Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Let me tell you about the gods."

I've been listening to the audiobook Xenocide at work for the past week or so and the the other day I heard a passage that I really love:

"Gods again," said Wiggin.

"Always gods," said Ela.

"What do you mean?" said Wang-mu. "Quing-jao doesn't say that she's a god, and neither do I."

"Yes you do," said Ela. "'Quing-jao is wise and good,' you said."

"'Brilliant and good,'" Wiggin corrected her.

"'And I can never be like her,'" Ela went on.

"Let me tell you about the gods,'" said Wiggin. "No matter how smart or strong you are, there's always somebody smarter or stronger, and when you run into somebody who's stronger and smarter than anybody, you think, This is a god. This is perfection. But I can promise you that there's somebody else who'll make your god look like a maggot by comparison. And somebody stronger or smarter or better in some way. So let me tell you what I think about the gods. I think a real god is not going to be so scared or angry that he tries to keep other people down.... A real god doesn't care about control. A real god already has control of everything that needs controlling. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them."

"Quing-jao wanted to teach me," said Wang-mu.

"But only as long as you obeyed and did what she said," said Jane.

"I'm not worthy," said Wang-mu. "I'm too stupid to ever learn to be as wise as her."

"And yet you knew when I spoke the truth," said Jane, "when all Quing-jao could see were lies."

Wise words from Ender and friends.


  1. i need that book.

    still confused on how the ender's game series splits off.

  2. For everyone's benefit (Kayleen, hopefully you come back and read this), the Ender series splits off like so:

    Ender Series:
    Ender's Game
    Speaker for the Dead (takes place 3,000 years later -- Ender stays alive through relativistic space travel)
    Children of the Mind

    Shadow Series (this series is about Ender's sidekick, Bean):
    Ender's Shadow (this book is more or less the same story as Ender's Game but through the eyes of a different character)
    Shadow of the Hegemon
    Shadow Puppets
    Shadow of the Giant

    A couple years ago, OSC wrote Ender in Exile, which bridges some of the gap between Ender's Game and Speaker.

    He's also planning on writing Shadows in Flight, which is supposed to tie up some loose ends to Children of the Mind and Shadow of the Giant.