Ender’s World

By April 2nd, 2013

Each season we announce our new titles individually, each in their own post, to give you a little extra background behind the book. If you’ve missed any, you can check them all out here. All of Spring 2013”²s intro posts are here.


Some worlds are larger than their creators.

Middle Earth is probably the classic example; the world Tolkien brought to life in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit carries on though Tolkien himself does not. On the necessarily finite details of the framework he provided has been hung years of thought and study, decades of imagining. Books, films. Millions of readers’ dreams.

Star Wars (despite episodes 1 through 3) is a more recent one of these. So is Harry Potter. At a certain point, worlds like these transcend the person who first conjured them up.

But sometimes it isn’t the place itself that’s epic, but a story–a character. And I’d suggest that Ender Wiggin is one of them. Ender’s Game is about a young boy, a genius in training to defeat an alien race. But it’s also about growing up; about struggling against one’s darker impulses; about empathy and destruction, loneliness and connection; about survival and about sacrifice. And Ender, even more than most protagonists, most heroes, is the vehicle through which these ideas are explored.

In the more than thirty-five years since the short story “Ender’s Game” was first published, Ender has taken on a life of his own. He means more–is more–than his author ever could have anticipated.

As Orson Scott Card notes in one of the Q&As in our newest collection, Ender’s World, “I have written no novel that has resonated with the public to the degree that Ender’s Game has.” And in his introduction: “Did I know [how Ender would resonate] when I wrote the book? Of course not. Not an inkling.”

The fifteen writers in this volume (see the Ender’s World table of contents here) each have their own relationship with Ender and Ender’s Game: their own thoughts, their own imaginings, their own dreams. They liken the story Ender’s Game tells to the military, to fairy tales. They consider it as a teaching manual, a writing guide, and–like all great books–a means of contextualizing and making sense of their own lives.

The result is one of the richest, most multivalent Smart Pop titles we’ve published.

Ender’s World is officially available today. It’s available in trade paperback and e-book–and audio book–everywhere books are sold:

As a way of marking the collection’s release, we’ve pulled 16 quotes (one per essay, plus the introduction and Q&As), paired them with our cover art (of Battle School, done by Nick Greenwood working directly with Card), and will be sharing them, one a day, for the next two weeks on Tumblr and Facebook.

The first one is from Orson Scott Card’s introduction:

(See/reblog/comment on Tumblr or Facebook.)

We hope you guys enjoy this book as much as we have–that it offers, as the subtitle says, some fresh perspectives on an old favorite, and that it feels, at least a little, like reading Ender’s Game again for the very first time.

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