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Author Topic: OSC needs your help -- Ender's Game reconciliation
millernumber1
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A minor one for me is when Graff is alive and when he is not. I think there's a bit of contradiction between Ender's Game, Ender in Exile, and Shadow of the Giant.

But the one that's really bothered me is the timing of Peter reading The Hive Queen, contacting Ender, Ender writing The Hegemon, and Peter's death:

In Ender's Game, it says: "By ansible she [Valentine] got an answer from the ancient Hegemon, Peter Wiggin, seventy-seven years old with a failing heart." At the end of the section, it says, "And when he died, Ender wrote a second volume, again signed by the Speaker for the Dead."

In Shadow of the Giant, it says in chapter 26 "Speak for Me": "Peter might be over seventy--and, as he often pointed out to Petra, an old seventy, an ancient seventy..." Then, at the end of the chapter, "Peter lived for some time after that, despite his weak heart. Hoping the whole time that Ender might write the book he wanted. But when he died, the book was still unwritten."

So far, no contradiction.

Then came Ender in Exile. Chapter 19: "On the ansible, they talked for an hour at a time, Peter in his late fifties, with a weak heart that had the doctors worried, Ender still a boy of sixteen." So, 77, 70, or late 50s? [note: Shadow of the Giant has him talk about how he's eternally 12, though that might just be a reference to his defining trauma at that age]

Later, it says, "When Peter had told of his whole life, everything he did that mattered enough to come up in these conversations, Ender spent only five days writing a slim volume called "The Hegemon." He sent a copy to Peter with a note: Since the author will be 'Speaker for the Dead,' this can't be published until after you die." Peter wrote back: "It can't happen a moment too soon for me." But in a letter to valentine, he poured out his heart about what it meant to him to feel so completely understood. "He didn't conceal any of the bad things I did. But he kept them in balance. In perspective.""

So, kind of a big difference there, in both Peter's age, and the fact that Peter actually read the book. I can reconcile the book just not being published to fit with Ender's Game, but it does directly contradict the Shadow of the Giant passage. I find both powerful (but then, I find all three of the Ender meets Valentine after the war scenes to be moving, even though again, the Ender in Exile scene breaks continuity the most).

(Just noticed that in the thread linked by
theamazeeaz, I made the same complaint [Smile]

I was also bit bothered by the discrepancy between what Graff told Ender about the discovery of Eros and the Formic Wars description of the First Invasion - I think Aaron Johnston said that OSC and he had moved Eros to the Second Invasion, so I was hoping that would get changed in a new version of EG.

I've generally really liked the prequel series. I thought Mazer being unvalued by his superiors was actually still present in the book, and expect a lot more in the second trilogy, given how Mazer was expanded in "Ender's Game Alive."

I'm not sure it's really a contradiction, since OSC directly addressed it in Ender's Shadow, but Ender's evaluation of Bean, as supposedly intermediated by Mazer so Bean could be free to handle the battle if Ender failed, has always bothered me as a bit too obvious of a retcon. (Also, I adore Bean, so seeing a bit more of him in EG, like he was in EGA, always makes me happy.)

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Craig Childs:

That's where I disagree. The history has been changed (for better or worse) and EG should be updated to reflect the new reality. It may be that EG suffers a little in order to allow OSC's wider, fuller vision to flourish.

You must be a George Lucas fan.
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millernumber1
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Yup. That's me. George Lucas fan. Just like OSC.
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staredecisis
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I know of a few minor ones. I'll post all I can in the next few days... I apologize for any repeats from above.

There's a contradiction about he gravity level of Eros:

Ender's Shadow, Chapter 22: "Graff got up from the table— laboriously, because he’d put on a lot of weight and they kept Eros at full gravity— and led the way out into the tunnels."

Ender's Game, Chapter 14: "From the start, Ender was plagued by vertigo as he walked through the tunnels, especially the ones that girdled Eros’s narrow circumference. It did not help that gravity was only half of Earth-normal— the illusion of being on the verge of falling was almost complete."

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staredecisis
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This might go along with the edit of Valentine and Ender's meeting, but I think he learned at the lake of her Demosthenes identity.

Ender's Game, Chapter 13: ""It means that you are going to make a difference in the world.” And she told him what she and Peter were doing."

