Interesting List

Here’s another interesting top 100 list:

Top 100 books in the UK

This struck me as funny because The DaVinci Code has sold so many copies. Do you know what this MEANS? This means that 5 million people sent Dan Brown a dollar thinking that he would tell them where the treasure is. Oh, he knows where the treasure is. 5 million suckers actually bought that book. 5 million people who don’t know where the library in their town is located, instead went out and bought that dull piece of writing. It promises puzzles (of which you could find better examples in Brian Lumley’s Necroscope, by the way), and it perhaps promises a thrill ride which unfortunately never comes, but instead delivers a textbook-like redundant mention of some mysterious and incoherent earth-nymph. I hope you, dear reader, were not one of those who bought in to the sale of the fool’s gold. Anyway, I shouldn’t hack too heavily on Dan Brown, after all he has carved out a nice niche for himself, reinventing his first novel in different ways. He does write well and has good ideas. I just don’t like his market. I prefer books with either a philosophical theme or an action theme, and his don’t seem to have either of those.

Also on this list are the Harry Potter books, which have sold really well, and for good reason. As those books were written and sold, I was a rabid fan and by the end I was ready to claim J. K. Rolling as a fraud if she didn’t do something with one of her characters. I won’t spoil it for any of you who may not have read the books, but I will tell you that she came through in the end, and I can’t say anything bad about her writing or her books now.

Anyway, check out this list (linked above) for some interesting sales information, rather than one person’s idea of what the best books are.


Reasoning for a 100 best books list

It is obvious that I don’t see things the way others see them, and they don’t see it the way I see it. This is a preferred arrangement anyway. Who wants to be stirred in among the clones? And by clones I mean the majority of so-called “100 best books” lists. Here for example are three that, to my eyes, are identical:

Modern Library’s list (which is actually two lists side by side) shows how people making these lists tend to repeat themselves. If you have eyes at all you’ll be able to notice that in these lists the only major difference is placement; the same books appear in both lists only in alternate numbered slots.

Radcliffe’s Rival 100 (which doesn’t rival nearly as much as it emulates) is on the same website, and so why should I think it would be a different list than the others? Maybe because of how it was presented with the word rival in the title. Oh, well, why be bothered with semantics? Har har.

Goodreads’ Top 100 Winner of the most likely to be a clone award. Nothing new here. Same dull stuff. And this is supposed to be picked by “readers”. Let me tell you something. Come closer, it’s a secret of mine. I want you to know how I detect a faker. Anyone who says they’ve read Moby Dick more than once is lying to you in pure unsolicited deceit. Ah, but the world would be very dull indeed without the liars, wouldn’t it? Living in that world would be like living right inside this Goodreads list. And once again, I should point out that lists like these ought to sell books, not turn people away from them.

And then there’s Amazon’s list. Not too bad really, Amazon set out to define their own 100 and introduced a few new ones, including some “children’s” books. I put children’s in quotes here because no one needs to worry about age definitions as set by the shelving order at the bookstore. Why limit yourself, right? Many readers enjoy YA fiction, and not all of these readers are Young Adults. However, the people at Amazon did their job well and inspired me to collect my own favorites in a list, mainly because I was seeing their bad choices. Example: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? You can’t read that book and enjoy it unless you are on the same drugs described in the book in the same copious amounts. Also, read the first five paragraphs and you’ve read the whole thing because they are repeated throughout the whole book. You get the picture, and I’m not trying to beat down the whole list (only the bad dogs, I suppose), my intention is instead to say I’ve seen enough of these lame choices in all of the lists to make my own list without the lame choices. Whether I accomplished that or not is surely debatable and I’d be an ingrate if I didn’t share this quote by Greg Zimmerman:

“But, when reasonable minds prevail, these lists are a TON of fun to think about. What makes a great Top 100 list, in my view, is one that includes four criteria: 1) Plenty to agree with. 2) A few wild card picks that make you think, “Ah, yeah, good call, I wouldn’t have thought of that, but yeah!” 3) A few that are sketchy at best, or that you’re reasonably sure you can make an argument against, and 4) A few that make you mad.” ~Greg Zimmerman of Book Riot dot com

I think he’s mostly right with those criteria. His number one is perfectly accurate in my view, and that is why I absolutely had to make my own list, because I could not find that “plenty” with which to agree.


