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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone read the "Ender's Game" books by Orson Scott Card?

I ask because the latest book in the second series is out, Shadow of the Giant.

Card writes some good stuff, and I'm looking forward to this one.

In one of the earlier books, one of the characters writes under different pen names (Locke and Demosthenes) to provide alternate viewpoints and shape public opinion.

Wonder if anyone on our board would be so devious.

Ed O.
 

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Never heard of the author or the series. What kind of literature is it? Sci Fi? Fantasy? Mainstream fiction?

I'm always looking for a good book or a good author. Have you read The Case for Democracy, by Natan Sharansky? It's supposed to be excellent.
 

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I have read the first book in the series, and really enjoyed it. I never got around to reading any of the others. Is the rest of the series as good as Ender's Game? Now you've got me thinking that I need to find a used bookstore this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Talkhard said:
Never heard of the author or the series. What kind of literature is it? Sci Fi? Fantasy? Mainstream fiction?.
It's science fiction with a political slant to it.

The first book is about a child (Ender Wiggin) who goes to a special school that trains kids to be military leaders in Earth's fight against the only known alien species.

The following several books deal with the rest of Ender's life.

After the third book, I believe, Card basically "starts over" telling the first book's story from the perspective of another child that goes to school with Ender, and it fleshes out the original in an interesting way. The books from that point forward tell the story of the fallout over what happened to Earth in the first book.

Confusing, I know, but short of revealing some major plot points that make the books interesting I can't go into much more detail.

I'm always looking for a good book or a good author. Have you read The Case for Democracy, by Natan Sharansky? It's supposed to be excellent.
I haven't read it. I prefer fiction and history works to current event-type political books.

Ed O.
 

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My Dad was a HUGE sci-fi fan in the pre-cyberpunk days (I got the Simpsons joke when Martin runs for class president and talks about the ABCs - Asimov, something (Brenner?) and Clarke) and he swore that the best science fiction book ever written was The Mote In God's Eye by Larry Niven (one of the masters) and Jerry Pournelle. I have to say I found it pretty gripping, but that was 20 years ago.

In England, the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman is as popular as Tolkein. Anyone read it? I found the first two gripping but so depressing that I haven't got to the third one yet. It's been a play on the West End, and will be a movie(s), albeit toned down for the more religious American audience
 

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meru said:
In England, the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman is as popular as Tolkein. Anyone read it? I found the first two gripping but so depressing that I haven't got to the third one yet. It's been a play on the West End, and will be a movie(s), albeit toned down for the more religious American audience
I've read all three, excellent books. I found the final book the saddest, but still a good read.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
meru said:
My Dad was a HUGE sci-fi fan in the pre-cyberpunk days (I got the Simpsons joke when Martin runs for class president and talks about the ABCs - Asimov, something (Brenner?) and Clarke) and he swore that the best science fiction book ever written was The Mote In God's Eye by Larry Niven (one of the masters) and Jerry Pournelle. I have to say I found it pretty gripping, but that was 20 years ago.
Larry Niven is great... a bit pulpy for some (especially those of a snobby bent) but TONS of fun.

The Mote in God's Eye was a very good book, and the sequel was decent, too. The notion that there could be a civilization that was doomed to boom and collapse innumerable times is fascinating.

Niven's Known Space set of stories (including "Ringworld") was a lot of fun and a short step from a lot of Heinlein's work.

In England, the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman is as popular as Tolkein. Anyone read it? I found the first two gripping but so depressing that I haven't got to the third one yet. It's been a play on the West End, and will be a movie(s), albeit toned down for the more religious American audience
Good books; I've read them all. I agree they're depressing... I would be interested to know what children think of it (and it's, at some level, young adult fantasy).

The daemon/soul mate idea is so cool, but the manifestation of that in a physical sense in Pullman's stories allow him to be particularly cruel.

If we're talking about great fantasy writing, though: it's ALL about George RR Martin for me. The fourth book in his Song of Fire and Ice series should be coming out this year, and I can't wait to re-read all 1800-odd pages of the first three books as soon as I read a reliable release date.

Ed O.
 

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Orson Scott Card -- Loved Ender's Game, but I'm having trouble with Speaker For The Dead. I did like Enchantment, another of his books.

The ABC's of Sci-Fi -- Bester was the B, prompting a "What about Bradbury", to which the reply comes (dismissingly), "I'm aware of his work." :biggrin:

George RR Martin: I'm listening to Game of Thrones on audiobook while I work (it's easy to smuggle an iPod Shuffle in one's pocket and sneak an earbud in!) Awesome stuff! Visceral and still ornate and arranged enough to satisfy the OCD element in any fantasy fan.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
BlazerCaravan said:
Orson Scott Card -- Loved Ender's Game, but I'm having trouble with Speaker For The Dead. I did like Enchantment, another of his books.
To be honest, Speaker for the Dead and Xenophobe were tough for me the first time, too.