(I take that to mean she talked about the alter egos.)

In Ender in Exile, Chapter 4, Ender doesn't know Demosthenes's identity: "“So, clever boy, who is Demosthenes?” Ender rose to his feet and to his own chagrin he was crying, just like that. He didn’t even know he was crying till his cheeks were wet and he couldn’t see for the blur. “Valentine,” he whispered."

It'd probably be easy to remove the line from the scene at the lake.

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millernumber1
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Good point - I'd forgotten about that contradiction - though in EGA, Val at least alludes to her work as Demosthenes in the lake scene in a bit more detail, so it seems like that might be important at that point in the story?

The Ender in Exile passage is pretty moving, though, so I'm torn as to which I like better.

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GaalDornick
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In Ender's Game, right after Ender is handed his graduation orders from Graff, there is a paragraph from Bean's POV:

quote:
He felt himself wanting to cry. He hadn't cried since the first few days of homesickness after he got here.
After looking through Ender's Shadow, I see no mention of Bean crying in the first few days of Battle School and I can't imagine it would've been because of homesickness. Maybe because of Poke's death, but that's not homesickness.

Also, in Ender's Game:

quote:
He bit down on his hand to stop the feeling, to replace it with pain. It didn't help. He would never see Ender again.
In Ender's Shadow:

quote:
He bit on his lip, trying to let the pain force the emotion away. It didn't help. Ender was gone.
Insignificant contradiction, but there it is.

Also, are we to include contradictions between the movie and the book? [Big Grin]

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millernumber1
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Well, GaalDornick, if we did that, we'd either be here for days, or just a second:

"Ignore everything in the movie with regards to continuity."

There we go. [Smile]

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staredecisis
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One more possible contradiction, although this is extraordinarily minor. There's a difference between Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow on what Eros is called. In Ender's Shadow, it is called a "wandering asteroid." In Ender's Game, it is called a "minor planet," "planetoid," or "asteroid." These terms are traditionally synonymous, although they've started taking on slightly different meanings. (Eros probably isn't large enough to be considered a planetoid under the new definitions.)

Ender's Shadow, Chapter 22: "Just before arrival, the kids were briefed. FleetCom was in the wandering asteroid Eros. And as they approached, they realized that it really was in the asteroid."

Ender's Game, Chapter 13; "I.F. Command is on the minor planet Eros, which should be about three months away from here at the highest possible speed."

Ender's Game, Chapter 14: "Eros was hopeless. It was a roughly spindle-shaped rock only six and a half kilometers thick at its narrowest point. Since the surface of the planetoid was entirely devoted to absorbing sunlight and converting it to energy, everyone lived in the smooth-walled rooms linked by tunnels that laced the interior of the asteroid."

[ August 10, 2014, 06:13 AM: Message edited by: staredecisis ]

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by millernumber1:
[QB]
(Just noticed that in the thread linked by
theamazeeaz, I made the same complaint [Smile]

Yep. I linked to that thread because I didn't want to take credit for things other people have found in the past. [Smile]
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by staredecisis:
One more possible contradiction, although this is extraordinarily minor. There's a difference between Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow on what Eros is called. In Ender's Shadow, it is called a "wandering asteroid." In Ender's Game, it is called a "minor planet," "planetoid," or "asteroid." These terms are traditionally synonymous, although they've started taking on slightly different meanings. (Eros probably isn't large enough to be considered a planetoid under the new definitions.)

Ender's Shadow, Chapter 22: "Just before arrival, the kids were briefed. FleetCom was in the wandering asteroid Eros. And as they approached, they realized that it really was in the asteroid."

Ender's Game, Chapter 13; "I.F. Command is on the minor planet Eros, which should be about three months away from here at the highest possible speed."

Ender's Game, Chapter 14: "Eros was hopeless. It was a roughly spindle-shaped rock only six and a half kilometers thick at its narrowest point. Since the surface of the planetoid was entirely devoted to absorbing sunlight and converting it to energy, everyone lived in the smooth-walled rooms linked by tunnels that laced the interior of the asteroid."

Minor planet and asteroid are both proper terms for Eros, which is a Near-Earth Asteroid. It is not large enough to be considered anything other than an asteroid, period.