100 of the Greatest Books Ever

100 of the Greatest Books Ever

1. Frankenstein ~Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Every time I read Mary’s classic tale, I find new insights, new ideas. She really constructed something amazing.

2. The Holy Bible, The King James Version

Like a friend of mine said, this is one you can read over and over again. Also, most of the plots of modern literature were derived, directly or indirectly, from this collection of ancient writings.

3. The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ

I love this book. My inspiration to quit smoking (tobacco, in case you were wondering) came from this book.

4. On The Origin of Species ~Charles Darwin

The general public understands this man’s work by what they hear in the general media. Which means they don’t understand it. Written like a textbook it’s difficult to get through, yet reading it and understanding it is extremely rewarding.

5. The Mismeasure of Man ~Stephen Jay Gould

This one is much like Darwin’s great book, and yet it tackles another, subsequent idea concerning skulls and such.

6. A Clockwork Orange ~Anthony Burgess

A bit of the old Moloko, brother? And Burgess was right—chapter 21 seals it.

7. Tao of Jeet Kune Do ~Bruce Lee

My absolute favorite philosopher. The world could learn a lot from this man.


8. Crucial Conversations ~Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler

I wonder if this should be required reading for anyone considering marriage or a business career. The perfect book for learning tact in speaking to other humans.

9. Fox in Socks ~Dr. Seuss

Of Dr. Seuss’s books, this tongue-twister collection is my favorite.

10. Calvin and Hobbes ~Bill Watterson

Inspired and influenced, and continues to do so today. Great comic strips.

11. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ~Philip K. Dick

This science fiction thrill-ride should be on every “Best Book” list. I have the first few paragraphs memorized I’ve read it so much.

12. The Shape-Changer’s Wife ~Sharon Shinn

Brilliant descriptions and fantastic twists. You’ll believe magic is everywhere.

13. The Alienist ~Caleb Carr

Caleb Carr is a world builder. This is a rich story with texture and gravity (it pulls you in).

the alienist

14. Fragments of a Hologram Rose ~William Gibson

This sci-fi original is found in his collection titled, Burning Chrome.

15. Necroscope ~Brian Lumley

A horror/science fiction novel that stands above in both categories.

16. Dragonborn ~Toby Forward

Beautiful writing, and an all-around fun magical fantasy story.

17. I’ll Mature When I’m Dead ~Dave Barry

Dave Barry is a master story-teller. He leads you down the path and then hits you in the gut with the punch line.

18. The Meaning of Tingo ~Adam Jacot de Boinod

Why do book lists only have story-books? This one shall go down in history as a great reference tool that manages humor. Yes learning can be fun.

19. The Hobbit ~J. R. R. Tolkien

For me, the riddles are what make this one a classic fantasy favorite.

20. The Chronicles of Narnia ~C. S. Lewis

Another classic fantasy with swords and mythical beasts. Worth reading multiple times.

21. The Arena ~Karen Hancock

Here’s an interesting science fiction fantasy, in the form of an allegory.

22. Dandelion Wine ~Ray Bradbury

Perfect reading for springtime weather. Read it with your sneakers on.


23. The Bourne Identity ~Robert Ludlum

This is a terrific adventure with an indestructible spy/assassin.

24. They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They? ~Patrick F. McManus

This is outdoorsy humor at its finest.

25. Call of the Wild ~Jack London

A book about a dog as the main character. Who says originality is dead?

26. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ~Mark Twain

Adventures: not only in the title, but in the book as well.

27. Riddlemaster of Hed ~Patricia A McKillip

Beautifully crafted lands of fantasy, and thoughtful character progression.

28. The Hero and the Crown ~Robin McKinley

This is one you can read as a youth or an adult and enjoy. All novels should aspire to cross the age boundaries so well.

29. Pride and Prejudice ~Jane Austen

Women love this one, for the relationships.

