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  • gilwilson 4:21 AM on April 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: battle school, bean, ender's game, ,   

    “Ender’s Shadow” By Orson Scott Card 

    Ender’s Shadow969454
    By: Orson Scott Card
    Narrated by: Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, a Full Cast
    Series: Ender’s Shadow, Book 1
    Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
    Release date: 08-12-05
    Publisher: Macmillan Audio

    Wow, just wow. I had finished the Ender’s Game series and found these shadow books and knew I had to jump into them soon. The subject of this one intrigued me. This one is about the other boy in the Battle School that could have replaced Ender Wiggin, a boy simply known as Bean.

    This book not only shadows the Ender’s Game storyline, but also tells the back story of Bean. Bean is a genetically enhanced, cognitively superior child, who escapes being killed while hiding in a toilet tank at only a few months old. Yes! Only a few months old. That’s how smart he is or was made to be. Bean the grows up on the streets and is forced to avoid bullies and fight for his life every single day even after he is sent to Battle School.

    This book will give you some great insight on the government behind the Enderverse happenings. Being a full cast production doesn’t mean each character has an actor assigned, but rather that each segment will have a reader based on who’s point of view is being told. This still keeps the book very interesting and entertaining.

    I would easily place this book as my second favorite in the series, second only to “Ender’s Game” itself.

    Publisher’s Summary

    The human race is at war with the “Buggers”, an insect-like alien race. As Earth prepares to defend itself from total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable enemy, all focus is on the development of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win. The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth, they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School.

    Andrew “Ender” Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean, the one who became Ender’s right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean’s past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School’s recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender.

    ©1999 Orson Scott Card (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

  • gilwilson 5:30 PM on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: descolata, ender's game, enderverse, formic, , genocide, pequeninos   

    “Children of the Mind” By Orson Scott Card 

    Children of the Mind20573677
    By: Orson Scott Card
    Narrated by: Gabrielle de Cuir, John Rubinstein
    Series: The Enderverse, Book 13
    Length: 13 hrs and 24 min
    Release date: 08-04-04
    Publisher: Macmillan Audio

    I’m not sure why the rest of the books in the Ender Wiggins (Ender’s Game) series were as popular as the original, but they all are very interesting books to read. They all have some deep moral conflict to deal with and show the progress of modern man. I think mainly because “Ender’s Game” was written for a younger audience, while the others tackled some really thought provoking issues. This book was the perfect end to the Enderverse. There are some books written after this one but they are all prequals or stories within the timeline already filled.

    If you have not read an Ender book, definitely pick up “Ender’s Game” and go from there. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the books in the series, I have a couple of short stories and some prequels to get to, and I will, but for now let’s talk about how this book saves 3 species from genocide by the Starways Congress (Earth’s politicians).

    The three species are the Pequeninos, the Formic Hive Queen (from the original), and a self aware artificial intelligence known as Jane. The Starways Congress wants to destroy the planet Lusitania where Ender has found to be the perfect place to bring back the Formic species to live alongside the Pequeninos. The problem is the Pequeninos carry the Descolata virus which will kill the human race. Ender and Jane know they can come up with a cure, but can they do it before an attack fleet arrives to destroy them all?

    Morality and the issue of Artificial Intelligence are deeply researched through this story providing the perfect end to the Enderverse. I have always said that a good Sci-Fi story will bring up issues which affect us everyday and show that adversity can be overcome. Give this series a chance and get some good reading done.

    The narrators share the duty of presenting the story depending on whose point of view the story is being told from. Genius delivery and division of text, making the audiobook irresistible.

    Publisher’s Summary

    The planet Lusitania is home to three sentient species: a large colony of humans; the Pequeninos; and the Hive Queen, who was brought there by Ender Wiggin. Once again, the enemy (the Starways Congress) has gathered a fleet and is threatening to destroy Lusitania. Ender’s oldest friend, Jane, an evolved computer intelligence, is trying to save the three sentient species of Lusitania, but the Starways Congress is destroying the computer world she lives in.

    Children of the Mind is the fourth and final volume in the original Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card, winner of the Hugo and Nebula award.

