether it was Valentine or Peter that wanted Ender away from Earth and whether Nikolai had met Sister Carlotta or not.

One of those contradictions was hugely significant to the characterization of the characters, and should have been remembered by OSC as significant; the other contradiction wasn't really important but it was a contradiction to the end of the immediately previous book -- in short something OSC had written recently, and it again should have been remembered.

And there's a ton of other things from many books, large and small: whether Netherlands was under Russian control at the time of Ender's Game. How many child-commanders (besides Ender) were in the final battle. Whether Ender's parents neglected their children or not.

So if OSC can't bother reading his own works, why should I?

The only one that *really* never made sense to me was Ender's childhood home. Depicted in Enders game as in a metropolitan city, and in later books as in Greensboro. Ender's game even specifically states that they moved after he was gone.

This was fixed in all but the first edition of SotH.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Wow, what a drama queen.
Thank you for the personal attack, for preferring not to spend time on books that are carelessly written.
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neo-dragon
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A few minor contradictions that do not even affect the plot do not mean that a book is carelessly written. By that reasoning Tolkien, Asimov, Herbert, Clarke and many other masters of the field were in fact careless writers.

Authors make mistakes. Especially sci-fi and fantasy authors who build whole worlds from scratch. Fans either accept that and live with the minor issues or, well, they complain.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Thank you for the personal attack, for preferring not to spend time on books that are carelessly written.
Nope. I doubt that anybody here really cares whether you read those books any more or not.

Instead, the unflattering comment was in response to how you came here and made sure that we all knew exactly why you weren't going to read them any more.

It was a little overly dramatic, I've got to say.

[ August 25, 2011, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Wow, what a drama queen.
Thank you for the personal attack, for preferring not to spend time on books that are carelessly written.
Indeed. I do not blame you. I tried to re-read an excerpt from this book since it was on sale at Borders and perhaps I could have been wrong in disliking it...

Well, for details add me on Goodreads as Chromesthesia. Can't miss me. I have a picture of a cute spider face. Deranged to everyone else.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
A few minor contradictions
May I ask what you would consider major contradictions? To me things like Valentine plotting to remove Ender from Earth had been a *major* character point in the original book. So it was a major contradiction when explicitly the opposite was stated in a later book.

That's for major contradictions. And I'd say minor contradiction are dozens, from the origins of Jane, the number of Ender's commanders in the final battles, etc, etc.

quote:
By that reasoning Tolkien, Asimov, Herbert, Clarke and many other masters of the field were in fact careless writers.
I've read their series, most of their series anyway, and I don't remember any casual contradiction of that magnitude from Tolkien, Herbert or Clarke. Nothing that I immediately noted as a contradiction upon reading.

To the extent that they contradicted previously written stuff, they did so very deliberately, very purposefully, not casually -- like Tolkien revising the story of Bilbo & Gollum (while keeping the old story as a lie that Bilbo told the dwarves), or Arthur Clarke deliberately choosing to have the book 2010 be consistent with the movie version of 2001, instead of the book version thereof.

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rainboy
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(Post Removed by Janitor Blade. Spammy Spam)

[ September 19, 2011, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
A few minor contradictions
May I ask what you would consider major contradictions? To me things like Valentine plotting to remove Ender from Earth had been a *major* character point in the original book. So it was a major contradiction when explicitly the opposite was stated in a later book.

That's for major contradictions. And I'd say minor contradiction are dozens, from the origins of Jane, the number of Ender's commanders in the final battles, etc, etc.

You have held up as major contradictions, facts and premises that are established through dialogue, or through unreliable perspective narration. It would be a major contradiction if an omniscient narrator made two opposing statements, but typically OSC avoids omniscient narration and favors focused perspective, which delivers a 3rd person narration that *seems* omniscient, but is still subjective. So you're getting the truth "according to". That isn't the same as "the truth."

Particularly with Val's and peter's motivations regarding exiling ender, it was I who pointed out in the discussion with OSC had here, that we had never actually found out what Peter had really wanted out of that situation. We had only been told, through an unreliable narration of dialogue, that it had been Val's idea- what we actually *knew* was more subjective.

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Vigor Miller
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What we are not asking ourselves is: what do we stand to gain by nitpicking out every little mistake we could find? Does it enhance our reading experience in any way? Does it provide us with some satifaction otherwise not imparted on us by the pure joy of reading such a delicately woven story in the first place? I say, just shut up and read the book. Its not like any of you could do better.
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Fooglmog
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You're probably right in saying that none of us can do better Vigor.

On the other hand, I can't build a house. But if the inside is an awful colour, that doesn't mean I can't repaint it.

Just because it's not within my ability to create something from scratch, doesn't mean I can suggest ways to improve what someone else has created.

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