Ender’s Game

We might both do despicable things, Ender, but if humankind survives, then we were good tools.” “Is that all? Just tools?” “Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive.”

“Just one more example of the stupidity of the military. If you had any brains, you’d be in a real career, like selling life insurance.”

“He can have friends. It’s parents he can’t have.”

“Somebody done a dance on your head, mama,” Alai said. “Somebody eated your face.”

“I be crazy too, little buddy, but at least when I be craziest, I be floating all alone in space and the crazy, she float out of me, she soak into the walls, and she don’t come out till there be battles and little boy’s bump into the walls and squish out de crazy.”

She had wanted to believe she was good at persuading people because she was right, not because she was clever. But no matter how much she told herself that she didn’t ever want to exploit people the way Peter did, she enjoyed knowing that she could, in her way, control other people. And not just control what they did. She could control, in a way, what they wanted to do.

“It’s not my fault I’m twelve right now. And it’s not my fault that right now is when the opportunity is open. Right now is the time when I can shape events. The world is always a democracy in times of flux, and the man with the best voice will win.

I’m not going to do it overnight. I’m just going to start now.

How much of this did the teachers plan? Did they know they were giving him obscure but excellent boys? Did they give him thirty Launchies, many of them underage, because they knew the little boys were quick learners, quick thinkers? Or was this what any similar group could become under a commander who knew what he wanted his army to do, and knew how to teach them to do it?

“I am not a happy man, Ender. Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.

Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it.