Concepts in the Ender's Game series

Concepts in the Ender's Game series

This is a list of miscellaneous elements in the Ender's Game series of books by Orson Scott Card.



Aiùas are explained in Orson Scott Card's series of novels, beginning with Speaker for the Dead and clarified in Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. An aiùa is an intelligent philote. Sentient creatures consist of uncounted numbers of philotes (the true indivisible particle) and one aiùa, which holds the collection together and can be thought of as the physical representation of the soul. According to Grego in Xenocide, the term was inspired by the Sanskrit word for 'life,' probably "āyus" (this is not the first time Card has derived fictional slang from real-world vocabulary). The existence of philotes and aiùas is also acknowledged, though not as large of a theme, in the parallel Shadow series.


"The official name is Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator," explains Colonel Graff in Ender's Game, "but somebody dredged the name ansible out of an old book somewhere".[1] The ansible essentially functions as a faster-than-light e-mail system. Graff's description of ansible functions in Xenocide involve a fictional subatomic particle, the philote, and contradicts not only standard physical theory but the results of empirical particle accelerator experiments. In the "Enderverse", the two quarks inside a pi meson can be separated by an arbitrary distance while remaining connected by "philotic rays". This is similar in concept to quantum teleportation due to entanglement. However, in the real world, quark confinement prevents one from separating quarks by more than microscopic distances.

The novels' treatment of time dilation is also inconsistent with standard theory. In the novels, the passenger of a starship experiences time compression, resulting in slowed speech when communicating over the ansible. This contradicts the core concept of the theory of relativity by giving the planet a privileged frame of reference. It is no more correct to say that the planet is at rest and the ship moving than to say that the ship is at rest and the planet moving backwards. As such, we find a paradox in which the person at each end of an ansible expects the other person to be time dilated and speaking slowly. In light speed or slower communications, this paradox is avoided due to the expected message delays, as in the Twin paradox. Instantaneous communications, however, does result in a paradox, as each communicator expected the other to be slowed.

Anton's Key

Anton's Key is a fictional genetic modification to human DNA. Though named after its inventor, a scientist named Anton, it primarily afflicts Julian 'Bean' Delphiki; over the course of the novels, he passes it on to four of his nine children.

"Anton's Key" unlocks unlimited brain growth and continual formation of new neurons, allowing the person access to the intellectual miracles of infancy (language acquisition, physical dexterity and all other forms of learning) throughout their entire life. Children with Anton's Key will be born prematurely, but, despite low birth weight and shorter gestation period, will not require the extra attention of normal "premie" babies. All normal human growth milestones are accelerated, including (but not limited to) toilet training, walking, talking and puberty (except for the growth spurt). The disadvantage of Anton's Key is that the body grows along with the brain, resulting in unstoppable giantism. The immense size of the body causes circulation difficulties for the heart, which must pump blood through a network of arteries and veins much larger than that intended by nature, and the subject will eventually experience death via congestive heart failure. The one known bearer of Anton's Key, Bean, was not expected to live past his twentieth birthday; however, the Shadow series ends before his death, with Bean taking three of his carrier children on a prolonged relativistic voyage; no concrete information on his fate or (subjective) longevity is yet available. A sequel, Shadows in Flight, is expected to tie up these loose ends.

Some scientists within the story argue that, because Anton's Key requires two distinct and unrelated mutations and thus could never occur in nature, those who possess Anton's Key are actually a newly-created species. Whether or not this is true, carriers of the modification are still able to breed with normal Homo sapiens, as Bean does with Petra Arkanian.

Because Anton carried out the research for this human genetic modification at a time when such activity was illegal, he was inflicted with a Pavlovian mental ban, preventing him from thinking about the topic without suffering a panic attack. Despite this, Volescu managed to solicit the information from him and, by incorporating the modification into an embryo belonging to his brother and fertility-challenged sister-in-law, created Bean. Later, Anton was able to give Sister Carlotta, friend and mother-figure to Bean, information about Bean's condition; she passed the information on to Graff, and eventually Bean himself. She was also responsible for reuniting Bean with his mother and father, who (by coincidence) were the parents of Bean's best friend Nikolai Delphiki.


