Bugger Home Distance to Earth?

Discuss all things pertaining to the EnderVerse milieu.

What do you think about this?

No. Naturally, it should be like this, because....
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No. Naturally, it should be like this, because....
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...Wtf.... what does it matter?
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Total votes: 17

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Bugger Home Distance to Earth?

Postby akrolsmir » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:08 pm

After rereading Ender's Shadow, I thought about how in both EG and ES, OSC took it for granted that the Bugger home world would be farthest away. This doesn't make any sense to me. If the human race were to expand, for instance, we would probably do it out spanning all directions from Earth. Even if we decided to follow one straight line, what's the chance that the line headed straight for Earth?

For instance...

If "*" was earth, and @ was the Bugger home world, I'd expect the bugger colonies "o" to be either spread like this...

Code: Select all

o o o o o o o o o o o @ o o * o o o o



or like this...

Code: Select all

o o o * @
(or any other random linear direction)

My point is, wouldn't the placement of the bugger worlds like this:

Code: Select all

* o o o o o @
Be very unlikely? But that's what the apparent distribution is!
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Postby Person122 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:16 pm

There were only twenty starships in the human
fleet, each with four fighters. And they were the oldest
design, sluggish compared to some of the fighters
they'd had in earlier battles. It made sense—the
Bugger home world was probably the farthest away,
so the fleet that got there now had left before any of
the other fleets. Before the better ships came on line.
I think this passage (assuming this is where the one you are referring to) is intended to mean the Bugger Home world was the furthest planet away from Earth than any other planet involved in the Third Invasion. If not, than this means the Buggers were intentionally expanding towards earth for some reason.

PS: I've never actually thought of this dilemma before seeing this thread...
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Postby akrolsmir » Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:39 am

Yeah, mostly.

Anyone else find this disconcerting?
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Postby locke » Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:53 am

I don't think it was a straight line, like the planets would have to be spread out from the bugger homeworld, but only spread out in the direction towards earth, this is strange, unless perhaps the Descoladores were the other direction and the buggers were trying to give them their space. :-P

so take your first option and make the @ representing the bugger homeworld the farthest right planet and you have what I'm thinking of in terms of how they colonized.
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Postby antronics » Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:58 am

..I'm not sure that the humans had to know if there was or wasn't planets colonized past the home world. Maybe the context is furthest planet that they knew about. I'm not sure tho, but you do bring an interesting point. On the subject, does it ever say how they know that the home planet is the home planet?

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Postby HaricotVert » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:57 pm

Im not sure when Card said this in the books, or even if he actually said it, but i thought the IF used the ansible they created to track the Formics train of thought back to a "home" world. I could be wrong, so somebody please correct me if possible.

As for the Formics' colonization, from a military point of view they decided to attack the closest worlds between Earth and the Formic "home" world because they posed the biggest threat to humanity. So they called the "home" world the farthest Formic planet and sent the first ships there, knowing that is where the ultimate victory will be. 80 years before EG the I.F. knew that if you kill the queen all the others will eventually die, so they knew that attacking the "home" world would wipe out the Formics everywhere, no matter what direction they colonized the galaxy.

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Postby neggiw redne » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:22 am

sorry harricot vert, the if wouldn't have known that the queen even existed because the only things that they faught in the first war were the drones. and when mazer rakham(probly mis-spelled) defeated them in the second war he was the only one to realize there was a queen, and no one else would find out because he destroyed her ship.

also on the topic of the desoladores, no one but no one knew about them untill the piggies came along. and the planets that were last colonized by the end of (real)ender's life weren't originally inhabited by formics, and those were the planets closest to the descoladores.

thirdly, OSC stated (through ender) in some point which i do not remember that the buggers hadn't intended to make war on us, they thought that we were like them and that individuals didn't matter to us.
person 1: "goodbye cruel world!"

person 2: "no, don't kill yourself!"

person 1: "i won't, it's the world that i'll kill"

person 2" "NO! YOU CAN'T!"

person 1: "correction, i couldn't. but you failed to destroy the little doctor"

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Postby Bean_wannabe » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:32 pm

This has bugged me in the past, but only in a kind of 'oh, look, another anomaly in the Ender Saga' way

Maybe the Bugger home world is on the edge of the galaxy, so therefore they couldn't move outwards?