30. Spacewolf Omnibus ~William King

Men love this one, for the brutality.

31. Kiki Strike ~Kirsten Miller

What is under New York? Read Kiki Strike to find out.

32. School of Fear ~Gitty Daneshvari

Fun mix of characters in a youth fiction classic.

33. More Than Human ~Theodore Sturgeon

Optimal science fiction writing from a master craftsmen.


34. Danse Macabre ~Stephen King

Haunting and creepy (to me): a how-to-write book in which you must read between the lines.

35. Hard Magic ~Larry Correia

Excellent magical super power tough guy private eye novel. Larry’s best (so far).

36. Diary of a Wimpy Kid ~Jeff Kinney

One of the funniest books “for kids” to come out in a long while.

37. The Firm ~John Grisham

Brilliant writing, and I love, love, love the ending. My all-time favorite ending.

38. The Thief of Always ~Clive Barker

This book is another supposedly “for kids”, but it is really a great story for all ages.

39. To Kill a Mockingbird ~Harper Lee

Classic anti-prejudice literature. We need more Boo Radleys in this world.

40. Curious George ~H. A. Rey

And how can we forget the monkey who taught us how to have so much bad fun?

41. Goodnight Moon ~Margaret Wise and Clement Hurd

Go ahead and try to read this book aloud without whispering.

42. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ~Douglas Adams

This book title belongs at 42, doesn’t it?

43. Lord of the Flies ~William Golding

Absolutely haunting and hypnotic.

44. Of Mice and Men ~John Steinbeck

This one might be a “message” book, but it is too soft and cuddly to put down.

45. At Wit’s End ~Erma Bombeck

Erma is another of our worldly treasures. She deserves more praise than she gets.

46. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ~Roald Dahl

This fun book is your golden ticket to a very imaginative and happy place.

47. The Arrival ~Shaun Tan

Who needs words to tell a story? Not Shaun Tan. He built a captivating world of pictures.


48. A Wrinkle in Time ~Madeleine L’Engle

And this one makes math fun for children, among other things.

49. The Secret Garden ~Frances Hodgson Burnett

Take a trip into a beautiful landscape that lasts well after you’ve closed the book.

50. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  ~Lewis Carroll

This one could be at number 42. Why? Go ask Alice.

51. Mirror Mirror ~Marilyn Singer

Verse and reverse. A children’s favorite that is clever and worthy of any Greats list.

52. I Am Legend ~Richard Matheson

Perfect suburban vampire story from a man who also wrote Twilight Zone episodes.

53. From the Dust Returned ~Ray Bradbury

Because I think Ray really struggled writing novels, this one is a pleasant surprise.

54. Dracula ~Bram Stoker

The Count and his “children of the night”.

55. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ~Robert Louis Stevenson

This one, like H. G. Wells’s Invisible Man, is sort of a horror sci-fi story.

56. The Black Cauldron ~Lloyd Alexander

Wonderfully written fantasy with interesting magic.

57. The Maltese Falcon ~Dashiell Hammett

Hammett goes over the top with some of his descriptions, but I love it anyway.

58. Big Fish ~Daniel Wallace

The book and the movie bear distinct (and pleasant) differences.


59. Coraline ~Neil Gaiman

Reminds me more of The Thief of Always than Alice in Wonderland.

60. Rollerball ~William Harrison

Dystopia writing before it became a separate category.

61. Mr. Boffo: Unclear on the Concept ~Joe Martin

Comic strips shouldn’t be smart should they? Well this one is. It is a look at human behavior in not so much a clinical way as a funny way.

62. Your Momma Thinks Square Roots Are Vegetables ~Bill Amend

This one is supra-uber-smart, and funny too. Deals more with family relationships.

63. The Crow ~James O’Barr

This is a comic book (or graphic novel, if you prefer) that is ultra-violent, and yet it waxes poetic and brilliant at times. J. O’Barr knows how to mix intellect and madness artfully.

64. If I Built A Car ~Chris Van Dusen

A children’s book with graphic and literary imagination.

