Thursday, March 6, 2014


The book First Meetings in the Enderverse by Orson Scott Card is a set of four short stories giving various details on different elements of the plot and the characters in the world of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin as part of his Ender's Game series of novels.

Story #1: The Polish Boy

The Earth has been attacked by an alien race and our leadership is desperate to prepare humanity for battle. Ender's father John Paul, as a boy of only 6 years old, is recognized as a promising prodigy by the military leadership. The recruiters of the International Fleet recognize that John Paul is not the ultimate commander that they are looking for, but they have hope that one day he will produce offspring suitable for this role.

Story #2: Teacher's Pest

The story of how college student John Paul met and fell in love with one of his teachers, Theresa Brown. We come to understand that the military leadership had a role in bringing these two together. The message is that even in an arranged marriage, it is not against the law for the couple to fall head over heels for each other.

Story #3: Ender's Game

The original short story version of what ultimately became the award-winning science fiction novel of the same title, Ender's Game. It was interesting to see how his original seed grew.

Story #4: The Investment Counselor

How Ender Wiggin's nom de plume, Speaker for the Dead, became his career and his passion. We also get our first introduction to the "computer" life form known as Jane.

The short book A War of Gifts is a tale about a preacher's son, Zeck Morgan, chosen by the International Fleet to attend Battle School. Zeck claims to be a pacifist and will not take part in anything to do with war or killing. Not only does he completely withdraw from interacting with his fellow students, he purposefully seeks to ensure that the school's zero tolerance policy regarding religion is fully enforced. If his religious convictions are ignored, he will make it so that even the giving of Christmas gifts between the students in the name of Santa Claus is stopped. Ultimately, Ender Wiggin approaches Zeck and we learn about his long history of abuse at the hands of his father and how the fear of his father weighed him down. Here a 10 year old Ender works to get past the emotions and look deeply into the person, much as he came to do later as the Speaker for the Dead.