Ender's Game

By Orson Scott Card,

Book cover of Ender's Game

Book description

Orson Scott Card's science fiction classic Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as…

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Why read it?

13 authors picked Ender's Game as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I read Ender’s Game years ago and then listened to it on Audible recently. Excellent book filled with intricate strategies and battles, complex characters, and ethical dilemmas.

After almost being destroyed by the bug-like Formics, Earth must devise a strategy for the next battle. The strategy involves molding extremely gifted children, like Ender Wiggins, to become trained military commanders that can defeat the Formic hoards at all costs.

The book is a fast-paced journey through a minefield of moral and ethical dilemmas. Captivating characters keep you engaged throughout the book. A page-turner and a must read for science fiction aficionados.

Ender’s Game has many similarities to Androne. The game-like elements of the story and the way the lead characters are both withdrawn from the battlefield.

What Ender’s Game does really well is the anticipation it creates as we wait on pins and needles for this build-up to a battle with the aliens. Ender has all of that pressure mounted on him as a child, the fate of the world, but the internal politics heighten that tension as well, as Ender’s life is under threat from his cohorts, even his own brother on one occasion. 

From Dwain's list on suspenseful science fiction.

This is an older book, classic really, but I loved it growing up. Orson Scott Card is the king of sci-fi and Ender’s Game doesn’t disappoint.

It’s a fantastic story about Andrew “Ender” and his two siblings Peter and Valentine. The dynamics of family and war are intriguing, and I like that the protagonists are kids, but yet the gravity of their world makes it work. I don’t feel like I’m reading about a ten-year-old and thinking this is unrealistic.  

The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

By J.M. Unrue,

Book cover of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

J.M. Unrue Author Of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’m an old guy. I say this with a bit of cheek and a certain amount of incongruity. All the books on my list are old. That’s one area of continuity. Another, and I’ll probably stop at two, is that they all deal with ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—those curveballs of life we flail at with an unfamiliar bat; the getting stuck on the Interstate behind a semi and some geezer in a golf cap hogging the passing lane in a Buick Le Sabre. No one makes it through this life unscathed. How we cope does more to define us than a thousand smiles when things are rosy. Thus endeth the lesson.

J.M.'s book list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do

What is my book about?

The Festival of Sin is a three-story light sci-fi arc about a young boy rescued in 6000 BCE and taken to the home planet of the Hudra. Parts two and three are exploratory excursions. It's a fish-out-of-water series. More than fish-out-of-water. Fish-on-another-planet.

Plus, there are two fantasy stories dealing with people who must overcome "supernatural" circumstances, things well beyond the realm of common understanding. 

The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

By J.M. Unrue,

What is this book about?

The Festival of Sin is a three-story light sci-fi arc about a young boy rescued in 6000 BCE and taken to the home planet of the Hudra. Parts two and three are exploratory excursions. It's a fish-out-of-water series. More than fish-out-of-water. Fish-on-another-planet.

Plus, there are two fantasy stories dealing with people who must overcome "supernatural" circumstances, things well beyond the realm of common understanding. 


This is the peak of moral ambiguity.

The army needs young, bright minds to help it understand the enemy. But the higher-ups forget that they’re dealing with kids, and so the borders between good and bad become blurry.

Is it right to isolate a kid in order to make him better?

Is it right to go to war in order to prevent the next one?

Any reader of grey characters will enjoy this book. It’s short, tight, and it packs a punch that makes you question everything you’ve ever done. Everything you’ve ever supported. And it does that with a…

From Uri's list on morally grey characters.

Ever been told, “This book is fantastic!” Then promptly ignored that advice, only to discover 20 years later they were face-palmingly right? Ender’s Game was that should-have-read-it novel that might have lured me into science fiction (as opposed to fantasy) at a much earlier age. An enchanting blend of science fiction in a future militaristic society through the eyes of a child prodigy who must grow up very quickly if he wants the chance to grow up at all. Card blended it into an engaging story that almost made me forget it was science fiction.

So, everyone has read this book or knows about it because of the movie, which was just okay. Ender helped me through junior high and high school. Ender helped me deal with the bully. Ender survied and because he did I believed I could, too. Ender Wiggin is wiggin’ fantastic. And the battle school isn’t bad, either.  

Ender's Game was the first book I ever read in which I was so enthralled that I viewed the book as if watching a movie, I didn’t so much read this book as consume it, fell into it.

The very nature of the universe and how I view it will forever be changed by this book and the author's ideas and views, very specifically the way he interprets gravity, space travel, and how humans and aliens would or could interact.

Also, a war viewed in part from the alien's perspective is a particularly interesting and engaging angle.

This makes it…

Ender’s Game follows the development of a young genius as he learns to fight the alien race threatening humanity. As he advances through the ranks, Ender begins to fight in battle simulations with the help of his team. 

But when he wins a major battle, he learns the simulations were real, and he has now destroyed the alien race. This horrifies him, and readers are left grappling with the moral question of what it means for Ender that he has participated in such large-scale slaughter without knowing what he was doing.   

This book stands the test of time. I loved reading from the point of view of a youth who is remarkably mature and intelligent for his age—but who is still just a child at heart. Ender feels the loneliness and longing for acceptance that I can expect from someone of his age, yet his character is one that adults will also relate to. I saw a lot of myself in Ender: someone who has a difficult time trusting and connecting to people, but who connects deeply once their trust is gained. This is another book where the science and war…

“Growing up is hard. Growing up while leading the war against aliens that want to annihilate Earth is cool.” A little departure from the other stories on my list, Ender’s Game is a bit lighter on mythology and literary allusions but has become a sci-fi classic. Ender grows up in a future under siege by aliens and is sent to battle school to rise through the ranks and become Earth’s head commander. The grandaddy of a sub-genre that features young adult protagonists going off to “school” to become adept in their special abilities, Ender’s Game is a fast, gripping read.…

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