Thursday, November 8, 2007
A War of Gifts
It's been about two years since there's been anything new to read in the Ender Wiggens science fiction saga. But last week Tor books finally came out with Orson Scott Card's short novel A War of Gifts, which not not only deals with new members of the battle school squad that Ender is in, but also introduces the theme of how and when it's appropriate to practice religious observances from a religious tradition not shared by everybody. The story line is pretty straightforward A boy raised in a very conservative form of Christianity is, though a conscientious objector/pacifist, forced to atttend battle school and, while there, gets upset about the fact that (against school rules) several of the other members of his squad are exchanging Santa Claus presents during the month of December. I got the book as soon as it came out and read through it in two brief settings, thoroughly enjoying the way in which Card dealt in sensitive, nuanced ways with issues of religious fundamentalism and religious tolerance.