Last year I was invited to submit an essay to a wonderful anthology being put together by Smart Pop Books and Orson Scott Card. The book is a collection of essays from various writers on the subject of Ender’s Game, one of my favorite novels of all time and the one novel I’ve read more times than any other. In short, I adore Ender’s Game. It had a profound effect on my in my youth, and in many ways it inspired me to write my own stories.
Ender was perhaps the first character in a novel who didn’t feel like a character to me. He was a real person. Smart and decisive and strategically brilliant. And he was a kid like me! It blew my mind.
But I loved Ender most of all because of his compassion. Critics of the book slam it as violent and cruel, and claim Ender is a monster. I learned to ignore them. They didn’t see Ender how I saw him: a gentle soul, the kind of person who would have been my best friend in school, or at least the person I would have LIKED to have had as a friend.
It’s also the reason why Ender was so effective as a leader: people loved him, soldiers rallied behind him, a whole fleet of pilots gave their life under his command with nary a reservation. He was the greatest strategic mind the world had ever known.
So I was thrilled and honored and and humbled by the assignment. People who pick up a copy of the book will likely feel the same sense of reverence and love for Ender’s Game that I do, and that put me at ease a bit, truth be told. It meant the readers would likely be people like me, fans who soak up anything and everything they can find about Ender and feel grateful for it.
You can preorder the book now at amazon. Release date is April 2,2013.
Here’s the info from the Smart Pop site:
Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a classic of science fiction. Though it began its life as a short story, it was later expanded into a Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel, served as a springboard for a much larger universe of stories, and finally, in March 2013, will become a feature film.
Ender’s World conscripts almost two dozen writers of science fiction, fantasy, and young adult books to offer new perspectives on the 1985 novel, along with insights gleaned from other Ender stories that fit within the Ender’s Game chronology, including Ender in Exile and Ender’s Shadow. In addition, military strategists Colonel Tom Ruby and Captain John Schmitt offer insight into the human-Formic war. A contribution from Aaron Johnson, the coauthor of the Formic Wars prequel novels, is also included.
The collection’s insightful analyses and moving personal essays are rounded out with short pieces answering more technically oriented questions about the Ender universe, including: Why is the Battle Room a cube? and Why did the military recruit their soldiers as children?
Edited by Orson Scott Card himself, who also provides an introduction to the anthology as well as to the individual essays, Ender’s World is aimed both at readers who have kept up with the many books that came after and at those who have not, but who loved and want to re-visit the original novel.