Speaker for the Deadby Orson Scott Card
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.
Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender/p>
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.
Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.
Speaker for the Dead, the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Ender Quintet, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Read an Excerpt
Speaker for the Dead
By Orson Scott Card
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 1991 Orson Scott Card
All rights reserved.
Since we are not yet fully comfortable with the idea that people from the next village are as human as ourselves, it is presumptuous in the extreme to suppose we could ever look at sociable, tool-making creatures who arose from other evolutionary paths and see not beasts but brothers, not rivals but fellow pilgrims journeying to the shrine of intelligence.
Yet that is what I see, or yearn to see. The difference between raman and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an alien species to be raman, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.
— Demosthenes, Letter to the Framlings
Rooter was at once the most difficult and the most helpful of the pequeninos. He was always there whenever Pipo visited their clearing, and did his best to answer the questions Pipo was forbidden by law to come right out and ask. Pipo depended on him — too much, probably — yet though Rooter clowned and played like the irresponsible youngling that he was, he also watched, probed, tested. Pipo always had to beware of the traps that Rooter set for him.
A moment ago Rooter had been shimmying up trees, gripping the bark with only the horny pads on his ankles and inside his thighs. In his hands he carried two sticks — Father Sticks, they were called — which he beat against the tree in a compelling, arhythmic pattern as he climbed.
The noise brought Mandachuva out of the log house. He called to Rooter in the Males' Language, and then in Portuguese. "P'ra baixo, bicho!" Several piggies nearby, hearing his Portuguese wordplay, expressed their appreciation by rubbing their thighs together sharply. It made a hissing noise, and Mandachuva took a little hop in the air in delight at their applause.
Rooter, in the meantime, bent over backward until it seemed certain he would fall. Then he flipped off with his hands, did a somersault in the air, and landed on his legs, hopping a few times but not stumbling.
"So now you're an acrobat," said Pipo.
Rooter swaggered over to him. It was his way of imitating humans. It was all the more effective as ridicule because his flattened upturned snout looked decidedly porcine. No wonder that offworlders called them "piggies." The earliest visitors to this world had started calling them that in their first reports back in '86, and by the time Lusitania Colony was founded in 1925, the name was indelible. The xenologers scattered among the Hundred Worlds wrote of them as "Lusitanian Aborigines," though Pipo knew perfectly well that this was merely a matter of professional dignity; except in scholarly papers, xenologers no doubt called them piggies, too. As for Pipo, he usually called them pequeninos, and they seemed not to object, for now they called themselves "Little Ones." Still, dignity or not, there was no denying it. At moments like this, Rooter looked like a hog on its hind legs.
"Acrobat," Rooter said, trying out the new word. "What I did? You have a word for people who do that? So there are people who do that as their work?"
Pipo sighed silently, even as he froze his smile in place. The law strictly forbade him to share information about human society, lest it contaminate piggy culture. Yet Rooter played a constant game of squeezing the last drop of implication out of everything Pipo said. This time, though, Pipo had no one to blame but himself, letting out a silly remark that opened unnecessary windows onto human life. Now and then he got so comfortable among the pequeninos that he spoke naturally. Always a danger. I'm not good at this constant game of taking information while trying to give nothing in return. Libo, my close-mouthed son, already he's better at discretion than I am, and he's only been apprenticed to me — how long since he turned thirteen? — four months.
"I wish I had pads on my legs like yours," said Pipo. "The bark on that tree would rip my skin to shreds."
"That would cause us all to be ashamed." Rooter held still in the expectant posture that Pipo thought of as their way of showing mild anxiety, or perhaps a nonverbal warning to other pequeninos to be cautious. It might also have been a sign of extreme fear, but as far as Pipo knew he had never seen a pequenino show extreme fear.
In any event, Pipo spoke quickly to calm him. "Don't worry, I'm too old and soft to climb trees like that. I'll leave it to you younglings."
