Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
What it is About?
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.
But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military’s purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine’s abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.
First Chapter, First Paragraph
‘I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one. Or at least as close as we’re going to get.’
‘That’s what you said about the brother.’
‘The brother tested out impossible. For other reasons. Nothing to do with his ability.’
‘Same with the sister. And there are doubts about him. He’s too malleable. Too willing to submerge himself in someone else’s will.’
‘Not if the other person is his enemy.’
‘So what do we do? Surround him with enemies all the time?’
‘If we have to.’
‘I thought you said you liked this kid.’
‘If the buggers get him, they’ll make me look like his favorite uncle.’
‘All right. We’re saving the world, after all. Take him.’
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Why You Should Check This Out...
This was the book that introduced me to science fiction. It was hugely influential in developing my love of the genre.