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Ender's Game

Orson Scott Card

Tor Books

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ISBN10: 0312853238
ISBN13: 9780312853235

Trade Paperback

256 Pages

$15.99

CA$22.99

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Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? And what if Ender is merely the brilliant result of genetic experiments? The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

An increasingly popular and relevant novel that risks and achieves and delivers more than most anything else within the science fiction genre, Ender's Game is a contemporary classic—a work, as Gene Wolf has written, that "will still be finding new readers when 99 percent of the books published this year are completely forgotten."

Reviews

Praise for Ender's Game

"'Intense' is the word for Ender's Game."—The New York Times

"An affecting novel full of surprises that seem inevitable once they are explained. The key, of course, is Ender Wiggin himself. Mr. Card never makes the mistake of patronizing or sentimentalizing his hero. Alternately likable and insufferable, his is a convincing little Napoleon in short pants."—Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

"A gripping tale of adventure in space and a scathing indictment of the military mind."—Library Journal

"This twenty-five-year-old science fiction classic [is] unlike many hardcore SF titles [in that it] is particularly appropriate for a younger audience, for its protagonist, Ender Wiggin, is just six years old at the novel's beginning and still a pre-teen at its end. Ender's parents have received a special dispensation to have a third child in spite of strict population control laws. [Ender's] brilliant older siblings, Peter and Valentine, have each showed great promise, but each falls just short of having 'the right stuff.' The International Fleet (I.F.) believes that Ender may be the commander they need to lead great armies against invasion by alien 'buggers.' When Ender does exhibit the desired combination of compassion and cruelty, the I.F. takes him to the distant Battle School, where brilliant children are trained in military strategy and tactics. The centerpiece of their education is a simulated battle game at which Ender quickly excels, eventually becoming the youngest commander in history. Life at Battle School, especially [its many] battle games, is richly described. Ender is portrayed as just a pawn in the larger game being played by the I.F., and readers will alternately sympathize with his exploitation and cheer when he is able to make friends in spite of the tremendous forces working to isolate and dehumanize him . . . For the most part, this novel will deservedly reach a new generation."—Norah Piehl, Children's Literature

"Card has taken the venerable SF concepts of a superman and interstellar war against aliens, and, with superb characterization, pacing, and language, combined them into a seamless story of compelling power. This is Card at the height of his very considerable powers—a major SF novel by any reasonable standards."—Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Orson Scott Card

Best known for his science fiction novels Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, Orson Scott Card has written in many other forms and genres. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 -- the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelette version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog.

The novel-length version of Ender's Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.

While Card's early science fiction stories and novels were earning attention (Card won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1978), he supported his family primarily by writing scripts for audiotapes produced by Living Scriptures of Ogden, Utah.

Later, in the mid-1980s, while the novel version of Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead were winning the Hugo and Nebula awards, he also wrote the screenplays for animated children's videos from the New Testament and Book of Mormon.

Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.

He is the author many novels, from the 18 science fiction books set in the Ender Universe, to the American frontier fantasy series "The Tales of Alvin Maker" (beginning with Seventh Son), to stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart's Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card's recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old.

Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, where his primary activities are writing a review column for the local Rhinoceros Times and feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possums, and raccoons on the patio.

Terry Manier