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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Shadows in Flight - Discussion w/ *SPOILERS* (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Shadows in Flight - Discussion w/ *SPOILERS*
ResIpsa
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A bit pissed off that the kindle version got canceled (or at least delayed). I had preordered months ago and just realized yesterday that now listed 2013 as the release date. So cancelled that order and bought it at B&N this morning (I don't when the last time I actually bought a book at a local bookstore, but didn't want to wait). Anyway, just finished it up and wanted to see what everyone's impressions were. It's a pretty short book, but that's not really a problem. No need to add a bunch of fluff just to lengthen the story if its not necessary. Overall I enjoyed it. Not one of my favorites in the series but better than others. A few items that surprised me or lingering questions/issues:

*SPOILER ALERT - LAST WARNING*


1. I thought we were told that Bean was supposed to die in the first chapter? Was there a major rewrite late in the game or was that just a false rumor? I thought that tidbit originally came from OSC directly, but maybe I'm mistaken.

2. Was it ever determined what it was that killed the hive queen on the formic ship?? clearly this was well after all the other Queens were destroyed in EG, but I think this was just left open (some kind of disease?)

3. Where was Jane? I'm not certain how the timeline matches up, but I would assume Jane existed in some form by the time of this book so you'd think she would be monitoring what was going on in some way (as Ender would certainly be interested in knowing what was found). I assume this will be covered in the next book, but otherwise this seems like a bit of a plot hole.

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millernumber1
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I loved it - there were some times where I felt he was expositing stuff that didn't need to be there (but maybe that's just because I've read nearly everything in the series plus the companion).

1. Bean dying in the first chapter, I believe, was when Shadows in Flight was the project now known as Shadows Alive, I believe. In other words, the big linking project between the Shadow quartet and the Ender quartet.

2. I think it was implied to be a disease - but I didn't think that was really the central mystery, so I wasn't bothered by a lack of a hard answer.

3. I don't think Jane had revealed herself to Ender at this point. But I'm not entirely sure. She certainly existed as the program/aiua which guarded Ender's money - and also possibly Bean's family's money - but she was still "growing up," I think.

I did love the three different personalities of the children, and the way none of them were an Achilles. I wish there'd been more examination of Petra's influence - but since she's been dead for four hundred years, I guess that'd be hard.

Am happy, but also sad - it's hard when both Bean and Ender are dead, even if both lived lives to be proud of, and found great joy in life.

All this means is that I can't wait until Shadows Alive comes out and we get more Miro, Jane, Peter, and Wang-mu, and hopefully lots of Beanie Baby offspring. Man, that's a scary planet - makes Path look like slightly slow students.

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Maxnar
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Need.........more.....I've been jonesing for my OSC fix for so long. This was like giving a teaspoon of pure imported costa rican coffee to a New York business woman who hasn't had her morning fix for weeks. So good. NEED more.
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CRash
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I finished it a half hour ago (so I have only just begun to process it) and my initial reaction is: Wow. Loved it!

I am so glad that this book was written because it feels like a proper goodbye to Bean. When the initial linker book (first called Shadows in Flight, now Shadows Alive) was announced by OSC, I was terrified that all we would get of Bean was a prologue or a letter and then a summary of his death. This book did wonders for my grieving process, because by the end I was fully prepared for Bean to die, and the way it happened was truly touching. Seeing Bean's death, the initial cure for Anton's Key, and the "first steps" for the three leguminotes (love that term) feels like a necessary part of the series canon.

Shadows in Flight is a great little read similar to First Meetings and also A War of Gifts. It's twice as long as the latter and only 30 pages longer than the First Meetings collection. It also felt similar in terms of how it focused on the character story. For me, the characters have always mattered most in the Ender/Shadow series, and this one delivered on that front. So from my perspective it was very satisfying.

I reacted to this book far more positively than I did to Ender in Exile, and I'm still trying to piece together why. I think it might have been because I was prepared for what the content of SiF would be, and didn't have the unrealistic expectations I did for EiE. Part of why I felt let down about EiE was that I was expecting less recycled material (the Gold Bug subplot + short stories) and much more about Ender's encounter with Arkanian/Achilles. Thanks to OSC's post last year, I was prepared for what SiF would actually be about. If I was anticipating the linker novel, I would have been disappointed. If I was anticipating a longer novel, I would have disappointed. I'm curious to see if readers who hadn't been prepared with the "disclaimer" still enjoyed the book.

From reading the other threads, it looks like a lot of people were disappointed concerning the ebook. Since I was always planning to buy the hardcover I didn't know about that fiasco before I came to this board. So it seems the unrealistic hype with this release came from the digital end of things. (I have no clue what is happening with the MMB, either.) Thankfully none of that colored my first reading experience, so I got to enjoy Shadows in Flight for the story it is.

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jerag
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just a couple things i noticed, for those who are curious the current status of jane, she would be andrews assistant/known to andrew from the story "the investment counselor" it's been a while so i may get the details wrong, but i believe that's where she makes herself known, after that andrew becomes a speaker speaking the death of the tax agent who was trying to steal too much money.

i liked the book, i found it interesting what sarge's opinions were though. initially he is the alpha, then when he gets attacked by ender he becomes submissive as stated a couple times he viewed his brother's genes as being more vital to be continued than his own, therefore he could justify to himself taking the risky tasks(entering the starship first, and alone)

what i'm curious about next is what do the boys do now? for the time being it seems no one knows about them so sarge's abilities are negated as a warrior, maybe future generation will need to have a warrior to help them but not for a few hundred years. while ender's abilities are not nearly as needed anymore, he was trying to solve a genetic problem that he solved. his life's work has most likely been completed. (for the time being he has the relatively easier problem of adapting his body to feed off the nutrients in the bugger ship)

now carlotta on the other hand it seems engineering will be a needed discipline for years to come, i wonder what advancements in technology might her intellectual children determine?

and not sure if this thread or another thread had thoughts on bean becoming a sort of lazarus long character, but his children certainly are doing the incest thing. here's hoping the family doesn't have too many negatively reinforcing recessive genes.

