Earth Afire: The First Formic War

Having set aside my higher expectations after Earth Unaware, I was anticipating pretty much a simple adventure story this time around. That's pretty much what I got with Earth Afire. Unexpectedly, though, we were introduced to Mazer Rackham in this book, and he was unfortunately less than impressive as a character. In Ender's Game, Card writes a character who is convincingly super-intelligent yet childish. Mazer is supposed to be cut from similar if not quite identical cloth, but he doesn't carry it convincingly.

On the whole I was disappointed with this book more than the first.

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Categories Orson Scott Card

Sun Jun 22 13:46:30 CDT 2014 by Matthew. Comments

Earth Unaware: The First Formic War

I ended up reading Orson Scott Card's First Formic War series because of a discussion I had with a friend of mine about the central moral question of Ender's Game: was Ender's action to end his war moral or not? It would be a spoiler to describe exactly what he did; suffice it to say that it's a close call based on the available information, and our opinions differed based primarily on whether the books in this series were considered canon or not. She had read them, I had not; but I had read the sequels to Ender's Game and she had not. She thought the Formics had attacked first and Ender's actions were ultimately justified; I thought the question of Ender's Game hinged on the crucial first contact question of "What did the Formics know and when did they know it?"

So I decided to read the series and find out, at least the first book (Earth Unaware). I should point out that I avoided reading the series previously because I tend to avoid "Big name author with unknown coauthor" pairings; they are usually basically ghostwriting arrangements, and while sometimes it works, too often it doesn't. This time around, it's more complex than that.

For the rest of the review, with very mild spoilers, click below.

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Categories Orson Scott Card

Sat Jun 21 13:46:30 CDT 2014 by Matthew. Comments

Ender's Game

It's a good short story that became a good book that produced a good series of books that eventually produced a good movie. A writer at the Independent Institute reviews Ender's Game through the prism of Hayekian liberty.

Categories Orson Scott Card

Fri Mar 14 04:40:41 CDT 2014 by Matthew. Comments

Maps in a Mirror: The short fiction of Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card's Maps in a Mirror collects his short fiction. The collection is most notable for including the short story on which his Ender's Game series is based, but the others in the collection are nothing to be ashamed of. While some elements may seem dated to the modern reader (the collection was published in 1990), the stories are timeless, and the necessary focus of the short story format has some advantages.

This volume is for completist fans and literature professors.

Categories Orson Scott Card

Tue Aug 20 08:53:41 CDT 2013 by Matthew. Comments

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