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What Ender book should I read?

FremFrem Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I just discovered that Orson Scott Card has a bunch of his books up online. This clearly means I should get around to reading the books after Ender's Game.

So, given a finite amount of time to read this stuff and not really wanting to have to plow through two entire series in the near future, what should I read? Speaker for the Dead comes next in the Ender series, but apparently Bean has his own thing going on at the same time in the Shadows books as well? Wikipedia is no help. A series which requires a flowchart? Really? D:

I am pretty sure that avoiding xenocide is the sort of thing which is commonly recommended, but aside from that...

Edit: Meh. Just realized that while there are full short stories, none of the books are posted in complete form. :-P

Frem on

Posts

  • TechBoyTechBoy Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Do yourself a favor and read Speaker for the Dead. It is fantastic and I actually like it more than Ender's Game.

    I also read Xenocide and it was so bad it almost soured the previous 2 books. Do stay the hell away from that. I have no idea what Children of the Mind is like, after Xenocide I lost all interest in going further along the series.

    I have also heard good things about Ender's Shadow and the whole Bean side-series, but haven't read it yet.

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  • xThanatoSxxThanatoSx Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The Shadow series is a fantastic companion piece to Enders Game - just make sure you read Enders Shadow AFTER Enders Game. It fills in some of the gaps quite nicely, as well as gives a much more rounded view of the universe as a whole.

  • TheSuperWootTheSuperWoot Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    TechBoy wrote: »
    Do yourself a favor and read Speaker for the Dead. It is fantastic and I actually like it more than Ender's Game.

    I also read Xenocide and it was so bad it almost soured the previous 2 books. Do stay the hell away from that. I have no idea what Children of the Mind is like, after Xenocide I lost all interest in going further along the series.

    I have also heard good things about Ender's Shadow and the whole Bean side-series, but haven't read it yet.

    This, so hard. I hated Children of the Mind and Xenocide, although some of my friends will defend them till the end.

  • TaranisTaranis Eastern BaghdadRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ender's Game, and only Ender's Game.

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  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I actually preferred Ender's Shadow to Ender's Game. Those are the only two I've read, though.

  • KincaidKincaid In the land of the blind... Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I actually preferred Ender's Shadow to Ender's Game. Those are the only two I've read, though.

    Seconded. Ender's Shadow is fantastic.

    Read it!

  • AndorienAndorien Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Taranis wrote: »
    Ender's Game, and only Ender's Game.

  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ender's Game then Ender's Shadow.


    After that... meh.

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Andorien wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    Ender's Game, and only Ender's Game.

    I liked Speaker for the Dead eventually though.

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There are two separate storylines in the "Enderverse". In one, Ender is the central character:
    Ender's Game -> Speaker for the Dead -> Xenocide -> Children of the Mind.

    Xenocide and Children of the Mind are a bit "bleh" but Speaker for the Dead is good. I recommend reading through all of them at least once, though.

    The other storyline involves Bean. I'd read it after reading Ender's Game (but you can start reading them before reading Speaker for the Dead):
    Ender's Shadow -> Shadow of the Hegemon -> Shadow Puppets -> Shadow of the Giant

    I highly enjoyed these more than the Ender main storyline. They involve what happened on Earth while Ender was experiencing relativistic travel, and focus mainly on Bean, Petra, and Peter Wiggin.

    There are also some short stories/novellas involved with the Enderverse:
    * Ender in Exile - Novella that describes what happens in the events that follow immediately after Ender's Game. Comes in between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Fairly decent, but Ender is basically the ultimate Mary Sue character in this one.
    * First Meetings - Collection of Short Stories:
    ** Investment Counselor - Ender's first "Speaker for the Dead" job, comes after Ender in Exile, probably.
    ** Ender's Game - The original Ender's Game short story. Highly recommended to read (after reading the novel)
    ** "The Polish Boy" - John Paul Wiggin (Ender's Dad) as a kid. Doesn't get taken to Battle School.
    ** "Teacher's Pest" - John Paul Wiggin and Theresa meet and fall in love. A bit contrived, but provides good background on Ender's parents (who are central characters in the Bean "Shadow" series).
    * A War of Gifts - Occurs when Ender is at Battle School. Basically, Xmas at Battle School, or "A Very Special Ender Xmas Special". Ender is, once again, the ultimate Mary Sue.
    * Intergalactic Medicine Show. I have not read this one, but it apparently is a collection of short stories. From Wikipedia (I can guess what most of these are about):
    ** "Mazer in Prison"
    ** "Pretty Boy"
    ** "Cheater"
    ** "A Young Man with Prospects"
    ** "The Gold Bug"
    ** "Ender's Stocking"
    ** "Ender's Homecoming"
    ** "Ender in Flight"

