Friday, January 13, 2012

Shadows in Flight Continues Card's Shadow Saga

book coverRemember in Aliens when Ripley was found drifting in hypersleep for 57 years and didn't age a day, although those she loved on Earth were dead? That blew my mind, but to be fair it's so easily blown. Well, have a calculator handy, because the math for figuring out this whole Ender Saga/Shadows Saga and time passage on Earth and in space can get a little "flustrating," as my dad says.

Ender's Game began as a short story and was published in 1977. Ender's Game the novel was published in 1985. The sequel to Ender's Game is Speaker for the Dead (1986), and belongs to a series that includes Xenocide (1991) and Children of the Mind (1996) and follows Ender as an adult. However, the direct sequel to Ender's Game is Ender in Exile (2008), and takes place 3,000 years before the events in the sequel Speaker for the Dead, right where Ender's Game leaves off.

Ender's Shadow (1999) takes place at the same time as the events in Ender's Game, but is told from the viewpoint of a side character named Bean. Ender's Shadow is the first in a series of books about Bean, and includes Shadow of the Hegemon (2001), Shadow Puppets (2002), and Shadow of the Giant (2005).

So even though Card wrote most of the Ender Series first, the Shadow Series takes place earlier because Speaker for the Dead takes place after Ender has warped some space at serious light speed. Some fans advise reading them by publication date to avoid spoilers, others advise reading them in story chronology. You are now free to go hunt up some Excedrin.

All this was to lead up to the announcement that Orson Scott Card's fifth book in the Shadow Saga—Shadows in Flight—will be published on January 17.

The Shadow Saga is an offshoot of the Ender Series and is the focus of some of Ender's Battle School classmates who trained with him to go to war with the Buggers. The Shadow Saga features Bean, a small, genius of a boy who served as Ender Wiggin's lieutenant at Battle School. Bean's genius comes from an altered gene that is the cause of his small stature as a 6-year-old, and could be the cause of an early death from gigantism if no cure is found.

Shadow of the Giant leaves off with Bean and three of his children who share his condition traveling through space, hoping a cure can be found on Earth. Shadows in Flight picks up as time passes and he is just a footnote in Earth's history. But he and his children are about to make history again when they come across a colony ship belonging to the Buggers. This discovery may save Bean and his children, and Earth, too.

Ender Saga
1. Ender's Game (1984);
2. Speaker for the Dead (1986)
3. Xenocide (1991)
4. Children of the Mind (1996)
5. A War of Gifts (2007 - novella)
6. Ender in Exile (2008)

Shadow Saga
1. Ender's Shadow (1999)
2. Shadow of the Hegemon (2001)
3. Shadow Puppets (2002)
4. Shadow of the Giant (2005)
5. Shadows in Flight (2012)

The official website of Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card's OSC Reviews Everything blog - Orson Scott Card is a walking Consumer Reports as he reviews everything from the politics to the potpourri he bought for his house.

If this movie were playing at the Rave right now, I'd be sitting in the theater with a bucket of popcorn on my lap. Card calls this the best Ender's Game fan trailer he's ever seen. A movie is slated for a 2013 release, and check out the cast: Harrison Ford as Hyram Graff, Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggin, and Asa Butterfield as Ender.

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