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Willster3282
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^^ To the poster above:

I was actually the one in a different thread that Bean become a Lazarus Long type character. And when I say that, I mean an enduring representation of the human species. Who over a period of thousands of years has experienced the human race and become wise enough to be a weathered human being. Ender fulfilled that through his journeys, but he met his end in a way that clearly does not suit the future of the "Enderverse".

I had hoped Bean would be the person to then carry that legacy. And as much as it's great he has kids, I never wanted Bean's story to take a backseat to his offsprin's, which seems like it's going to happen. I expected Bean to be like (sorry if this comes off funny), but like Master Chief from Halo 3 when he goes into cryogenic sleep and says, "Wake me. When you need me."

And unfortunately I'm saddened it hasn't happened that way. I would've hoped that against the sentient species discovered in the last Ender book Bean could've been that person that said, "I've destroyed an alien race before, I'll have to do it again." Instead, it's going to be Bean's kids, Miro, NewPeter, and Wang-Mu that have to fight the thread of the Descolada's creators.

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la.SOMA
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My god.. I loved this book so much. Just finished it a moment ago on the train home from work. I'm still processing. But one thing that I concluded is that the planet the ark is near is actually the descolodors planet.
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jerag
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i understand, i was half in jest, the principle difference between lazarus long and bean is lifespan, Lazarus is an old character, it took that age to bring the experiences to be as wise as lazarus is. bean on the other hand is forced by his genetics to be a young man. towards the end of his life he is unable to stand without a serious risk of a heart attack.

i agree that while ender achieved this status, his death was something that while it made for a good story it didn't leave his character in the role of "father of humanity" as valentine put it. possibly the new Peter is able to fulfill that role. at least for a time.

my mention of jane's status is unclear but in ender's timeline he meets jane, then becomes a speaker for the dead. bean mentions he kept track of his friend, and recognizes that his friend is a speaker for the dead, in fact bean recognizes that it was only ender who could have written the hive queen due to his love of the formics.

so by this point if jane is not fully grown into her powers of seeing everything, she at least must be ender's assistant.

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CRash
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quote:
Originally posted by Willster3282:
I expected Bean to be like (sorry if this comes off funny), but like Master Chief from Halo 3 when he goes into cryogenic sleep and says, "Wake me. When you need me."

I was half-hoping that would happen, especially since the introduction of stasis in EiE. My guess is that OSC didn't give that type of story to Bean because he already wrote it for Jason Worthing thirty years ago. (Which is too bad; I like Bean better.)
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Sco
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I go the book in the mail today and finished it in 5 hours. Absolutely loved this one - not my favorite of the series as some of you have mentioned, but it gave so much closure to the Bean quartet that I feel was very much needed.

A few thoughts I had over this one. First of all, I was thrilled to see the connections with the drones and Bean's family. Specifically, the images the drones shared to Ender about the last Hive Queen in Ender's possession.

At the end of the novel, the kids figure out a cure for their disease in the form of a organelle similar to the mitochondria that will turn on and off the growth spurts when necessary. This will allow the kids to maintain their intelligence, but also not grow to an astounding 4.5 meters like Bean did (granted, he was in low gee, but still... that's a pretty remarkable height when you think about it). The organelle has to be delivered with a virus so that the change happens to all cells at once and the body doesn't reject it.

Hmmm... doesn't this sound familiar? Anyone remember how the descolada worked? What if it ends up being Bean's descendants that are the descoladores? I can't remember the specifics from Children of the Mind off-hand, but there has been no real contact with them yet, right? Outside of a missile sent to the ship after Miro and company send genetic information to the planet?

I might be way off on that, but I thought the whole conversation about organelles and viruses a little interesting...

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Scott R
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I'm not sure how Bean and his kids could be the descoladores. In Xenocide, Rooter talks about a fathertree who saw the sky split open-- the humans and the piggies figure out that this experience was the landing craft of whatever species brought the virus to Lusitania. And the way Rooter tells the story, it was ages and ages ago; my impression was that it was at the very edge of pequenino history.

But it has only been 3000 years since Ender and his jeesh left Battle School; the timelines don't quite match up.

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Kama
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quote:
And we still have "Shadows Alive" to look forward to - and after this book, you'll see what it means to say that Bean's descendants will perhaps be the ones to deal with the Descoladores - whoever they turn out to be. (No, they are NOT Bean's descendants themselves. They are definitely NOT human.)

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=005427;p=1&r=nfx
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Sco
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I'm not sure how Bean and his kids could be the descoladores. In Xenocide, Rooter talks about a fathertree who saw the sky split open-- the humans and the piggies figure out that this experience was the landing craft of whatever species brought the virus to Lusitania. And the way Rooter tells the story, it was ages and ages ago; my impression was that it was at the very edge of pequenino history.

But it has only been 3000 years since Ender and his jeesh left Battle School; the timelines don't quite match up.

