ansible [an·si·ble] n. 1. a hypothetical communication device capable of delivering sound waves instantaneously 2. a fictional machine that allows faster than the speed of light communication (example: Commander Ender Wiggin used an ansible to communicate with his fleets instantaneously, although they were on the other side of the galaxy.)
‘The Swarm’ by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston is the first novel in the Second Formic War Trilogy and a sequel to the First Formic War Trilogy (‘Earth Unaware’; ‘Earth Afire’; ‘Earth Awakens’).
Following the First Formic War, ‘The Swam’ revisits the altered lives of Mazer Rackham, Bingwen, Lem Jukes and Victor Delgado. Earth’s faint success after The Scourging of China left humanity in a nervous state. Likewise, the pace of the novel leaves readers sweating with the mounting pressure of the anticipated second invasion.
Can the Hegemon pull humanity together long enough to fund an interplanetary war with adequate cash and soldiers? Can the International Fleet recognize the uselessness of career bureaucrats in the face of an intelligent enemy? Can Juke Limited arm the world’s military with technology sophisticated enough to defeat the Hive Queen and her swarm?
Desperate for survival, humanity is willing to win this war at all costs. For this reason, ‘The Swarm’ is more similar to ‘Ender’s Game’ than any of the three other prequel novels. To my delight, ‘The Swarm’ mimics signature ‘Ender’s Game’ elements such as resistance against authority, creative problem solving and childish wit.
Fans will enjoy the subtle development of the Battle School’s foundation, including zero-gravity training, flash guns, battle suits, armies, stars in the battle room, and even the ansible.
I love ‘The Swarm’ so much that I plan to recommend the prequel trilogies to younger ‘Ender’s Game’ fans over the Shadow Series. It’s easily my favorite novel Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston have collaborated on.
As a fan of the Enderverse, I appreciate that Card and Johnston have constructed the story in a way that unifies parts of ‘The Gold Bug’, ‘Mazer in Prison’, ‘Speaker for the Dead’, ‘Shadows in Flight’ and film canon. It’s quite impressive.
For readers less familiar with the entire Enderverse, I must recommend reading at least the First Formic War trilogy beforehand. Any of the other novels or short stories, including ‘Ender’s Game’, are unnecessary to understand the plot.
I only have two grievances against ‘The Swarm’. Firstly, the physics and biochemistry explanations behind some of technologies seems slightly misguided regarding the laws of thermodynamics. I won’t give any spoilers in this review, but I’m pointing at you, chapters 18 and 25! My second grievance is that ‘The Swarm’ had to end at all.
On a final note, I think it’s endearing that this novel is sweetly dedicated to our amazing ‘Ender’s Game’ film producer, Lynn Hendee.
‘The Swarm’ will be released tomorrow, August 2. Purchase it at your local bookstore or buy it on Amazon.
Disclaimer: A special thanks to Tor Books for providing ‘Earth Awakens’ for review. All opinions are my own.
In a flood of news for ‘The Swarm’ by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston, the novel’s cover image, description, page length and release date have been revealed.
‘The Swarm’ will be the first novel in the Second Formic War Trilogy, which is also a prequel trilogy to the original ‘Ender’s Game’ novel. The novel will be available for purchase in bookstores on August 2, 2016, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon now.
The description reads:
The first invasion of Earth was beaten back by a coalition of corporate and international military forces. China has been devastated by the Formic’s efforts to eradicate Earth’s life forms and prepare the ground for their own settlement. The Scouring of China struck fear into the other nations of the planet; that fear blossomed into drastic action when scientists determined that the single ship that wreaked such damage was merely a scout ship.
There is a mothership out beyond the Solar System’s Kuiper Belt, and it’s heading into the system, unstoppable by any weapons that Earth can muster.
Card’s Ender’s Game is one of the bestselling and most beloved science fiction novels of all time. It is set on an Earth where society and governments have been radically altered in the face of alien invasion. Readers will discover the past of Ender’s world, feel the desperation of Earth that drove humans to make the changes they did, and meet the heroes who fought off the tide of invasion until Ender could decisively end the wars.
