Ender’s Game: These Kids Today

by Ethan Alter November 1, 2013 6:01 am
<i>Ender’s Game</i>: These Kids Today

I normally don't feel the need to be so explicate about separating the art from the artist, but in the case of Ender's Game -- both the terrific book it is and the pretty good movie version it's become -- it seems necessary to mark a clear dividing line between my appreciation for the work itself and my distaste for the author who created it, Orson Scott Card. I first encountered the book in the late '90s, roughly a decade after its 1985 release date, and had one of those intense, immersive reading experiences where you become so absorbed in the world on the page, you can't easily snap back to reality. It remains a novel I revisit every few years (along with one or two other of Card's other early works, particularly The Worthing Chronicle and the short story collection Maps in a Mirror) and still appreciate for its masterful plotting and vivid descriptions of a militaristic future where warfare is waged by child soldiers bred on video game simulations and zero-gravity school skirmishes. (Less so its questionable gender and racial politics, which, admittedly, are problematic and become more so with each re-read.)



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