In all honesty, I've never heard the word "planetoid" used to describe a dwarf planet, despite Wikipedia saying it's a thing (I work on the outer solar system, so I hear people talking about dwarf planets on the regular, and all but Ceres are KBOs anyway).

The adjective that weirds me out is "wandering". Eros does has an orbit near Mars, I'm not sure what OSC was going for.

Since EG was written, the NEAR spacecraft visited Eros, and the pictures were published in 2000. It was found to be 11km x 11km by 34 km, and has a depression in the middle (doesn't say how deep). We could say that is the 6.5-wide part, but there's no other size given that I can see (Science article, possibly behind a paywall) Eros doesn't quite look like a spindle, it looks like a bent potato (most asteroids look like potatoes, it's a very safe catch-all).

I'd just leave this one be.

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philoticweb
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Ender's Game, Chapter 6:

"I thought it was my socks."

"We don't wear socks anymore."


In A War of Gifts, socks are major plot items.

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Ender's Ansible
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Here are a couple!

In Ender's Game, it says

"Nobody knew how to cook anymore" (Chapter 7)

But in Ender's Shadow Bean notes that

"Here, there were cooks and doctors, clothing and beds. Power wasn't about access to food-it was about getting the approval of adults." (Chapter 6)

Also in Ender's Game, when Ender returns back to his classroom without his monitor they are learning math.

"Miss Pumphrey talked about multiplication" (Chapter 1)

And a little further,

"Arithmetic! Valentine had taught him about Arithmetic when he was three!" (Chapter 1)

But in Ender's Game Alive, when Ender returns the teacher is talking about the Formic Wars (About 20:10 is the time stamp)

And finally, although it's not a direct contradiction, there is a scene in Ender's Game Alive that I feel should be included in a final version of Ender's Game. It's the scene where Ender is getting his monitor removed and the doctor and nurse realize that they might have unplugged him. Later Graff and another IF officer discuss what these fragments in Ender's brain could do. The scene implies that this action is how Jane and the Hive Queen connect with Ender.


-Cassandra Ortiz

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DanielDawg
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There is a character from Ender's Game Alive (Major Jayadi) that is not included in the original Ender's Game which is problematic because she provides a lot of content that connects the series.

- Daniel Jovel

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Ender's Ansible
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
Somebody in a post somewhere mentioned a problem with Valentine's children, and he/she was right:

quote:
about Ren's sex in Speaker:

When Valentine's daughter Syfte was four years old, and her son Ren was two, Plikt came to
her


quote:
in Xenocide:

Only people like Miro, and Jakt's and Valentine's children-- Syfte, Lars, Ro, Varsam-- and the strange quiet woman Plikt;


about secondborn's sex in Xenocide:


Their twenty-year-old daughter, Ro


and about Lars in Xenocide:


compartment they shared with Syfte and her husband, Lars


So firstly: the secondborn's name is not precise. Either Ro or Ren. The sex is also not precise. Although maybe Ren died, and then Valentine gave birth to Ro.

And secondly: Lars is Syfte's husband, not her brother. Although it is possible to call your son-in-law your child, I guess.

Hey! I worked this out with Jake Black on Twitter a couple years ago!

In Speaker for the Dead, Valentine is said to have a son named “Ren” who would be the same age as Valentine’s daughter “Ro” who appears in Xenocide. However, according to The Authorized Ender Companion, Valentine only has 3 children: Styfe, Ro and Versam- with no mention of “Ren.” We could say that this is a small mistake, but Ren is a boy and Ro is a girl which complicates things.

Jake Black told me on Twitter that “Ren” will be cut from future editions of Speaker for the Dead.

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Zotto!
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Don't know if this is really a 'contradiction', but just in case:

In Speaker For The Dead chapter 18, Ender doesn't know how his parents felt about giving him up and is left to speculate:

quote:
Even though she had agreed wholeheartedly with Ender that it was right for Miro to go, it was still unbearable to lose her child. It made Ender wonder if his own parents felt such pain when he was taken away. He suspected they had not. Nor had they hoped for his return. He already loved another man's children more than his parents had loved their own child. Well, he'd get fit revenge for their neglect of him. He'd show them, three thousand years later, how a father should behave.
In chapter 21 of Ender In Exile, Ender seems to have communicated with them and become more reconciled:

quote:
Of course my condolences on the passing of your parents. But I understand from them that you and they corresponded to great mutual satisfaction before they died.

