Friday, January 23, 2015

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

An unusual choice for the Bookclub, reflecting perhaps new members’ tastes which makes the Bookclub so interesting! This book won the Hugo and Nebula sci-fi awards.

Conceptualised in 1977, like all good science fiction, there are some eerily true predictors of the future—the complete lack of privacy and manipulation by shadowy figures who are able to surmise one’s thoughts and action—foretelling  the massive ‘spying’ online. In the introduction the writer states that his book is different in that most literature contain shades of previous books, implying that his was unique. The immediate thought about Ender in Battle School was that of Lord of the Flies – groups of boys vying for power—except here Ender is the hero and inflicts pain while suffering mentally.
I was a slightly appalled at the obvious relishment of violence, and thought this is definitely a Boy’s Own book.. my nine year old nephew might like the idea of a 6yr old battling it out against all odds but I quailed at the making of a perfect fighting machine—destroying all close human contact and suffering psychological damage.. the idea of the school’s principal to teach the child that in a battle with the ‘other’ there is no one to rescue him (and the rest of the World who depends his victories).
Concurrently in the story, his older siblings also as talented…one obsessed with power and the other too ‘soft’ and full of empathy are using the World’s connected information system to instigate trouble between the peace-pact holding Nations in order for their country to assume superiority. Weirdly, I keep getting emails from somewhere about World politics and have no idea when/if I signed for it!
Then it got a bit Star War-sy and I started skimming through bored not having the patience to revel in the nitty-gritty and a bit guilty my assignment was put on hold. Mercifully the end was near.

Not sure about copyright but here are some poignant pictures from this link:

"The Israel-Palestine conflict has been an ongoing dispute for a couple of decades. Two groups of people share the same land, but have different beliefs. This is what a typical childhood looks like for most Palestinian kids. They are forced to grow up fast in an impoverished and violent environment."

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"It’s been over 3 years since Syria engulfed in a bloody civil war. Rebel forces are still fighting to overthrow president Bashar al-Assad. These rebels use children as means to transport guns and supplies. Most were robbed of their childhood by this conflict. They have to join the rebels and do what ever is asked of them."

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