    ©1996 Orson Scott Card (P)2004 Audio Renaissance

  • gilwilson 5:46 PM on March 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ender wiggen, ender's game,   

    Xenocide By: Orson Scott Card 

    Xenocide51nF7Dakg6L._SL500_By: Orson Scott Card
    Narrated by: Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, John Rubinstein, Stefan Rudnicki
    Series: Ender’s Game, Book 3, The Enderverse, Book 12
    Length: 20 hrs and 15 mins
    Release date: 06-03-04
    Publisher: Macmillan Audio

    So you may have seen the “Ender’s Game” movie, but the story didn’t end there (actually it didn’t start there either). Ender has left solar system for committing xenocide on the buggers. Now on Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and Pequeninos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. But things are never that easy. Now Starways Congress has found something that could threaten humanity.

    Lusitania also plays host to the Descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the Pequeninos require in order to become adults. The Starways Congress ordered the destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there because of the threat. The Fleet is on its way, a Second Xenocide seems inevitable.

    There is a lot going on in this addition to the Ender Universe. The end will feel as though it just ends in the middle of everything. It is but the series and this book continues in “Children of the Mind.” But the really nice thing is that you want the story to never end. Orson Scott Card has definitely developed a universe where the reader would feel comfortable.

    In this audiobook version there are different narrators. Each Narrator comes in when the perspective changes to another character. I have recently begun to enjoy the work of Stefan Rudnicki. He can sound so smooth. I did like that my other favorite audiobook voice, Scott Brick, also narrated. This audiobook just completely entranced me.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Xenocide is the third installment of the Ender series. On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequeninos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought. But Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus which kills all humans it infects, but which the pequeninos require in order to transform into adults. The Starways Congress so fears the effect of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered the destruction of the entire planet and all who live there. The Fleet is on its way and a second Xenocide seems inevitable, until the Fleet vanishes.

    ©1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2000 Audio Renaissance

  • gilwilson 3:12 PM on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ender wiggin, ender's game, , , ,   

    Audiobook Review: “Ender’s Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition” by Orson Scott Card 


    Audiobook Review:  “Ender’s Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition”

    by Orson Scott Card

    Multiple Readers

    Published 2002 by Macmillan Audio

    Duration: 11 hours 5 minutes


    Having read “Ender’s Game” many years ago I thought I should revisit this book.  This revisitation was prompted by two events.  The first was listening to the audiobook “Ender’s World” which was a collection of essays and information on the creation of this wonderful book.  Second is that the movie will be coming this November.


    The movie is based not only on this book but in order for these events to be properly displayed in a movie format but also based on the book “Ender’s Shadow” which parallels “Ender’s Game” but from the point of view of the character Bean.  So with that in mind, you can probably guess which book is next on my list.


    But let’s get back to this book for now.  When I first read this book (over 10 years ago) I was just enthralled by the complexity of the story.  There are so many things going on in this book that just grab you and pull you into the ride that you get lost in the story.  One of the features of the story is the ageless factor of Ender Wiggin.  Ender is only six years old when the book starts and by the age of nine he is given his own army to command.  Ender’s age is only mentioned once in a while through the book, and that, I think, is just to remind you that he is a kid.  The events that take place not only seem like something that is beyond a child that age, but the way Ender handles himself the reader/listener forgets that he is only a child.  This fact would be brought up once in a while that I would have to stop and rethink the section I just heard, in the case of this audiobook and put the book back into perspective.


    This having to pause and reflect reminds me of when I first read “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”  After reading the entire book, I stopped and realized that the main character, Arthur Dent, was going through all the wacky space/time adventures while still in his pajamas and robe.  While Orson Scott Card provided the drops in the changing of Ender’s age throughout the book at the proper moments it does cause the reader/listener to pause and reflect.  This pause is especially needed for this book since there are so many facets of life and war given to the reader throughout the tale of Ender Wiggin.


    This book is definitely one of those great sci-fi novels that takes more than one reading to fully enjoy.  Much like the “Dune” series by Herbert, or the “Foundation” series by Asimov so much more is gleaned through multiple readings.  This time around I was able to absorb a lot more of the themes running through this book.


