Last week I did it again. I watched the movie after reading the book. The Men’s book club chose Ender’s Game as the month’s selection. I had never heard of it, but what the heck why not? It is science fiction and I am in the throes of writing a book which is fantasy, science fiction, so I thought it might be a great read. As always I began with the Introduction. The copy of the book I had is a new edition, and the author added an introduction. I suffered through it, and thought if this is what the rest of the book is like I am in deep trouble. Thankfully, it was not. The author had me hooked within a few pages, and I couldn’t put it down.
Ender’s Game takes place one hundred and fifty years from now. An alien civilization attacks Earth, and nearly wins had it not been for a courageous warrior who saves the planet. To avoid another attack, Earth’s rulers search for another commander who can take out the aliens in the future. They do so by monitoring little kids from age three on. By the time they are six, Big Brother has an idea of what characteristics the kid will have. Ender is one of those kids. At age six and a half he is taken from his family to go to Battle School. The school is a huge ship in orbit around Earth. Educators teach the tactics of war as a game. To cut this story short, Ender is in command of the entire army by the time he is eleven. The school put him through a relentless grind of battle after battle with little time between, and Ender continues to come up with winning strategies.
I described this scenario to my son and he told me that there is a movie of this story. I found it in the library and thought I would really enjoy it. Although, the movie is well done, the story is way too big to tell effectively in two hours. The author Orson Scott Card wrote the screen play so his story would be told accurately, but he had to cut so much the movie lacked. The visual effects were as good as those in Star Wars, and the action scenes were exciting, but it left me wanting more of what I read. This is one case where reading the book is the better choice over watching the movie. Both stories are good, but I preferred the book version over the film.