The Descolada is a fictional virus in the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card. It is a quasi-conscious self-modifying organism capable of infecting any form of life. The Descolada is first mentioned in Speaker for the Dead, and plays a leading role in the later book Xenocide. Additionally, in Children of the Mind, the Lusitanians, with the aid of Jane, make their way to the home world of the descolada. It is eventually revealed that the creators of the descolada (known as descoladores) may be intelligent life forms, sending out the virus for a number of reasons including a method of communication, a means of enslavement, and a tool for colonization/terraforming. The true intent of the descolada is never discovered, however, as the book ends before any meaningful contact can be made with them.

"Descolada" is a real Portuguese word meaning "unglued"; within the context of the Enderverse, the virus was named this because it breaks the link of the DNA double helix (ungluing it) and induces dramatic and, in most species, lethal mutations.


These are a possibly sentient species that are first presented in Children of the Mind. Little is known about them other than the fact that they communicate using genes, through a virus, known as the Descolada, and that they can use that virus to alter the genes of all life on a planet (and for some reason, it has been known to kill most of it). There has been much debate as to whether the Descoladores are Ramen, or whether Xenocide needs to occur (although the end of Children of the Mind lets us to know that the protagonists have decided to be Ramen themselves, and not use the Little Doctor to kill them all).

It is suspected that they created the Descolada and other viruses in order to 'terraform' (to their liking) planets such as Lusitania. Upon arriving at their home planet, a group of scientists led by Miro, Jane, Quara, and Ela broadcast the remains of the Descolada found on Lusitania. This molecule contained the genetic makeup of all life on Lusitania (including humans and Pequeninos), although they did send an earlier version of the virus that had not seen the attempts to overcome it. The Descoladores responded by transmitting a genetic molecule back that affects the same place in the brain as heroin. Differing hypotheses for this transmission included a pacification attempt by the Descoladores to sedate and capture the intruders, as well as a welcoming "hug" to a new species. This led to the belief that the Descoladores communicate by transmitting a molecule meant to be manufactured and ingested by the receiving party. Another hypothesis is that this is the way the Descoladores communicate with animals, perhaps using philotic twining to communicate amongst themselves.

Fantasy Game

The Mind Fantasy Game is a game that is played by the students in Ender's Game to monitor their psychological development and stability while they are in Battle School.

Ender plays the game intensely, and one of the teachers becomes concerned when he becomes preoccupied with the Giant's Drink. In the Giant's Drink, a giant gives the player a choice of two drinks. That area is a lose-lose situation that is believed by one of the teachers to reveal the suicidal tendency of the child. Ender constantly keeps dying in that area. Finally, Ender breaks the rules by kicking the two drinks over and burrowing into the giant's eye, killing him. Because most children give up and never progress beyond the Drink, the game was not programmed to reveal what happened after getting past the Giant. However, the computer was so complex that it created areas afterwards, tailored to Ender's mind.

In Ender's Shadow, the main protagonist Bean is said to be the only student who never plays the game, because he knows that the teachers are using it to analyze their minds. His refusal to play the game vexes the teachers and forces them to monitor him in different ways. Bean, however, does play the game once, at the Giant's Drink, and the computer shows Achilles' face, similar to the scene in Game when Ender sees Peter's face.

In Shadow of the Giant, Bean issues a request for Graff to reprogram the Mind Game to become a neutral trust holder of Ender's trust fund. He does so because he suspects that Peter Wiggin has been embezzling the trust fund money. The reprogrammed Mind Game quickly becomes very useful, and is predicting the stock market better than the experts by the end of the novel.

It is revealed in Xenocide that the Hive Queen used the Fantasy Mind Game to form a connection or "bridge" to Ender during the events of "Game" in order to subdue him. In order to do so, the Hive Queen summoned an aiùa from Outside. Eventually, sometime after Bean requests for the Mind Game to be reprogrammed, the aiùa inside the Mind Game evolved into Jane, the cybernetic entity who lives among the philotic twines between planets introduced in "Speaker for the Dead." It had been known in Speaker for the Dead that Jane had combined with the fantasy game, however—just not how or why.

Hierarchy of Foreignness

The Hierarchy of Foreignness classifies the relationships between humanity and all other creatures. The hierarchy is a five-tiered structure using various classifications to group all "strangers". It is first presented in the book History of Wutan in Trondheim by Valentine Wiggin, published under the pseudonym of Demosthenes. Within the story, the terms are said to have originated from the Norwegian language of the fictional planet Trondheim; however, they are actually based on Swedish words.

