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Shadow of the Hegemon

By enthalpyX in MLP
Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 05:50:36 PM EST
Tags: Books (all tags)
Books

According to The Philotic Web, famed sci-fi writer, Orson Scott Card, will release the 6th book in his "Ender" series of books, entitled Shadow of the Hegemon this coming January.


For those unfamiliar with Card, the very first book, Ender's Game is excellent. The very first book centers around this kid named Ender. In this future world, a war is being waged against this alien race that humans are unable to communicate with. These aliens have "insect-like" qualities, and the entire world is united together in defense of humanity.

In these times, parents are limited to only have two children. Ender, the protagonist of the novel, is born under special government privelege, because they're looking for the "ultimate commander." For this, Ender's childhood is tormented -- he's an outcast -- the typical humble disenfranchised intellectual.

Eventually, they take him off to military school, ascertaining his potential -- along with hundreds of other kids. Grades are built around leadership and performance in mock war games, held in this special room, boasting anti-gravity technology and other such nonsense. Basically, Ender rises through the ranks, and eventually has his "final exam," which turns out to be a remote-controlled version of an actual war light-years off...

That's the first novel -- most people stop there, unless they find Card's writing style to be particularly fascinating. There are three sequels to this novel, which center around the family that Ender builds up and interactions between other alien species. He focuses a lot more on the general nature of humanity and lots of psychological/societal interactions. In many aspects, the "suspension of disbelief" is blown away in these later novels.

Just a while ago, Card released Ender's Shadow, which is the same story as Ender's Game, except through the eyes of an abonded genetic experiment, who also got sent to the same school.

In a somewhat predictable move, this new Card novel will focus on how humanity started to disband, once the threat of the aliens was abolished.

This extended copy is a little much for MLP, but there isn't a whole lot to discuss. This is some quality sci-fi IMHO, and if you haven't, I'd definitely recommend going out and reading Ender's Game for that vegetation period after Thanksgiving dinner. :)

Oh, and the first five chapters of his new book are available online. How spiffy is that?

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Related Links
o The Philotic Web
o Shadow of the Hegemon
o first five chapters
o Also by enthalpyX


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Shadow of the Hegemon | 32 comments (28 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Ender's Game (2.28 / 7) (#1)
by farl on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 02:47:48 PM EST

Ender's Game must be my favorite sci-fi book of all time. I think I have read it at least 15 or 20 times. Can't wait for the new book!

Farl
farl@sketchwork.com


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
"Ender's Game" and the rest (4.25 / 4) (#4)
by Pac on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:06:33 PM EST

While "Ender's Game" deserves a place among the classical SF of all time, the same does not aply for the rest of the series.

After reading "Ender's" I ended up reading the whole 'first trilogy' ("Ender's" plus "The Speaker for the Death" and "Xenocide"). While the "Speaker" is good enough, in "Xenocide" the author had mostly lost his interest in the plot. Where "Ender's" is concise, fast and somewhat realistic, "Xenocide" introduces lots of useless subplots and scientific abnormalities that are clearly artificial devices used to solve the plot loose ends.

So, I let Card rest and skipped "The Children of the Mind" and was only mildly interested in Bean's book ("Ender's Shadow"), which sounded to me more like a cash-cow than a serious effort to revive "Ender's" tune.

So, I would really like to hear some unbiased (that is, "not meant to make one buy a book") comments about the two books I missed. Are they worth reading?

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


Ender's Shadow is definately worth a read. (2.00 / 2) (#9)
by Zane_NBK on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:24:33 PM EST

I loved Ender's Game. I recently re-read it and got two others to read it also (one of which lost a lot of sleep reading that book :). I've also read every other book in that series. Other than Ender's Game they're all pretty worthless (when I'm reading sci-fi I'm not looking for 300 pages of philosophy...).

Ender's Shadow was good in all the same ways that Ender's Game was good. The story was exciting, moved quickly, followed a coherent plot and most importantly was different enough from Ender's Game to be a very good book in it's own right. IMHO Ender's Shadow was just about as good as Ender's Game. I do plan on reading Shadow of the Hegemon because it appears that Card may have figured out what his readers want (something he obviously had no clue about with all the other sequals).

In short, read Ender's Shadow, you won't regret it.


