Ender’s Game

enemy gate

Ender’s Game is a 1985 science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card that originated as the short story published in a 1977 issue of ‘Analog Science Fiction and Fact.’ Card released an updated version of Ender’s Game in 1991, changing some political facts to accurately reflect the times, including the decline of the Soviet Union. In his 1991 introduction, he discussed the influence of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ series on the novel. Historian Bruce Catton’s work on the American Civil War also influenced him heavily. Set in Earth’s future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind who have barely survived two conflicts with the Formics (an insectoid alien race).

In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, an international fleet maintains a school to find and train future fleet commanders. The world’s most talented children, including the novel’s protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are taken at a very young age to a training center known as the Battle School. There, teachers train them in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games including ones undertaken in zero gravity in the Battle Room where Ender’s tactical genius is revealed. Reception to the book was generally positive, though some critics have denounced Card’s perceived justification of his characters’ violent actions. It has also become suggested reading for many military organizations, including the United States Marine Corps.

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