65. Star Trek Book of Opposites ~David Borgenicht

Hilarious combination of classic TV and young person learning. A parent may not be able to read this to their child the first time through without laughing all the way. Especially not if they’re a Star Trek fan.

66. The Poisonwood Bible ~Barbara Kingsolver

The father in this is so ornery, it makes me laugh.

67. Silent Spring ~Rachel Carson

Classic Mother Earth love song.

68. Black Holes and Baby Universes ~Stephen Hawking

Makes you love to learn about black holes.

69. Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic ~Martha Beck

About a Down syndrome boy and his mother.

70. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative ~Roger von Oech

One of the best how-to/self-improvement books of all time.

71. The Fly ~George Langelaan

Perfectly crafted horror sci-fi.

72. Deep Six ~Clive Cussler

You really can’t go wrong with any Clive Cussler novel. I especially enjoy reading his Dirk Pitt character. Classic tough guy stuff.

deep six

73. The Cask of Amontillado ~Edgar Allan Poe

Who is the bad guy here?

74. Flowers in the Attic ~V. C. Andrews

A frightening environment. How much does our environment shape us?

75. Where the Sidewalk Ends ~Shel Silverstein

Poetry from a man who never wore shoes.

76. The Hiding Place ~Corrie Ten Boom

A story that will hit you in your visceral core, unless you’re heartless.

77. The Diary of a Young Girl ~Anne Frank

Like The Hiding Place, with this story you’ll wonder at human nature.

78. The List of Seven ~Mark Frost

This is a Sherlock Holmes story with a horror twist.

79. Holes ~Louis Sachar

Thought-provoking story about youth camps. But again, this is one that is for all ages.

80. Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share ~Ken Denmead

What are we going to do next, Dad?

81. If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor ~Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell is one you may wish was your best friend.

82. Fatherhood ~Bill Cosby

And you’ll wish either Bill Cosby was your best friend or your Dear Old Dad.

bc father

83. Gulliver’s Travels ~Jonathan Swift

Classic fairy-tale adventure.

84. The Thirty-Nine Steps ~John Buchan

From this one, I got attitude. I love it when books give me attitude.

85. Unlimited Power ~Anthony Robbins

Self-improvement is a subject we too often forget.

86. Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar…:Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

~Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

Philosophy made easy, and unforgettable.


87. 2001: A Space Odyssey ~Arthur C. Clarke

I kind of liked 2010 better, but you can’t quite read it first, you know?

88. Moneyball ~Michael Lewis

You might not like this if you don’t like baseball, but the writing is so hearty it just may turn you into a baseball fan.

89. The Simple Art of Murder ~Raymond Chandler

Attitude. Tough guy private eye short stories. Chandler does it best.

90. Where All Things Perish ~Tanith Lee

Hard to find, but Tanith Lee is a writer worth reading. This story is a horror story with that perfect garnish of frisson.

91. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ~J. K. Rowling

She spins a delightful yarn, doesn’t she?

92. The Monster at the End of This Book ~Jon Stone and Michael Smollin

Classic book that children love to hear and parents love to read.

93. The Haunted Mesa ~Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour is best known for his cowboy stories. This is a somewhat frightening cowboy story with a little sci-fi thrown in. Don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself to find out how great it really is.


94. The Sound Machine ~Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl didn’t only do lovely children stories. This sci-fi story can be found in The Best of Roald Dahl.

95. The Time Machine  ~H. G. Wells

Great stories often generate imitators. This one probably had the most.

96. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz ~L. Frank Baum

The writing style is a little strange to me, but that’s part of the fun.

97. Shogun ~James Clavell

Masterpiece of cross-cultural understanding.

98. Welcome to the Monkey House ~Kurt Vonnegut

Short stories from a literary wit.

99. The Old Man and the Sea ~Ernest Hemingway

Arguments may be made that this was better as a movie than as a book. Try both, then tell me what you think.

100. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~Robert M. Pirsig

Enough said. Robert M. Pirsig said it better than me. Go read.

