Winner of the "Best Novel" Hugo and Nebula awards, "Ender's Game" is a science fiction novel set in a dark future where Earth is being invaded by an insect-like alien race. Orson Scott Card, the author, has written numerous science fiction and fantasy novels and also is known for his public speaking and political activism. "Ender's Game" has garnered a cult following among young-adult sci-fi aficionados and is considered a classic of the genre.
Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the hero of the novel, is a young boy who has been monitored by the government his whole life. In the beginning of the novel, Ender gets into a fight with another boy from his school and wins, causing the Government to select him for enrollment in Battle School, where soldiers are trained. Ender soon is recognized as one of the top students in Battle School, which values intelligence over all else, and he is promoted into the top ranks.
Meanwhile, Earth is being attacked by an alien species known as the buggers because of their resemblance to terrestrial insects. The buggers have already attacked twice, nearly destroying the human race and causing the government to set up Battle School in order to train soldiers to combat them. Fearing a third attack, the government recruits the most intelligent humans in the population to Battle School, with the hopes that they will find a solution to the alien invasions.
Much of Ender's training in Battle School consists of computer-simulated battles in which attacks by bugger spacecraft must be warded off by commanding a virtual fleet of human spacecraft. Ender is forced to virtually fight these battles day after day as the government tries a slew of different scenarios against him, watching how he deals with each possible invasion. In the "final exam," Ender must defeat a massive army of bugger spacecraft. The army outnumbers his fleet by a thousand to one, yet he defeats them by blowing up a nearby planet that sends debris flying into the enemy like a shrapnel grenade.
After the "final exam," Ender is told that all of the battles have actually been real and that he has actually succeeded in winning the war against the buggers by nearly destroying all of them. Thrown into a depression by the knowledge that he has committed genocide, Ender falls into a deep sleep. Meanwhile, war between different political factions breaks out on Earth, and when Ender awakens, he is not able to return home. Instead he establishes communication with the last surviving bugger queen and sets out to find the race a new home in the universe.
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