And it worked; Rooter's body at once became mobile again. "I like to climb trees. I can see everything." Rooter squatted in front of Pipo and leaned his face in close. "Will you bring the beast that runs over the grass without touching the ground? The others don't believe me when I say I saw such a thing."
Another trap. What, Pipo, xenologer, will you humiliate this individual of the community you're studying? Or will you adhere to the rigid law set up by Starways Congress to govern this encounter? There were few precedents. The only other intelligent aliens that humankind had encountered were the buggers, three thousand years ago, and at the end of it the buggers were all dead. This time Starways Congress was making sure that if humanity erred, their errors would be in the opposite direction. Minimal information, minimal contact.
Rooter recognized Pipo's hesitation, his careful silence.
"You never tell us anything," said Rooter. "You watch us and study us, but you never let us past your fence and into your village to watch you and study you."
Pipo answered as honestly as he could, but it was more important to be careful than to be honest. "If you learn so little and we learn so much, why is it that you speak both Stark and Portuguese while I'm still struggling with your language?"
"We're smarter." Then Rooter leaned back and spun around on his buttocks so his back was toward Pipo. "Go back behind your fence," he said.
Pipo stood at once. Not too far away, Libo was with three pequeninos, trying to learn how they wove dried merdona vines into thatch. He saw Pipo and in a moment was with his father, ready to go. Pipo led him off without a word; since the pequeninos were so fluent in human languages, they never discussed what they had learned until they were inside the gate.
It took a half hour to get home, and it was raining heavily when they passed through the gate and walked along the face of the hill to the Zenador's Station. Zenador? Pipo thought of the word as he looked at the small sign above the door. On it the word Xenologer was written in Stark. That is what I am, I suppose, thought Pipo, at least to the offworlders. But the Portuguese title Zenador was so much easier to say that on Lusitania hardly anyone said xenologer, even when speaking Stark. That is how languages change, thought Pipo. If it weren't for the ansible, providing instantaneous communication among the Hundred Worlds, we could not possibly maintain a common language. Interstellar travel is far too rare and slow. Stark would splinter into ten thousand dialects within a century. It might be interesting to have the computers run a projection of linguistic changes on Lusitania, if Stark were allowed to decay and absorb Portuguese — or vice-versa.
"Father," said Libo.
Only then did Pipo notice that he had stopped ten meters away from the station. Tangents. The best parts of my intellectual life are tangential, in areas outside my expertise. I suppose because within my area of expertise the regulations they have placed upon me make it impossible to know or understand anything. The science of xenology insists on more mysteries than Mother Church.
His handprint was enough to unlock the door. Pipo knew how the evening would unfold even as he stepped inside to begin. It would take several hours of work at the terminals for them both to report what they had done during today's encounter. Pipo would then read over Libo's notes, and Libo would read Pipo's, and when they were satisfied, Pipo would write up a brief summary and then let the computers take it from there, filing the notes and also transmitting them instantly, by ansible, to the xenologers in the rest of the Hundred Worlds. More than a thousand scientists whose whole career is studying the one alien race we know, and except for what little the satellites can discover about this arboreal species, all the information my colleagues have is what Libo and I send them. This is definitely minimal intervention.
But when Pipo got inside the station, he saw at once that it would not be an evening of steady but relaxing work. Dona Cristã was there, dressed in her monastic robes. Was it one of the younger children, in trouble at school?
"No, no," said Dona Cristã. "All your children are doing very well, except this one, who I think is far too young to be out of school and working here, even as an apprentice."
Libo said nothing. A wise decision, thought Pipo. Dona Cristã was a brilliant and engaging, perhaps even beautiful, young woman, but she was first and foremost a monk of the order of the Filhos da Mente de Cristo, Children of the Mind of Christ, and she was not beautiful to behold when she was angry at ignorance and stupidity. It was amazing the number of quite intelligent people whose ignorance and stupidity had melted somewhat in the fire of her scorn. Silence, Libo, it's a policy that will do you good.
"I'm not here about any child of yours at all," said Dona Cristã. "I'm here about Novinha."