But that doesn't mean Bean's descendants couldn't do this - there is a 2500 year gap between Shadows in Flight and Speaker. How old are the piggies? What is "ages and ages ago"? There's no real concrete evidence saying that it's incorrect. For all we know, with their advanced intelligence, Bean's descendants could have advanced so far in just 200 years that they begin to colonize off-planet.

In which case, maybe the run into the descoladores. Maybe the descoladores see the virus/organelles inside them and are able to manipulate it to be the terraforming virus that they send out to the stars.

Then again, I may be trying to put too many connections together. But the description of the virus in Flight was awfully similar to the descolada, recolada, the Path virus...

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la.SOMA
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Aside from previous stories (and OSC stating that they're not) there's also the fact that something killed almost everything on the formic ark.

In the speaker series, I remember it was stated that the Hive Queen was pretty good at resisting the Descolada but that she was aware that she wouldnt be able to resist it forever.

This sort of implies that if a virus did kill off the ark, then it was because the descoladors were able to push a virus that specificly targeted the DNA of formics - in the same way that the descoladors knew that the Miro/Jane crew would be vulnerable to the opiate/heroin that they expected them to ingest.

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la.SOMA
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The time gap between Shadows in Flight and Shadows Alive is sort of what's making me scratch my head a bit. I really like the three leguminotes and sort of hope that we're not just introduced to distant descendants of them 2,500 years later - I mean.. I guess it would be cool to see how a colony of Beanie babies turned out (it does also follow the theme of most battleschoolers/jeesh members getting their own colony) but I find myself feeling a little blue thinking that this could be the only story we know of these three leguminotes.

I have my fingers crossed that something will prevent them from being able to be on the planet very long - something that might cause them to get back onto their ship and back up to relitavistic speeds and meet up with Peter, Wang Mu, Miro, etc. - Maybe a "holy crap! there's Descoladors down there!" kind of moment once they approach the planet.

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la.SOMA
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On the other hand, the spacecraft Jane, Miro, and the others encounter outside the Descolada planet could be the leguminotes:

The planet the ark is near may not be the actual desolada planet but could be one that is being teraformed by the descoladors. The leguminotes set up shop and inhabit the planet/find their own cure for the descolada (or whatever virus is teraforming the planet). Much later - 2,500 years(ish) the Lusitania gang inside one of the FTL Ships that Jane pilots finds the leguminotes planet and assume that it is the Descoladors.

But at the same time the leguminotes ALSO assume that the Lusitania gang are the Descoladors based on their odd looking spacecraft and the fact that they're transmitting a strand of the descolada.

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CRash
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Beware: much quoting ahead!
quote:
Originally posted by Sco:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I'm not sure how Bean and his kids could be the descoladores. In Xenocide, Rooter talks about a fathertree who saw the sky split open-- the humans and the piggies figure out that this experience was the landing craft of whatever species brought the virus to Lusitania. And the way Rooter tells the story, it was ages and ages ago; my impression was that it was at the very edge of pequenino history.

But it has only been 3000 years since Ender and his jeesh left Battle School; the timelines don't quite match up.

But that doesn't mean Bean's descendants couldn't do this - there is a 2500 year gap between Shadows in Flight and Speaker. How old are the piggies? What is "ages and ages ago"? There's no real concrete evidence saying that it's incorrect.
This old topic had a lot of discussion about the potential relationship between Bean's family and the descoladores, so I'm going to be lazy and dig up one of my own posts where I dug up some excerpts from Speaker.
quote:
Originally posted by CRash in 2007:
quote:
By Pipo, page 42
"The cataclysm (descolada) might have been fairly recent--half a million years ago..."

quote:
By Gusto, page 134
"The Descolada may be fairly recent--only half a million years old--and most species couldn't adapt."

quote:
By Ela, page 216
"Whatever the predator was that forced the cabra to develop that behavior pattern, it's gone. And only recently--in the last hundred thousand years, the last million years maybe...I think it was a disease...Everything comes back to the Descolada."

The most "recent" estimate given by these quotes is 100,000 years for when the descolada came to the planet. Two say 500,000 years.
And here is a quote concerning the story of Skysplitter, the fathertree who might have seen the delivery of the descolada:
quote:
From Xenocide, page 505
"How old is that war?"
"Skysplitter's War was twenty-nine generations ago. Our own forest isn't that old. But we carried songs and stories with us from our father-forest."
"That part of the story about the sky and the stars, that could be a lot older, though, couldn't it?"
"Very old. The fathertree Skysplitter died long ago. He might have been very old even when the war took place."

Some math that may be completely irrelevant: the oldest living trees in our world are about 5,000 years old. Multiply that by 30 generations (include Skysplitter because he was "old") and you get 150,000 years. This is based upon Earth trees, of course, and we don't know how old fathertrees can be. (2012 Note: Here I was assuming that "generation" referred to the lifespan of a fathertree, versus a pequinino brother. I think that is a reasonable assumption since the brothers didn't view entering the third life as "dying.")

There is no way that the descolada arrived anytime after humans began interstellar travel. Even if the scientists' estimates were off, presumably they wouldn't be off enough to land the descolada on Lusitania in the last 3,000 years.

Based on the above, I think it's safe to say that the descolada existed, at least on Lusitania, long before any fiddling by the leguminotes. But the way the triplets managed to manipulate their bodies does eerily echo it. I really need to go re-read Xenocide and CotM, because something is bothering me about the virus delivery system but I have no idea what it is.
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Sco
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^Thanks for this. I knew there were details in the Lusitania series I was forgetting. Unless Pipo and company's estimates are (way) off?

