Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I finally got around to reading the classic science fiction novel Ender’s Game. In the book, young Ender Wiggin is taken off-planet to a military training school for highly gifted children. At the school he participates in mock battles in the zero gravity Battle Room. He also plays strange and difficult strategy games on his ‘desk,’ something like a tablet computer.

When Ender’s Game first came out in 1985 it won a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award. Ender’s Game became the first in a long series of books with sequels, prequels, short stories, Ender comic books published by Marvel, even an Authorized Ender Companion book.  

Ender’s Game is now being made into a movie with a cast including Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford. Production has wrapped, and the movie is scheduled to be released on Nov. 1, 2013. You can learn more about the movie from the on-set blog. Or in movie news from Cinema Blend. They’re full of spoilers, though, so if you’re going to read the book, do that first! (Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell.) Ender’s Game is kept in the teen fiction and also the regular fiction section. Of course, feel free to ask us to show you where it is.

Do you suppose the Harry Potter phenomenon helped set a film making climate to make Ender’s Game a movie – a movie many kids will see – now, decades after the book came out? As a big fan of Harry Potter, I see similarities between Ender’s Game and the Harry Potter series. Tough situations, kids being bullied by kids who are relatives, being whisked away to a training school, manipulative adults, bonding with fellow students to overcome great odds, life-and-death battles…

The first Harry Potter book came out in 1997. Do you think Jo Rowling may have read Ender’s Game and added it to the swirl of influences that created Harry’s magical world? She was 20 when it came out. You can ponder those questions if you like, and leave your opinion in the comments below.



Recently, I’ve discovered an exciting sub-genre. (Who, other than a librarian, would write that sentence?!) Combining elements of science fiction, historical fiction and a healthy amount of antiquated technology, Steampunk is a genre full of adventure, exotic locales and airships.

You might like Steampunk if you enjoy the original science fiction (by authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Mary Shelley), have a thing for the Victorian and Edwardian eras, or enjoy technology driven adventures.

Here are some titles to get you started. 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne: A classic of the science fiction genre and surprisingly still forceful at 142 years old (it was published in 1870!), re-reading this book is a great way to kick-off a steampunk marathon.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest: This fast-paced story is set within an alternate history of the American Civil War. A young boy ventures into a walled-off desolate city seeking to redeem his father’s name.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld This alternate history of the First World War centers on a fictional son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and girl from Scotland who dreams of entering the Royal Air Force.

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters and The Dark Volume by Gordon Dahlquist: Originally published as a serial, this exciting series follows the converging stories of an assassin, a socialite and doctor as they team up against a powerful cabal bent on world domination.

The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling: After a meteorite strikes northern Europe during the reign of Queen Victoria, most of the northern hemisphere becomes uninhabitable. European nobility and power relocate to their more southern colonies with India becoming the new center of the British Empire.

The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler: When a serial killer with habit of ripping the spines out of his victims terrorizes New York City, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini team up to save the city.