I haven't read Enchantment, but his Alvin Maker series is pretty darn cool (set in an American colonial world where magic works... for some people).

George RR Martin: I'm listening to Game of Thrones on audiobook while I work (it's easy to smuggle an iPod Shuffle in one's pocket and sneak an earbud in!) Awesome stuff! Visceral and still ornate and arranged enough to satisfy the OCD element in any fantasy fan.
I've read the first three books repeatedly, and I enjoy how he's stitched the world together with so many named characters. You can pay attention to almost every character at every step, because eventually that person will pop up again.

Ed O.
 

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Been meaning to read all the Card books, my sister's been trying to get me to do that for years. Maybe after I complete every Harlan Ellison story ever written, then I'll read em. When I'm really into an author I feel like I can't read a different one at the same time. I'd read the Card books now, but it'd be like cheating on poor Harlan ;____;.

But I do hear they're supposed to be fantastic.
 

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I'm a huge fan of Card's Ender series. I enjoyed the first series, though it got a little odd towards the end; seemed to be hinting at a spiritual/philosophical point that didn't seem to coalesce too well for me.

I'm massively enjoying the second series, essentially what happened on Earth during all that time. I can't wait to check out this new book, Shadow Of The Giant.

As per George RR Martin, I'm also a big fan of his. I'm working my way through his second book. The problem I have is that I usually only get snippets of time here and there, and Martin's work is so lush and layered that it's hard to sit down for five minutes and read. You have to kind of reorient yourself on everything that's going on. It's a fabulous book for hours and hours of consecutive reading.

A similarly lush and beautifully-written fantasy series is "The Fareer Trilogy" (which has a follow-up series "The Tawny Man Trilogy") by Robin Hobb. It's some of the most brilliant writing I've ever read, in terms of building the world, characters and plot. Everything is essentially note-perfect. The dialogue always hums along, never boring yet never seeming unrealistic.
 

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Two series that I remember enjoying, lo these many years hence, were the "Many Colored Land" books (with a character called Aiken Drum) and the "Well of Souls" books (with a character called Nathan Brazil). Anyone remember the authors?
 

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All of the Ender books are fantastic. I still feel like nothing tops Enders game - that's the centerpiece but every other book complements it extremely well and helps you appreciate it even more as you read it again.

The Alvin Maker series is really good.

One I didn't see mentioned that I really enjoyed was his homecoming series. It's sort of a post-apolcolyptic human settlement on another planet that is being protected by a computer that alters human behavior just enough to keep them from destroying themselves again... trouble is its 40 million years later and the computer is running out of power - lot's of cool plot, moral intrigue... i guess looking back a lot of biblical lines - Orson is mormon... anyway great series.

I think, though, with the exception of Ender's Game, my favorite Card book would have to be Pastwatch... an awesome historical/sci-fi novel that depicts a group of scientists from a (yeah yeah) post-apocolyptic future who think that they can alter the past and target Christopher Columbus sailing west as the negative turning point in human history... fascinating - one of those books you want to read over and over.

Cheers
 

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meru said:
Two series that I remember enjoying, lo these many years hence, were the "Many Colored Land" books (with a character called Aiken Drum) and the "Well of Souls" books (with a character called Nathan Brazil). Anyone remember the authors?
Don't know about the first one, but the Well of Souls bit was Jack L. Chalker. I read those when I was in high school, and it was tough waiting for it to finally finish (I think more was published later, but probably under commercial pressure). It gave me a lot to think about, and I seem to remember making a game based on the well world. It was just begging for it. I also read the Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer around that time, and I probably made a game based on that, too. Great books growing up that help made me think about life, the universe, and everything, but I'm not so sure I'd like them.

I did read the His Dark Materials books by Phillip Pullman and liked those a lot. I actually liked the ending, since it was slightly less fantasy and a bit more sci-fi than I was expecting, if you know what I mean. I started reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel a few months ago, but haven't had time to pick it back up (I got about 200 pp or so into it, about 1/4). I liked it a lot. Sort of a what if Neil Gaiman plotted Harry Potter and Phillip Pullman wrote it kind of deal. :wiz:

Someday, I've got to read a little O.S. Card I guess. Probably around the time I'll need the large print version.
 

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I too have been waiting for Martin's next book. Everytime I look for a release date it's been pushed back. I'm gonna have to re-read the first three before diving into that. I also really enjoyed Hobbs' Farseer Trilogy, but haven't found the time to get into the Tawny Man series. For anyone looking for some good sci-fi, I would recommend M.K. Wren's The Phoenix Legacy trilogy. It is an older series, and might be hard to find, but it is well worth it. Along the lines of fantasy literature, I would recommend a current series, Greg Keyes' The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone.
 

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For another beautifully-written series, I'd recommend The Fionovar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay, a triology of books that really is quite epic and somehow gets at the real core of fantasy, even though it's really not a hardcore fantasy. It's hard to explain, but it's really a beautiful series.
 
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