25 days of (nerdy) Christmas!

“Geekin’ around the Christmas tree!”

Day 6: Book Christmas Tree

Who says you have to have a conventional Christmas tree? This year try something off the beaten path and I’m not talking a bright pink plastic abomination. Think outside of the box. Got a lot of books (perhaps a slightly unnaturally large collection?) stack them tall and wrap some lights around them. Creating a very unique and particularly nerdy Christmas tree. Sorta like this one. (Top with something perfectly geeky such as dork rim glasses!)

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All my favorites are represented in the tree. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Star Wars Expanded Universe, Ender’s Game, Narnia, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, history books, Robert Kennedy biographies, etc.
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10 Things I Loved about Ender’s Game (the movie)

Is it exactly like the book? No. Was it perfection? No. Was it an enjoyable representation? I think yes. Here’s why:

#1 Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin!

Ender's Game

“The way we win matter!” -Ender Wiggin

This was such a great casting choice!! Asa Butterfield is a great Ender! This kid can tell a whole story with his eyes. The moment he realizes he has committed genocide, you just feel every emotion through his expressive eyes. He was the exact right choice and if they continue on to Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind (highly unlikely) I’d love to see this kid take it all on.

#2 The music!

Playing Ender's "Grand Musical" Game With Composer Steve Jablonsky

Steve Jablonsky’s score was utterly moving. I expect nothing less from the man behind the scores for the Transformer movies (flawed movies, flawless music.)

#3 Hailee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian

Hailee Steinfeld es Petra Arkanian

This rising young starlet was a great fit for the role of Petra Arkanian. She is equally sassy and empathetic! If they go on to make Ender’s Shadow and subsequent sequels (highly unlikey…sad) I’d love to see more of Hailee’s Petra.

#4 Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff

The "Ender's Game" clip features a uniformed Harrison Ford as Colonel Hyrum Graff delivering a missive to new Battle School recruits on behalf of the International Fleet regarding Mazer Rackham.

I honestly think there’s not a role that Harrison Ford could not play well. Especially the man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. In my opinion you can never go wrong by casting Harrison Ford in your movie. (Though I may be biased seeing as I was raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones.)

#5 Battle School

'Ender's Game' | Movie - computing

I was a little worried that the battle school sequences would not match up with my very vivid imagination. But they were beautiful and really close to my own imaginings. The only thing I will say is that I just wish there had been more battle school!!!

#6 Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham

First Look at Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) in 'Ender's Game'

This is another man that I will never tire of watching on the big screen. (Ghandi and Schindler’s list are two of my very favorite dramas.) My favorite moment, other than the one where he sorta kicks Ender’s ass, is when he explains his Maori facial tattoos and says “It is a way for me to speak for the dead.” What a beautiful moment to tie in an important theme from the sequel to Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead.

#7 The ending

Ender's Game

It would have been so easy to end with a large scale battle and that spectacular victory. And with the tearing knowledge that Ender wiped out an entire race. But the writer’s stayed true to the book by including Ender’s exchange with the Formic Queen and his ongoing mission to find a home world for the last remnant of the Bugger race. It was touching and strange and sci fi and fitting.

#8 Aramis Knight as Bean

Ender and bean

Bean is so important to the world of Ender. I don’t know if the studio intends to create the Bean series or not. But I really enjoyed the small amount of screen time given to Aramis Knight’s Bean. I wished for more. But honestly every exchange between Bean and Ender brought a smile to my face. The only thing missing here was the simultaneous filming of Bean’s perspective of the movie and release date one year from now. (That would have been epic!!)

#9 Abigail Breslin as Valentine

ENDER'S GAME - Epic New Action-Packed Trailer! — GeekTyrant

She is the reason he continues on. She is the heart of Ender Wiggin. And Abigail Breslin was a great pick for this role. She is kind and caring and she loves Ender with all she has.

#10 The epic battle against the Formics

The battle school!!!!so geeked out when I saw it the first time!!!!! :D enders game

That final battle scene was sheer perfection. From the visual effects to the music to Ender’s struggle to win what he thinks is merely a training exercise. It was even better than I had envisioned. It was action packed and crazy cool and nail biting and heart wrenching all at once.

Now listen. I’m not a movie critic, I’m a movie lover. When I go to see a movie I try to find every single thing I liked about it. It’s very rare for me not to love a movie I’ve seen. So again, was this a perfect film? No. Did it entertain me, make me smile, make me feel? Yes and in my book that is a movie worth seeing. I’d love to hear what you thought (unless you’re a negative Nancy with nothing nice to say, then this is not the blog you’re looking for!)

You Gotta Read This…

John Scalzi’s ‘Old Man’s War’ series

At Comic Con this past October, as I passed the TOR publishing booth, I happened to stop by to see if there was any Ender’s Game swag. (I love to show my support to my faves, and I l-l-love Ender’s Game.)

I asked at the booth and the lady working at that particular moment quickly suggested to me John Scalzi’s ‘Old Man’s War.’

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She told me that if I loved Ender’s Game that I’d love this. And she was right.

In a dystopian future, you sign up to join the war being fought on far away worlds. But it isn’t until you turn 75 years old that you actually get to join the fight. The idea being that young men, while lithe of body and full of energy, are foolish and headstrong. On the otherhand, our seniors may be broken of body, but are at their mental peak of wisdom and discernment.

It’s very much the opposite of Orson Scott Card’s ‘Ender’s Game,’ in which children are the ones relied upon to fight the good fight. Their innocence and quick-learning are what makes them an asset.

I’m now halfway through book 2 in the series, ‘The Ghost Brigades.’

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I am loving this series! The writing is solid and the story captivating. Plus, if that isn’t enticing enough, this little jem from book 2 should compel any self-respecting nerd to pick up this book.

-“After watching Star Wars everyone wanted a lightsaber and was irritated that the technology for them didn’t really exist. Everyone also agreed the Ewoks should all die.”
Plus Scalzi even takes a beat to pay homage to Ender’s Game, the series in which he clearly found inspiration.

If you enjoy Sci-Fi by any degree… pick up this series!