The hierarchy

Utlanning (translated: "outlander" or "foreigner", utlänning in Swedish) are strangers of one's own species and one's own world (i.e. community or culture). An utlanning is a person who shares the observer's cultural identity. For example, if one were to meet a stranger who lived in another city, state, or province, this person would be considered utlanning.

Framling (translated: "stranger", främling in Swedish) are members of one's own species but from another world or culture. This is a person who is both substantially similar to and significantly different from ourselves. For example, if one met another human who lived on Mars, this person would be a framling (a classic example is Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land). At the time the Hierarchy is proposed, each planet in the Ender's Game Universe (other than Earth) has been colonized by a single terrestrial culture or nation, making humans from other planets "framlings." In passing from Nordic to Stark, the word dropped its umlaut.

Ramen are strangers from another species (as paradoxically explained in Card's own terms) who are capable of communication and peaceful coexistence with Homo sapiens, though that does not guarantee they will pursue the latter. While ramen can share ideas with each other, they may not have common ground, at least not initially. Some examples of ramen featured in the series are the piggies or Little Ones of Lusitania, Jane and the buggers. "Ramen" is the only word of the five to not come from a Scandinavian language.

Varelse (pronounced var-ELSS-uh[2]) (translated: "being") are strangers from another species who are not able to communicate with us. They are true aliens, completely incapable of common ground with humanity. The quasi-intelligent Descolada virus may or may not have been sentient enough to qualify in this category; their creators, the Descoladores, were easily identified as sentient (due to their clear mastery of mathematics, genetics and electromagnetism), but the Ender Quartet ends with years of study yet remaining before any meaningful communication can be entered with them. One character also describes all animals as being varelse, since with them "no conversation is possible. They live, but we cannot guess what purposes or causes makes them act. They might be intelligent, they might be self-aware, but we cannot know it." Translated from Swedish, varelse means "creature."

Djur (translated as: "slavering beast") are the monsters. "The dire beast that comes in the night with slavering jaws." Translated from Swedish, djur means "animal".


The reason that this hierarchy is given is that with a species designated as ramen, communication and compromise are viable alternatives to war, while if a species is designated as varelse, then we have a right to wage war on this species in self-defense. However, these definitions are open to interpretation. The Pequeninos and Formics (the "Buggers") are both considered ramen at various points in the series and varelse at other points, and the change in designation did not come from a change in the species being described, but rather from a change in humans' understanding of them. Quara, one of the characters in the series, even goes so far as to state, "As far as I can tell, intelligence is intelligence. Varelse is just the term Valentine invented to mean Intelligence-that-we've-decided-to-kill, and ramen means Intelligence-that-we-haven't-decided-to-kill-yet." Having said that, Card acknowledges this aspect of the Hierarchy with a challenge in the epistolary opening to the very first chapter of Speaker for the Dead, before the Hierarchy itself has even been introduced:

The difference between ramen and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an alien species to be ramen, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.

    —Demosthenes, Letter to the Framlings

Molecular Disruption Device

The Molecular Disruption Device is a fictional weapon of mass destruction featured in the Ender's Game series of science fiction novels by Orson Scott Card. Given the awkwardness of saying "molecular disruption device" or "molecular detachment device," the name was abbreviated to "M. D. Device," which gave rise to the nicknames "Dr. Device" and "The Little Doctor" as a joke. Originating from Formic technology it sets up a field in which the covalent and ionic atomic bonding cannot exist. The field's strength weakens with distance, but is regenerated when it encounters another molecule. This chain reaction rips apart molecules and can be used to destroy ships, fleets (when ships are in close proximity) or even an entire planet.


After the devastation caused by two invasions by a hive minded extraterrestrial race known formally as the "Formics" and informally as the "Buggers," Earth's military and scientific minds sought a way to permanently neutralize the Formic threat. All attempts at diplomacy and communication had failed. Humanity picked up several important pieces of technology from the Formic equipment, including gravity control and the possibility of faster-than-light communication, the ansible.


A basic explanation of the function of the Little Doctor appears in Ender's Game. The device produces two beams whose focal point has the ability to disrupt the bonds between atoms in molecules. The device also creates a field in which nearby molecules are also destroyed, and each dissolved molecule widens the reach of the field. In the absence of nearby mass, such as in the vacuum of space, the field dissipates rapidly, but a tightly-clustered formation of ships could be easily destroyed.

