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A War of Gifts

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A gift from Orson Scott Card to all his fans

A gift from Orson Scott Card to all his fans—a special story set during Ender’s time at Battle School

by Beth Meacham, Executive Editor

“Wouldn’t it be fun,” we said, “to do a holiday gift book by Orson Scott Card?”

You know, those little books you see at the check-outs of book and card stores, around this time of year? Kind of a cross between a book and a card? We call them “precious size” books…and I don’t even know why. Could it be irony?

The conversation went on: What should it be? What about an Alvin story, Christmas at Horace Guester’s Inn? What about one of the other series?

“Wouldn’t it,” I asked, “be a good idea to ask Scott about this? Before we, you know, schedule the non-existent book or something? Not that we haven’t done that before.

But Scott Card had a better idea.  That’s why he’s the writer -- the creator -- and we’re the editors and publicists and sales people who get it from him to you.

“What about an Ender story?” he said.

Ender? What? Christmas at the Battle School? You don’t normally think of Ender’s Game and heart-warming precious books together, you know? Well, at least I didn’t.

“Yes,” said Orson Scott Card. “Christmas at the Battle School. I have an idea. It won’t be warm and fuzzy, though. Is that ok?”

“Don’t tell Tom that,” I said.

So time passed. We plan these things really early, like years early. Months went by. Other books were delivered and edited and published.

Then one morning, I opened my email and found The Christmas Story waiting. It was like Christmas morning, all unexpected. I started reading it.

My coffee got cold.

I went to get a Kleenex.

It’s not warm and fuzzy – it’s deeply touching and emotional. There I was, crying over a sock. Really. No, I won’t say any more than that, you go read it. It’s not long, it won’t take you more than one wasted cup of coffee.

We called the story A War of Gifts. It’s out now. It’s an Ender story, set in his first year at the Battle School…and it’s so much more than that.

(from the Tor/Forge December 2007 newsletter)