March 01, 2003

Card Shark

I said earlier I'd mention neat books I like every once in a while, so I might as well start at the top of my list (after Brust). This is probably one all of you have read, but in case you haven't, one of the best stand-alone books to come along in recent times (imho) is Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game". If you want (very mild spoiler) reviews, you can see them on the Barnes & Noble site.

The book is actually the first of a four book series, but it works just fine as a stand-alone. The rest of the series, while interesting, would probably not be your cup of tea unless you are an avid speculative fiction reader. I think Ender's Game works regardless of your favorite genre, and in fact, it is a good introduction to what speculative fiction can offer over standard fiction (whether it is literary or pop fiction). One of the things I like most about most Card books is that he usually takes a lot of space to explore the ethics of a situation. This is very true for this series and the "Homecoming" series.

Some of Card's stand-alone stuff is pretty good, too. I thought "The Lost Boys" was really good. A little preachy, but it really surprised me. Card is a Mormon, and in real life, he's also a royal jackass, from what little I have read. Oh well, good books anyway.

I suppose I could link to these books using Amazon's "finder's fee" system, where if someone buys a book by following your link, you get a small kickback. I've always thought that was a little trashy. It's like turning an honest book review into a promotional ad, and I don't want anyone thinking I'm talking about how great a book is just so I can make a dime.

Posted by Observer at March 1, 2003 08:51 AM
Comments

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Lois McMaster Bujold. Miles Vorkosigan series.

Posted by: Humbaba on March 1, 2003 03:51 PM

I read Ender's Game in a tent in Saudi Arabia in Feb of 1991, about a dozen mile south of Kuwait.

Posted by: Humbaba on March 1, 2003 03:52 PM

One of my best friends in grad school swore by Bujold, but I never got off my butt to buy any of them. What order should they be read? I know there are a bunch. And what were you doing in the gulf back then, and why didn't you get Saddam when you had the chance? :)

Posted by: Observer on March 1, 2003 03:59 PM

You are in for a treat, Bujold rocks. I only recently got off my butt to read them, and was very very happy. I'd probably read 'em in publication order, but you can go chronological too.

I was in the Marine Reserve, and got activated and shipped over there for Gulf War I. We didn't get Saddam then because the UN made a peace treaty with him saying if he got rid of all his WMD we'd let him live. He didn't keep his end of the bargain, hence GW2.

Posted by: Humbaba on March 2, 2003 12:27 PM