10 Essential Books from the Last 25 Years

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)

Ender’s Game is set in a world that has been united in a battle against the alien “Bugger” race. Nine-year-old Ender Wiggins is monitored and then selected for training at command school, where he eventually becomes leader of the Earth’s spacefleet and exterminates the entire Bugger species. Orson Scott Card’s science fiction novel, which has been taught in schools across the country, is a mesmerizing study of gifted children corrupted by their teachers — and a diversely beloved cult favorite. It’s at once a philosophical inquiry into moral responsibility and a thrilling shoot-em-up in zero gravity. The novel won the two most prestigious awards in science fiction (the Hugo and Nebula), and is a (sometimes clandestine) favorite among all serious lovers of literature.