Dona Cristã did not have to mention a last name; everybody knew Novinha. The terrible Descolada had ended only eight years before. The plague had threatened to wipe out the colony before it had a fair chance to get started; the cure was discovered by Novinha's father and mother, Gusto and Cida, the two xenobiologists. It was a tragic irony that they found the cause of the disease and its treatment too late to save themselves. Theirs was the last Descolada funeral.
Pipo clearly remembered the little girl Novinha, standing there holding Mayor Bosquinha's hand while Bishop Peregrino conducted the funeral mass himself. No — not holding the Mayor's hand. The picture came back to his mind, and, with it, the way he felt. What does she make of this? he remembered asking himself. It's the funeral of her parents, she's the last survivor in her family; yet all around her she can sense the great rejoicing of the people of this colony. Young as she is, does she understand that our joy is the best tribute to her parents? They struggled and succeeded, finding our salvation in the waning days before they died; we are here to celebrate the great gift they gave us. But to you, Novinha, it's the death of your parents, as your brothers died before. Five hundred dead, and more than a hundred masses for the dead here in this colony in the last six months, and all of them were held in an atmosphere of fear and grief and despair. Now, when your parents die, the fear and grief and despair are no less for you than ever before — but no one else shares your pain. It is the relief from pain that is foremost in our minds.
Watching her, trying to imagine her feelings, he succeeded only in rekindling his own grief at the death of his own Maria, seven years old, swept away in the wind of death that covered her body in cancerous growth and rampant funguses, the flesh swelling or decaying, a new limb, not arm or leg, growing out of her hip, while the flesh sloughed off her feet and head, baring the bones, her sweet and beautiful body destroyed before their eyes, while her bright mind was mercilessly alert, able to feel all that happened to her until she cried out to God to let her die. Pipo remembered that, and then remembered her requiem mass, shared with five other victims. As he sat, knelt, stood there with his wife and surviving children, he had felt the perfect unity of the people in the Cathedral. He knew that his pain was everybody's pain, that through the loss of his eldest daughter he was bound to his community with the inseparable bonds of grief, and it was a comfort to him, it was something to cling to. That was how such a grief ought to be, a public mourning.
Little Novinha had nothing of that. Her pain was, if anything, worse than Pipo's had been — at least Pipo had not been left without any family at all, and he was an adult, not a child terrified by suddenly losing the foundation of her life. In her grief she was not drawn more tightly into the community, but rather excluded from it. Today everyone was rejoicing, except her. Today everyone praised her parents; she alone yearned for them, would rather they had never found the cure for others if only they could have remained alive themselves.
Her isolation was so acute that Pipo could see it from where he sat. Novinha took her hand away from the Mayor as quickly as possible. Her tears dried up as the mass progressed; by the end she sat in silence, like a prisoner refusing to cooperate with her captors. Pipo's heart broke for her. Yet he knew that even if he tried, he could not conceal his own gladness at the end of the Descolada, his rejoicing that none of his other children would be taken from him. She would see that; his effort to comfort her would be a mockery, would drive her further away.
After the mass she walked in bitter solitude amid the crowds of well-meaning people who cruelly told her that her parents were sure to be saints, sure to sit at the right hand of God. What kind of comfort is that for a child? Pipo whispered aloud to his wife, "She'll never forgive us for today."
"Forgive?" Conceição was not one of those wives who instantly understands her husband's train of thought. "We didn't kill her parents ..."
"But we're all rejoicing today, aren't we? She'll never forgive us for that."
"Nonsense. She doesn't understand anyway; she's too young."
She understands, Pipo thought. Didn't Maria understand things when she was even younger than Novinha is now?