The device is capable of destroying essentially any single object, or cluster of objects that are close enough together. It can destroy something as small as an enemy spacecraft, or something as incredibly large as an entire planet. In theory, it may even be able to destroy larger objects such as stars, if the firing ship could get close enough without being destroyed, as the device has a finite range.

In Ender's Game, the only thing said about the weapon's physical characteristics is that it employs a directed energy beam; "it can't shoot around corners," Ender deduces. Three thousand years later, in Children of the Mind, the device has been scaled into the warhead of a missile, small enough to fit inside a small room. Upon "detonation", the field effect is started within the missile itself and uses the weapon's mass to jump-start a chain reaction. A removable section of casing allows it to be shut off, and instructions on how to do so are printed all over its surface (turning it on, a military officer explains, is the difficult part).

Ender in Exile further explains how the humans stripped down the Formic's space travel technology and wound up with an unwieldy piece of technology, which made an excellent weapon of mass destruction.


The M. D. Device was dispatched with several interstellar fleets heading towards the Formic homeworld. The ships were also equipped with ansibles, allowing Earth to develop the strategies and leaders needed for battle while the fighting force was still in transit. From Command School, Ender Wiggin remotely ordered the use of the Device on the enemy planet, resulting in the planet's complete destruction. It had not been previously tested on an object of such scale. Ironically, Ender used the Device on the planet in order to flunk himself out of Command School: deceived into thinking he was attempting to pass his final exam, he decided to prove himself too dangerous, too uncivilized to actually command against the Formics and hoping to be sent home. Ender carried this guilt with him for many years.

In Speaker for the Dead, Starways Congress deployed the Evacuation Fleet to the planet of Lusitania. Lusitania was not only host to a sentient species known as the Pequeninos, but also an extremely infectious and destructive virus, the "descolada," which, if allowed contact with life on any other planet, would cause planetwide extinctions and ecological disaster. Despite this, the pequeninos had demanded their right, as sentient beings, to spread out amongst the stars. Despite Congressional law forbidding the donation of technology to less advanced life forms, the human scientists on Lusitania (and, later, the revived Formics) agreed to help them spread out. With the colony now in rebellion and harboring an extremely potent bioweapon, Congress (in Xenocide) authorized the Fleet to use the Little Doctor. By the end of Children of the Mind, however, Peter Wiggin and Si Wang-mu, with the help of their allies, convinced Congress to change its mind, and xenocide via the use of the Little Doctor was averted.


Outside is a conceptual space outside of the fictional "universe" used in the Ender Quartet. It is a space with no reference points and thus no distance, composed of an infinite number of disorganized philotes, each willing to follow any pattern it can.

The primary function of "Outside," as it often referred to in the books, is faster-than-light travel. This type of travel works on the principle that from the Outside, the lack of defined space makes the "Inside" universe a point no larger or smaller than any philote nearby. Thus, anyone Outside could reenter the universe at any point and any speed. However, to do so, the person would have to be able to hold the pattern of themselves and anything else taken along on the journey Outside in their mind. This is something only the computer entity Jane has ever been capable of, therefore she is the only one capable of taking "anything more complex than a rubber ball" Outside and back Inside again, as stated in Children of the Mind.

Another use of Outside as shown in Xenocide is to create objects. As stated above, all the philotes Outside are perfectly willing (and, in fact, trying) to get into some organized pattern. Both conscious and unconscious thoughts create patterns that the philotes bend to. Through this process, Ender's stepdaughter Ela consciously created the "Recolada," a replacement for the Descolada virus that would both allow the Pequeninos to transform into adults and no longer harm the Formics or Humans. Ender himself created copies of Peter Wiggin and Valentine Wiggin as he best remembered them in his subconscious and his disabled stepson Miro created a new body that showed his opinion of himself to others.


A philote is the basic building block of matter, the true indivisible particle that is not made up of smaller ones. Philotes take up no space and are essential to the theory of philotic energy. Each atom has a philote of its own, each molecule likewise, and ultimately each human has an aiùa, an intelligent philote. It is suggested that perhaps a single philote, which could be referred to as God, contains the essence of humanity, and/or all sentient species in the known universe.