[ Parent ]
The other OSC books... (2.00 / 1) (#16)
by Miniluv on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 04:29:05 PM EST

I actually enjoyed Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide wasn't too bad, and Children of the Mind was good. Children of the Mind is rather out there, has very little Ender in it, and takes a fair amount of desire to get through, but for all that the end is rather worth the journey.
I guess part of why I like his books is that I don't have a problem absorbing some philosophy with my Sci-Fi. It's why I like Heinlein for one, and even Niven's guilty of it from time to time. Literature is always searching for a justification of it's existence, and morality usually ends up being that justification. Most everything written before the turn of the century (19th to 20th that is) was in some way intended to teach a lesson. Books and such just weren't cheap enough to turn out pulp in any great quantities. I know I'm generalizing, but virtually all of the "classics" fall into this category of morality with a plot...well sometimes with a plot.
Ender's Game also has it's share of philosophy, it just wasn't so heavy handed. I've read the book 20 or 30 times, worn out more than one paperback copy, and it's a very rereadable book...something I won't say about the others. I've never felt the urge to reread anything past Enders Game, which I suppose is indicative. I just won't say they're horrible.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
No problem with philosophy! (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by Pac on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 05:04:21 PM EST

At least when correctly applied.

My point is, a work of fiction should have certain other features that go beyond whatever "message", if any, the author wants to transmit. Some (but not all) of them are a good plot, coherence, stylistic consistence. Moreover, to be considered a classic, all these features should mingle freely and seamlessly. Thinking beyond the SF horizon, take a look at "Odisseia". Or any Shakespeare play.

I do not feel Card managed to control Xenocide very well (but, for instance, I think he did it better, to some extend, in the "Speaker").

Incidentally, if you have not read them yet, you will probably like the works of two of my present favourites, Iain Banks (the Culture series) and Greg Egan.




Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
True enough... (none / 0) (#27)
by Miniluv on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 04:23:30 PM EST

I can see what point you're making...though I still think it might be a bit harsh. I guess I'm a bit more lenient when it comes to his writing, in that I won't actively condemn it unless I couldn't bring myself to enjoy ANYthing he had in there.
I will blast the script OSC has up on his webpage for turning Enders Game into a movie, because he violates that story in so many ways. In the interest of being politically correct he corrupts a story with worth while moral lessons to be taught, and removes any semblance of entertainment while he's at it.
Xenocide just didn't get that bad, though at times it plodded through weary moral pondering. I don't think it was any worse than sections of Starship Troopers when Heinlein had Johnny Rico recall lessons in History and Moral Philosophy so that he (Heinlein) could expound on a particular social theory for a page or two. In all actuality, this is a quality I find interesting in books, in that not every moral lesson can be woven into the story and sense of artistry.
As for Shakespeare, I won't say much as I haven't read much, and studied even less, of his work, though I don't normally consider him a highly moralistic writer. He did have felicity of style going on in a big way though.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
I'm going to show my age here, but... (4.33 / 3) (#5)
by GlennC on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:10:46 PM EST

I recall reading Ender's Game when it was a short story in some pulp magazine, and I was in 7th grade (I think it was Analog magazine, and the year was 1978).

I thought the story was very interesting then, and the first novel was pretty good. The sequels went quickly downhill from there, and Speaker for the Dead was the first SF novel I regretted buying. I do have a couple of collections of other short stories written by Card, and I enjoy reading those. IMHO, Card should stick to writing short stories, as he's much better at that, although I understand there's not much money in it.


That's my take on it. Take it for what you think it's worth.
Card's work (none / 0) (#19)
by B'Trey on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 04:48:25 PM EST

I agree with your assesment of the Ender series. I also wasn't overly impressed with the Oversoul/Harmony series. I thoroughly enjoyed the tales of Alvin Maker, however. Well worth picking up if you haven't read them.

[ Parent ]
Since this is MLP... (2.20 / 5) (#6)
by h0tr0d on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:11:51 PM EST

you could post a link to OSC's site as well where the first five chapters of Shadow of the Hedgemon are available to read online.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.

DOH!!! (2.00 / 1) (#7)
by h0tr0d on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:14:22 PM EST

Sorry about that. Don't know how I missed that link in the last paragraph.

Note to self ... Quit rushing through articles while boss is walking back and forth.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.
[ Parent ]

He did (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by michaela on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:15:22 PM EST

At least there's a link to the first five chapters. It's the last sentence in the article.
--
That is all
[ Parent ]
Interview with OSC (3.66 / 6) (#10)
by RocketJeff on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:34:24 PM EST

An interesting interview with OSC was published on Salon.com back in February. The interview is here.



This interview was horrible (2.00 / 2) (#14)
by Zane_NBK on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:58:39 PM EST


Some of the content was interesting but the interview itself stunk. The article was more about how the author felt than the actual interview itself. It was also 30-40% about how wrong Card's views of Homosexuality are, and how offended the author was.

Argh.


