Ender's Game - Join the war against the buggers!

  • Posted on: 19 February 2016
  • By: Lore

Ender's Game Movie PosterTwice before the human race has faced extinction at the hands of the Buggers, an alien race that ruthlessly attacks without communicating in any way, and many feel the 3rd war is imminent. It is within this context that we learn about the battle school set up by the International Fleet (IF) to train earth's most promising children to become commanders of the human fleet. Only a prodigy trained from birth in the art of war will be able to resist our deadly enemy and with the 3rd war almost upon us, humanity is running out of time. The powers that be will cut any corner and take any risk they deem necessary to get ready, because if they fail there will be no humans left to condemn their actions as immoral.

The children that enter battle school are heralded as heroes as they essentially forfeit their childhood (and lives) to be tools of the military. Ender Wiggen is one such child and the centerpiece of the story. Due to population issues, couples in this future are expected to be "compliant" and that means they may have no more than 2 children. As a "third" child Ender's life is forfeit to the military to be used as they see fit. He is monitored and manipulated from the moment of his birth which was only permitted in the first place because of the military potential shown by his siblings.

Ender's Game is considered a classic Sci Fi novel and it is the start of a long series of stories that take place in the Enderverse.  There are currently 14 novels, 13 short stories, 47 comic issues, an audioplay, and a film. The first two novels in the series both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, and were among the most influential science fiction novels of the 1980s. I listened to the 20th anniversary version on audiobook, which has an ensemble cast of narrators, and I quickly understood why it is considered a classic. Due to its age there are plenty of Sci-Fi concepts to take issue with but I was so quickly sucked into the story of Ender Wiggen that I just went with the flow and didn't get caught up in the things that didn't make much sense.

The reader comes to know many of the ways that Ender is being manipulated, but not all of them. This knowledge puts you in a morally ambiguous position when judging his actions. Is Ender truly responsible for his actions or is he a victim of circumstance? Should he compromise his own morals and do what is needed of him or should he perhaps resist his pre-ordained path in life and forsake mankind to the Buggers?

The book is a lot deeper than the movie and worth reading even if you have seen the film. I recommend you give it a read and perhpas you come to some new conclusions about Ender Wiggen.