The Enemy's Gate is Down

The above "fan art" depicts a very iconic scene from the book Ender's Game. Six hours in photoshop.  Once Again I leave backgrounds for hte last, and it shows.  But I always imagined this room/scene being very very sparse - just Ender, a holographic console and a terminal.

I'm a huge fan of the book Ender's Game. I didn't read it until I was 25, and i was immediately drawn into the visceral action, the intrigue and suspense that culminates in the twist toward the end of the book.  If you like sci-fi and are even moderately interested in reading Ender's Game, go read it now.  If you don't care about Sci Fi, just quit reading this post since I'm going to nerd out for the rest of it.

I just finished Children of the Mind, which is the latest book, chronoligically, taking place 3,000 years after the original book.  What's interesting is it took me 5 years to get into the mindset to enjoy the original sequels to Ender's Game, which, starting with Speaker for the Dead, take a decidedly philosophical turn; a definite contrast to the action and intrigue of Ender's Game.

For the past six months I've been listening to the entire series via Audible.  It made trips to the gym, doing dishes and folding laundry that much more enjoyable.  The Ender books are the best produced audio books I've ever listened to, and I really recommend them.  It's the next best thing to a movie, with different characters voiced by different narrators (really "actors" is the better term) at times.

In addition to the original four Ender books released from 1985-1996, there are five full novels in the Enderverse released in the last 10 years.  The took place between the original Ender's game and Speaker for the Dead.  I had the ability to read them all in chronological order, so I did.  Consult wikipedia if you want to do the same.

The last chronological book (the one I just recently finished), Children of the Mind, was a very good read/listen.  The plot took a very interesting turn and presents -- and attempts to answer -- interesting questions, such as whether Artificial Intelligence is life, what it is to have a "soul", what happens when you die, etc.  That's quite a philosophical arc, going from a little boy in a battle school to a story about the very nature of the universe.

The author, Orson Scott Card, has political views that I vehemently disagree with, and he tends to get a little preachy in his storytelling, but I did genuinely enjoy them for their imagination and the very thoroughly realized characters.  And for getting through the sluggish parts (some of them tend to drag on with pages and pages of dialog), listening is the way to go.

I'm not sure, but I think seeing the story unfold this way (chronoligical rather than the order in which they were written) made it much more enjoyable, and I hope this will especially be true when Card releases the book that ties the Shadow Series and the Ender series together and ties the loose threads.

When I finished up Children of the Mind this past weekend, I got inspired to create the art you see above.