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staredecisis
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Do we know about when Tor will be releasing the new edition? It seems like it'd make a great Christmas present!
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millernumber1
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Agreed!
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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by kacard:
As TOR prepares for a final, reconciled edition of the novel Ender's Game, I would like to make sure we've caught ALL the contradictions between Ender's Game and later books and stories.

Is the limited edition copy linked on the front page the one that this post is referring to? Or has the final, reconciled edition still not been released?
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millernumber1
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As far as I can tell, the limited edition does not contain a different text than the previously published editions.
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Szymon
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I've got a little more, now that I'm done reading Earth Awakens.

I know there's been a discussion about timeline, and I would like to contribute.

quote:
EG:
"Ender, we didn't go to them first, they came to us. If they were going to leave us alone, they could have done it a hundred years ago, before the First Invasion."

and we know that

quote:
EG:
"We knew then that it was possible to communicate faster than light. That was seventy years ago, and once we knew it could be done, we did it. Not me, mind you, I wasn't born then."

and we know that

quote:
Earth Awakens:
"How much time do we have?"
"Five years. But that's not what scares me the most. This mothership is changing (...) It's transforming itself into a fleet."

So, according to EG the First Invasion took place ~100 years "ago", Second Invasion took place 70 years "ago". Imala in Earth Awakens says, they have 5 years. She could have miscalculated by extreme extent, but it doesn't seem likely.

Moreover, I doubt Mazer wouldn't confine with humanity's only hope that he did take part in the First Invasion, share his experience from the hand to hand combat almost, looking the formics in the eye. And in EG he claims to not have been even born yet. Of course, at the end of Earth Awakens he gave Strategos a promise not to tell to have been a part of it, but some perspective is needed here. It was decades later, he would definitely tell Ender.

And I suppose this "changing into a fleet" that Imala mentiones is the great change in technology that Mazer mentiones. They had five years, both sides.

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BrokeNDerty
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I'm not sure if it is an inconsistency but maybe someone else can elaborate, but in the first formic war series it is stated that the formic ship uses a ram scoop drive witch separates the hydrogen and turns it into gamma plasma for propulsion, yet in Ender's series the MD (little doctor) is said to have been derived from the same tech which powered the formic ship while the two seem completely separate in their tech being that also the MD more closely resembles Juke's Glazer. Please forgive my laziness in writing and citation.
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Szymon
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Does anyone have info on when the reconciled edition is going to come out?
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Jake
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Or when the stickied thread on the other side can be taken down? In it, it's stated that the Cards have a tight two week deadline. That was back in the middle of July, more than half a year ago.
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Szymon
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Seriously, it's gonna be a full year soon
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scifibum
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It would almost be a shame to stop short of a year, at this point.
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Dogbreath
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Well, we're past the 1 year mark now...
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ibid
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In EG (chapter 11):
quote:
Everyone had learned the wrong lesson from Bonzo's misuse of Ender Wiggin. They all dumped though the door immediately, so that there was no chance to do anything other than name the formation they would use.
But in reality it was Rose da Nose not Bonzo that had misused Ender that way. (Chapter 8):
quote:
Rose hooked a finger over the butt of Ender's gun and pulled him to the forcefield that his the battleroom from view.
In EG Battle school students eat as much as they want (Chapter 7):
quote:
“Can I finish eating?”
“You never finish eating.”
It was true. Ender’s tray always had food on it after a meal. Ender looked at the plate and decided he was through. “Let’s go then.”

While in Ender's Shadow (Chapter 6) they have to eat everything served to them:
quote:
your portions are
scientifically calibrated to meet your
dietary needs, and in the future you will
finish every bit of what you are served.”

