#14 - Ender's Game Over

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#14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:16 am

I love Ender's Game. It's a brilliant book, might even be one of my favourite sci-fi novels ever.

Yup, I took notes this episode. I listened to it early this morning, so there might be some incomprehensible blabbering, but bear with me.


POINT #1: I FEEL SPECIAL
First thing I did when I hit play on this episode was go, "Hey, that's my name!" I feel all special now. And for the record, I'm always glad to know that Jakob's wrong. Because he almost always is.

POINT #2: ENDER'S PARENTS AND SUCH
It's been a while since I've read the book, but I got the impression that Ender was a product of selective breeding (and maybe some conditioning in his baby years). One of the many Enderverse short stories written by Orson Scott Card is about the first time Ender's parents meet. In that story, it's made pretty clear that they were far from just average, and that they were being pushed together. At one point they even realized that their meeting and relationship was being egged on by the powers that be. The story is called "Teacher's Pest", and you can get it in a collection of Enderverse stories set before Ender's Game called "First Meetings in the Enderverse".

POINT #3: TITANIC & HIGHEST GROSSING FILMS OF ALL TIME
To date, only four movies have broken the billion dollar mark. In decreasing order of box office gross, they are: Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and The Dark Knight. Titanic is ridiculously ahead of the rest, with something like US$1.8 billion. Return of the King only clocks in at about US$1.1 billion. But if you start adjusting for inflation, everything changes quite radically. The top three highest grossing films adjusted for inflation are Gone With The Wind, Star Wars, and The Sound of Music. The fact that I didn't have to look up any of that scares me a bit. Here's another nugget of box-office-gross-type trivia for you: the highest grossing film that never made it to the #1 spot on the charts is My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

And for the record, I quite like Titanic. I thought it was a solid, enjoyable 3.5-4 star film. It was also the first film I ever saw at the cinema, at the age of three, but the only thing I remember from that particular viewing was the ship sinking.

POINT #4: THE CHARACTER OF BEAN
Bean has his own series, called the Shadow Saga. It's a quartet; fits in nicely with the Ender Quartet I suppose. The first one is called "Ender's Shadow" or something like that. I never got into those particular ones, but I do plan to someday.

POINT #5: BUGGERS - WHERE DO THEY LIVE?
This is addressed in one of the sequels, as is a lot of other details about the buggers. I'll leave it at that so as to not spoil anything. Oh, and one more thing, if you thought the name "buggers" was bad, wait till you get to the "piggies".

POINT#6: THE SEQUELS
Personally, I find that the second book in the series, "Speaker For The Dead', is a far, far better book than Ender's Game. Not only is it better written, its story and characters are more compelling. Definitely one to pick up. I'd love to hear what you guys think of it.

Books three and four, "Xenocide" and "Children Of The Mind", really aren't that bad. I quite enjoyed them while I was reading them, although they were a bit trippy (or they seemed as such at the age I was when I read them). There are also quite a few short stories in the Enderverse, and some of them are really good.

That's all I've got ... for now Very Happy
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Jakob on Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:03 pm

So how does Speaker for the Dead compare with, say, Prisoner of Azkaban?

Piggies? I might have to keep reading! Our problem with "buggers" was the homophobe connotation. Which Orson is a big one. A big bear-like homophobe.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:35 am

Not only is he a homophobe, he's a bit of a Mormon nut. He's a big fan of Stephanie Meyer, too, which is always a turn off. Another reason I don't like him is that he missed the whole point of the HP Lexicon trial. But the reason I love Card's work so much is that he's good at not projecting himself into it too much. He'll create characters that he would consider very flawed or sinful in real life, but make them be respected and admired in his stories. Essentially, he's very good at creating a world, and looking into it without putting himself in it. If that made sense.

