Monday, 27 May 2013

Ender's World edited by Orson Scott Card

Have you ever heard the rather disparaging English (as in UK) phrase 'to be an Anorak'? 
I didn't think so, seeing as most of my readers come from the USA and Russia. So let me explain:

An anorak is a person - usually male - who, while dressed in an anorak to protect him from the foul English weather, spends all his spare time sitting at the end of the runway at his local airport watching and noting - in painstaking detail - the comings and goings of all the airplanes. He then tells his friends (those who still have friends) about his finds, quoting registration numbers, engine types and each flight's punctuality. A thoroughly anal activity. 

I share this with you because I'm an Ender's Game Anorak. (Review here)

I have to be. I mean who else would have squealed with delight on seeing a book with the word Ender in the title on Netgalley? And then, without bothering to read what it was about pounced on the mouse, clicked the request button, said a quick prayer that I'd be approved, all in less time than it takes most people to sneeze. At that point I started reaching for my Anorak.

But the final confirmation of my Anorak status came when I downloaded the ARC of Ender's World (Amazon) onto my Kindle. It was only then that I discovered to my absolute delight that it's actually a book of essays about Ender and his world written by . . .  yes, you guessed it! Other Ender Anoraks!

How fantastic is that! A whole book devoted to reading about how amazing Ender Wiggin is, what a natural born leader he is, how he fits into the Jungian hero mold, all the while being the classic Hero With A Thousand Faces. There is even a chapter extolling the value of him being short! Did you know most successful people are below average height? I didn't either.

Finally, if that wasn't enough magic, there are also pages and pages devoted to genuine Q&A with Orson Scott Card. For an Anorka, what could be more amazing than getting into OSC's mind, seeing his motivations and the depth of his knowledge of his Enderverse?

Enderverse - I love that word!

And you know what else, if that had been all this book was about, I would have been a very satisfied reader.

But there was more. A lot more. As a writer, I learned so much as the contributing authors - bestsellers in their own rights like Neal Shusterman, Janis Ian and Aaron Johnston - dissected Ender's Game, exposing the nuances of OSC writing. For me, this was a real bonus. If you're a writer - even if you don't write Sci-Fi - it will be well worthwhile reading this book, because you will come away with a new set of insights into our art.

So how many stars? 

Definitely four! I loved it and am grateful to the publisher for giving me the ARC to review. So to my fellow Anoraks out there, Ender's World is not to be missed.


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