A chorus of writers and military experts weigh in on why Card’s Ender’s Game (1985) is a work of genius.
They make cogent arguments. Strategist John F. Schmitt provides an account of the novel’s significant role as a model for the Marine Corps’ “Maneuver Warfare” battle approach, and there’s a perceptive discussion between writer David Lubar and his daughter, a high school teacher, about how Ender’s situation and responses speak to teens. Songwriter Janis Ian meditates on how Ender (and others) are underestimated because they’re short, and Card’s frequent co-author Aaron Johnston agrees, dubbing Ender a “short Clint Eastwood” (but with compassion). Other contributors recall with awe their first encounters with the story, offer detailed analyses of Ender’s psyche and Card’s writerly technical chops, demonstrate that Ender is a classic mythic hero, or mull over the nature and costs of victory. Card provides an introduction (not seen) and, between each essay, answers to frequently asked questions about the story and its characters.
Most of Card’s fans will agree with writer John Brown’s assertion that trying to winkle out a literary work’s “true meaning” kills it, but this tribute may have some appeal to readers with an analytical bent. (thumbnail author bios) (Literary criticism. 16 & up)