In EG Chapter 11 guns may be let go of:
quote:
He selected the smallest boy, Bean, handed him Tom’s gun, and made Bean kneel on Tom’s frozen legs.
While in Ender's Game Alive (around 2:04) it is implied that guns can not be let go of:
quote:
We can't drop them, so we wont be getting smacked in the game by lost weapons.
In EG (Chapter 12) it is said that thawing time in practice is 5 minutes:
quote:
he thawed in about five minutes, the way it worked in practice.
While in Ender's Game Alive (2:05) it is said to be 30 seconds.
quote:
In training mode, the flash suits unfreeze after 30 seconds.
In EG (Chapter 12) it is said that Frozen soldiers can not talk:
quote:
One of the frozen Dragon soldiers tried to answer him through jaws that were clamped shut by the flash suit.
While in Ender's Game Alive (2:05) it is said otherwise:
quote:
"So a soldier shot is as good as a shot to the heart; it freezes you completely"
"But I can still talk, so even frozen soldiers can give warnings."



[ October 11, 2015, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: ibid ]

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MrSquicky
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I'm pretty sure, when you notice things like that, a wizard did it.
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ibid
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In Ender's Game (Chapter 6)
quote:
We don't wear socks anymore.
This pretty much contradicts the entire premise of War of the Gifts.
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Kelly1101
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
In Ender's Game, right after Ender is handed his graduation orders from Graff, there is a paragraph from Bean's POV:

quote:
He felt himself wanting to cry. He hadn't cried since the first few days of homesickness after he got here.
After looking through Ender's Shadow, I see no mention of Bean crying in the first few days of Battle School and I can't imagine it would've been because of homesickness. Maybe because of Poke's death, but that's not homesickness.

Also, in Ender's Game:

quote:
He bit down on his hand to stop the feeling, to replace it with pain. It didn't help. He would never see Ender again.
In Ender's Shadow:

quote:
He bit on his lip, trying to let the pain force the emotion away. It didn't help. Ender was gone.
Insignificant contradiction, but there it is.

Also, are we to include contradictions between the movie and the book? [Big Grin]

Bean did cry from homesickness in ES. Or at least, it's implied, with the "his pillow was dry long before morning" on the first night when he's thinking of Sister Carlotta.

I know I'm over a year late to the party, but there is huge discrepancy between the ES series and Shadows in Flight, namely the length of time the babies had before the spaceship. Shadows in Flight references several times that the babies were a year old before leaving, while in Shadow of the Giant, Petra stays in Moscow for a year and then comes home and the babies are JUST over a year old-- so, the spaceship left when the babies were only a few months old.

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scifibum
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We're gonna make it to 2 years with this thing stickied, aren't we?

Edit: We did. *warm fuzzies*

[ August 09, 2016, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Samuel Lopes
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In Ender's Game, Mazer mentions that only a few people really believed the theory on the Hive Queen. However, in Earth Afire - The Swarm, the Hive Queen theory is widely acknowledged and accepted as predominate and supported by empirical evidence.

Also, this little thing has always bugged me. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow record different accounts of the same events, such as Dragon Army's first battle. This does make sense if you think of the difference as variation between two different first-person character accounts, similar to how two people might remember something differently. However, when the Dragon Army officers are transferred to other armies, Ender's Game mentions that all toon leaders and seconds, as well as Bean replaced other commanders who had graduated. In Ender's Shadow, though, the number of commanders graduated was nine, which is inconsistent with Ender's Game because Dragon officers plus Bean is eleven, not nine.

Will add any more if they occur to me.

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Samuel Lopes
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In response to BrokeNDerty's post, in the First Formic War series, they hadn't yet been inside a Formic ship when they were discussing what potentially powered the Formics' flight capabilities. And I don't think Victor Delgado would have had time while on the scout ship to look at what type of engine they were using, and if he did, he probably wouldn't have been able to understand what he saw. Or, as an alternate theory, the scout ship used a different type of engine than the main ship did. However, this theory is flawed because the scout ship broke off from the mothership, so they would have used the same engine.
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Szymon
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Are we going to reach a three-year milestone?

I remember I had a completely different set of friends back then, when I excitedly told them:"I might get a signed copy from OSC! Yuppie!".

Obama was the President. Islamic state was born! Ah, old times.

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Dogbreath
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This thread has been open longer than I've been married.
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scifibum
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Not sure if this came up in this thread before, but it looks like the reconciled edition was pulled/postponed indefinitely:

http://www.endersansible.com/2014/12/03/revised-enders-game-edition-postponed/

I suppose it's possible that this thread remains stickied in order to collect data points until the revised edition is revived(?).