How does "Speaker For The Dead" compare to "Ender's Game"? - I'm going to treat that as a serious question, Jakob. In terms of how they functioned as sequels, Speaker For The Dead was very much another story, rather than a continuation of the same tale (while Xenocide and Children of the Mind are very much direct continuations). Does that answer your question? Or do you want me to talk about Harry Potter a bit more? Cause that I can always do Very Happy
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:39 am

I present to you, the perfect children to play Ender and Valentine:

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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Jakob on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:04 am

kumarhk wrote: Essentially, he's very good at creating a world, and looking into it without putting himself in it. If that made sense.

Except in Empire, in which he uses his book as a platform to blast liberal values and has the Republicans saving the day. But then, I think on his wikipedia page, it says he's a Democrat.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Mandi on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:26 am

kumarhk wrote:I present to you, the perfect children to play Ender and Valentine:

Blast, blast, blast. Stupid youtube blocking. I wanna watch this right now.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Kerokapala on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:32 pm

As for the Shadow quartet, I started reading that instead of continuing on with the Ender Quartet when I finished reading Ender's Game, and to be honest, I think it's a much stronger series. More Human, less Messianic. Seeing Bean and Paul work their way around in the scope of global politics is incredible, and the writing style is more refined than in Ender's Game. I highly recommend giving it a go.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  weathereye on Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:03 pm

Another excellent show, Nerds. And I've never read the book. I've always known I should, but it just ... didn't happen. But I don't think you spoiled it. Any science fiction fan who hasn't read the book at least knows the general premise, and everything else you discuss is kind of assumed.

Now I think I'll read it. Not sure how it would work as a film, though. Unless it was done CGI, which I think could work.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  JonnyBoy on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:14 pm

So I bought the 20th Anniversary edition of the audiobook 3 days ago and finished it today. I did enjoy it quite a bit though maybe not as much as I was lead to believe I would by all the hype. I must point out it was brilliantly read by Stefan Rudnicki.

One of the most interesting parts was the post script by Card himself. He talks a great deal about some of the stuff you guys talked about. He has been shopping around the option on Ender's Game for years. He talks about the sheer number of contracts he has turned down just because the producers want to make Ender 16 and have a love interest. They want the date movie audience and they think that's the way to get it.

He talked about the scripts he wrote, and how it just didn't work as Ender's story because most of the book is thoughts, and as he points out correctly, Hollywood can't do people thinking on screen. But it was pointed out to him that they can do the buddy movie. So the latest version of the script, as of the time of the recording, involved the movie being a combination of Ender's Shadow as well as Ender's game. When he included Bean more prominently, he said the script was 20 pages shorter than any version he had ever come up with and that it worked.

However, he does actually go on to state that he thinks his work is best in audiobook format, not film. He says his narration is meant to be read aloud. He would love to see it as a film but his background is in theatre, and he thinks the ideal presentation are actors reading out his work in full.

He did talk about the fact that his brother was in the military who told him everything about basic training. He says he came up with the idea of battle school when he was 16. He also says that as it was the time of the vietnam war, and he was close to getting drafted, this may have given him some inspiration for the book.

I realise that I've basically re dictated his post script and probably not as well but there were some interesting pointers in there.

I do have my own post script though, Ender was actually controlling manned fighters. Not mechanical ones. And the audiobook pronounced the name May-Zor Rack-em. lol
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:48 am

JonnyBoy wrote:He says his narration is meant to be read aloud.
I can understand that, actually. In my head, Card's books are narrated by Neil Gaiman. Don't ask me why.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Mandi on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:30 am

I'm top of the list to get the next copy of Speaker for the Dead from the library and have been since forever. It's never going to come... EVER!
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Fri May 01, 2009 12:26 am

Mandi wrote:I'm top of the list to get the next copy of Speaker for the Dead from the library and have been since forever. It's never going to come... EVER!
Somehow I'm getting the impression that Canadian libraries suck ... you should move to Hong Kong Smile
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Mandi on Fri May 01, 2009 8:10 am

I think the 4 copies of Speaker are all sitting on shelves in libraries that are being renovated.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Fri May 01, 2009 10:35 am

Mandi wrote:I think the 4 copies of Speaker are all sitting on shelves in libraries that are being renovated.
I read a few chapters of my copy of Speaker for the Dead today. It was great. Twisted Evil
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Bucho on Sat May 09, 2009 5:39 pm