Early in the series, philotic energy is used as a form of faster-than-light communication, in which messages are transmitted instantaneously via ansible. Later, it is used as a form of near-instantaneous travel, with items to be transported being sent Outside and then back In, arriving at the specified destination (which may be any distance from the origin).

Philotes combine or 'twine' to make up all matter in the universe. This twining also makes possible the ansibles, which allow instantaneous communication over any distance via quantum entanglement. Philotes have no mass or inertia, only location (similar to a geometric point), and extend infinitely in two directions. All philotes are qualitatively different from each other, in that some are 'smarter' than others. As one moves up the levels, from philotes to quarks to atoms to molecules and so on, the patterns in which the philotes twine become increasingly complex. Not all philotes are 'smart' enough to be able to control and maintain these patterns. It takes very 'smart' ones, which are called aiúas, to inhabit actual life forms, and an organism's 'master' philote, or its aiùa (Sanskrit for life), is considered to be the physical site of its soul.

The Hive Queens of the Formic race are born like the rest of the Formics: unintelligent. The mother of the new queen calls a philote from another place, a non-place, and it comes. The Hive Queen also mentions that humans do the same thing when born. It's the act of becoming sentient. It is discovered that these philotes come from Outside, where there is no sense of location and all matter resides in one geometrical point (see above section for more detail).

In the study of philotics, philotes are essential threads of energy, which have no mass, and the measurable dimension of a mathematical point, which entwine or "twine" and create holons, which are then interpreted as solid sensory phenomena by sentient beings.

The theory of philotics

Philotes are the fundamental building blocks of all matter and energy. Philotes have neither mass, dimension, nor inertia. Philotes have only location, duration and connection. When philotes combine to make durable structures, protons, neutrons, atoms, molecules, organisms, planets, etc., they "twine up". Each philote connects itself to the rest of the universe along a single ray, a one-dimensional line that connects it to all other philotes in its nearest immediate structure.

All of those strands from philotes in that structure are twined into a single philotic thread that connects to the next largest structure. The threads twine into a yarn to the next largest structure, and then into a greater rope of larger structures. This has nothing to do with nuclear forces or gravity, nothing to do with chemical bonds. Philotes are beneath all observable manifestations of matter and energy.

The individual philotic rays are always there, present in the twines, going on apparently forever. The rays twine together to the planet, and each planet's philotic twine reaches to its star, and each star to the center of the galaxy — and who knows where after that.

The philotic twines from substances like rock or sand all connect directly from each molecule to the center of the planet. But when a molecule is incorporated into a sentient living organism, its ray shifts. Instead of reaching to the planet, it gets twined up into the individual cells, the rays from all the cells are all twined together so that each organism sends a single fiber of philotic connections to twine up with the central philotic rope of the planet.

When a twined structure is broken — as when a molecule breaks apart — the old philotic twining remains for a time. Fragments that are no longer physically connected remain philotically connected for a while. The smaller the particle the longer the connection lasts after the breakup. The more complex the structure the faster it responds to change. After nuclear fission, theoretically, it takes hours for the philotic rays to sort themselves out again, perhaps not in an identical manner. The energy released in fission may result from the breaking of philotic twines.

At one point, Jane hints that she is responsible for the ansibles's safety. The philotic rays themselves have never broken, only the machinery, but shouldn't they have, after at least 3000 years? She says she keeps them entwined, using her power as a sentient being that lives in the ansibles's connections.

Philotic Web

The Philotic Web is a philosophical and metaphysical construct of the Ender's Game series of books by Orson Scott Card. The philosophy of philotes and the philotic web they create first appeared in Xenocide, the third book of the series. It describes the interconnection of not only all the aiuas in the universe, but also the lesser-intelligent philotes. The "web" itself is used by Jane to access not only the combined knowledge of humanity, but also as a pseudo-storage device to house her memory and higher reasoning functions.

The web is the direct result of every philotic connection in the universe. These connections never touch each other in the truer sense of the word "web," but every being can be linked to every other being by their interconnected philotes. These philotic connections are not static, and can be strengthened or weakened over time. For example, Si Wang-Mu and Peter Wiggin begin their journey together having only a small philotic connection. As they spend more time together and grow increasingly more affectionate and emotionally attached to each other, their connection grows stronger and stronger.

The philotic connections spoken of in the Enderverse can grow to monumental proportions based solely on emotional and "spiritual" connectedness. Grego is spoken of as having formed a very intense philotic web with the angry mob in Xenocide in a matter of minutes. Additionally, philotic connections can cause physical disturbance or emotional distress when severed.