It's an intriguing thought, though. The delivery system by the leguminotes is so similar to the descolada that it's worth noting. It will be interesting to see how this will all play out.

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KirKis
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My thoughts:

The Beanie babies are going to be adopted by the males (as per Bean's wish). From all that talk about Lot's ability to "re-create the ship if needed"... I think she will re-fit the formic's ship with the parts from their own, and they will go on a journey to find the egg.

Which continues until Jane is discovered by Starways Congress, the beanie babies THEN start talking to Jane. Becoming an ally by helping to store her being when she gets shut down. They find out from Jane that the Queen was hatched on Lusitania so they head that way...

The Males will be reunited wtih their Queen, The Beanie Babies meet up with the crew. They join forces to defeat SC and the descolada... peace for everyone. [Smile]

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Willster328
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Just finished reading, a couple of thoughts I have on the book (I'd prefer to call it a novella) and the future:

1. I immediately noticed that unlike EVER other Ender/Shadow book, the beginning of the chapters didn't start with some unknown conversation. I think this was a missed opportunity for some "Easter Egg" moments. They could've been letters Bean's friend from Earth sent him about their lives, could've been Graff's conversations about Bean's status while he was alive, could've been Hive Queen conversations with the Father Trees again, could've been policy changes Starways Congress have had in terms of genetic modification, etc. Wasted opportunity.

2. I really hope the that if the Leguminites colonize the planet they don't stay there. I hope they leave their offspring after training them for 5-10 years (So they'll be in their early teens when they leave), so that they don't live out their lives on the planet and can't be part of the Shadws Alive book.

3. I really hope the Hive Queen turns out to be an enemy. The fact that she was lying to Ender about how the species worked and that she was the last Hive Queen is DEVIOUS. I remember her clearly stating that she was telling Ender the exact truth. This new development makes me very skeptical about the future of the Formics, and I think it'd be a great new plotline to develop, that in the modern Enderverse the Hive Queen's plan of universal domination comes into effect

4. The cure for Anton's Key was kind of interesting I guess. Reminded me of Parasite Eve how mitochondria are a way to explain any genetic condition. I still would've liked to see Bean stay alive long enough though to meet Jane in the current time, so she could give him a new body like she did for Miro.

5. I would've liked to see Bean figure out some more "theory" on how things in the Enderverse worked. From Ender's Shadow he was able to figure out the Formics spoke from ansible, if he could somehow reason the theories for the ansible being a "web" like Jane eventually figures out, and about aiua's, and about the transportation theories and basically everything we learned in CotM, I think that would've been kinda interesting.

That's all for now. Great read, satisfied me, but being a gluttonous Card fan, I could've had a LOT more. There weren't any Easter Eggs at all about the rest of the Enderverse, and if the ENTIRE series of Bean/Ender are wrapped up in Shadows Alive, it better DAMN be longer, more intense, more developed, and more conclusive than the end of Shadows in Exile.

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Sco
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^I completely disagree with your third thought. If the Hive Queen ends up being an enemy, it would completely undo everything about the Ender series. It would kill Ender's compassion and redemption from the Xenocide. It would ruin the relationship between the Hive Queen and the piggies. It would be too big of a game-changer that would frankly destroy a lot of the lessons and purpose of this series.

My thoughts on the Hive Queen "lying" are basically that the drones and the Hive Queen hold differing opinions on how it works. In the Speaker series, at some point, the Hive Queen is described as not having a great memory once something is proven wrong or her opinion on something changes. It says that the Hive Queen seems to have no recollection of ever being wrong or incorrect. Maybe the Hive Queen has a thought of her reign over the drones, and the drones don't feel the same way about it, but the Hive Queen either can't comprehend or don't accept it. I kind of felt that this wasn't that big of a plot point - frankly, a change OSC needed to make about the drones to make this story make sense and have the leguminotes communicate with the drones.

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neo-dragon
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I think that people are getting the whole "The Hive Queen lied" thing all wrong. Or maybe I am.

Wasn't it established since Xenocide that she controls her workers by overpowering their will and she kills the rare few who resist? The HQs even tried to control Ender this way while he was on Eros. I don't believe she ever lied or tried to hide this. It's just such a natural thing for her that she didn't mention it until Ender started questioning her about philotic connections and FTL travel.

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Willster3282
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The bigger picture for me was that she lied about her being the last Hive Queen. Clearly there was at least one hive queen that was on a voyage, who can say if there are more?

And @Sco, about "My thoughts on the Hive Queen "lying" are basically that the drones and the Hive Queen hold differing opinions on how it works". The main argument against that, is that Legume Ender was able to derive a genetic cure for themselves FROM the information he received. So if they do have different opinions how it works, the drones way is the correct way, because it was just scientifically proven that their mitochondria is what controls their Hive Queen connections.

Either way, I don't think it would undo the series. I actually think it would make a lot of sense. If an alien race came and completely wiped out the humans, but kept you alive, and you had the chance to repopulate he human race, but withe the knowledge that the alien race would reject humans again, wouldn't you try to fight for humanity's survival? Clearly the Hive Queen sees humans as weaker beings. And I've never trusted the Formics in the first place. Something about them just never seemed right.

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millernumber1
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I was actually really interested to see Card pick up the thread from Children of the Mind, where Miro and Jane both know that the issue of the Hive Queen's tyrrany will need to be faced another day. I think perhaps we see the seeds of Shadows Alive?

