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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Confused about a contradiction in the Enderverse/PreEnderverse

   
Author Topic: Confused about a contradiction in the Enderverse/PreEnderverse
Macery
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I have been rereading the "Shadow" series over the last month so that I could go into "Shadows in Flight" (that's been on my shelf since it's release) to remind myself of where I was in the story. After I finished the more official shadow series I went to EiE which should have followed about the same timeline.

I wasn't terribly disturbed by the minor contradictions of say was Peter a man of over 70 (SotG) or his "late fifties" (EiE)

or if during the "interviews" of Peter by Ender whether they were done with voice only (SotG) which eased Peter to not have to see how young his brother still was, or if there was an inference to Video being used which later haunted Ender since he associated his memory of the image of a young Peter and the Peter he interviewed as 2 seperate people (EiE)

However the contradiction that bothers me and makes me confused on which version to believe has to do with the MD Device weapon itself. In "Earth Unaware" we are introduced to a mining tool which very well could be turned into a weapon extremely similar to the weapon of the original Ender's Game. However in Exile while Admiral Wiggins is given a tour of his colony ship and shown the propulsion system of the ship it is practically said that the weapon was NOT human built and came from the Formics.

Some of this may have been clarified in the original comics which I did not read, or could have been resolved in the Shadows in Flight book which I will read this week or in the completion of the prequel series when we can see if the mining tool was turned into the weapon of decades later.

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theamazeeaz
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The books are notorious for many small contradictions like the ones you've found. OSC just doesn't do numbers, even adding them. Count Valentine's kids between Speaker and Xenocide. Two disappeared. The fact the Ender never grew up in the home that Bean visited. Ender's Game and a bunch of Ender in Exile, such as the way Ender's Jeesh saw him and what the colony Ender governed was to be like. And whether or not Peter was a sociopath.

I think it's a combination of OSC not really caring or noticing, editors not noticing, and also OSC saying "screw it, I have a better idea, I don't care if it's contradictory."

Sometimes the better ideas gets retconned, like when Mazer shows up in one of the Shadow books, the characters point out that he was supposed to have on the colony ship with Ender, and Mazer was like "Pfb, people lied. Didn't wanna. Shh. Har Har." And it works because Mazer was never on-screen during the colony scenes at the end of Ender's Game, because he wasn't needed then. Don't tell me OSC thought that up in '85, because he didn't. If OSC wanted Mazer on Earth in '85 then he simply would not have mentioned that Mazer was going to the colony. He decided he wanted Mazer back on Earth when plotting the Shadow books, found that Mazer wasn't supposed to have been there, but it could be fixed in one line so he did it.

As for Ender in Exile, OSC explains in the Afterword that he made massive continuity breaking changes to accommodate a thought that had come to him between the two books, was that any leftover pilots would also have been prepared to start colonies of their own, including the one Ender arrived at, even though it's made clear in Ender's Game, Ender is leading the first colony ever and did not arrive to an advance human set up. The perspective shift between the two books bothered me so much, I found the book unreadable and I never finished it, though I might have had a shot if those details were in a forward instead. Honestly, as a reader, Occam's razor explains why pilots were not equipped to make colonies: everyone involved in the planning for third Bugger War was a horrible person (Exhibit A: just read Ender's Game), and had no issues with making the trip one-way for every human being they sent, given that their objectives were to kill EVERY BUGGER SHIP.

But OSC needs to make every character in his books obsessed with breeding, like Peter and Petra, whose marriage feels really awful, not because of the babies, or the fact that they don't really interact all that much before it happens, but because Peter in EG is written as a sociopath. And while sociopaths grow out of skinning squirrels and onto bigger interests (like taking over the planet), I wouldn't recommend marrying one, and siccing him on the one female character is just wrong. With a large familiy, there isn't much of a need for the Hegemon biography (how many screwed up kids will write a tell-all?), or a future Ender-Peter to fulfill Peter's unmet romantic desires (though we should all just pretend anything after the last part of Xenocide never happened). It's just that it was forgotten that Peter was formerly a lot more edgy, then he became a protagonist, and his character got mellowed. He's not the only character in a series to start off as a screw-up bad guy and then gain morals, not for character development, but because we've gotten used to him.

As for the house thing, OSC has a mea culpa somewhere on the web-- the detail was changed for an earlier draft of the movie script, and he forgot that the books didn't work that way too (yes, the work on movie was started BEFORE Shadow of the Hegemon was released).

Sci-fi authors aren't oracles revealing new truths about characters, they're making it up as they go, and during that time they grow. And as the author's world view changes (Exhibit B: OSC Rhino Times columns), so does his ideas on what the writing meant or what was important. That's where the Jeesh thingy comes it. It's been a long time since I read the first part of EiE, but at one point, some member of Ender's Jeesh tells him to snap out of it, and exactly what's wrong with behavior/attitude/whatever. That would NEVER have happened based on Ender's Game, as one of Ender central problems was his social isolation from his peers. Ender's isolation was constructed by the Battle School teachers, so Ender would not be able to outsource any of his issues to a peer, only subordinates as commands. The isolating hinged, not on Ender thinking he's better than everyone else, but everyone else thinking Ender was so great that he was God, and not someone to shoot the breeze with. There's that scene at the end where everyone forgets about the God thing for like 30 seconds, and then they remember again, and Ender's in absolute emotional agony because he doesn't always want to be their commander. The kid has no friends and he knows it. So for someone to show up in EiE and blame him for being aloof just feels false for a direct sequel, because the others enforce the attitude more than he ever does. But 23 years later, you see the book differently, and are a completely different person.