It is also important to note that philotic connections exist between living and non-living things alike.


Stark (short for Starways Common and also called Common and Starcommon) is the common interstellar language. In the 3000-year gap between the novels Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead it evolved from "IF Common," which in turn evolved from American English. Characters have occasionally cited that the only reason Stark has English as its ancestor is because America was technologically predominant at the beginning of the space age and in particular, when the IF was created. It was hinted that most planets have small American minorities who learn Stark as a first language, but that the majority of humans learn it as a second or even third language. It is the official language of the Starways Congress and the primary language of most of the Hundred Worlds.

Although the characters of Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind speak Stark, their speech has been translated into English in the books, so the reader has no way of ascertaining the difference between the languages. Ender Wiggin, who grew up on Earth thousands of years earlier and speaks American English natively, notes that Stark is very similar to English. Another hint is found in Shadow of the Giant when Ender's mother corrects Bean's grammar pointing out that Bean should have used "whom" instead of "who". Bean responds: "I speak common, not English, and in common there is no such word as 'whom'".

Ender's Technology

The monitor is a device that the host is connected to that allows the viewer to see though the host’s eyes and monitor body functions found in "Ender's Game" The removal of the monitor can paralyze the host if improperly performed.

Near to light speed travel in space/colony ships found in all novels. In the end of "Shadow of the Giant" Bean travels in a new spaceship that can reach near to light speed at a faster rate with the help of a gravity field generator.

The desk was a device (not unlike a tablet computer) used for performing exercises as well as communicating with other students. The desks were also used for Free Play, a game environment that doubled as a psychological evaluation tool found in "Ender's Game" and “Ender’s Shadow” Note that psychological evaluation tool later became Jane

Battle Room is a place on the Battle School with zero gravity found in "Ender's Game," “Ender’s Shadow,” and "Shadow of the Giant".

The Battle Room Hook is used to defy the zero gravity in the Battle Room found in "Ender's Game".

The flash suits were designed for wars fought with harmless light. The flash suits were lighted; they went dark wherever they were 'frozen'. Found in "Ender's Game".

An ansible is a hypothetical machine capable of instantaneous or superluminal communication used in all of Ender’s universe in all novels. Also note that Peter wanted a personal ansible to communicate to his brother Ender at the end of his life found in "Shadow of the Giant".

M. D. Device - Originating from Formic technology, it sets up a field in which the covalent and ionic atomic bonding cannot exist. The field's strength weakens with distance, but is regenerated when it encounters another molecule. This chain reaction rips apart molecules and can be used to destroy ships, fleets (when ships are in close proximity) or even an entire planet.

Jane is an artificial sentience thought to exist within the ansible. She has appeared in the novels Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind, and in the short story Investment Counselor.

Instantaneous Travel - A simple spacecraft is constructed (later deemed unnecessary due to Jane's precision in transportation), and through holding the image of the traveler in her consciousness, Jane can pick up the image and place it anywhere in the universe instantly. This advancement is threatened by Congress' attempt to deactivate her "program." Found in Children of the Mind. This concept was introduced in the later chapters of Xenocide and necessary for its ending.

Park Shift Theory

The Park Shift, first introduced in the book Ender's Game, is a theory in which a spaceship or object traveling at the speed of light, can instantly, or near instantly, slow to a stop. This is used when a spaceship meets with another and connects, or if a spaceship is nearing its final destination. An otherwise impossible feat, since the inertia would propel the object much farther than the intended target. In doing so, the ship in question would have to exit light speed which would cause time to revert to relativistic speeds. Since travel at light speed, or near light speed, would cause a time dilation effect, the time in travel would make a near second take weeks or months in correlation with the rest of space. The scientists of the series do not know how the Park Shift actually works, and it seems to have been discovered accidentally, and used ever since.


  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
  • Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
  • First Meetings by Orson Scott Card
  1. ^ Card, Orson Scott (July 1994) [1977]. Ender's Game (mass ppb. ed.). New York: Tor Books. p. 249. ISBN 0-8125-5070-6. "What matters is we built the ansible. The official name is Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator, but somebody dredged the name ansible out of an old book somewhere and it caught on." 
  2. ^ Hatrack River Forum: What's your favorite OSC philosophical insight?

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