I just finished listening to the Ender's Game audiobook and I'm currently listening to Speaker of the Dead.
It's pretty clear that the story takes place in the future but is it known when exactly? I might have missed it but I don't remember any mention of a year or something that gives a hint in what year the book begins.
The only references I recall are about in-universe events like the Second Invasion which took place some 70 to 80 years before Ender's Game. But how long before that did the First Invasion take place and when? I'm not sure if this was said in the book.

Speaker of the Dead only confused me more when when they introduced a new calendar/timeline (before and after Starways Code).

TL;DR - Is there any information in the books or other media that specifices or allows us to determine a timeline for the plot of Ender's Game? (matching the Gregorian calendar)

  • The Shadow books might provide a date - but I won't be able to check until tomorrow night. WP at least pegs Ender's Shadow as starting "about 2170", although the synopsis for Shadows in Flight says Bean left Earth in 2210, which doesn't really fit. – HorusKol Dec 5 '13 at 5:51
  • @HorusKol It would be nice if you could give it a look. The movie timeline surely looks nice but I'm sceptical that it matches the timeline from the books. Assuming the Enderverse has something like a coherent timeline and Card didn't just throw arround dates in his books. – Sebastian_H Dec 6 '13 at 16:44
  • Xenocide ch. 2 sets the events of Ender's Game in the twenty-second century, which is consistent with the other dates given here. – Tomari7 Feb 10 '14 at 9:13
  • Ender is 6 when he goes to battle school according to the original book so the answer by Phantom 42 should be sufficient. – user50866 Aug 20 '15 at 5:02
  • This is more suited to a comment than an answer. Please review the site info and take a look at how other more experienced users post answers to questions. Welcome to the site. – JMFB Aug 20 '15 at 6:10

I'm not aware of anything in the books that line up the timelines to our Gregorian calendar. However, the Enderverse Wiki has this timeline. http://ansible.wikia.com/wiki/EnderVerse_History

  • circa 2060 ad - First Invasion
  • circa 2080 ad - Second Invasion
  • circa 2171 ad - Destruction of Bugger Homeworld
  • circa 5173 ad - The events of Speaker for the Dead (extrapolated from Jane's statement that is had been 3002 years since Ender left the Solar System).

At one point it is stated that the first invasion happened roughly 100 years before Ender went to Battle School.

In the film Ender's Game, the First Invasion takes place in 2086 (as stated on screen). The timeline setup in the movie does not match the timeline in the books.

  • They state that the dates are approximate. But to give even approximate dates they would at least need something as a reference point. Unfortunately no reference point or source is given for the timeline (at least I didn't see one). Though at least subjectively it feels right that that Card would let the story take place roughly 100 years after he conceived it. – Sebastian_H Dec 4 '13 at 18:59
  • The linked Wiki page has been deleted. Is there any more canonical source? – Rand al'Thor Jan 6 '19 at 6:52

I'll try to do some more digging to find out if the books specify, but Lion's Gate (the production company behind the movie) released this timeline of the events leading up to the movie.

In the movie-verse, at least, the primary story of Ender's Game begins in 2195.

It seems that this timeline was probably constructed based on the non-final script (based on a conflicting date of the First Invasion and Ender's apparent age at the beginning of the film).

enders game timeline

  • That timeline does not appear to be consistent with the movie. For instance, Ender is obviously not 6 years old when he enters Battle School. Also at the beginning of the movie it is started to be 2086 when Mazer Rackman defeats the Bugger fleet. – Jack B Nimble Dec 4 '13 at 18:49
  • 1
    @JackBNimble Everything I can find states that Ender is 6 when the book begins. I haven't watched the movie yet. Are you saying that movie-Ender is "obviously not 6" when it begins? – phantom42 Dec 4 '13 at 18:59
  • I'm saying that the movie starts by saying it is 2086, when Mazer Rackman defeats the first invasion (I don't think there was a second invasion), it means everything on that image you posted is already wrong. The movie also has Ender as 12 when he starts battle school. – Jack B Nimble Dec 4 '13 at 21:47
  • Guys, one of you is talking about the book, the other is talking about the film. Please specify explicitly in the question if you want sources from a specific material. The timeline is from the book I guess, because yes, Ender is approximatively 10-12 (maybe 13-14, but not older) in the film – Kalissar Dec 4 '13 at 21:54
  • @Kalissar That poster is for the movie (see just before the image in the answer), and in the movie Ender is definitely older than 6 at the beginning. The production company made a mistake somewhere when they created that timeline. That's what Jack's comment is about. I'd attribute it to poor choice of actor / they couldn't wait a few years for the actor to visibly grow up over the course of the movie, though. – Izkata Dec 5 '13 at 0:06

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