Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 1: Considering Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card

Like sci-fi or dystopian stories?  Check out our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for teens.  You could win feedback from a sci-fi author and Thomas Nelson editor, plus lots of free books or gift cards!

ENDER’S GAME POSTS: Introduction, Week 1: Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card, Week 2: Ender vs Peter, Week 3: Science of the Story, Week 4: Conclusions


Sci-FiRedeemedreader is thrilled to finally kick off this read along with Grasping for the Wind.com.  To set the tone for our four week read along, we decided to discuss science fiction as a genre, as well as Orson Scott Card, his background and impact on literature.

Here are a few links to complement today’s post: 1) SparkNotes’ intro to Ender’s Game, 2) A Guardian article that details one reader’s journey to becoming a sci-fi fan, and 3) Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories by C. S. Lewis: a number of  essays by Lewis that give some insight on the “other-worldly” genres.

So what should you expect here each week?  We’ll feature a roundtable discussion like the one below, as well as discussion questions and an introduction to help adults and teens get more from the book.  And as a reminder, here is our reading schedule:

 Sept 28: Chapters 1-4
Oct 5: Chapters 5-8
Oct 12: Chapters 9-12
Oct 19: Chapters 13-15
Nov 1: Writing Contest Begins
Nov. 22: Finale Podcast


And now, to the podcast!  Here is a short introduction to the readers joining us today:

John Headshot 2John Ottinger is a writer, classical educator, and dad.  His reviews, interviews, and articles have appeared in WORLD magazine, Publishers Weekly, Black Gate, Strange Horizons, SF Signal, and Tor.com.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Central Florida with research interests in Science Fiction, Christianity, and Southern Literature.  He blogs at Graspingforthewind.com.

Jack 5Jack Mertens is a freshman college student at Louisiana Tech University. When he’s not studying or doing homework, he’s probably reading, writing, playing guitar, watching a TV show, attending a Bible study, or hanging out with friends. He is also a regular contributor to the blog Thousand Mile Walk.

Abby Burns is is also a Redeemedreader intern and a rising college freshman in Richmond, Virginia.  She has had a love for literature her whole life, stretching all the way from Dr. Seuss to Dostoevsky. Unfortunately, like many readers, she had to learn at a young age that she could not survive on eating, sleeping, and reading alone. (She says she gave it her best shot, though!) Now she divides her time between her family, preparations for her first year of college, and work with her youth group.   You can read more of her work at www.wordsoundimage.tublr.com.

And of course, I’m Emily Whitten, mom, WORLD magazine writer, and host for this read along.  You can read more about me in Redeemedreader’s About page.


RR Podcast 35:


(For a printable version, click here: Ender’s Game Discussion Questions, Wk 1)

1. Ender’s Game is a classic science fiction book.  What are your impressions of sci-fi?  What makes it different from romance, Westerns, or classic literature?  Do you find these differences interesting or not?

2.  What other sci-fi books have you read?  Do you consider more recent dystopian books like The Hunger Games or Divergent to be sci-fi?  Why or why not?

3.  One characteristic of sci-fi is that it often explores moral questions.  What moral questions do you see being explored in Ender’s Game?

4.  Do you think Orson Scott Card’s religious worldview is on display in Ender’s Game at all?  Why or why not?

Next week, we’ll go deeper into some of the moral issues at stake in Ender’s Game.  We’ll also consider Card’s Mormonism, and some of the statements he’s made about how it informs his writing.  So, thanks for reading with us, and we can’t wait to really dig in further with you next week!

QUESTION: What do you guys think about some of the themes we talked about this week?  Anything you’d like to add or disagree with?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

To check out more of our adult-teen read alongs, see our 2013 Summer Read Along as well as our very early read along of That Hideous Strength.  Or for YA book recommendations, see our Young Adult book reviews.



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  1. Ender’s Game Read Along Wk 1 – Grasping for the Wind - September 28, 2013

    […] out week 1 of the Ender’s Game read along! It includes a podcast with yours […]

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