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Ender in Exile
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Ender in Exile

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Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Tor, 2008
Series: Ender's Universe: Ender Wiggin

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Colonization
Human Development
Alien Invasion
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Synopsis

After twenty-three years, Orson Scott Card returns to his acclaimed best-selling series with the first true, direct sequel to the classic Ender's Game.

In Ender's Game, the world's most gifted children were taken from their families and sent to an elite training school. At Battle School, they learned combat, strategy, and secret intelligence to fight a dangerous war on behalf of those left on Earth. But they also learned some important and less definable lessons about life.

After the life-changing events of those years, these children-now teenagers-must leave the school and readapt to life in the outside world.

Having not seen their families or interacted with other people for years-where do they go now? What can they do?

Ender fought for humanity, but he is now reviled as a ruthless assassin. No longer allowed to live on Earth, he enters into exile. With his sister Valentine, he chooses to leave the only home he's ever known to begin a relativistic-and revelatory-journey beyond the stars.

What happened during the years between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead? What did Ender go through from the ages of 12 through 35? The story of those years has never been told. Taking place 3000 years before Ender finally receives his chance at redemption in Speaker for the Dead, this is the long-lost story of Ender.

For twenty-three years, millions of readers have wondered and now they will receive the answers. Ender in Exile is Orson Scott Card's moving return to all the action and the adventure, the profound exploration of war and society, and the characters one never forgot.

On one of these ships, there is a baby that just may share the same special gifts as Ender's old friend Bean....


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

To: jpwiggin@gso.nc.pub, twiggin@uncg.edu
From: hgraff%educadmin@ifcom.gov
Subj: When Andrew Returns Home

Dear John Paul and Theresa Wiggin,

You understand that during the recent attempt by the Warsaw Pact to take over the International Fleet, our sole concern at EducAdmin was the safety of the children. Now we are finally able to begin working out the logistics of sending the children home.

We assure you that Andrew will be provided with continuous surveillance and an active bodyguard throughout his transfer from the I.F. to American government control. We are still negotiating the degree to which the I.F. will continue to provide protection after the transfer.

Every effort is being made by EducAdmin to assure that Andrew will be able to return to the most normal childhood possible. However, I wish your advice about whether he should be retained here in isolation until the conclusion of the inquiries into EducAdmin actions during the late campaign. It is quite likely that testimony will be offered that depicts Andrew and his actions in damaging ways, in order to attack EducAdmin through him (and the other children). Herat IFCom we can keep him from hearing the worst of it; on Earth, no such protection will be possible and it is likelier that he will be called to "testify."

Hyrum Graff

Theresa Wiggin was sitting up in bed, holding her printout of Graff's letter. " 'Called to "testify." ' Which means putting him on exhibit as--what, a hero? More likely a monster, since we already have various senators decrying the exploitation of children."

"That'll teach him to save the human race," said her husband, John Paul.

"This is not a time for flippancy."

"Theresa, be reasonable," said John Paul. "I want Ender home as much as you do."

"No you don't," said Theresa fiercely. "You don't ache with the need for him every day."Even as she said it she knew she was being unfair to him, and she covered her eyes and shook her head.

To his credit, he understood and didn't argue with her about what he did and did not feel. "You can never have the years they've taken, Theresa. He's not the boy we knew."

"Then we'll get to know the boy he is. Here. In our home."

"Surrounded by guards."

"That's the part I refuse to accept. Who would want to hurt him?"

John Paul set down the book he was no longer pretending to read. "Theresa, you're the smartest person I know."

"He's a child!"

"He won a war against incredibly superior forces."

"He fired off one weapon. Which he did not design or deploy."

"He got that weapon into firing range."

"The formics are gone! He's a hero, he's not in danger."

"All right, Theresa, he's a hero. How is he going to go to middle school? What eighth- grade teacher is ready for him? What school dance is he going to be ready for?"

"It will take time. But here, with his family--"

"Yes, we're such a warm, welcoming group of people, a love nest into which he'll fit so easily."

"We do love each other!"

"Theresa, Colonel Graff is only trying to warn us that Ender isn't just our son."

"He's nobody else's son."

"You know who wants to kill our son."

"No, I don't."

"Every government that thinks of American military power as an obstacle to their plans."

