Hugo and Nebula Award Winning Novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card gets thrown around as a name among the best sci fi books ever. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it does have an interesting story line and really interesting history if you are a writer, or just someone who is a writing enthusiast.

First, it won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1986 for best novel, but first appeared as a short story in 1977. Wait? What?

That’s right. It originally appeared in a 1977 edition of Analog Magazine as a short story, and didn’t even rate a mention on the cover.



I happen to have a copy of that issue of Analog, and take a look for yourself!

The book itself is a military science fiction novel set at some point in Earth’s future when all of humanity may be destroyed by an alien invading horde called “the buggers.”

The book is unique because it raises the question of morality. What would people to, what would humans do, if pushed with extinction. Could we destroy an entire civilization? Some people wouldn’t. But how would you?

This society decides that taking children from a very young age and training them to be commanders that make those decisions could be the right answer. The book really doesn’t focus on technology of the future, which is probably why it ages well. It focuses on morality and questions morality. Which is unique in the sci fi world, and let’s face it human morality hasn’t changed a lot in hundreds of years.

The book has been turned into a film, a video game, comic books, you name it, the thing has been done that way. I don’t think the movie was amazing, but the book was pretty solid.

As a writer myself it is interesting to me that Orson Scott Card wrote it as a short story and kept working on it for years to get it the way he wanted it. I myself am just finishing a story that I have been at for a very long time, attempting to get it just the way I see it in my head.

This also gives something to the other authors out there. If you have an idea, and you want it a specific way, sometimes that doesn’t happen fast. Sometimes you have to edit, expand, work through, think through and overcome the doubt of yourself and others. The result might just be a book that stays in that “best of list” for four decades.

If you haven’t read it, find a copy of the book. Give it a shot. You will find something different from the rest of the science fiction genre.

Yes, I have a few copies of it including the leather bound one by Easton Press, and kind of show them off here throughout this post…But, I have an extensive book collection that never seems to shrink. I may need a larger home soon.


Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact February 1978

My love of reading has been a lifelong passion. Now that I am older I fully realize I have to credit my father with this love. He took me to bookstores when I could barely read, he always had a fiction novel somewhere within arm’s reach. He had authors he adored, others he criticized and had a passion for finding something new to read.

One thing he did for as long as I could remember was subscribe to Analog Magazine. This is a science fiction magazine that started in the 1930s when it was called Astounding Stories of Super-Science.

When he passed away I became the proud owner of his collection of books and back issues.

I picked up the February 1978 issue from the stack this morning and found some really interesting stuff.

This thing has novellas, or short stories by Vonda McIntyre who won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, George RR Martin of Game of Thrones notoriety, and Orson Scott Card of the Ender Series and tons of others.






The artwork in these early magazines is striking in my humble opinion. Sure, today’s artwork goes all high resolution computer driven, but imagine doing each image by hand, getting it to the publisher and making sure it can be mass produces on time.






The George RR Martin story is an interesting one.

Call Him Moses is the story of Tuf just wanted to eat in a nice restaurant. Then he was sucked into a fight involving this character Moses who had unleashed a plague, and someone needed to do something to stop a potential generation from suffering.




The Orson Scott Card story follower is the story of 12 year old Reuben who decided on his 12th birthday that this was going to be his year! It is an interesting story to read, and if you get the chance I recommend it, but that isn’t the point to this post.

As a writer myself people ask me why I bother on occasion with short stories or Novella length things that may or may not ever get published.

These shorter form bits of fiction do sometimes grow and turn into full blown novels. In face, Ender’s Game originally appeared in Analog as a short story, then grew and grew and grew into a series.

These magazines are becoming a thing of the past in favor of fan fiction, and it is my position that it’s really ok and fan fiction deserves more attention than it deserves. It is where the big authors of tomorrow go to hone their craft. It isn’t easy writing a book, getting a story to hand together for that long, and not get distracted and stay interesting is a challenge.

I love these old magazines, and I will treasure them until my kids end up with them on their shelf when I am gone.