Amazon’s Awkwardness

I’m a little disappointed in Amazon. They’re supposed to be in the business of selling books. Of course, they also sell lots of other things, so maybe, just maybe we can chalk this latest foible up to the pressure of their massive expansion over the years. Massive expansion equals not enough time to focus on reality. That is only one hypothesis and will have to be tested. I could drive the ship for a while. No, instead I’ve decided to correct what they have done wrong. Recently the good folks at Amazon published a list of the 100 books to read in a lifetime and though there were some good books in the list, I was mightily drawn at how many dull and boring books were in there. Like I said, they’re supposed to be in the business of selling books, so the question that immediately comes to mind is: “Why limit it to so many dull selections?” Well, I’m making my own list, and it does take a while to collect that many titles, though my list was nearly instantly filled with books that I thought were interesting enough to buy and read more than once. Some of the rest of my list I gathered from other people I’ve been talking to about their favorite books, and so I’ve had some fun conversations over the past few weeks; I highly recommend starting up a conversation this way: “What’s one of your favorite books you’ve read that you could read over and over again?” Anyway, I have no attention span for books that are made up of slow action, or no action, and dull, lifeless topics that don’t encourage repeat visits.

To complete the list, I wanted to make sure these were books I had actually read, and not stuff that came off of an old dead-letter office list that got dusted off for re-release. Not saying that Amazon came up with their list by such a method, but I am saying that their list is chock full of boring titles that will make the already timid reader run to the movies and discard books forever. That is not what we need. So, I’ll read a couple more books and then post my list next week. Don’t be afraid to let me know if my list needs improvement. Also, don’t be afraid to check out Amazon’s list just because I said it stinks. They included a few good titles worth reading.

One Man’s Torture…


“We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people… We heard that our music was used on at least four occasions.  So we thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the U.S. government for musical services.“ ~Skinny Puppy

The invoice they are referring to is for the sum of 666,000 dollars. Should the U.S. government pay for music usage? If you know anything about U.S. media usage laws, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” According to law, anyone using an artist’s music must pay that artist if the purpose is to play the music to anyone other than the initial purchaser, or to play it for any other reason than personal entertainment. The same law involves broadcasting over radio, or showing movies to a collected crowd. For businesses that can’t select what they are playing before multiple events, they can opt for a general use license which gives them access to most available artist’s music. Did the Pentagon have a general use license?

In this case, the music was being played for someone other than the original consumer. Even though the intent was not to entertain, but to terrorize, the use was not for any personal consumption. I think the band Skinny Puppy has a legitimate complaint here. My bias is certainly for the band. However, since I have something of a background in the law concerning media rights, it also appears to me that the law is on the side of the six hundred and sixty six dollar invoice.

Paying an artist their just due is not all that Skinny Puppy stands for of course. The band members have a habit of igniting debates over injustices concerning animal rights, conspiracies of controlled diseases, music industry hypocrisy, and the abstraction of nuclear weapons. The latest album from Skinny Puppy is titled Weapon. The theme of weapons for the new album is in regard to the idea that there is a nuclear war happening continually. The environment is affected by residual radiation levels that originate in nuclear accidents like that at Fukushima in 2011.

Whether you have heard of Skinny Puppy or not, you may be hearing about them soon. They have even gained the attention of the Wall Street Journal with this latest exposé and subsequent request for payment. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear not only about them but hear their music too. It’s amazing and fascinating. Their music is progressive in every way. One of my favorite aspects of their music is that it does not cause boredom by repetition. Skinny Puppy does not follow the school of “mainstream” popular music that tends to think that repeating a maxim forty times in a row constitutes music. Instead of producing earworms, Skinny Puppy develops music that invites introspection and encourages creativity through opulent layers of sound. In fact, if the political detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison got to hear the new album before me, I am completely jealous. How can I become a part of the “Tunes for Torture” program and be on the receiving side? After all, I’d be asking, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Valuable Lessons Learned

Have you ever been to a conference of your peers? Do you have peers at all? Do you accept the peers you have?

