If you were to ask me to list my five favorite novels of all time, I’d probably give a slightly different answer every year. I’m always discovering something new and glorious that blows my mind and leaves me in a giddy state of wonder. But one book that will never leave that list is Ender’s Game. In fact, it’s currently perched there at the number one spot, and I doubt anything will ever unseat it.
I’m not alone in this. For millions of readers, reading Ender’s Game was a transformative experience. It taught us that characters in a book don’t have to feel like characters in a book. They can feel like real, genuine friends.
That was my experience, anyway. Ender and Valentine and Bean and Dink. It’s like I knew these kids and felt a connection to them. Our hearts were knit together, as the saying goes.
So when Orson Scott Card invited me to join him in writing prequel novels to Ender’s Game, I was a little gun shy. I worried that fans would be expecting another Ender’s Game and that if our novels didn’t transform them and wow them as much as the original, they’d crinkle their noses and hate me for life.
Remember when George Lucas announced that he was going to make The Phantom Menace? I went fanboy bonkers. Another Star Wars movie? Glory hallelujah! I couldn’t believe it. I’m going to sit in a theater again and have an experience just like I had watching the originals.
And then the movie came out and it was, um, less than what I had hoped.
Is this the curse of all prequels, I wondered.
Scott Card put my mind at ease reminding me that we weren’t writing Ender’s Game. That isn’t the goal. This is something different.
So I dived in, and learned quite a bit along the way . . . (more…)