As the years passed — eight years now — he had seen her from time to time. She was his son Libo's age, and until Libo's thirteenth birthday that meant they were in many classes together. He heard her give occasional readings and speeches, along with other children. There was an elegance to her thought, an intensity to her examination of ideas, which appealed to him. At the same time, she seemed utterly cold, completely removed from everyone else. Pipo's own boy, Libo, was shy, but even so he had several friends and had won the affection of his teachers. Novinha, though, had no friends at all, no one whose gaze she sought after a moment of triumph. There was no teacher who genuinely liked her, because she refused to reciprocate, to respond. "She is emotionally paralyzed," Dona Cristã said once when Pipo asked about her. "There is no reaching her. She swears that she's perfectly happy, and doesn't see any need to change."
Now Dona Cristã had come to the Zenador's Station to talk to Pipo about Novinha. Why Pipo? He could guess only one reason for the principal of the school to come to him about this particular orphaned girl. "Am I to believe that in all the years you've had Novinha in your school, I'm the only person who asked about her?"
"Not the only person," she said. "There was all kinds of interest in her a couple of years ago, when the Pope beatified her parents. Everybody asked then whether the daughter of Gusto and Cida, Os Venerados, had ever noticed any miraculous events associated with her parents, as so many other people had."
"They actually asked her that?"
"There were rumors, and Bishop Peregrino had to investigate." Dona Cristã got a bit tight-lipped when she spoke of the young spiritual leader of Lusitania Colony. But then, it was said that the hierarchy never got along well with the order of the Filhos da Mente de Cristo. "Her answer was instructive."
"I can imagine."
"She said, more or less, that if her parents were actually listening to prayers and had any influence in heaven to get them granted, then why wouldn't they have answered her prayer, for them to return from the grave? That would be a useful miracle, she said, and there are precedents. If Os Venerados actually had the power to grant miracles, then it must mean they did not love her enough to answer her prayer. She preferred to believe that her parents still loved her, and simply did not have the power to act."
"A born sophist," said Pipo.
"A sophist and an expert in guilt: she told the Bishop that if the Pope declared her parents to be venerable, it would be the same as the Church saying that her parents hated her. The petition for canonization of her parents was proof that Lusitania despised her; if it was granted, it would be proof that the Church itself was despicable. Bishop Peregrino was livid."
"I notice he sent in the petition anyway."
"For the good of the community. And there were all those miracles."
"Someone touches the shrine and a headache goes away and they cry 'Milagre! — os santos me abençoaram!'" Miracle! — the saints have blessed me!
Excerpted from Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. Copyright © 1991 Orson Scott Card. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
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Meet the Author
Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and it's many sequels that expand the Ender Universe into the far future and the near past. Those books are organized into the Ender Quintet, the five books that chronicle the life of Ender Wiggin; the Shadow Series, that follows on the novel Ender's Shadow and are set on Earth; and the Formic Wars series, written with co-author Aaron Johnston, that tells of the terrible first contact between humans and the alien "Buggers".
Card has been a working writer since the 1970s. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 -- the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelet version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog.
The novel-length version of Ender's Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.
Card was born in Washington state, and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he runs occasional writers' workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.
He is the author many sf and fantasy novels, including the American frontier fantasy series "The Tales of Alvin Maker" (beginning with Seventh Son), There are also stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart's Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card's recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old.
Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, He and Kristine are the parents of five children and several grandchildren.
Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and its many sequels that expand the Ender Universe into the far future and the near past. Those books are organized into the Ender Quintet, the five books that chronicle the life of Ender Wiggin; the Shadow Series, that follows on the novel Ender's Shadow and are set on Earth; and the Formic Wars series, written with co-author Aaron Johnston, that tells of the terrible first contact between humans and the alien "Buggers." Card has been a working writer since the 1970s. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 -- the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelette version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog. The novel-length version of Ender's Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin. Card was born in Washington state, and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he runs occasional writers' workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.
He is the author many sf and fantasy novels, including the American frontier fantasy series "The Tales of Alvin Maker" (beginning with Seventh Son), There are also stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart's Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card's recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old. Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, He and Kristine are the parents of five children and several grandchildren.