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millernumber1
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In Children of the Fleet's author's note at the end, he mentions the project was going on while he was writing this book, and since the book was written in the year before May 2017 (the date of the author's note), that indicates it's still alive.

It's related to something OSC mentioned on the podcast he does with Rusty Humphries - that the "n-word" version of Ender's Game had somehow gotten re-released. I think that's put some kind of problems with the reconciliation version.

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Szymon
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There's one big thing that bothers me.

**THE SWARM SPOILERS***

I'm reading "The Swarm". There are multiple situations, when characters, who aren't necessarily military, for example Wila, page 190:

THE SWARM:
quote:
If the Hive Queen knows how to communicate instantaneously across vast distances from her mind to the mind of one of her own, why couldn't she do so with other creatures as well?
Remember the conversation Mazer had with Ender when they were on their way to Eros?

EG:
quote:
Graff: "The oddest thing of all was that they also don't have any communication devices on their ships. No radios, nothing that could transmit or receive any kind of signal.

"They communicate ship to ship. I've seen the videos, they talk to each other"

"True. But body to body, mind to mind. It's the most important thing we learned from them. Their communication (..) is instantaneous. (...)

[there's more, you remember, probably]

"So they knew about their defeat the moment it happened," said ender. "I always figured - everybody awlays said that they probably only found out they lost the battle twenty-five years ago."

"It keeps people from panicking," said Graff. "I'm telling you things you can't know, by the way, if you're ever going to leave I.F. Command. Before the war's over".

Ender was angry. "If you know me at all, you know I can keep a secret"

Years, or months even, befor the Second Invasion two people on a spacecraft, with no security clearance, speak freely on how Formic communications are instantaneous. More so, they consider the possibility that they are not varesle (the word is not uttered, but we already know what the idea is) and that humans could communicate with formics. But Ender, a military mastermind and the only hope of humanity, learns about it only weeks prior to the final battle? It's top secret? While it was common knowledge a century before?

To be honest, for me it is a really big... mood-killer. The whole idea in "Ender's Game", the title, even, is that he thought it was a game. Granted, he already knew of ansible before playing the simulator (and let's face it, pretty dumb for a genius not to know it was real). But it couldn't have possibly be a secret in EG if it was common knowledge a hundred years back, with Wila writing a dissertation on it, and having hundreds of people read it, and it being on the forums, and everyone in "The Swarm" talking about it. And it's highly doubtful that such information could be contained after the second invasion was over.

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Szymon
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Sorry for the lenghty quote, but it's crucial to my point.

quote:

"The video is a very tightly kept secret, Ender."

"I know. I've pieced it together, partly. You, with your tiny reserve force, and their armada, those great big heavy-bellied starships launching their swarms of fighters. You dart in at one ship, fire at it, an explosion. That's where they always stop the clips. After that, it's just soldiers going into bugger ships and already finding them dead inside."

Mazer grinned. "So much for tightly kept secrets. Come on, let's watch the video."

They were alone in the video room, and Ender palmed the door locked. "All right, let's watch."

The video showed exactly what Ender had pieced together. Mazer's suicidal plunge into the heart of the enemy formation, the single explosion, and then--

Nothing. Mazer's ship went on, dodged the shock wave, and wove his way among the other bugger ships. They did not fire on him. They did not change course. Two of them crashed into each other and exploded a needless collision that either pilot could have avoided. Neither made the slightest movement.

Mazer sped up the action. Skipped ahead. "We waited for three hours," he said. "Nobody could believe it." Then the I.F. ships began approaching the bugger starships. Marines began their cutting and boarding operations. The videos showed the buggers already dead at their posts.

"So you see," said Mazer, "you already knew all there was to see."

"Why did it happen?"

"Nobody knows. I have my personal opinions. But there are plenty of scientists who tell me I'm less than qualified to have opinions."

"You're the one who won the battle."

"I thought that qualified me to comment, too, but you know how it is. Xenobiologists and xenopsychologists can't accept the idea that a starpilot scooped them by sheer guesswork. I think they all hate me because, after they saw these videos, they had to live out the rest of their natural lives here on Eros. Security, you know. They weren't happy."

"Tell me."