Of course, I'm horrible at predictions, so please, ignore me.

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Kelly1101
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Okay, my little review/comments:

1) I'm glad that the whole book had Bean in it. I really liked how OSC handled his death. It left me feeling better than Ender's death.

2) I really was not at all interested in a lot of the book. I think it's just a personal thing, but I am not into science (yes, I realize it's sci-fi, but OSC's sci-fi is usually different and not too sciency-heavy). The whole plasma gravity algae whatever trays that Carlotta kept screwing with? Don't care. Maybe I'm wrong, I've only read it once so far, but it seemed like a lot of the book was these technical details that kept making my eyes glaze over. Also all the details about the ships, the different areas of the ships, the rotating whatever, I don't know, he kept losing me there. I really don't need to know all that, I just don't care. I'd rather more space devoted to the story of the people, and less on telling the story of the ships' layout and function.

3) Ender's name kept distracting me. I know that's the way it was laid out in the last Shadow book that it would be his name. And it's not like I was getting him confused with the real Ender. It was just... distracting. Not a big deal, I guess. But add that in to how they kept calling Bean "The Giant" was giving me... emotional confusion or something, lmao.

4) I liked the dynamic between the three siblings. Wish we could have had more of that. The first chapter was pretty dynamite, and was really my favorite part of the book.

5) Easy prediction: we won't be seeing the three siblings again, just their planet of descendants (whoever coined the phrase "Beanie Babies" cracks me up). OSC has set it all up for that, down to explaining (in a bit too much dragged-out detail) how they are all going to continue the sub-species. (Really, couldn't that have just been a sentence or two in the next book? Did we have to have all that discussion about it?)

6) I guess, as millernumber says, we did have the foreshadowing with the "is-it-or-isnt-it slavery of the hive queen" comments, but I'm having to try hard to be excited about this. I liked the explanation in the Ender series-- that the philote controlling all the buggers is just one philote that holds sway over a "network" ala Jane-- that the actual body of the "hive queen" is as much a host as the bodies of the workers etc. There was of course the mention of "rogue workers" but that did seem like an exception as in, a philote snuck in where it shouldn't have. I was down with that view of them. But now... what? All of them do have philotes after all? The Hive Queen is an individual philote and not just part of the one entity that is possessing all of the bodies? Aggh. I don't know. Maybe if I read it again I will warm up to the idea. Or maybe I misunderstood it because I felt like I was slogging through to get to the personal story part of the book.


I guess I just am frustrated because it was either too short or too long. Other than giving a good amount of words to cover Bean's death, I don't feel like anything happened that couldn't be explained in a few paragraphs in the next book. So in that way it was too long. But also, the type was really big and the pages were really small and so it gave the illusion of being a longer book, until I was like suddenly three quarters of the way into it and realized it would be ending soon and that made me sad and pissy.

I want more. I think I'm going to go over to this corner and pout about it for a while.

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millernumber1
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I should mention that I was very impressed with the way OSC handled the "Giant"/"Father" naming use. I was expecting the emotional climax to be a rather trite, overblown shift from the Beanie Babies (which I like better even than leguminotes :-) calling him "The Giant" to occasionally calling him "Father." Instead, it was unstated, but noticeable if you were waiting for it - and I was quite moved by it. Am currently rereading Shadow of the Giant, and am struck with how well Bean's character growth there leads to Shadows in Flight (and makes me wish Petra had featured in a book - or even a short story - with the non-legunimote children - and Peter!).

And part of me is glad we don't have another "strange figure who goes in stasis for long periods to time to exercise godlike control over his descendants" which so bothered me about Hot Sleep (the pre-Worthing saga book). Which also bothered me about Graff (though to be fair, Graff realized it was a big mistake and it bit him in the sit-me-down-upon).

I've said before, but I say again that I am eager for Shadows Alive (even though I'm excited about Earth Unaware and the Lost Gate sequel as well).

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BlueWizard
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I'm not sure how Bean and his kids could be the descoladores. ...

Consider this, and with some degree of SPOILER, the Beanie Babies II will be partly raised by the Formic Drone. Mind-only communication will be second nature to them.

In approx. 2500 years, the will evolve substantially, and with each new generation the mind-communication will become easier, and perhaps to the point where it is the only form of communication.

Perhaps, the non-verbal communication from the Driscoladaros is the evolutions started with the Beanies. Who know what path their evolution could take in 2500 years?

I don't think that is true, but it is a fair path of logic to explain the possibility.

Steve/bluewizard

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CRash
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I thought of that as well, BlueWizard, but in 2500 years would the leguminotes completely abandon all other forms of communication? Jane wasn't able to pick up anything like normal human conversation coming from the planet. Plus I would think that the leguminotes would maintain some kind of ansible to keep contact with the human worlds (to spy on them at the very least).

I don't know; I just find it hard to believe that Bean's children would forget how to communicate with humans by the time of CotM.

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BlueWizard
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Just a few thoughts on the Shadows in Flight book.

I really needed some resolution for Bean. It was simply unconscionable in my mind that his story was left hanging. Especially after I found out he died; this was long before the story was published. Though of course, we all knew he was going to die young, even at the end of the Shadow series, his days were already numbered.

The story somewhat played out as I had imagined it, only better I think. Card's imagination certainly works better than mine. But, bringing Bean's story to a close was very important to me, so on that aspect alone, this was a very satisfying book. It filled a hole that very much needed filling.