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Date of Birth:
- August 24, 1951
- Place of Birth:
- Richland, Washington
- B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Posted 11/02/10: This book was written as the second book in a series but Orson Scott Card. Card tried to write it in a way that you could read it without any background knowledge. I have not read the first one yet and I would agree that you can read this book by itself; however there were some points in the book where a little background knowledge would have been nice. Orson Scott Card is an excellent writer. I loved how the main character, Ender Wiggin, seemed to know everything about other peoples past without really knowing anything at all. The tone in this book was excellent. The main character is portrayed as a brilliant and understanding person. However, some of my favorite characters in the story were the piggies, an alien species discovered on a planet that was going to be settled for human use, who got their nickname piggies from their pig like faces. Card dives so deeply into the feeling and emotions of each and every character that it is very easy to relate to each one. Another thing I like about this book was how life like the struggle was shown between the humans and piggies to understand and learn from each other. I didn't like the point in the book where the piggies innocently and ignorantly murdered two of the humans studying them. It was frustrating reading that part because the actions of the piggies were not explained until a lot farther into the book. I often enjoy science fiction books that take place in the future. In this book Card writes about the future in a believable fashion. I think the overall lesson that can be learned from this book is lying and hiding the truth will just hurt a lot worse in the long run. This is shown though both the humans and the piggies. One of the main human characters hides the truth from her family and does everything in her power to keep it hidden. When Ender comes he dives deep into her past and finds out the truth, it is hurtful to everyone especially her and her family. It takes some time, but life moves on much easier after everyone knows the truth. I really liked how Ender used his high position as Speaker For The Dead and his ultra smart computer friend to get information and respect from un-willing people, and it is amazing what he does with the information. The ending of this book doesn't really seem like an ending. The book seems to end with one chapter left. The last chapter seems to be dedicated to the groundwork for the next book. It has a cliff hanger ending for this reason which I didn't really like. I like books to come to a clear conclusion at the end but where this book is not the last book in the series Card still has a chance to wrap things up and I look forward to the place where he does. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.
Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead is quite a different story from Ender's Game, but it's a great one. The setting is new, the characters are mostly all new and Ender is 3,000 years older (sort of). Unlike the first book, my favorite parts of this book have almost nothing to do with Ender. Rather, I'm all about the aliens in this one. Much of this story takes place before Ender even arrives, which gives the reader a great chance to acclimate to the new surroundings. We are now on the planet Lusitania and we're even further in the future. There are so many new and wonderful human characters in this book and each has their own separate identity; I both loved and hated most of them. (I think I also picked up a bit of Portuguese from reading this book!) The alien characters, aka the "Piggies" are extremely complex and mysterious while at the same time very lovable. Never could I have imagined reading a book in which I care so much about the aliens (maybe more than the people!). Perhaps the best thing about this book is that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't figure out the twist at the end so it was a real and unpredictable surprise ending which I love. I really loved this book - it's one of those books you wish didn't have to end. If you've read Ender's Game and loved it, I think you''ll love this one, too. [Side note: I have read the next two in the series, but my advice is that if you want to remember the good times, stop after Speaker for the Dead and that way you can always think of Ender fondly.]
When you read how Orson Scott Card came to write Speaker for the Dead, it's all but specifically stated that the entire book was conceived without the character of Ender existing within its text. It comes as no surprise that when he plucks his biggest character from his biggest hit and inserts him into a storyline thousands of years in the future, it's a slightly uncomfortable fit. At 3000 years old, Ender is all grow'd up and is now plodding forward in a new story that bears little connection to his previous existence in Enders Game. He now finds himself wrapped up in a bio-evolutionary mystery plot, with a rag tag bunch of natives and his trusty omnipotent sidekick cracking wise from the ether of the universe. Will Ender somehow unravel the mystery of the Piggies? Will Ender fall in love? Will Orson Scott Card introduce a predictable ticking time bomb and then leave a rack of open questions so that the next book is more of a "part 2" then a squeal? I'll save you the trouble, the answer is yes.
Hard to understand at first and its not like enders game at all but it is one of the best books i have ever read.
This book is very different from Ender's Game, but I loved it nonetheless. Card is a fantastic writer.
