I’m not a big science fiction reader. If you’ve been following me over the last year, I’ve made that pretty clear. I don’t have a good reason for it except to say while I enjoy watching sci-fi movies, reading sci-fi is a struggle.
However, there is one sci-fi book that I love and cherish: Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
I read Ender’s Game my freshman year of high school (this might have to do with my love for it since this is when I fell in love with reading in general). My friends encouraged me to read it and I couldn’t put it down. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before and did not bore me to tears.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggins is the youngest of three children in a future where only two children are allowed per family. All children are born with an implanted monitoring device, which is used by the government to pick out children they deem worthy of going to Battle School. The children selected for such an honor are monitored and trained by the International Fleet (IF) in hopes to create new generations of soldiers to fight in an ongoing war with an alien race referred to as “Buggers”.
At Battle School, Ender makes friends and enemies as he tries to rise through the ranks despite his young age and small stature. He is faced with challenge after challenge by the IF to see if he can withstand the pressure. We follow his mistakes and victories (there are plenty of both) as he struggles not only physically but psychologically to be the best.
I continually find myself returning to this book. I’ll often listen to the audiobook or watch the movie (this is not the greatest of adaptations but decent and worth watching) because I can’t help but engage in Ender’s story. It’s a story that is complex without being overly complex. I would argue it’s a grounded sci-fi, offering new ideas and advanced technology without inundating you with so much, you feel like your head will pop.
Call to Action: I highly recommend the book. It’s not a long read and you’ll fall in love with Ender and some of the other characters.