"The buggers don't talk. They think to each other, and it's instantaneous like the philotic effect. Like the ansible. But most people always thought that meant a controlled communication like language -- I think you a thought and then you answer me. I never believed that. It's too immediate , the way they respond together to things. You've seen the videos. They aren't conversing and deciding among possible courses of action. Every ship acts like part of a single organism. It responds the way your body responds during combat, different parts automatically, thoughtlessly doing everything they're supposed to do. They aren't having a mental conversation between people with different thought processes. All their thoughts are present, together, at once."

"A single person, and each bugger is like a hand or a foot?"

"Yes. I wasn't the first person to suggest it, but I was the first person to believe it. And something else. Something so childish and stupid that the xenobiologists laughed me to silence when I said it after the battle. The buggers are bugs . They're like ants and bees. A queen, the workers. That was maybe a hundred million years ago, but that's how they started, that kind of pattern. It's a sure thing none of the buggers we saw had any way of making more little buggers. So when they evolved this ability to think together, wouldn't they still keep the queen? Wouldn't the queen still be the center of the group? Why would that ever change?"

"So it's the queen who controls the whole group."

"I had evidence, too. Not evidence that any of them could see. it wasn't there in the First Invasion, because that was exploratory. But the Second Invasion was a colony. To set up a new hive, or whatever."

"And so they brought a queen."

"The videos of the Second Invasion, when they were destroying our fleets out in the comet shell." He began to call them up and display the buggers' patterns. "Show me the queen's ship."

It was subtle. Ender couldn't see it for a long time. The bugger ships kept moving, all of them. There was no obvious flagship, no apparent nerve center. But gradually, as Mazer played the videos over and over again, Ender began to see the way that all the movements focused on, radiated from a center point. The center point shifted, but it was obvious, after he looked long enough, that the eyes of the fleet, the I of the fleet, the perspective from which all decisions were being made, was one particular ship. He pointed it out.

"You see it. I see it. That makes two people out of all of those who have seen this video. But it's true, isn't it."

If contradiction was to be prevented, conversation above would have to be deleted in its entirety.

This conversation is one of the most important parts of EG, where Ender gradually begins to learn about Formics, the Queen, the Ansible. Now that I finished The Swarm, I can with all confidence say: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to eliminate these contradictions, and major ones they are.

***SWARM SPOILER***

Bingwen sees the birth of a Hive Queen. He, hours after boarding the asteroid-slash-factory, and multiple IF officers, discuss how there are Hive Queens and Adolescent Hive Queens. How ansible-mental control they have over formics varies, depending on distance, when it's full control, when just loose commands.

It is not doable to make these contradictions go away. I look at EG like it's the canon of all canons. Sure, some minor things can be changed. But now it would be full chapters that would need complete rewrites.

This is beyond contradiction, this renders both prequel trylogies non-canon. This is the only way one can enjoy them.

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Craig Childs
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Agree 100%. I made this point after Formic War: Burning Earth actually. Those comics and later the First Formic War books require a virtually complete rewrite of the EG backstory

[ November 09, 2017, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: Craig Childs ]

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Szymon
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Hurray. 4 years.
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ChrisW
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This is a continuity problem that's bothered me so much that I've registered on this forum just to complain about it. It doesn't involve "Ender's Game" specifically other than as source material, so it has nothing to do with any revised editions. I'm also being deliberately lazy and not looking up the specifics. It's just a general 'I've read these books so many times they're permanently on my mental hard drive' sense.

Specifically, the timeline doesn't work with Virlomi compared to, well, almost anybody else, but most especially with her reference to not having a high opinion of Han Tsu back in Battle School when he proposes to her.

Virlomi was close to graduation when she met Petra, and that was only because she kept track of the new girls in Battle School. As I recall, Virlomi was never even a toon leader and didn't even go to Command School, so she'd have never met Petra again if not for their experiences in India after the war.

Petra had at least a couple of years on Ender by the time he was assigned to Salamander Army, much younger than any other soldier and possibly still the youngest soldier in Battle School. Ender was transferred to Rat Army for a while and eventually became a toon leader in Petra's army (whose name I have forgotten and am too lazy to look up.) Eventually Ender was given command of Dragon Army where none of the soldiers was older than him.