[ Parent ]
Not looking forward to reading it (3.00 / 2) (#12)
by Camelot on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:52:29 PM EST

Ender's Game is one my long-time favorites as far as scifi works are considered. Unfortunately the sad fact is that, like with his other series, the quality of OSC's works has dropped as the saga has dragged on. While some people feel that Speaker for the Dead is the best one of the series, the lack of new ideas in the books that came after that gives them an unmistakable feel of mediocrity, at best.

This is not to say that all his later works are crap.. I very much liked Pastwatch, for example.

Rereading... (none / 0) (#18)
by B'Trey on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 04:45:17 PM EST

I loved "Ender's Game" but didn't care for the rest of the Ender books. When "Ender's Shadow" came out, I picked it up just because I had read the rest of them. It's every bit as good as "Ender's Game." If you haven't read "Ender's Shadow", do it post haste.

[ Parent ]
If you haven't read Ender's Shadow, you should. (2.33 / 3) (#15)
by Zane_NBK on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 04:21:46 PM EST

I've seen more than one comment about not wanting to read Card's latest work because of the sequals to Ender's Game. Yes, the sequals were IMO pretty bad. They weren't the same style of book as Ender's and turned off a lot of readers (me includeded).

Ender's Shadow was a return the writing style and subject matter that made Ender's Game such a great book. Ender's Shadow, like Ender's Game, is interesting from page one and keeps you turning the page all the way to the end. The events in both books are similar but the core of the story is different enough to distinguish Ender's Shadow as a great work in and of itself.

I'm hoping that Ender's Shadow is a sign that Card has figured out what most of his fans loved about Ender's Game and want to see more of. I can only hope that he continues down this path in Shadow of the Hegemon.

I'd really really like to read the first 5 chapters but I don't want to disjoint the reading experience. I'll be waiting for the book to be released in January.

-Zane


_Ender's Games_ is merely background (none / 0) (#29)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Mon Nov 20, 2000 at 01:49:11 PM EST

I think a lot of people don't realize that Ender's Game is merely the background story for a much larger work, a philosophical treatsie on the nature of communion. The symbol of the tormented child-intellectual is powerful to many of us, so perhaps it is easy to overlook the message and the value of the later books. Card himself says this in the introductions of the various books, and in the introduction to Ender's Shadow he states that he is returning to the older story because he realizes that there is more to tell.



--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
Ender's Shadow: The Movie (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by AEtherean on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 04:32:00 PM EST

I imagine a lot of you have heard that Orson Scott Card and Fresco Pictures are trying to make the Ender's Game movie. The script was rewritten this year, giving more attention to the character of Ender, after Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker in SW:E1) expressed interest in playing the title role. (Personally, I would rather see Haley Joel Osment in this role, but hey...)

What may be of interest here is that OSC talks about how he would like to film Ender's Shadow at the same time as filming Ender's Game (since the characters would have to be the same age in both films).

The problem I see with this scenario is that both films will be much lower budget if they go that route. It will be extremely difficult to find a studio willing to fund both of these films adequately, without any evidence that either of them will make a profit. I really hope they decide to scrap this idea, and focus on making Ender's Game the movie, live up (as much as is possible) to Ender's Game the book.

I just hope it happens... (none / 0) (#24)
by pb on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 02:54:16 AM EST

Yeah, I've seen Card talk about this stuff, too, (since I live in North Carolina :) but realize that he's been talking about it for years. I, for one, hope it happens sometime soon, but even if it happened tomorrow, it'd probably be at least three years before we saw anything.

I'd love it if they could film the two at once, because then you'd get all the same cast at the same time. There aren't really any other decent sequel possibilities that wouldn't be completely different, and otherwise, they'd screw up Ender's Shadow.

I really like almost everything in that series, but everything after Ender's Game originally is pretty different. They're good books, and they aren't a rehash of Ender's Game, either, like Ender's Shadow is, (even though I love that, too :) but they're slower, and they have different characters, and most importantly they aren't necessarily what his audience was expecting out of him...

Card writes a lot of stuff, and some of it hits the mark; I liked the Harmony series, and I really enjoyed Songmaster and A Planet Called Treason. Most of his short stories are really good, which is funny since he claimed that he can't write short stories decently. I didn't like the Alvin Maker series as much, but maybe I just wasn't expecting American Historical Fantasy... :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
/. and k5 in one night! (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by joeyo on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 12:05:17 AM EST

gee, enthalpy, i'm almost ashamed. <grin>

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

*grin* (none / 0) (#25)
by enthalpyX on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 12:30:33 PM EST

For some reason, I thought it would be much harder to get stories posted on That Other Site. That being said, it isn't. And I don't plan on trying my little "experiment" again. =)

Evidently, the story on That Other Site was a re-post, anyway. Some guy had already submitted it back in April...