Next as I read, when I got to about 75% of the way through the book, I told myself "Ok, I get it, I can see where the story is going, and how the Ender and Bean sagas are eventually going to be brought together".

Except, the story didn't even remotely go where I thought it was. I thought I knew who the enemy was going to be when the story lines converged. It seemed it had to be Star Congress. But as the story played out, it seems a new unexpected enemy has come forward. Very unexpected.

Further, as good writers do, the story is now left with countless NEW hanging threads. The Beanies will start a new life and create new generations. But if that is true, and the continuation is 2500 years in the future, how does that work? Will the Beanies have some motivating reason to start Near Light Travel and travel to Lusitania? What could possible provoke such action? Will it actually be the next generations that travel to Lusitania; the Beanie-II, or the Beanie-III, or 4 or 5 or 99? One must assume in 2500 years, the original Beanie Babies will be dead?

For them to not be dead, the Near Light Speed Travel (NLST) has to start pretty soon, and how many year of NLST does it take to equal 2500 years? It seems the original Beanies went from age 1 to age 6 in just short of 500 years. That would imply in the Scout Ship, they would take 5 years to reach Lusitania to get the clocks of Peter and Wang Mu synchronized with the original Beanie Babies.

But, while 5 years will pass for the Beanies, 2500 year will pass for Peter. Though actually New!Peter doesn't even exist yet. So, why go to Lustitania? That colony hasn't even been founded yet. Again, what could possibly happen that would cause the Beanies to some how become time-sync'ed with New!Peter? It is a mystery give that at the moment they are 2500 years apart in time. What could happen 2500 year ago, that would be sufficiently relevant to send the Beanies forward in time to meet New!Peter? Only time will tell.

Is the threat of the new apparent enemy real? Or is this just a Red Herring to keep us distracted until we realize they are not the enemy after all?

From what I remember, the cocoon that Ender was carrying experience time, not at near light speed, but at land speed. So those 2, 3, 5 year flights of Ender's were centuries to the Cocoon. Thought that doesn't quite add up because Ender and the cocoon queen carried on discussions. Could the cocoon carry on a ruse for 3000 years?

Or perhaps as other has said, the Queen simply has selective memory. What she is saying she believes to be true, because it is the truth that servers here in the moment. And when a new truth become of better service, then she will forget the old, and embrace the new?

At any rate, the ending of the book left me very intrigued and eager for what comes next. It is going to be interesting to see what provokes the Beanies to leave their current planet. Will only the Beanies leave or will they leave with all their children? Perhaps the death of the drones will somehow provoke them to leave. Perhaps they will reveal some information that was previously hidden, or perhaps the Drones will come with them. But again what could provoke people 2500 years in the past to start a journey that would lead to convergence?

Again, I can only speculate, and since reading the book my mind has been teaming with possible explanations are to why they would leave and travel to Lusitania. Or, perhaps, they will not travel to Lusitania, perhaps their paths will cross for some other reason. Perhaps Jane will contact them, or they will contact Jane, and Jane will use Faster Than Light Travel to bring them together. Perhaps Jane will see the threat first, or perhaps not.

At any rate, I am happy that I finally got an accounting of Bean's life, and find his children fascinating. Now that they are cooperating, it will be interesting to see how they work together against real problems on their new planet, and when the cross paths with Peter.

Again, completely surprised by the ending, and the new apparent enemy. Obviously I thought the Beanie would travel to Lusitania for their cure, but that issue seems to be resolved. So I am completely thrown for a loop here. I can't image how everything is going to come together which only makes me that much more eager for the new Shadows Alive book to come out.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard

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Willster3282
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I'm not sure how Bean and his kids could be the descoladores. ...

Consider this, and with some degree of SPOILER, the Beanie Babies II will be partly raised by the Formic Drone. Mind-only communication will be second nature to them.

In approx. 2500 years, the will evolve substantially, and with each new generation the mind-communication will become easier, and perhaps to the point where it is the only form of communication.

Perhaps, the non-verbal communication from the Driscoladaros is the evolutions started with the Beanies. Who know what path their evolution could take in 2500 years?

I don't think that is true, but it is a fair path of logic to explain the possibility.

Steve/bluewizard

I think a more likely explanation is that the Beanie Babies could be the ones responsible for creating the Descolada virus. For whatever reason. Not necessarily that they're the ones who use it themselves. We know what Ender legume is a genetiscist genius who's already figured out how to transform mitochondria, what's to say he couldn't creae a virus for some sort of purpose we don't know about yet?

I mean, from what I can tell, Lusitania is the only planet we've seen with the Descolada virus so far right? Maybe there was some sort of threat on here that the Beanie Babies created the Descolada to combat or transform. And unbeknownst to them they created an eco-system with it. Been a while since I read Children of the Mind, but it could be possible.

Either way, I think Card would be making a mistake if he made Shadows Alive the last book in the Enderverse, unless it was a MASSIVE book (which unfortunately, the Ender books haven't been lately). There's just so many potential storylines to include: The Descoldaore Planet, the Hive Queen's secrets if she has any, Peter's plight to control Starways Congress (hell it took real!Peter 3 Shadow books to control EARTH, nevermind Starways Congress), how the Congress will react to the discovery of humans with Anton's key turned, what Jane's future means to the universe, what Valentine's purpose in the stead of Ender being gone, how Ender's aiua may still be a factor, further exploring the physics behind what an aiua is, etc etc.