    I really enjoyed the Bean/Shadow series more than the main Ender storyline. But get at least Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. They are meant to be read concurrently.

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  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
  • Zombie NirvanaZombie Nirvana Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I think Speaker is the best book he's ever written. Ender's Game is an obvious choice too. The rest I wouldn't bother to read unless you don't have anything else interesting.

  • NaeblissNaebliss Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I found Speaker of the dead to be an amazing book. Though I'm not sure if I would say that it is better than Ender's Game. Card really jumps the shark in Xenocide and Children of the Mind. I would recommend you only read those if you can't get enough Card. I disliked Ender's Shadow and felt that it's modifications to the plot of Ender's Game weakened the story. So basically just read Speaker and then decide about the others.

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  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I loved Ender's Game. Don't expect Speaker of the Dead to be anything like it though, regardless of the main character.

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  • KetarKetar Duke of Weaseltown Like an agile peacock!Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I am apparently one of the 7 people who didn't hate Xenocide. Strange how many of us were drawn to this forum :P

    It isn't anywhere near as good as Ender's Game, but it also doesn't deserve the hate it gets either. Not great, but worthwhile, imo.

  • ClipseClipse Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ender's Game, then Speaker for the Dead, then maybe Ender's shadow.
    Spoiler:

  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I've only read Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Ender's Shadow. My preference is also in that order. Ender's Shadow felt kind of boring at times.

  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I loved Ender's Game, speaker for the dead, and xenocide, and children of the mind.

    Read them all.

    judge for yourself.

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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Xenocide isn't bad, it just has lots and lots of exposition and focus on side-plot.
    Spoiler:

    Children of the Mind is pretty bad.

    sig.png
  • tech_huntertech_hunter Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

    Sig to mucho Grande!
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    wow tech hunter, busting out the spoilers in an H/A thread about reading the books...

    edit: tx for fixing

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ender's Game, and that's it.

    Hell, you can finish reading Ender's Game after the climax, cause after that it's hella emo.

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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Whatever book you decide to read, I'd recommend checking it out from a library as opposed to buying it—and thus giving Orson Scott Card money—because Orson Scott Card is a dick.
    Spoiler:

  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Enders game is good. Ender's shadow is pretty good. Speaker for the Dead gives you a lot to think about it. Xenocide starts out kinda promising, but ends up on a really bizarre note. Children of the Mind is the worst book I've ever read. The rest of the Shadow series is... really not all that interesting.

    Steam & GT
    Spoiler:
  • dwwatermelondwwatermelon Registered User
    edited September 2009
    I strongly feel that you'd be doing yourself a disservice by skipping any the books in the two series. Read them all at least once and form your own opinions. I recommend you read through the Ender series, and then prepare yourself for a treat because it only gets better going through Bean's series.

    Some people apparently can't get over some of the metaphysical stuff in the last couple Ender books. I say either suspend your goddamn disbelief, or just agree with yourself to not dwell on stuff that makes you raise your eyebrows. You will be richly rewarded with an excellent story finishing Ender's tale, and why would you stop in the middle of a story rather than find out the ending?

    This is coming from someone who has read both series at least ten times each. These books deserve a proper read through.

  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Its not so much the metaphysical stuff so much as it the maelstrom of plot threads spiraling out of his control.

    Steam & GT
    Spoiler:
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Whatever book you decide to read, I'd recommend checking it out from a library as opposed to buying it—and thus giving Orson Scott Card money—because Orson Scott Card is a dick.
    Spoiler:

    It really does suck because Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time

    OSC, why must you be such a dickface

  • blakfeldblakfeld Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Speaker for the Dead

    Read it.

    Now.

