The Earth has been attacked twice by aliens called Formics, or more popularly, Buggers, and everyone is sure a third invasion is coming. So the military embarks on a crash program to breed the ultimate military genius to lead the fleet in a pre-emptive attack against the Formic home world. These kids are trained from age 6 in an off-world facility called Battle School, and their training consists mostly of games.
Ender Wiggins may be the child they are looking for. Brilliant, compassionate, and tormented, he is better at the games than anyone has ever been. But how can they manipulate a compassionate child into wiping out an entire species, and at the same time give him the skills to do it effectively? The adults who run the school are literally out to save the world: they will stop at nothing to achieve their ends, and one small boy, or even a school full of kids, are nothing but means to that end.
For many Ender’s Game is one of the great ones, a novel of extraordinary power that is among the very best the science fiction genre has ever produced. But the are critical voices being annoyed by the “chosen child” theme resembling the birth of Jesus itself. A redditor put it this way:
“It’s pure escapist fantasy for picked-upon kids in middle school who are relatively small and weak and think they’re smarter than everyone else. When read as a kid it’s a fantastic triumph of the clever over the brutal and a story of how the entire world learns to appreciate the true worth of a seemingly ordinary little boy.
Then you reread it as an adult and see how myopic it really is. It’s not that well written, the characters are shallow, the science fiction aspects are weak and the ending is obvious a hundred pages out. […] I’m not even going to touch on the fascistic social engineering he suggests is going on in the background. Overall the book comes off as much lamer than you remember.“
Orson Scott Card, the author of Ender’s Game, is what keeps some people from buying the book. He’s a right-wing Mormon who wrote opinion pieces against same-sex marriage and demanded laws banning homosexual behaviour to stay in effect (while his young, mostly male, characters spend a good part of the book completely naked. Makes one wonder…). He also suggested that there is a conspiracy to supress publications of scientists who don’t believe in global warming.
A film is in production with 15-year-old Asa Butterfield (pictured bleow) playing Ender. But as Declan pointed out in the milkboys forums: “The release date for Ender’s Game has been pushed back to Nov. 2013. Principal photography is still ongoing and going by his tweets, [Asa] seems to be having a blast with his castmates. Also, he’s apparently got himself a girlfriend recently, a news met with much wailing and gnashing-of-teeth by 12 year-old girls on tumblr –ell oh ell.
At some point in the future you will have to ask yourself how you’re going to deal with Ender’s Game. To watch it in theaters is to directly/indirectly support Asa –which, unfortunately, also means directly/indirectly supporting Orson Scott Card the homophobe.“