"But Ender isn't going to be in the military, he's going to be--"

"This week he won't be in the American military. Maybe. He won awards at the age of twelve, Theresa. What makes you think he won't be drafted by our benevolent and democratic government the moment he gets back to Earth? Or put into protective custody? Maybe they'll let us go with him and maybe they won't."

Theresa let the tears flow down her cheeks. "So you're saying that when he left here we lost him forever."

"I'm saying that when your child goes off to war, you will never get him back. Not as he was, not the same boy. Changed, if he comes back at all. So let me ask you. Do you want him to go where he's in the greatest danger, or to stay where he's relatively safe?"

"You think Graff is trying to get us to tell him to keep Ender with him out there in space."

"I think Graff cares what happens to Ender, and he's letting us know--without actually saying it, because every letter he sends can be used against him in court--that Ender is in terrible danger. Not ten minutes after Ender's victory, the Russians made their brutal play for control of the I.F. Their soldiers killed thousands of fleet officers before the I.F. was able to force their surrender. What would they have done if they had won? Brought Ender home and put on a big parade for him?"

Theresa knew all of this. She had known it, viscerally at least, from the moment she read Graff's letter. No, she had known it even before, had known it with a sick dread as soon as she heard that the Formic War was over. He would not be coming home.

She felt John Paul's hand on her shoulder. She shrugged it off. His hand returned, stroking her arm as she lay there, facing away from him, crying because she knew she had already lost the argument, crying because she wasn't even on her own side in their quarrel.

"We knew when he was born that he didn't belong to us."

"He does belong to us."

"If he comes home, his life belongs to whatever government has the power to protect him and use him--or kill him. He's the single most important asset surviving from the war. The great weapon. That's all he'll be--that and such a celebrity he can't possibly have a normal childhood anyway. And would we be much help, Theresa? Do we understand what his life has been for the past seven years? What kind of parents can we be to the boy--the man--that he's become?"

"We would be wonderful," she said.

"And we know this because we're such perfect parents for the children we have at home with us."

Theresa rolled onto her back. "Oh, dear. Poor Peter. It must be killing him that Ender might come home."

"Take the wind right out of his sails."

"Oh, I'm not sure of that," said Theresa. "I bet Peter is already figuring out how to exploit Ender's return."

"Until he finds out that Ender is much too clever to be exploited."

"What preparation does Ender have for politics? He's been in the military all this time."

John Paul chuckled.

"All right, yes, of course the military is just as political as government."

"But you're right," said John Paul. "Ender's had protection there, people who intended to exploit him, yes, but he hasn't had to do any bureaucratic fighting for himself. He's probably a babe in the woods when it comes to maneuvering like that."

"So Peter really could use him?"

"That's not what worries me. What worries me is what Peter will do when he finds out that he can't use him."

Theresa sat back up and faced her husband. "You can't think Pete would raise a hand against Ender!"

"Peter doesn't raise his own hand to do anything difficult or dangerous. You know how he's been using Valentine."

"Only because she lets him use her."

"Exactly my point," said John Paul.

"Ender is not in danger from his own family."

"Theresa, we have to decide: What's best for Ender? What's best forgetter and Valentine? What's best for the future of the world?"

"Sitting here on our bed, in the middle of the night, the two of us are deciding the fate of the world?"

"When we conceived little Andrew, my dear, we decided the fate of the world."

"And had a good time doing it," she added.

"Is it good for Ender to come home? Will it make him happy?"

"Do you really think he's forgotten us?" she asked. "Do you think Ender doesn't care whether he comes home?"

"Coming home lasts a day or two. Then there's living here. The danger from foreign powers, the unnaturalness of his life at school, the constant infringements on his privacy, and let's not forget Peter's unquenchable ambition and envy. So I ask again, will Ender's life here be happier than it

would be if..."

"If he stays out in space? What kind of life will that be for him?"

"The I.F. has made its commitment--total neutrality in regard to anything happening on Earth. If they have Ender, then the whole world--every government--will know they'd better not try to go up against the Fleet."

"So by not coming home, Ender continues to save the world on an ongoing basis," said Theresa. "What a useful life he'll have."

"The point is that nobody else can use him."

Theresa put on her sweetest voice. "So you think we should write back to Graff and tell him that we don't want Ender to come home?"

Copyright © 2008 by Orson Scott Card


Reviews

Ender in Exile

- Whimsie
  (3/2/2014)
Ender in Exile

- spectru
  (4/18/2014)

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