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Postby neggiw redne » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 am

that's possible but they wouldn't have to move strait inwards, instead they could've gone any direction except for outwards.


one possibility i just realized is that maybe the only planites that wre hospitable were those between us and them.
person 1: "goodbye cruel world!"

person 2: "no, don't kill yourself!"

person 1: "i won't, it's the world that i'll kill"

person 2" "NO! YOU CAN'T!"

person 1: "correction, i couldn't. but you failed to destroy the little doctor"

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Postby Jeesh_girl15 » Mon May 04, 2009 3:19 pm

I think it would not be in a straight line. I mean, even if it was in a straight line, then what are the chances that the line would be pointed directly at Earth. I think that Card wasn't really thinking when he made that up. He's only human
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Postby ^Peter » Wed May 06, 2009 8:26 am

I am also confused about how the IF knew what planet was the Buggers' home world. Even if the pattern the Formics colonized planets was a straight line, and even if the IF traced the line of colonized planets further outward, how could they have known, "Ah, this is far enough, there are definately no more Formic worlds, so this must be the home planet!" ?

EDIT: New thought; NO one knows which planet is the Formic home (except the Hive Queen, of course). The IF just assumed that the planet Ender destroyed was their home, when in reality it was just a random planet that the Buggers chose to have Ender anhilate them on.

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Postby Jebus » Wed May 06, 2009 5:21 pm

I think it would not be in a straight line. I mean, even if it was in a straight line, then what are the chances that the line would be pointed directly at Earth. I think that Card wasn't really thinking when he made that up. He's only human
The chances are pretty high, like 100%, actually. If we take it for a given that the buggers do expand in one direction, then the only way that expansion could bring them to Earth in the first place is if their line of expansion was pointing directly towards it. In fact, if they did only expand in one direction, and that line was not pointing directly at Earth then, and get this, they would never have gotten to Earth to start the wars in the first place!

Crazy, huh?

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Postby Jeesh_girl15 » Sat May 09, 2009 8:00 pm

Come again?
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Postby neo-dragon » Sat May 09, 2009 8:40 pm

In other words, since it happened, the probability of it having happened is 100%, regardless of how unlikely it was beforehand. :wink:
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Postby Jeesh_girl15 » Sat May 09, 2009 8:51 pm

Oh. Well, I was thinking of it if it um . . . the other way?
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Postby Jeesh_girl15 » Wed May 27, 2009 3:12 pm

I am also confused about how the IF knew what planet was the Buggers' home world. Even if the pattern the Formics colonized planets was a straight line, and even if the IF traced the line of colonized planets further outward, how could they have known, "Ah, this is far enough, there are definately no more Formic worlds, so this must be the home planet!" ?

EDIT: New thought; NO one knows which planet is the Formic home (except the Hive Queen, of course). The IF just assumed that the planet Ender destroyed was their home, when in reality it was just a random planet that the Buggers chose to have Ender anhilate them on.
Ooooh, I thought of something. What if the only reason the hive queens decided to dump all of the hive queens on that particular planet wasn't because it was their home planet, but because it was the farthest away from earth. It would take longer for the Earth's ships to get there, and They would have more time to prepare and all that.
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Postby Person122 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:28 pm

I am also confused about how the IF knew what planet was the Buggers' home world. Even if the pattern the Formics colonized planets was a straight line, and even if the IF traced the line of colonized planets further outward, how could they have known, "Ah, this is far enough, there are definately no more Formic worlds, so this must be the home planet!" ?