I just feel like there are too many storylines coming together to just put into ONE book. Especially given the most current releases of Shadows in Flight and Ender in Exile, the comic books, the short stories etc. I feel like it'd be rushed.

And there's another Ender book still coming out, the prequel who's description is:

"The novel takes place before Ender Wiggin was born and tells the story of the first Formic War. It follows the mining ship, El Cavador, as the family on board finds a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship."

Who knows what this alien ship is or what other new threads it could open like Shadows in Flight did?

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CRash
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quote:
Originally posted by Willster3282:
I think a more likely explanation is that the Beanie Babies could be the ones responsible for creating the Descolada virus... I mean, from what I can tell, Lusitania is the only planet we've seen with the Descolada virus so far right? Maybe there was some sort of threat on here that the Beanie Babies created the Descolada to combat or transform. And unbeknownst to them they created an eco-system with it. Been a while since I read Children of the Mind, but it could be possible.

I still don't think that's likely, given the time estimates in Speaker and the nature of the descolada virus (nearly wiping out an entire colony of humans by unzipping their DNA). I think it was also quite dangerous to the hive queen. And CotM seems to confirm that the creation of the ecosystem was not accidental, but a deliberate function of the descolada. This exchange from CotM discusses it, and also shows that while the descolada itself only appeared on Lusitania, there was a similar precursor virus that devastated many of the planets Jane explored:
quote:
CotM, page 122
And in that moment, Miro knew. "You're searching for the home planet of the descolada virus...The descolada virus was manufactured. Somebody made it and sent it out, perhaps to terraform other planets in preparation for an attempt at colonization. Whoever it is might still be out there, making more, sending more probes, perhaps sending out viruses we won't be able to contain and defeat. Jane is looking for their own planet." [...]

Val nodded. "Now it's obvious. Some of the worlds we've explored have had very limited flora and fauna. I even commented on it with a couple of them. There must have been a major die-off. Nothing like the limitations on the native life of Lusitania, of course. And no descolada virus."

"But some other virus, less durable, less effective than the descolada," said Miro. "Their early attempts, maybe. That's what caused a die-off of species on those other worlds. Their probe virus finally died out, but those ecosystems haven't yet recovered from the damage.

OSC has said that the leguminotes are not the descoladores, but I agree with you that the skill set of Ender Delphiki in particular is uniquely suited for dealing with the genetic warfare that the Descolada wages. To me it seems like OSC is setting up the descoladores as the sworn enemies of the Beanie Babies, in opposition rather than in concert. I wonder if the leguminotes will have already met the descoladores pre-Shadows in Flight, or if Ender's family will be the ones to introduce them?
quote:
Originally posted by Willster3282:
And there's another Ender book still coming out, the prequel who's description is:
"The novel takes place before Ender Wiggin was born and tells the story of the first Formic War. It follows the mining ship, El Cavador, as the family on board finds a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship."

Who knows what this alien ship is or what other new threads it could open like Shadows in Flight did?

I believe that this is a sort-of novelization of the Formic Wars graphic novels. So if you read the graphic novels, you'll have a pretty good idea of what Earth Unaware is going to be about.
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Tavis
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I don't think the kids are really cured. I believe they told Bean what he needed to hear so he could pass on in peace.
They will not stay on the planet at all and will continue in space looking for a cure. I bet they find traces of the Descolada and follow it's path of destruction back to the same planet the rest of the group is studying.
Remember; their ship can carry 20 people. They have room for more in flight. There is a chance they even convert the ark and convince the formics that they are going to search for the other queen. This would give them plenty of growing room for their new species.
Can't wait for the next book.

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BlueWizard
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CRash:
"The most "recent" estimate given by these quotes is 100,000 years for when the descolada came to the planet. Two say 500,000 years."

"the oldest living trees in our world are about 5,000 years old. Multiply that by 30 generations (include Skysplitter because he was "old") and you get 150,000 years. "


I think you are probably right, the evolutionary time line between the Beanies and the Descolata doesn't add up. The Descolata have to be very old, far far older than the Beanies.

Now there might be some intersect between the Beanies and the Descolata, as in the Beanies or their planet becoming infected, but I really can't see them being one and the same.

The evolutionary scale simply doesn't seem long enough. And the Event on Lusitania that is part of their ancient legends could be as longs as 150,000 years. Yet the Descolata would have to have countless centuries of evolution before that to develop to the point where they could launch space probes to far distant planets.

Again, the evolutionary time line simply does not seem sufficient for the Beanies to develop into the Drescolata.

Steve/bluewizard

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BlueWizard
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On the issue of the converging time lines, based on a best guess, once the Beanies take flight, it will take them roughly 30 years to reach Lusitania.

Roughly 30 years of space travel equals 2500 years of earth time. Likely the Beanies will be 35 to +40 years of age, depending on how long they spend on the planet.

Steve/bluewizard

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Myself Overwhelmed
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So why are we not considering that the Beanie Babies created or used the descolada to cure their disease? (the growing part, obviously) Maybe I'm missing something, but I think that being able to unzip DNA would help with the needing to change every cell in their bodies or however that needs to work.

I can't remember all the details, so if someone can disprove this for me that would help because it seems too obvious to me.

