Phil Athans tells us that Amazon has posted the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming writers’ guide Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-This-World Novels and Short Stories by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans and Jay Lake. Says Phil: “This is a revised and updated edition of Orson Scott Card’s classic how-to book on the art and craft of SF and fantasy, with a new section on the state of the genres by Philip Athans, and a new section on steampunk by author Jay Lake.”
Full disclosure: I was recently interviewed by Phil for the updated State of the Genre chapter.
Here’s the book description:
The trailer for Ender’s Game is finally here.
Based on the worldwide bestseller by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game takes place 70 years after a horrific alien war. An unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.
The film starts Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggin), Harrison Ford (Colonel Hyrum Graff), Abigail Breslin (Valentine Wiggin) and Ben Kingsley (Mazer Rackham). It opens November 1st.
In the near future, a hostile alien race called the Formics have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer.
Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.
Here’s the book trailer for Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston, described thusly:
A hundred years before Ender’s Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies.
The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.
They’re wrong. It’s the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. This is humanity’s first contact with an alien race. The First Formic War is about to begin.
Here’s the the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming novel Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. This is set 100 years before Ender’s Game and tells the story of the first Formic War…
REVIEW SUMMARY: A disappointing entry in Card’s Shadow series.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean and his three children go into deep space to give them time to find a way to reverse the genes that have given them a shortened life. The trio of children and their father come across a derelict Formic ark over a habitable world, which holds answers for many lingering questions.
PROS: An engaging and readable entry that sheds some light on the Ender’s series.
CONS: Truncated, annoying, short and mostly an info dump in place of storytelling and with half-formed archetypes instead of characters.
BOTTOM LINE: Ender’s Game is one of the stories that got me through high school, and Ender’s Shadow was close behind it. Shadow, which followed Ender’s Game at the same time, has blossomed into a series in its own right, and is now headed towards a meeting point with the sequels to Ender’s Game, following the stories of what happened following the human victory over the Formics. Where Ender’s Game holds its own decades after it was written, the latest book in the Enderverse is a poor entry in the series, one that doesn’t hold a candle to the original book, nor its predecessors.