    I’ll touch on some of the themes and what I gathered out of them but will leave most of the concepts up to you on your individual reads. Before I do that I have to talk about this audiobook version.  The multiple voices used in this production really helped sort out the sections that are told through various characters in the book.  All of the performances were top notch and able to fully reflect the characters in thought and dialogue.


    The idea of this all being a game is one of the first things that grab you in the reading and listening of this book.   All of the other important ideas in the novel are interpreted through the context of the games. Ender does win all of the games and he thinks that the games are no more than they appear, and he does not realize the real meaning of his final game until it is far too late. The difference between what is a game and what is reality becomes less and less clear as the story unfolds. The very first game played in the book is “buggers and astronauts,” a game that Peter, Ender’s bully older brother, makes Ender play, and it is a game that all kids play, pretty much like cowboys and Indians used to be played in my childhood (I always wanted to be the Indians). However, in Ender’s case the game is more than it seems, because Peter’s hatred for him is real, and he inflicts physical pain upon Ender in the course of the game. This is one game that Ender never wins.

    At Battle School, Ender plays two different types of games. On his computer he plays the mind game, a game that even its creators do not properly understand and one that effects Ender’s life in direct ways. It is through this  game that Ender is able to come to terms with the changes in his life.  In this game there is also a bit of a surprise in the end of the book, which I won’t spoil for you.  In the battle room Ender plays war games. These games are everything to the kids at the school. Their lives revolve around playing games, and so the meaning of the word itself shifts from a voluntary fun experience to a necessary and crucial aspect of life. These games and their implications cause Bonzo’s death and create rancor and jealousy throughout the school.

    Finally we come to the greatest games that Ender plays, while he is the commander of the Third Invasion. Playing these games is debilitating to Ender’s health. He cannot sleep, he barely eats, and he is forced to be a leader and not a friend to those whom he cares for. This game also has a bit of a surprise for the reader.

    Compassion is the redeeming feature in “Ender’s Game.” Compassion is the theme that runs through Ender’s life. It is the defining feature of his existence. This is what separates him from his brother Peter and the other cruel people in the story.  The reason that he plays the games so well is his ability to understand the enemy and to inspire loyalty. More than that, it is compassion that saves Ender. If not for his compassion he would have become either a killing machine or a power hungry creature like Peter. This compassion and empathy are one of the features that redeems this whole book and what made room for it to be required reading in the Marine Corps Officer training.

    So not just your everyday sci-fi, “Ender’s Game” has a lot to offer.  Even if you have read the book before, pick it up again, or try out the audiobook and find out what more it has to offer.  On top of all that it will be a good refresher for when the movie is released.

    • Claudia 11:43 PM on April 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

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  • gilwilson 1:59 PM on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: analysis, , , ender wiggins, ender's game, marines, , , , USMC   

    Audiobook Review: “Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic ‘Ender’s Game’” Edited by Orson Scott Card 


    “Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic ‘Ender’s Game’”

    Edited by Orson Scott Card

    Various Readers

    Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc

    Length: 7 hours and 46 minutes

    Originally published as a novel in 1985 (before that, in 1977, it was a short story), Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi military novel has found a place in many sci-fi fans hearts.  This novel has also found a place in military training.  The U.S. Marine Corps Professional Reading List makes the novel recommended reading at several lower ranks, and again at Officer Candidate/Midshipman.   The book provides useful allegories to explain why militaries do what they do in a particularly effective shorthand way.

    This book, “Ender’s World..,” is a study into the world created by Card and how it has affected the many who have read it.  This book contains essays from “Burn Notice” creator Matt Nix, “Ender’s Game”  prequel series co-author Aaron Johnston, bestselling author Neal Shusterman and more. The entire book was edited by Orson Scott Card himself and contains sections between every essay that Card spends answering fan questions about the series in length and detail.

    With many centers of education, from public schools to the Marine Corps, listing “Ender’s Game” as suggested reading one has to wonder why.  I know I enjoyed the book immensely and especially with the somewhat surprise ending, but what makes this book a phenomenon?  “Ender’s World…” takes the story and the author and places them both under a microscope to find out what went into the creation of Ender Wiggins and what the readers have taken out of the book.