EDIT: New thought; NO one knows which planet is the Formic home (except the Hive Queen, of course). The IF just assumed that the planet Ender destroyed was their home, when in reality it was just a random planet that the Buggers chose to have Ender anhilate them on.
Then how did the IF know which planet to have Ender annihilate the Buggers on? Was it just coincidence that the annihilation of the Buggers coincided during the Final Exam? It's just probably one of Card's mistakes.
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Postby ^Peter » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:32 pm

Then how did the IF know which planet to have Ender annihilate the Buggers on? Was it just coincidence that the annihilation of the Buggers coincided during the Final Exam? It's just probably one of Card's mistakes.
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Postby not_vichyssoise » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:31 pm

I think you are making one mistake here: the book doesnt say that the bugger home world is the farthest away from earth, its just the last battle for ender and the jeesh. now the book does say that the fleet reached the bugger home world last, but it may not have been one of the 1st sent.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:53 pm

I think you are making one mistake here: the book doesnt say that the bugger home world is the farthest away from earth, its just the last battle for ender and the jeesh. now the book does say that the fleet reached the bugger home world last, but it may not have been one of the 1st sent.
This is particularly true when you take into account the fact that ships continued to become much faster in a very short amount of time (think Moore's law), able to reach farther planets in less time.
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Postby akrolsmir » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:48 pm

I'm not well versed in the theory of special relativity, so maybe a physicist might immediately see what's wrong with my argument. (Lol.)

But the ships launched against the home systems were definitely the first sent. In EG pg. 250, when Graff is explaining to Ender about the ansible:

"You see, as soon as we had a working ansible, we tucked it into our best starships and launched them to attack the buggers home systems."(just noticed a grammatical error there.)

So the first ships were the ones launched against the bugger's main planets. While this isn't concrete proof that the homeworld was the farthest away, as they might have built better (i.e. faster) ships as time passed, as already argued, the speed of the first ships were already approaching very close to the speed of light in order for relativity to have a significant result. And even if later ships could travel a little faster, they had a 40-50 year head start (pg. 250)

Another more direct explanation: "Unfortunately, our most primitive, outdated equipment will be attacking their homeworld."(251)

Unless they decided to put primitive equipment on newer ships, it was the older, first launched ships that attacked their homeworld.
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Postby Froth » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:44 pm

Dont really understand the argument. Youre saying it makes no sense for the Bugger home world to be farthest because they would colonize out in all directions, including the direction towards earth?

Well maybe they did colonize in all directions where there was a relatively close habitable planet. And there just wasnt anything really on the earth side of the planet.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:41 am

I thought about this, but I figured that during the first war, the IF probably noticed the Bugger tendency to pull back - move all the queens into one position and try to defend that point.

That determined, they probably drew up battle plans to essentially punch through the Bugger Empire to the homeworld - given Bugger tactics, destroying them there would end it, permanently. Ender's the Xenocide because he wiped out the Buggers, which suggests that all, or a huge majority of the Hive Queens had retreated to the homeworld.

So, even if the homeworld wasn't the farthest world from Earth the Buggers had colonized, they would all retreat to the homeworld to fortify defenses, making it the farthest one important to the campaign.

The IF was building and sending out fleets like this:

1st Fleet/Oldest & Slowest Ships
Earth----------------------------------->Homeworld

2nd Fleet/Medium Speed Ships
Earth----------------->Intermediate Colonies

3rd Fleet/Fastest Ships
Earth----->Closest Colonies


This way, even with the headstart, the 3rd Fleet arrives first, the 2nd Fleet arrives next, and the 1st Fleet arrives last.

If anything, the weirdest thing about this approach is that the IF was able to develop build and deploy increasingly faster ships quickly enough, and able to move coordinatedly enough to pull off the campaign in such a short time. It was a pretty huge gamble, looking at it. Technological advancement, the procurement and training of adept commanders, and predictable battle timescale is a trifecta of warfare that's almost never been pulled off, let alone on an interplanetary scale, decades after planning began.

Honestly, I've heard EG is used in Marine Officer training to demonstrate the attitude of leadership, but I'm surprised that the people who chose it didn't go >_> and pass it over upon seeing how, relatively, well and smooth the campaign went in the end - rather unrealistic.
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Postby Crazy Tom: C Toon » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:39 pm

It doesn't matter if the Buggers had other colonies. remember, THE QUEENS WERE ON THE HOME PLANET, so all the buggers DIED. (xcept for that one that ender had, ya ya), so even if they werent lined up funny, it makes no difference
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