If you have ever gone to a conference with the hope of learning from those who have already succeeded at what you would like to do, you may recognize some of the observations I made at my latest expedition for learning. I went to a writer’s conference and I must admit I had high hopes. On the first day, I noted that three out of the nine sessions I attended were interesting, well-crafted and informative. ONE THIRD! Is that a good portion? Doesn’t seem like it to me. The people who were in the “driver’s seat” were dull and lifeless in six of the sessions I attended. Each session was an hour, so you can easily add that up and say I wasted six hours, though the other three hours were fruitful. I should however point out that I was there to learn and so my choices were for the educational sessions. There were other options. I may have simply chosen the wrong sessions to attend. So, it could be said that I chose wrong two thirds of the time. There were “fun” sessions available, but I was determined to get my money’s worth and further my education. Well, regardless of my choices and the dullness of the sessions, I still learned, though I learned the lessons that were given behind and beyond the spoken word.

Lesson one: If you want to appear aloof and boring, sit behind a table, don’t mingle at all with the crowd, and use a tone of voice that is as dry as the desert (you know, where cattle wander off and die of dehydration and get picked apart by buzzards). If you want to sell people your personality as well as your books, try the opposite of the above: mingle, talk to people, shake hands, and have a tone of voice that sounds like you are happy to be where you are. Some of this can be faked, but hey, at least faking it is a step in the right direction.

Lesson two: Give the people what they want, but not everything they want. In one particular session, there was only one person presenting and the place was packed. The presenter was aware that not everyone would get a chance to ask a question. He was also aware that there was no session in the room following his time, so he stayed as long as people wanted him to answer their questions. Some questions were redundant though, and when they became redundant, he referred the person to his website. See? He gave the people what they wanted, but not everything they wanted. Limits: set them before you go (Lesson two point five).

Lesson three: Find the best food. I brought my own lunch the first day. On the second day I found a half-decent burger place. It was your standard meat and potatoes. Not really worth a second visit. On the third day however, I went to a sandwich place (Sensuous Sandwich) that was worth a repeat visit. They heaped my sandwich with lettuce and peppers and everything I asked for, just the way I like it. It was delicious, and quite honestly better than the sandwich I had made for myself from home.

Lesson four: People in capes are not so mysterious as they are repulsive. Lots of people went to this thing with their costumes, and I couldn’t really find the space from which they originated, you know what I mean? They were definitely from another dimension; one which I could not fathom. It should also be noted that none of the presenters wore capes, although there was one man who dressed like a magician. He wore a very fancy suit, with a silk vest. It was an odd sight, though he comported himself like a gentleman, so that the suit matched his personality. About the combination of blue-jeans and capes however, I wonder whether that is affirmation of style or aversion to it. You decide.

Lesson five: Don’t be an arrogant, pompous, self-centered ignoramus. One presenter acted that way, but then again, he did sort of admit to it halfway through his presentation, so there is hope for him yet. He also asked if there were any youngsters in the room, and after finding out that there were, he promised to tailor his speech and repress his curses, so he deserves kudos for that.

Lesson six: The presentation on how to be a quality presenter should have been required for all but three of the presenters at the conference.

Lesson seven: I cannot attend that conference again, unless I am either in the sales room or presenting. I can’t survive the dull sessions, and hanging around waiting for the next great session is not worth the time. If I was in the sales room, I could at least mark the time by counting how many Sensuous sandwiches I had earned.

As Promised

As promised, I will let you in on the general topic of Mr. O. S. Card’s speech. He talked mainly about where his most famous character Ender originated. He (Card) has had many years to contemplate this and analyze where the character was born. Ender, Card said, is a product of isolation and separation. Card was often a loner. A smart kid among sportos, he often got the best grades in his class. He moved around a bit when he was younger and this also made him feel isolated. He felt isolated in some of his church callings, though he made it sound humorous rather than sour. He also wrote plays while other children his age were out playing. He was late to learn how to drive, so he spent the time waiting for his father to pick him up by writing. He put these traits into his character Ender, though Card claimed not to have thought about it so much back then. He only recognized it more and more after the fact. He also said that he wrote a lot of versions of the screenplay for the recent Ender’s Game movie, which made him think about how Ender was created, and yet none of them were quite right. Card said that when someone else came up with the script that focused on the relationship between Ender and the other children did it all finally work.