A long while ago, OSC, who is vehemently against the concept of fanfiction, said he would never permit other authors in the Enderverse, but he changed his mind.


tl:dr, OSC flat out mentions that he doesn't re-read his novels when he writes new ones. When you do this, you forget things.

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Blayne Bradley
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I vaguely recall how in EG there were upwards of 30 people in the Jeesh, which made sense to have Ender in overall Command. Then this was revised downwards to less than 12 iirc.
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iamthebrentman
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I noticed the difference in Peter's age at death, too, and another contradiction that I haven't found mentioned anywhere in the forums.

In SotG, Chapter 26, Peter writes in an email to Valentine that "I knew Hyrum Graff and Mazer Rackham very well before they died."

In EiE, Chapter 21, Graff writes in an email to Ender that "The passing of your brother must have come as more of a surprise. He was young, but his heart gave out," and furthermore discusses the autopsy.

So, Peter outlived Graff, and Graff outlived Peter. Has this been addressed before? For continuity's sake, it's probably more important that Graff's account be correct, or else some of his participation in EiE would be undone.

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theamazeeaz
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I don't think I've heard that one discussed, but I'm not surprised. See my comment above about OSC not re-reading his books.

But that error you pointed out, that's actually pretty embarrassing.

Consider whatever happened in EiE is now canon, it's newer, and any sequels will have characters behave in EiE ways, not like they were in SOTG or the Speaker Quartet, just because EiE is closer to OSC's current vision of the series.

Also, in any sequel, just assume OSC will break continuity if it suits his current vision.

Like I said above, I never finished EiE, and I don't have SOTG memorized, but perhaps a REALLY easy way to fix this would be to cross out Graff and change it with Anderson, especially if the role filled is "person who knew Ender from Battle School and would email him, but may have met Peter too".

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by iamthebrentman:
I noticed the difference in Peter's age at death, too, and another contradiction that I haven't found mentioned anywhere in the forums.

In SotG, Chapter 26, Peter writes in an email to Valentine that "I knew Hyrum Graff and Mazer Rackham very well before they died."

In EiE, Chapter 21, Graff writes in an email to Ender that "The passing of your brother must have come as more of a surprise. He was young, but his heart gave out," and furthermore discusses the autopsy.

So, Peter outlived Graff, and Graff outlived Peter. Has this been addressed before? For continuity's sake, it's probably more important that Graff's account be correct, or else some of his participation in EiE would be undone.

Maybe Graff's role as ColMin was so super-secret that even the Hegemon didn't know that the colonization program was being supervised by someone who artificially extended his life through stasis. Maybe Graff faked his own death so he could retire in obscurity to Ireland. Maybe Peter had attempted to assassinate Graff, but the attempt failed and he hadn't heard back yet.

Or maybe OSC just didn't keep good notes on the offhand references in the emails at the beginnings of chapters.

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vineyarddawg
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Y'all are missing a much more straightforward solution. Rigg came back to Earth from Garden and time-traveled using Graff's path from when he died before Peter. He convinced Graff that using the stasis tube was the best way to ensure that his ColMin duties were fulfilled, so Graff then ended up living longer than Peter, after all. It's simple, really.

What, you didn't realize that Garden in Pathfinder was one of the Hundred Worlds from the Enderverse?? (laughs maniacally)

(Hopefully everyone can see that this is written in "sarcasm font.") [Smile]

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iamthebrentman
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quote:
Originally posted by vineyarddawg:
Y'all are missing a much more straightforward solution. Rigg came back to Earth from Garden and time-traveled using Graff's path from when he died before Peter. He convinced Graff that using the stasis tube was the best way to ensure that his ColMin duties were fulfilled, so Graff then ended up living longer than Peter, after all. It's simple, really.

What, you didn't realize that Garden in Pathfinder was one of the Hundred Worlds from the Enderverse?? (laughs maniacally)

(Hopefully everyone can see that this is written in "sarcasm font.") [Smile]

You know, that must have been in the subtext, and I totally missed it!
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millernumber1
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I've been a bit frustrated with the Graff-Peter-Publication of The Hegemon for a while now. Doesn't stop me from loving both Shadow of the Giant and Ender in Exile (though EiE is definitely a less coherent book).
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I vaguely recall how in EG there were upwards of 30 people in the Jeesh, which made sense to have Ender in overall Command. Then this was revised downwards to less than 12 iirc.

Which becomes hilarious in retrospect when you read passages about how "a few," of the Jeesh feel like outsiders, then he names literally every named character in the Jeesh, and later books essentially wrote out the redshirts that had been assumed to be there.

It was all part of this very Lucasian tendency to magnify and allow to predominate any tiny mention of any individual character. The mentioned Jeesh members *all* had to be towering geniuses with their own amazing impacts on human history. For some reason.

The Mazer thing has been perhaps the most egregious, with the natural exception being the Ur-example in Bean. Mazer gets less and less interesting the more OSC writes about him. I was with him in Mazer in Prison- now I hate him as a protagonist in these prequels.

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