I haven't read it but I pushed on through into spoilerville because I thought to mylself, "Self, until now you haven't read it, and you probably never will. There is a chance that you will if you listen to the Jakob And Mandi show though, but if you do that then it will already be spoiled for you." So I found myself in a paradox of epic proportions. Then I thought, "Ow, my brain hurts. But wait ... you need to listen anyway because if you don't then there will always be a Nerd Hurdles episode you haven't heard. Are you really going to countenance that untenable state of affairs? Heck no I'm not!"

Obviously it was worth it, my favourite part being the discussion of how our animal instincts (in this case relating to being a show off, big screen TVs as status symbols and related to hunting etc) manifest themselves in our civilized society. Aces. And as a bonus side effect now I know how it goes I don't need to read the book, which means more time I can devote to Mills And Boon.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Sat May 09, 2009 7:54 pm

Bucho wrote:which means more time I can devote to Mills And Boon.
Talk about something that's a hurdle. You just sent a shiver down my spine.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Bucho on Sun May 10, 2009 1:36 am

kumarhk wrote:
Bucho wrote:which means more time I can devote to Mills And Boon.
Talk about something that's a hurdle. You just sent a shiver down my spine.

Oh crap, did I say that bit out loud?
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  ori-STUDFARM on Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:13 pm

Well I've started listening to the audiobook today. It was never a hurdle, more something I'd just not gotten around to......and I'm loving it! Thanks.

BTW I hadn't heard of it even before the podcast came out!! I guess I'm not a sci-fi geek!!
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  ori-STUDFARM on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:07 pm

Have now finished Enders Game and loved it. I have however started Speaker For The Dead. I've listened to the first hour and I'm not sure if I'm going to enjoy it. I don't seem to be feeling for any of the characters. The 2 that I thought were going to be the main characters have now died. Is it worth perservering with this one, or does it continue the same way as it started?
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:23 pm

ori-STUDFARM wrote:Have now finished Enders Game and loved it. I have however started Speaker For The Dead. I've listened to the first hour and I'm not sure if I'm going to enjoy it. I don't seem to be feeling for any of the characters. The 2 that I thought were going to be the main characters have now died. Is it worth perservering with this one, or does it continue the same way as it started?
Oh, keep going. You haven't actually met the main characters yet. Speaker For The Dead is a far superior book in comparison to Ender's Game.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  ori-STUDFARM on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:38 pm

kumarhk wrote:
ori-STUDFARM wrote:Have now finished Enders Game and loved it. I have however started Speaker For The Dead. I've listened to the first hour and I'm not sure if I'm going to enjoy it. I don't seem to be feeling for any of the characters. The 2 that I thought were going to be the main characters have now died. Is it worth perservering with this one, or does it continue the same way as it started?
Oh, keep going. You haven't actually met the main characters yet. Speaker For The Dead is a far superior book in comparison to Ender's Game.

I'll hold you to that !! Very Happy
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  ori-STUDFARM on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:29 pm

Right, hats off to Kumar. I won't put any spoilers in, but the main character has entered the plot. Not what I was expecting, but very good so far. Can now sorta see the way this story is going to go. Thanks Kumar! Very Happy
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Mandi on Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:13 pm

I liked Speaker, but have decided not to read Xenocide. I started it on a bus trip, and it just wasn't working for me. I read Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon, but I think this is where my Orson reading will stop. He's a damn homophobe after all.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  kumarhk on Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:25 pm

Mandi wrote:I liked Speaker, but have decided not to read Xenocide. I started it on a bus trip, and it just wasn't working for me. I read Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon, but I think this is where my Orson reading will stop. He's a damn homophobe after all.
See, I could never get into the shadow series, but I quite enjoyed the trippiness of Xenocide and Children of the Mind.
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Re: #14 - Ender's Game Over

Post  Mandi on Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:31 pm

Blargh... don't tell me that. You're weakening my homophobe-phobia.
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