Ender’s Game

  • Title: Ender’s Game
  • Author: Orson Scott Card
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; Reprint edition (July 15, 1994)
  • ISBN: 0812550706

This book has a great premise – Earth has fought the buggers, aliens that appear to be insect-like, twice. Earth is now trying to find someone to lead its forces against the buggers. “Ender” Wiggin is a small young boy, a third child in an overcrowded world where two is the normal maximum. Ender is trained to command the Earth’s forces by playing a series of games, first against other boys and finally against a computer, controlled by the person that saved the Earth in the second invasion. But, there’s a twist of course – the games against the computer aren’t games at all, they are real.
And, in the end, Ender kills all the buggers except one queen.

The idea that we can make more interesting risk decisions in a game vs. reality is very interesting – I’m certain there’s research someone on that. I’m also struck by the portrayal of children in the book; the portrayal “…challenges their assumptions about reality.” (author, forward to the book)

I read this thanks to a reference in Play Money – now I’m reading Ender’s Shadow, the story of Bean, one of the children that commanded armies for Earth and for Ender.


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