First Meetings : Ender's Game

  • by Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by Gabrielle De Cuir, Amanda Karr, Stefan Rudnicki
  • Series: Ender's Game
  • 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First Meetings is a collection of three novellas (plus the original "Ender's Game") that journey into the origins and the destiny of one Ender Wiggin."The Polish Boy", a novella written especially for this collection, begins in the years between the first two Bugger Wars when the Hegemony is desperate to recruit brilliant military commanders to repel the alien invasion. In John Paul Wiggin, the future father of Ender, they believe they may have found their man. Or boy.
In "Teacher's Pest", also written especially for this collection, a brilliant but insufferably arrogant John Paul Wiggin, now an American university student, matches wits with an equally brilliant graduate student named Theresa Brown.
It is many years since the end of the Bugger Wars in "The Investment Counselor". Ender's reputation as a hero and savior has suffered a horrible reversal. Banished from Earth and slandered as a mass murderer, 20-year-old Ender Wiggin wanders incognito form planet to planet as a fugitive, until a blackmailing tax inspector compromises his identity and threatens to expose Ender the Xenocide.
Also here is the original landmark "Ender's Game", which first appeared in 1977.
First Meetings is Orson Scott Card at the height of his considerable powers, featuring his most compelling character.


What the Critics Say

"Character, setting, plot: Card does them all right, and makes it look effortless....For newcomers to Ender's universe and long-time fans, this book will hit the spot and whet the appetite for more." (School Library Journal)
"Even those who are intimately familiar with the concepts of the Game from later Ender books will be struck anew by Card's virtuosity. His powerful voice and startlingly clear vision will draw many new readers into a lifelong love of science fiction. This accessible collection will impress even non-sci-fi buffs, besides being a must-have for Ender saga devotees." (Publishers Weekly) "These stories demonstrate the assured scene setting, apparently effortlessly sustained suspense, and moral preoccupation with the responsibilities of kinship and friendship that distinguishes Ender's entire saga." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Essential Backstory for Ender Fans!

Fans of <U>Ender's Game</U> and <U>Speaker for the Dead</U> will definitely want to hear <U><B>First Meetings: Four Stories from the Enderverse</B></U>. As I have stated with most of my short story reviews, audio books and short stories are made for each other and for fans of Ender, these four short stories construct a beautiful bridge between Ender's past before <U>Ender's Game</U> and between <U>Ender's Game</U> and <U>Speaker for the Dead</U>.

The original novelette format of <U>Ender's Game</U> is the third story in this four part collection and it is a great story, even in this pared down format. It just proves that <U>Ender's Game</U> is a terrific story that re-engages listeners everytime they play it. The remaining three stories are the best part of this collection though and my favorite is <U>Teacher's Pest</U>.

<U>Teacher's Pest</U> is the story of the meeting and very brief courtship of John Paul Wiggin and Theresa Brown. The very intriguing couple who become the parents of Peter, Valentine, and Andrew Wiggin.

<U>The Polish Boy</U> introduces us to the "non-compliant" Wieczorek family and the brilliant John Paul, whose genius will alter the course of the future, for both his family and the entire <B>Enderverse</B>. John Paul Wieczorek of course becomes John Paul Wiggin in <U>Teacher's Pest</U>.

This is a great collection of stories that is spectacularly narrated, as usual, by the Fantastic Audio crew. My only criticism of the audio production is the bumper music used at the beginning and ending of each story. I do believe my ears started bleeding at some point and the bumpers overlap the narration too far so that it is very hard to hear for several seconds at the beginning and ending of these stories.

Again, I can't recommend any group of short stories enough but these are terrific, especially for Ender fans. Enjoy!
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- Amazon Customer

Great for fans (please stop the music)

Great stuff for fans, but definitely not a place to start with Ender (well, the original novella is a great place to start, but that's just a third of this download). Without knowing some details from the books, the resonance of these first meetings would probably be greatly diminished. Without an understanding of the larger structure, some listeners would likely not appreciate the full story.

I'm including an open plea to all audiobook producers: Please please please, if you must include music that overlaps the narration, LISTEN TO IT BEFORE FINALIZING THE PRODUCT! Often, this is a minor annoyance. In this book, it absolutely ruins the end of the Ender's Game novella. You can't hear half of what's being said. So a meaningful quiet moment is completely spoiled. I've never read a review where someone likes these musical overlays: I'm begging you to stop using them. It created a sad, sour experience at the end of an otherwise enjoyable listen.
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- Erik N

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-02-2003
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio