Friday, March 12, 2010

Ender in Exile

Over time, Orson Scott Card has become a much better writer. Ender in Exile elaborates on events that were described briefly at the end of Ender's Game. However, the storytelling and quality of writing are far better here.
Card's Ender series somewhat parallels the life of Ender himself. It started crude and violent, but then managed to twist itself in to a good caring story.
Ender has a few flaws in this book. However, it still portrays Ender as a little bit "too" good. He always seems to see exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. Other people's interference sometimes gets in the way, but it is often expected. How could a teenager (even a specially trained genius teenager) be this perfect? How could he not let his hormones get the best of him?
This novel also brings out further discussion of the concept of "age-prolongation". Ender's Battle-school leader had attempted to prolong his life and career by going in to 'stasis' for 10 months out the year. (However, it backfired in that he lost his position by being absent for so long.) People also make rounds at relativistic speed to prolong their lives. It seems that the ability to "live" for longer periods of time is well known, yet still seemingly not significantly acknowledged by the general public.
The "Gold Bugs" that are discovered on the Shakespeare planet also present some interest possibilities. Why not just "build" animals for all tasks that need to be done. Could people simply engineer more animals to do the work they need to be done. (Hmmm... We do have cows that mow and fertilize our lawns as well as providing milk. And when they are ready to die, they provide meat and leather... Maybe we already have come up with this.)

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