According to Amazon, ‘The Swarm’ is 464 pages. For reference, this is the same length as ‘Earth Unaware’, which is the first novel in the First Formic War Trilogy.
Click the jump to see the cover in it’s full glory. Continue reading
Centipede Press will publish a new Enderverse novella written by Orson Scott Card in conjunction with the publication of an Enderverse short story anthology.
In October, the company published an illustrated edition of ‘Ender’s Game’. Fan enthusiasm for the publication inspired new Ender projects, but developments have been quiet since December.
In a newsletter sent on Sunday, Centipede Press wrote that they acquired the rights to ‘Speaker for the Dead’ and a “massive collection” of short stories including a new novella. No details were given about this novella or where it would fall on the complicated Enderverse timeline.
“This is still a ways off from being done, but we wanted to pass on the good news,” the newsletter states.
There is no release date for either publication, but until then Centipede Press would like fans’ help. They would like to hire a illustrator for the projects and they are open to fans’ suggestions.
Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: We have confirmed with Centipede Press that ‘Speaker for the Dead’ and the short story collection will be two separate volumes to be published at roughly the same time. The yet untitled short story collection will include all the short stories and novellas to date and one new novella, which is also still untitled.
The items include a Dragon Army patch set, a ground school beret, and tags for producer Lynn Hendee and extra Larry Kramer.
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post before March 20. Good luck!
Aaron Johnston has announced via Twitter that he and Orson Scott Card have finished co-writing ‘The Swarm’.
On March 3, Johnston states that he turned in the manuscript to Tor Books.
“Turned in the manuscript for THE SWARM, book 1 of The Second Formic War.#EndersGame #FormicWars @orsonscottcard”
— Aaron Johnston (@AaronWJohnston)
‘The Swarm’ will be the first book in the Second Formic War, a prequel trilogy to ‘Ender’s Game’. No release date has been announced, but Johnston speculates on Twitter that this novel may be published at the end of 2015 or the start of 2016.
The ‘Ender’s Game’ prop auction begins today at 9 a.m. PDT.
Prop Store will auction official ‘Ender’s Game’ film production costumes and props.
The auction will be held exclusively online and will run for two weeks, ending on March 27. Each day, 40 news lots will be posted with each lost lasting for only 7 days. There are no reserves on any items.Click here to register,
Below is a preview of several items up for auction.
Below: Ender Wiggin’s (Asa Butterfield) Command Console
Below: Ender Wiggin’s (Asa Butterfield) Launchie Flash Suit
Below: Subcommand Control Station
Below: Major Gwen Anderson (Viola Davis) Dress Uniform
Below: Deskpad and Bag Set
Below: Valentine Wiggin’s (Abigail Breslin) Costume
Below: Dragon Army Flash Suit Helmet
Below: Colonel Graff’s (Harrison Ford) BDU Costume
Below: Petra Arkanian’s (Hailee Steinfeld) Salamander Flash Suit
Below: Light Up Flash Gun and Charger
Beginning on March 9, Prop Store will auction official ‘Ender’s Game’ film production costumes and props.
The auction will be held exclusively online and will run for two weeks, ending on March 27. Each day, 40 news lots will be posted with each lost lasting for only 7 days. There are no reserves on any items.
Most of the lots include original costumes, props, and key set dressing pieces. The site currently features medical ID bands, a flash gun, and the formic mask Ender forces Peter to wear.
Click here to register and stay tuned for more ‘Ender’s Game auction news.
Since the release of the ‘Ender’s Game’ film, Sandboxr has offered a unique experience for ‘Ender’s Game’ fans. With the Unity Web Plugin, fans are able to customize and print their own movie props, including an formic mothership, an IF shuttle and an IF drone,
Sandboxr’s partnership with Amazon means that fans can more readily purchase these ‘Ender’s Game’ film memorabilia. Check it out!
A new ‘Ender’s Game’ poster is available via Postertext for $29.95.
The ‘Ender’s Game’ poster is one of the company’s first contemporary releases. The print features Ender commanding his final battle simulation.
Shown here in the throws in his final simulation, Ender is depicted as a calm and confident commander, fully entrenched and invested in the battle at hand.
The 24×36 inch poster features text from the first 13 chapters.