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The Ender Saga: A Noteworthy Science Fiction series

January 1985 marks the beginning of America’s love affair with Ender Wiggin. It was that month that Ender’s Game was published, becoming an instant blockbuster, and “probably the most popular science fiction novel published in the last twenty years” (John Kessel). The child prodigy and ultimate savior of the earth, Ender Wiggin, had appeared seven years earlier in a short story published in the science fiction magazine Analog. Writer Orson Scott Card had spent much of his young life working in print, but had only set to writing science fiction when his meager salary as copy editor at a small press failed to pay a debt incurred from a failed business attempt. His magazine article won instant attention, and Orson Scott Card won the 1978 John C. Campbell Award for best new writer at the World Science Fiction Convention. But little Ender was destined for bigger things.

Orson Scott Card saw potential in his young protagonist and instantly set to work developing the short fiction into a longer work. Already he had two novels in mind, Ender’s Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead, published the following year in 1986. Card made history by winning both the prestigious Nebula and Hugo Awards in both consecutive years. No other author has managed this feat to date (2006.) Since that time, Ender’s Game has been translated into sixteen languages, and spawned two series.

The first series includes Ender’s Game (1985), Speaker for the Dead (1986), Xenocide (1991), Children of the Mind (1996), and First Meetings (2002). The saga follows Ender as he grows into adulthood and deals with the moral and ethical issues presented in his childhood.

The second series starts with a parallel telling of the original Ender’s Game, but from the eyes of Bean. Titled Ender’s Shadow (1999), it is the first of the Shadow Series, followed by Shadow of the Hegemon (2001), Shadow Puppets (2002), and Shadow of the Giant (2005).

Ender’s Game has been called “the science fiction novel for people who don’t think they like science fiction.” Truly it appeals to a vast audience. It is on the list of top books for college-bound students, and has been adopted as required reading in numerous secondary schools and university classes. Card explains that the focus on the human story as it unravels, rather than the science fiction elements, is what gives the novel power among its readers. Essentially, Card says, readers must relate and care deeply about the characters. Beyond that, he admits that the use of computer networks and the “mind game” are features in the book that appeal to many readers.

Ender claimed the spotlight again in the late 1990s when rumor caught wind that a film was slated. Indeed, Warner Brothers announced in 2002 its plans to produce the film. Director Wolfgang Peterson, known for his most recent films Poseidon, Troy and The Perfect Storm, is joined by screenwriter David Benieff (Troy). The movie is expected to hit the theaters in 2008. After winning the top prizes offered in science fiction literature, one wonders what is still in store for Ender Wiggen.

About the Author
Francesca Black has always enjoyed Science Fiction and she manages the content at: Science Fiction Corner http://www.science-fiction-corner.com


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