    This analysis presents a new view of the book from several different angles.  It has even made it so that I will be reading the book or rather getting the audiobook this time and revisiting the Battle School and Ender Wiggins.  The release of this analysis is timely in that the “Ender’s Game” movie will be coming out this year.  It’ll be nice to revisit the book before the movie, but it was even nicer to hear the different points of view that were put into the book and taken from the book.

    If you are a fan of “Ender’s Game,” then treat yourself to an education that is “Ender’s World.”

    • Violamom 10:59 AM on July 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Um, the movie is “Ender’s Game” not “Ender’s World”… 😉 Good review. I’m thoroughly enjoying this book, being able to see Ender’s Game through different eyes. I especially recommend the two articles written from the military perspective. But all of them are interesting and even fun reading, and the format of OSC answering fan questions in between each essay keeps the pace moving forward very well. A must-have book for anyone who loves Ender’s Game.


      • gilwilson 11:10 AM on July 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks…all the switching back and forth talking about this book and the original must have thrown me out of phase. but it is corrected now.


  • gilwilson 9:26 PM on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aaron johnston, Arthur Morey, , , , , , Emily Janice Card, ender's game, , Gabrielle de Cuir, , , Roxanne Hernandez, , , , Stephen Hoye, Vikas Adam   

    “Earth Unaware (The First Formic War)” by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston 

    “Earth Unaware (The First Formic War)”
    by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
    Multiple readers
    published by Macmillan Audiobooks
    14 hours

    Being a fan of Science-Fiction I have had the book “Ender’s Game” on my to read list for years, but for some reason or another I have just never gotten around to reading it. When I saw that Macmillan Audiobooks was publishing the audiobook of the prequel to “Ender’s Game,” I thought, “Well, I guess now’s the time to get to it.” I know, as with all prequels that are written after the main book, th element of surprise won’t be there if I read the prequels first, but I got the chance so I took it.

    This book is the first of a trilogy of sequels to the “Ender’s Game” series and takes place 100 years before the event’s in “Ender’s Game.” The story takes place in three major areas that by the end of the book all merge to tell of the arrival of the Formic’s to our universe. The audiobook features the voice talents of Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Vikas Adam, Emily Janice Card, Gabrielle de Cuir and Roxanne Hernandez. Each reader reads the a section when told from a different character’s point of view. For example when told from one female’s point of view one of the above female narrators will take charge. This really helped to emphasize the change of not only person but also of location. When on Earth training with an elite group of special forces the male voice reading sounds very military, when told from the point of view of a young girl in space the voice fits and you know you are in a different location. This keeps the book fresh.

    Like I said, the story is split in 3 different locations, one from the mining ship “El Cavador,” on Earth as an elite group of military special forces is being recruited and trained and one from a corporate ship testing out a new mining process, a GLASER, a Gravitational LASER.

    When a young girl training to be a sort of lookout on the mining ship discovers a faster than light speed ship moving toward the Kuiper belt, where the El Cavador is mining asteroids, and whose course continues on to Earth she is unsure who to tell. After some time the miners decide to alert everyone they can. The problem is they are so far out in space that messages are hard to pass on. They decide to alert the corporate ship in the area, hoping they will be better suited to get the message back to Earth. The problem is that the corporates want the asteroid El Cavador is mining and in sneaking up on the miners misses the message.

    The corporates “bump” the mining ship and take over mining the ship. In the process one of El Cavador’s crew is killed. The El Cavador sends a sniffer, a type of data mining satellite, to the ship to download all their data and send a warning message that they will avenge the death.

    In the meantime an Italian mining ship is attacked by a probe from the light speed ship. The Italian ship is destroyed. When the El Cavador finds the wreckage after the probe has left they begin searching for survivors. While searching the probe returns, one group of miners attacks the probe and as they are dismantling the ship from the outside the occupants of the probe emerge. The aliens appear to be human-sized ants. Calling the aliens Hormigas (spanish for ants) they miners try once again to alert the corporate ship. The corporates soon change the alien name to Formics (latin for ants) and agree to side with the miners to help keep the main ship from arriving at Earth.

    The first Formic war has begun and it is up to a few miners and a corporate mining ship to prevent the possible annihilation of humanity. This story tells of love, betrayal, family and corporate greed all while gearing up for a major war between Earth and Formics.


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