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Card And Clarke: At The Extremes Of A Genre

1171 words - 5 pages

The main purpose of every science-fiction story or novel is to provide a scientific hypothesis, and then create events which give vision to this hypothesis. As a result, the characters in most science-fiction stories are not fully developed, and are employed only to aid in developing the hypothesis. Despite this, within the genre of science fiction, every writer strives for an individual style which will set them apart from the mainstream. This idea can be seen clearly in Orson Scott Card's unique novel, Ender's Game, and in Arthur C. Clarke's traditional science-fiction short story, The Nine Billion Names of God. In these two tales both writers create stories with similar premises, but manage to present these premises with different hypotheses, different senses of realism or fantasy, a different development of storyline and characters, and different senses of good and evil in their respective worlds.Orson Scott Card's novel, Ender's Game, creates a world with the scientific hypothesis that earth has been attacked by an alien race, the "buggers," and genius children are being trained by the government in order to fight the buggers in intergalactic battle. Ender Wiggin is the best of any child to ever enter the military training school, and the military leaders use him as a tool, unknown to the boy, in order to destroy the buggers. Card chooses not to allow Ender to know that he is being used as a tool, and this allows him to be able to destroy the enemy with no second thoughts or feelings of empathy in the battle which he believes is a simulation. The character is being used, although unbeknownst.Card creates a form of science-fiction like few other other authors do in Ender's Game. He combines many of the elements found in a fantasy story with a scientific hypothesis. We are transported to another futuristic world like in a fantasy story. We are presented with unrealistic places in the battle school and the asteroid Eros, and are given with technology and concepts that have not been created, nor are conceivable on earth today. Card furthers the aspects of fantasy where we follow Ender through the events that take place in this unearthly setting not only on a physical level, but also with an emotional connection to him. Three aspects of story telling are used by Orson Scott Card that allow such a deep connection between the reader and the story: the mythic story, in which the reader is spoken to as a human being; the epic story, in which the reader is spoken to as a member of a community; and the "self" story, in which the reader is spoken to as an individual. Also, it is Card's technique not only develop the main character, but also to develop the entire world and the other characters in order create a much richer and deeper experience. Finally, expanding this world even further is the intense presence of a struggle between good and evil. The overlying history of Ender's Game is the fight between the humans of earth and the invading buggers....

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