Thursday, October 24, 2013

Giveaway: Ender's Game

Recognise this title from my YA Fiction Sampler I?
Because it surely featured, albeit with an old cover.

And I have two copies of Orbit's film tie-in edition of Ender's Game to give away!

Personally, I usually prefer covers without actors from a film adapation (leaving my imagination to paint them instead), but this is different.  Harrison Ford is involved.  This is an historic thing, casting Hans Solo as Colonel Graff.  This edition commemorates that.  Oh, the Fordster.

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
When I was teaching English at an all-boys high school, including a class of "reluctant readers," I petitioned Haki for book recommendations, begging he produce a cure-all for these sorely afflicted students.  And he did.  As I rattled off titles that lay sleeping in stacks in the English resource room, his eyes began to gloss over.  Then I said, "Ender's Game?"  He sat up straighter and came alive.  He explained he had read Ender's Game in high school (an all-boys school, at that), and remembered it being a good'un.  He also added that he'd read it again, gladly.  Sold.

So began my affectionate affair with this book.  I read it.  I was impressed.  I re-read it, made notes, created quote sheets, designed visual aids, wrote essay-starters, coined mnemonics, and began preparing my sales pitch.  And then I went into my classroom and challenged those boys to read the first chapter and then tell me they weren't interested in seeing how things played out.  Guess what! Each and every boy (including the most stubborn and defiant of the bunch) read the book in its entirety -- some I even had to remind to slow down, because they were reading beyond the assigned chapters before we would meet and discuss them (I didn't want them to drop a spoiler-bomb, mid-class and face projectiles from all directions). 

Ender's Game is an excellent piece of science fiction.  True blue, science fiction.  There be spaceships, peop's.  And aliens.  Have I lost some of you?  Wait!!!  Card's future (first published almost 20 years ago) is insightful and compelling -- coloured with the kind of descriptions that have me drooling as I imagine the crisp modernity of the setting.  It is so much more than spaceships and aliens --  it is a tale of strategy and survival, and finding a saviour.  If you liked The Hunger Games, you may find surprising parallels here, as you watch children train to wear a mantle that should never have been theirs to bear.

I wouldn't say it is flawless -- I found Card's pacing in The Lost Boys stronger, for example --  but it is an excellent tale, and a good taste test for those unsure if they will ever enjoy science fiction.

Do you already agree?  
Or are you prepared to try it?

Either way, you're in luck!  Fans and newbies to Ender alike may enter to win a copy of this stellar (/snicker) SF book (RRP $27.99), just in time for the film's release (31 October)!

All you have to do to be in to win a copy of Ender's Game is leave a comment telling me why one should be yours!
(ensure your email address is linked or included, please)
One winner will be selected based on the answer supplied, and one will be drawn at random.

Entries have now closed, thank you!  The winners have been contacted and will receive their books this week!
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