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Category Archives: B. Quick

Calvino describes Quickness as “a question of looking for the unique expression,” and he likes to focus on the “mental speed” of the narrative. I interpret this in two ways. The first is never having to repeat oneself, or making the point on the first attempt in the exposition. The other is the quickness of the prose–how quickly it presents new ideas, new action, new scenes, new plot points.

Ender’s Game has a remarkable quickness to it. Since the prose is mostly dialogue and interior monologue, the plot moves fairly quickly. Extraneous details are removed, setting is less important than characters, and physical objects take second place to the characters. Card also likes to remove dialogue tags so that, even when you know who is talking, the dialogue seems more ominous and important. The focus on dialogue is what leads me to my design choice for Quickness.


So from the analysis of the interactions and scenes in Ender’s Game, the number two seems to come up quite often. Macnab describes two as the number for separation and a desire to return to wholeness. It also represents the juxtaposition of male and female. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a male/female reltionship in the book. However, the antagonist, the female Formic queen, is the other side of this coin.

Ender, representing the humans as light and order, is fighting the female Formic queen, her hive-army representing chaos and their location (the darkness of space) symbolizing mystery. In addition, at the end of the novel, Ender takes pity on the race he destroys, and vows to save the Formic race from extinction, titling himself the Speaker for the Dead.

So for the emblem for Quickness, the frequency of confrontations in the novel, as well as the primary confrontation with the Formics, shows that the design needs to focus on the number two. The Quickness of the plot is a result of the engaging aspect of confrontation, so that will be the theme.


What better analogy in science fiction for a confrontation than Alien vs. Predator? Everything about this picture of the clash of these titans speaks of a binary contrast. The top of the image has a warm light source, while the bottom has cool colors. The subject matter, the Predator fighting a Xenomorph, is a male female relationship. THe Predator represnts the masculine, muscled hunter that battles the feminine, reproductive Xenomorph. In the film, the hive-like Xenomorphs also typically outnumber the one or two Predators, in the same way that Ender is outnumbered by the hive-like Formics.

And yet, these two monsters battle each other because it is the process of becoming one. Macnab states that the number two represents separation and a desire to return to wholeness. The Predator seeks the Xenomorph to satisfy its urge to hunt, while the Xenomorph seeks the Predator in order to reproduce and create superior offspring. There is also the clash of the personal unconscious versus the collective, as the Predator symbolizes the former and the Xenomorph the latter.


I made this image by cropping a chess clock on top of a yin yang. Ender’s Game clearly has a dichotomy of dark versus light and masculine versus feminine, so the yin yang was a good start. Then I decided that since the pace of the novel was very quick, along with the confrontations prevalent in it, I placed a chess clock in the picutre. The clock symbolizes the competing speed of these binary confrontations.

Not only does the yin yang represent the binary relationship, the chess clock does too. Chess itself is a binary confrontation of dark and light, so I thought it was fitting to include something from Chess in this emblem. Since this quality is a focus of quickness, I used a clock from Speed Chess to emphasize speed in the relationship between yin and yang.

Continue to C. Exact.