An edited version of this piece appeared in the July 25, 2013 edition of the SF Bay Times.
As a sensitive and lonely gay kid in rural Virginia, science fiction and fantasy were my gateway to a world of endless possibilities and brighter futures. My favorite childhood friends and places included Corwin, Amber and the Courts of Chaos; Milo, Tock and the lands beyond the phantom tollbooth; Bilbo, Frodo and the realms of Middle Earth; among myriad others. To the woods behind my house, with handmade communicator and tricorder, I boldly went to seek out new life forms; in the wardrobe downstairs I desperately sought Narnia; on the carport I bravely battled garbage-can Daleks.
I escaped the pain of feeling intensely different from family and peers, and of being an outsider in the world in which I lived, by retreating into these genres and the worlds they opened up.
My passion for and exploration of science fiction and fantasy have shaped me considerably throughout my life.
That’s the context, then, in which to place Ender’s Game, a celebrated and award-winning science-fiction novel I first read nearly 30 years ago. The story of Ender Wiggins, the misunderstood and bullied kid and potential savior of all mankind, his tragic destiny and his quest for redemption, resonated quite strongly with me, as it has for many.
This fall, a movie based on the novel, starring Harrison Ford, is being released to great fanfare. I should be giddy with excitement, drooling with anticipation.
I won’t go see Ender’s Game.