Oh well. *eagerly awaits Dune from amazon.com arriving in the mail*



[ Parent ]
Adding to the Accolades (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by atom on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 12:13:40 AM EST

I've just gotta insert my praise for the Ender series. Even though I'm not really a sci-fi reader, Ender's Game is by far my favorite book of all times - it's the only book I've ever read more than once (on purpose..) :) I've been tracking the progress of this new book and the upcoming movies - I can't wait for either of them! To the contrary of "there isn't a whole lot to discuss" - I think there is. True, not appropriate for this announcement of the Shadow of the Hegemon (which isn't much of an announcement, btw, it was announced several months ago). But Ender's Game and the rest of the series is full of both moral issues perfect for K5 as well as fascinating technology and science. I'm sure many K5 readers can admit to devoting afternoons to thinking about philotic twining and ansibles. So, perhaps we could discuss these issues as well as the moral dilemmas - anything short of adding an "Ender" section to K5 :)
dotcomma.org - Resource for programmers
sure.. ruin it for everyone.. (2.00 / 2) (#23)
by wolfie on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 12:33:18 AM EST

Basically, Ender rises through the ranks, and eventually has his "final exam," which turns out to be a remote-controlled version of an actual war light-years off...
sure! ruin it for everyone that hasn't read it!

I pray that thee is smitten (well.. not really)

There's /much/ more to Ender's Game... (1.66 / 3) (#26)
by enthalpyX on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 12:35:37 PM EST

... than just the ending. Technically, the title of the book gives away the climax -- but what makes this book so great is the intricate way in which Card builds up the character of Ender. The descriptions of the space station, the depth of feeling that Ender goes through --

I just think there's a lot more to the book than just the ending. Perhaps you are right, however -- it is somewhat of a spoiler, but I covered none of the details of the book -- the details, which make it so grand.

 



[ Parent ]
Yeah, but... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
by atom on Sun Nov 19, 2000 at 12:56:28 AM EST

Yes, there's a whole lot more to Ender's Game than just the ending, but why give away that when you don't have to? Different people might appreciate different aspects of any book, and for those who hold the plot highest were just upset. If Card intended for the readers to know the ending then he easily could have clued us in earlier he did Ender. Technically, the title of the book gives away the climax - um, what? It does no such thing. It's not spoiling a book by telling someone the first name of the main character, and there are many "games" throughout the book - I don't see your point here.

This came off angrier than I intended it - but you can't say that you left some of the magic of the book unspoiled by destroying some of rest of the magic.
dotcomma.org - Resource for programmers
[ Parent ]
Books ... (none / 0) (#30)
by aphrael on Mon Nov 20, 2000 at 08:51:09 PM EST

Ender's Game is one of the best works of science fiction; it was an incredible read, and retains the ability to make me cry *despite* having read it more than a dozen times.

Speaker for the Dead was almost as good; the story it tells doesn't hold up quite as well under re-reading, but it was almost as powerful the first time around as Ender's Game was. My biggest gripe was that it ended on a cliffhanger, causing me to read ...

Xenocide, which *sucked*. What Ender and his sister evolved into wasn't believable as an outgrowth of who they had been; I felt like I was watching the characters i'd come to love be murdered in front of my eyes.

Children of the Mind was even worse; there was *zero* meaningful emotional content, and the characters seemed to be hollow; it was almost as if he was writing it because he knew he could make money with the Ender franchise, not because he had something to say.

I've been incredibly skeptical of Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon for that reason: i'm afraid that they'll serve only to destroy the strength of the characters in my mind even more.



Books ... (none / 0) (#31)
by aphrael on Mon Nov 20, 2000 at 08:51:10 PM EST

Ender's Game is one of the best works of science fiction; it was an incredible read, and retains the ability to make me cry *despite* having read it more than a dozen times.

Speaker for the Dead was almost as good; the story it tells doesn't hold up quite as well under re-reading, but it was almost as powerful the first time around as Ender's Game was. My biggest gripe was that it ended on a cliffhanger, causing me to read ...

Xenocide, which *sucked*. What Ender and his sister evolved into wasn't believable as an outgrowth of who they had been; I felt like I was watching the characters i'd come to love be murdered in front of my eyes.

Children of the Mind was even worse; there was *zero* meaningful emotional content, and the characters seemed to be hollow; it was almost as if he was writing it because he knew he could make money with the Ender franchise, not because he had something to say.

I've been incredibly skeptical of Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon for that reason: i'm afraid that they'll serve only to destroy the strength of the characters in my mind even more.



Eeek! (none / 0) (#32)
by aphrael on Mon Nov 20, 2000 at 08:57:08 PM EST

Why did that post twice? *sad look*

[ Parent ]
Shadow of the Hegemon | 32 comments (28 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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