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dansigal
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The debate is obsolete, Card has stated in an interview that the Descaloders are not human and are not Bean's descendants. Too lazy to find the interview, but its out there...
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Tavis
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To add to my statement above - it could be 2 or 3 generations from now that reach the Descolada planet.
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Sala
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Reading the first two chapters in IGMS made me not want to buy the book. I don't know if it was because it was an electronic format, or what it was, but the sniping between the three children just drove me nuts when I read it. I told myself that I could wait for this book to come out in paperback in a year, even though I've bought every OSC book in hardback for the past umpteumpt years. Then I went to a bookstore, looking for something else, and saw the book. And couldn't resist. I bought it, and read it, and liked it. It read so much better to me in print than on the computer. Maybe I'm just old, or old fashioned. Whichever it is, I really enjoyed the book and am glad I went ahead and bought it. As many have stated here, it was the right way to end Bean's life.
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shadowland
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Something that is Outside can enter the universe at any point in space. Has there been anything mentioned in the earlier books that suggests that something that is Outside could not also enter into any point in time?
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Blayne Bradley
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Wonderful book, the beginning was a little slow and had a lot of nihilistic meh to it then came the colony ship and it got awesome.
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Scott R
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FYI:

Shadows in Flight & InterGalactic Awards Signing

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oscfan
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Personally, I enjoyed the book but thought it was a bit short. Considering how long Ender in Exile was, I thought Shadows in Flight would be at least 300 pages.
I also loved the contrasting personalities of Ender, Carlotta and Cincinattus (my favorite) and wanted to see even more of their character development!

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JTTrey3
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I just finished listening to Shadows in Flight, and the question that kept nagging in the back of my mind was this:

Could the genetic research funded in the name of turning off Anton's Key, have resulted in the genetic manipulations performed on the people of Path?

I looked through the forums before I asked this, and I saw much speculation about the descolada. But I did not see any about Path (Maybe I missed it).

What do you all think?

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fieryspirit
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Disappointed. I wish he's stop doing these stupid short stories and get on with a good novel.

I don't want to know how Ender's parents met, i don't want to know what mazer did in prison. Give me a break.

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SteveRogers
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I disagree with the above. Some of us really enjoy hearing the stories behind the main Ender series narrative.
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fieryspirit
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I enjoy it like a candy bar at 711; not like a Feast that quenches my appetite every few years. What's a better analogy - let's use food.
These short stories are your local favorite restaurant; you spend about $30-50 and you love it because it's good and you know you'll be back in a few months; it's not your favorite experience but its okay, and you go home satiated. Ender, Speaker, Xenocide, Children, Shadow, Giant - those are the french Laundry type, Michellen star restaurants you might visit only a few times in your life were you happily drop $200-1000 and each bite is ingrained in your memory forever. Why waste a great chef on a 3 star restaurant, when they are a 5 star chef? OSC doing these little stories - he's scared of his own shadow.
I don't know about you guys but i'd happily pay $5,000 (i'd take a loan) for a OSC Hugo/Nebula 1000 page finale to my favorite series, But don't give me mcdonalds at the french laundry.
The man wrote Speaker for the Dead.
The past decade of Ender has been Mcdonalds. Giant Was great though.

[ April 27, 2012, 04:37 AM: Message edited by: fieryspirit ]

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fieryspirit
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Ever since he broke up Xenocide and Children, his overall story has been more and more diluted.
I've purchased Ender and Speaker about 20 times because i keep giving it away like it's the Bible.
The rest not at all. Ender in Exile? I almost ripped that book apart after i read it. I remember cursing out-loud - it's now in a box in my storage bin, haven't read it more than once.
Oh and "The Formics" give me a break, i remember thinking wtf - they are and will always be the buggers - british connotation and all.
OSC is turning into George Lucas - have some integrity dude.

[ April 28, 2012, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: fieryspirit ]

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SteveRogers
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I suppose that's just a matter of opinion. I've thoroughly enjoyed every supplemental novel or story published in the Ender universe. To me, I've felt they were all of quality, and I've enjoyed how much they've further enriched the original world presented in the very first Ender novella.
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fieryspirit
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Wow! I thought i'd be upset, but i didn't realize how much i'd be upset. I just finished the book. I knew it was short, but this was an embarrassment.

You should be ashamed of yourself OSC. That wasn't a book, that was a chapter - I don't think you deserve your fans anymore. It was a good first chapter, but that is all it was.

Did you use 14 pt type double spaced? 54,000 words? were you counting the copyright pages? Is this a tweenlight series?! Are you really that Greedy? This is the last OSC crap-type "book" i'll read; give me a novel - not a chapter. Even the hobbit was 100k words. Hardy boys and girl in space is not why i fell in love with this series; and at least the hardy boys had a story. What was this - Bean and kids find ship, there are drones, Bean gets transferred and dies. Where is the story? He's proud of his kids? That's it? GMAFB!

Fahrenheit 451 was only 46k words - this my sorry friend was no Fahrenheit 451. This was disposable tween fiction like he's been writing this past decade - 54k words of nonsense. How many of those words repeated? formic, rabb, drone, giant, ender? it's half the size of Ender's game but conveys 1/4 the information. There is more conveyed in the first 3 chapters of Ender's game than this whole "tiny Flight" book.

The guy has to know by know this isn't working for him nor his fans, why is he wasting his and our time? I feel robbed and want a refund. I should have listened to the Amazon reviews instead of my heart. This trash is going straight back to Barnes and Noble - you're not taking my money jerk.

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SteveRogers
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He announced officially that Shadows in Flight was only going to be a novella to bridge the gap between the Ender and Shadow series and the upcoming novel Shadows Alive. It's not his fault if you went into it expecting something other than what was officially announced. For what it's worth.
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