Monday, January 12, 2009

Ender's Game

One of the book titles on my daughter's 7th grade reading list was Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. For those who aren't familiar with the story, the basic idea is that in the future, after a war with an alien race, the nations of Earth join together to establish a training facility for children showing promise as military tacticians. They are preparing for the next war and searching for the best and brightest commanders. Ender Wiggins is a boy of exceptional ability.

I read the story first in its original form as a long short story. It was included in an anthalogy of military science fiction. It was a great story, and it deserved all of the attention that it got.

The author either decided or was persuaded to expand the story into a book. In going from short story to book, a lot of filler material had to be added, which I don't think really added anything to the story. If anything, it was a distraction that had to be waded through. Scenes were added that attempted to probe the psychology of the main character. The book was another big success.

Naturally, success builds upon itself. There was a whole series of books spun off from Ender's Game involving other characters and following Ender Wiggins. Some of these books were OK, but none were as good as the original short story. I found myself thinking that the well has been returned to a few too many times. Get some new material, already.

I am thankful that, as Catholics, our Church teaches us that public revelation is complete. There will be no new books added to the canon of scripture. We don't need any more. There won't be a fifth gospel exploring the psychology of Christ or the apostles after the resurrection. There won't be any material added to holy scripture deconstructing and revealing the details of the holy childhood or young adulthood of Jesus. Everything that we need is already there for us.

I am thankful for that.


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

It was included in an anth-A-logy of military science fiction.

I suppose you mean It was included in an anth-O-logy of military science fiction?

(Greek geek strikes again, hehehe ...)

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

There will be no new books added to the canon of scripture. We don't need any more.

Revelation is indeed complete, but as for adding new books, there is the possibility of old books in canon of some schismatic body being if not added at least recognised as pious.

Thinking of "I Ezra" (our I and II Ezra are II and III Ezra to Russians), III and IV Maccabees (both accepted by Roumanians, and the latter authored very possibly by Flavius Josephus after several books of NT were already written) and Ethiopian Book of Henoch.

Trent defined that ALL 72 books, or 73 if Baruch counts as separate from Jeremiah are canonic. Against Protestants denying canonicity of seven of them plus certain chapters and verses in Daniel. But not that they were the ONLY canonical books, so as to condemn also Ethiopians, Roumanians, Russians for having books we don't have.