For those unfamiliar with Smart Pop Books or its previous releases, please note, first and foremost, that the publisher and its vast list of amazing titles has the ultimate “Stamp of Approval” from the entire Fanboy Comics staff. The incredible publisher is best known for compiling anthologies of essays from bestselling authors, writers, psychologists, philosophers, and other well-versed professionals, each focused on a single geeky subject. While Fanboy Comics has reviewed their collections focusing on The Hunger Games and A Song of Ice and Fire, their other anthology releases have focused on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Firefly and Serenity, Mad Men, Lost, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, The Walking Dead, The Matrix, Star Wars, Halo, Harry Potter, Dune, and countless others.
The team at Smart Pop Books was very generous to provide this reviewer with an advance copy of their latest release, Ender’s World, and I can say with full confidence that fans of the 1985 sci-fi classic by Orson Scott Card are in for a real treat! As excitement and anticipation builds for the release of the novel’s film adaptation this November, fans will have the chance to not only return to the world of protagonist Ender Wiggin, but to delve deeper into the classic by way of 14 incredible essays from science fiction and Young Adult writers (including Ender prequel series co-author Aaron Johnson), as well as military professionals. Focusing heavily on the impact of Ender’s Game, while also including several references to Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Ender in Exile, and Ender’s Shadow, this collection of essays touches upon ideas ranging from the evolution of the childhood hero to writer Orson Scott Card’s breaking of various literary rules throughout the novel, as well as what the US military could learn from Ender’s leadership. (Readers who have not yet ventured into the Ender's Game prequel and sequel books should take note that a few storylines and character developments are shared within the essays.) As is always apparent in Smart Pop Book’s titles, the essays included within Ender’s World are beautifully written by individuals on whom the source material has provided a long-lasting impact, which will warm any geek heart.
Interesting to note about Ender’s World is that the essay anthology shares a deeper look into the mind of author Orson Scott Card regarding his most popular novel, which is both intriguing and insightful at a time when the creator seems to be shrouded in controversy. The collection is edited by Card and peppered in between the collection of essays are questions and answers about the sci-fi classic by longtime fans and Card, respectively. In this rare look into the mind of Ender Wiggin’s creator, readers will learn more on the writing and evolution of the events in Ender’s Game. While Card’s outspoken political views and actions opposing gay marriage have come to the forefront of geek news, especially given his addition to the creative team of Adventures of Superman, it is nonetheless fascinating and thought-provoking to read Card’s approach to writing one of the most empathetic and considerate characters in sci-fi literature.
You can learn more about Ender’s World (and purchase a copy of the book) through Amazon.com, or by visiting Smart Pop Books at their official website. Also, be sure to stop by the Smart Pop Books Facebook page and follow them on Twitter (@SmartPopBooks).