Virlomi didn't have a high opinion of Han Tsu because she graduated Battle School back when he was crawling on the floor in China with a monitor in his neck. It's entirely possible that's where Han Tsu was when Ender joined Salamander and met Petra. It's theoretically possible that she was physically in Battle School when Han Tsu got there as a Launchie, but the odds of her noticing him (or vice-versa) are astronomical.

Even the most generous view of the timeline means Virlomi was easily pushing 20 when the jeesh came home after the war and was quite possibly older than that. I like the way it was handled in the books, but come on, she could have won easily by just grabbing a few of the jeesh and Peter. "Get over here, little boy! I'm going to make you a man."

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ChrisW
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Is it spelled "Han Tzu"? I did say I wasn't going to look up any details.
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ChrisW
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Can't help it, started rereading the books. At the start of Chapter 14 of "Shadow of the Hegemon":

"Even though she was considerably older, so her time in Battle School overlapped Petra by only a year, in those days Virlomi took notice of every girl in the place."

Most likely Virlomi noticed Petra as a launchie. But let's say she didn't notice Petra until she was assigned to Salamander Army. Ender was still a a launchie, assuming he'd even gotten to Battle School yet. Dink is older than Petra, so he probably got assigned to an army first, but he probably wasn't yet a toon leader in Rat. Notice how we have to assume that by-the-books straightforward soldiers like Petra and Dink were still in their first armies [Salamander and Rat] when Ender first met them.

Virlomi is long-gone by the time Ender's career starts, there's no way to avoid that. A chunk of "Ender's Game" passes and then Dragon Army forms with no soldiers who are older than Ender, including Hot Soup.

So the ages break down to: Virlomi is several years older than Dink who is at least a little older than Petra who is a few years older than Ender and probably about the same age as Carn Carnby. Alai and Shen are a couple years older than Ender who is older than his five toon leaders and Suri, then finally Bean.

None of this is meant as negative criticism by the way. Keeping track of these things is hard. I think OSC said somewhere on this website that he can't be bothered to keep track of the ages of his own children, so why would he do that for fictional characters? I'm a writer and get where he's coming from. It's only as a reader that I go 'HEY, THAT'S TOTALLY WRONG!' and care enough to go back and look.

I'm also enjoying the reread, by the way.

[ July 08, 2019, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: ChrisW ]

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scifibum
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Five years. [Cool]
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Szymon
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Yeah, you beat me to it.
That's a long time. I got married since last year's milestone. [Cool] Any big changes in your lives?

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jdgilbert
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Good morning everyone. This is the first time I am posting and I created this account specifically to receive confirmation on what I think is a continuity error between Earth Awakens and The Swarm.

I have not read the books, but rather have listened to the audiobooks while I work so I am not completely confident about my conclusion since I don't have a paper copy for reference. This is such a minor conflict that I shouldn't be hyperfocusing on it, but my ADHD mind won't let it go. Anyway, onto the conflict that my mind won't shut up about:

In Earth Awakens, Benyawe was selected by Lem to join the scout ship tactical strike team formed by Victor, Mazer, Shenzu, and the selected MOPs members.

Now the conflicting statement occurs in The Swarm in the chapter "Unraveling" when Lem and Benyawe are approaching the scout ship to test Wilasanee's hypothesized application of the NanoCloud to act as a Formic hull breach weapon. Lem is daydreaming about how much easier things would be if they had a laserized gamma plasma weapon when Benyawe sees the scout ship and is in awe of how massive it is. Lem responds with "I had forgotten you haven't been here before."

Correct me if I'm wrong but Benyawe played a critical role in disabling the very ship that Lem is claiming she has never been to before; and he was the one that sent her there. Am I missing something? Am I imagining things? Someone, anyone, please either confirm or refute my conclusion so I can stop thinking about it.

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Szymon
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I know it makes me sound materialistic, but I've invested 5,5 years (so far) of waiting for my signed copy, I'm not going to let it go!

(Back me up people!)

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Szymon
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quote:
Originally posted by alexiajia:
I am not completely confident about my conclusion since I don't have a paper copy for reference. This is such a minor conflict that I shouldn't be hyperfocusing on it, but my ADHD mind won't let it go

What do you mean exactly, Alexiajia? Something you posted earlier?

EDIT: Or are you a bot, because it's your first post... eh.

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