by Shelt Garner
I’ve been a fan of Ana Marie Cox’s since she was at Wonkette many moons ago. So, I really like her scifi podcast that she does with Daniel Drezner. I was really impressed with their take on Alien. But, I have to take issue with some of their hot takes on Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
The key thing about the book for me is while it’s a very influential, popular and well-regarded book, in some respects there’s not a lot of there there. As I recall, it’s almost all dialogue and what really makes the book meaningful is the shocking twist ending.
Meanwhile, I have always really like the sequel to the book, Speaker For The End. I read as a young man in the 80s and it changed my life. As such, I found it really annoying that Drezner shat on that book for some weird reason. Speaker For The Dead is an actual novel novel while Ender’s Game is, if I remember correctly, kind of half-assed in some respects. Even Cox observed that much of the third act is “telling” not “showing.”
So, Ender’s Game unto itself, at least for me, isn’t all that big a deal other than it’s really popular. It’s Speaker For The End that really shines in how it talks about if we ever encountered an alien species we really would need to walk a lightyear in their shoes before we came to any snap judgements about them. (A theme that is also found in Ender’s Game.)
Overall, I really like their podcast. It’s not too often that scifi nerds get a chance to geek out.