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Sweet, thanks for the advice.
    Rent wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Whatever book you decide to read, I'd recommend checking it out from a library as opposed to buying it—and thus giving Orson Scott Card money—because Orson Scott Card is a dick.
    Spoiler:

    It really does suck because Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time

    OSC, why must you be such a dickface

    No worries. I'm a Christian, so that article is likely significantly less offensive to me than to many other people.

    Jingoist, though? It's been a while, but that really seems like the opposite of some of the themes Card was developing in Ender's Game.

  • EeveelutionEeveelution Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Start with Ender's Game. You'll regret it if you don't.

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  • Zombie NirvanaZombie Nirvana Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Yeah, I'd for sure start with Ender's Game and then read Speaker. I may buy a couple extra copies in fact just to support Mr. Scott's crusade on stupidity!

  • WankWank Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ender's Game, and the Bean side-series is decent if you like geopolitics and what not. I just hated the retcons explaining how Bean is totally smarter than Ender LOL! Just pissed me off. Ender is the shit.

  • projectmayhemprojectmayhem Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Speaker for the Dead is soooo good.

    Um, read the Christmas Enderverse book. :)

    Also, what the fuck mr. card
    In the first place, no law in any state in the United States now or ever has forbidden homosexuals to marry. The law has never asked that a man prove his heterosexuality in order to marry a woman, or a woman hers in order to marry a man.

    Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. And, in fact, many homosexual men have done precisely that, without any legal prejudice at all.

    Ditto with lesbian women. Many have married men and borne children. And while a fair number of such marriages in recent years have ended in divorce, there are many that have not.

    So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage.

  • ClipseClipse Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    So it is a flat lie to say that African Americans are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all African Americans have to do is find someone of the same race willing to join them in marriage.

    That would presumably have been his viewpoint in the 1950's.

  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Frem wrote: »
    Sweet, thanks for the advice.
    Rent wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Whatever book you decide to read, I'd recommend checking it out from a library as opposed to buying it—and thus giving Orson Scott Card money—because Orson Scott Card is a dick.
    Spoiler:

    It really does suck because Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time

    OSC, why must you be such a dickface

    No worries. I'm a Christian, so that article is likely significantly less offensive to me than to many other people.

    Jingoist, though? It's been a while, but that really seems like the opposite of some of the themes Card was developing in Ender's Game.

    That's the most tragic part of it, really. After feeling so empowered and good after reading Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, I made the mistake of looking for him on the internet... where I found out that this statement above is indeed true.

    Now, I'm not sure whether that means that his opinions have just taken a total 180 since those days, or whether the things that seemed tongue in cheek or ironic in Ender's Game were actually meant to be taken literally... but reading his modern material (and especially his blog) soured me to his writings for good and really made me depressed.

    So with that said, my advice is to read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, and then take whatever meaning you choose to take from them... and don't spoil the memory of it by looking up any of his modern writings.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Um, read the Christmas Enderverse book. :)
    I disagree. By the time it was written, Ender had become Orson Scott Card's Mary Sue character. He basically can DO NO WRONG, and can solve every single problem in the universe without failing. This was retroactively applied (via his current Enderverse writings, mostly the Xmas book and Ender in Exile). I would have liked the Christmas Enderverse book FAR better if Dink Meeker was the one who actually ended up reaching the new character introduced in the novel.

    Part of the reason I liked Ender was his vulnerability. It is present throughout the Speaker for the Dead novel line. With Ender in Exile and the Xmas At Battle School book, you might as well replace him with "young Kal-El" and get the same result.

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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Frem wrote: »
    Sweet, thanks for the advice.
    Rent wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Whatever book you decide to read, I'd recommend checking it out from a library as opposed to buying it—and thus giving Orson Scott Card money—because Orson Scott Card is a dick.
    Spoiler:

    It really does suck because Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time

    OSC, why must you be such a dickface

    No worries. I'm a Christian, so that article is likely significantly less offensive to me than to many other people.

    Jingoist, though? It's been a while, but that really seems like the opposite of some of the themes Card was developing in Ender's Game.

    I'm a Catholic and I'm extremely offended at the thought that because I'm a liberal I'm "destroying America" and worthy of being killed for my traitorous beliefs

    Also, I don't believe in violent overthrow of the government because some dudes want to get married

This discussion has been closed.