I've been down with a bad chest cold since yesterday, and when that happens, there's really nothing else to do but drink plenty of water, lie down in bed, and read a good book.
Flipping through my library, I picked up a book that I hadn't read yet. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I thought I'd read myself to sleep.
Bad choice. I couldn't put the book down.
The book tells the tale of Ender Wiggins, a military genius on whom the fate of humankind rests. Having just survived two near-invasions by an insect-like ancient race, the humans are beefing up their defenses for the inevitable third invasion. But they need a strong commander.
Ender goes through a rigorous training programme in the Battle Academy, a space station dedicated solely for that purpose. The centerpiece of the academy is the battle room, where teams of cadets engage in zero-g tactical manuevers. It's only a game, but it's an intense game.
Oh, and here's the catch: Ender Wiggins is only six years old.
Yes, it's military sci-fi, and it's great military sci-fi, but in no way does it glorify war. War is a necessity, and Ender Wiggins is a reluctant tool.
More than anything else, the book is a close examination of the pschology of war. Orson Scott Card pulls it of masterfully.