When I was about 11 or 12 I was in a book-club sponsored by my local public library – I was a “Teen Volunteer” (I spent so much time at the library, they let me sign up a bit early, if I recall) and a number of us spent some time hanging out at the library and talking about books. The librarian figured we might as well just have a monthly book club. I read books that were outside what was then my literary bubble and it expanded the way I look at the world – books like Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
After reading Ender’s Game, I wanted more. This little outcast that felt misplaced in the world was someone I felt like I could understand. But he had his siblings fighting for him, his family missing him. I remember reading a number of associated works by Orson Scott Card – Speaker for the Dead and Xenophobia were so far over my head, I am still scared to go back and revisit them. There are a number of “Enderverse” short stories – I remember one about Ender learning how much money he had in savings.
I read through the entire Ender’s Shadow series – and still love them just a little bit more to this day. I remember scrolling message board after message board (this was 2002-ish, after all – MySpace was not even on my radar yet) and looking for more about this world I loved so much.
That is when I remember first hearing about a movie. Then nothing happened, and the ground started rumbling again a few years later. Through most of high school and college, there was always talk about a movie. In grad school, I remember listening to an interview with Orson Scott Card, the author, who said that there were certain plot points and content he would not be willing to let go of in a cinematic adaptation, and while the opportunity came up many times, he let it go.
Finally, I accepted that this much-loved universe would not be filling a screen. Not just accepted, but was actually satisfied with the lack of existence of a film adaptation, when it was announced to be a thing that was happening. I have maintained a fair level of skepticism about the existence of such a film until this point.
Tonight I am going to a 10pm showing with my buddy. I am torn between excitement and anxiety – the trailers I have seen have already given away some of the major plot twists and turns from the book, and I am left to question what else is left.
I guess it does not really matter too much – at the end of the day, the book helped shape my opinions of science fiction, and literature. It taught me about independence, learning and creativity. And my opinion of a book that changed my life is so much more important than a movie that is likely to be rife with explosions.