I loved the way the author continued the story. I still love all the characters. I liked the way he gave Ender a chance to redeem himself for past sins. Definitely not one of those books where you pick up the second one and hate it.
A great sequel to Ender's Game. This book combines interesting new characters with a timeless old one - a wonderful combination of a new race of aliens and their strange customs, a new planet city, and Ender .. even Jane adds quite a bit to the story. The piggies' ways are strangely disturbing, though the explanation of it at the end is awesomely creative. A must-read.
Its slower and more philisophical then enders game, however its just as awesome
Love the way OSC threads human drama with plausible science fiction. I will spend the next year reading every book Orson Scott Card has written. I've done about 10 so have a long way to go, fortunately.
great book totaly loved it
Thousands of years before this book takes place lived Andrew ¿Ender¿ Wiggin. He was a genius and destined for the military at a young age. He was enlisted in Battle School and became the top student. Before he turned fourteen, Ender was the commander of a fleet of starships against an alien race, the Buggers. He killed most of them, except for one hive queen that he found and kept to place on another world. Thousands of years later, he found that place. It is a little world far out of our solar system named Lusitania. So, he goes there to find a home to make the race he once destroyed live again. While in his years of searching, he became a speaker for the dead and told the truths about many important figures. On Lusitania, he finds some resistance. The only colony on Lusitania is Milagre (a Portuguese settlement) that is surrounded by a fence so they don¿t contaminate a new alien race, the poqueninos (or piggies). Will he find a way out of Milagre to find a place where the hive queen can thrive? In Speaker for the Dead, I liked the twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me take the book in a new light every page. I also liked the plot of the book. At first, it seems there are a bunch of random details that aren¿t very important, but later in the book Orson Scott Card pulls those details together to create the plot. There is one thing I didn¿t like about this novel. The vocabulary Card used was very mature and the book was sometimes hard to understand. This book is part of the Ender¿s Series wrote by Orson Scott Card. It is the second book, and you have to read the first book, Ender¿s Game, to understand this book. Speaker for the Dead does not remind me of any television shows, movies, or other books. Any boy or girl from about age fifteen and up whom likes science- fiction would enjoy this book. Also, if you have read and liked any other Orson Scott Card book, then you will love this book. That is what I think of Speaker for the Dead.
I’ve said this in other reviews, but I’ll say it again: Writing a middle book in a series is tough—especially when it follows a book as successful and well-loved as “Ender’s Game” is. Stick too close in theme and scope to the original and you’ll be called unimaginative. Go too far afield and you’ll have people doubt you’re the author. Hard to win. So with that said, I give Mr. Card credit for crafting a completely original and nearly freestanding story here. Though Ender is central to this book, and his background certainly plays into the plot, one could envision how the protagonist, the Speaker for the Dead, could really be a completely character altogether. This Ender is an adult version of the child, and as such bears only passing resemblance (as do we all) to our younger selves. Regardless of all that, though, I think “Speaker for the Dead” is a really excellent piece of work. The effects of relativity on space travelers, the introduction of the AI entity “Jane,” the ecology and inhabitants of Lusitania—human and alien alike—all well-crafted and interesting. It took me a long time to read this book, due to my schedule, but every time I picked it up I found it intriguing and entertaining. The only criticisms I can think of is that, like earlier Card books, there isn’t a whole lot of description here, leaving nearly everything open to your imagination. (Which is a stylistic nitpick, really) Also, the final reason for the scientists to have died, the resolution of the driving mystery, seemed a bit too easy. I appreciate the underlying sacrificial and redemptive narrative of this book, though. Well worth the read, even if you’ve never read the first book. I recommend it.
Read the book which is better than the movie Enders Game. but also read this one. If you want to read it first that is okay. May make you want to read the other book it is that good.
I enjoyed "Ender's Game". This was a darker, more difficult book to follow. It tired to take up where "Ender's Game" left off. But I just could not get my mind wrapped around the that this book took place 3000 years after the end of the Buggers war. The extremely disfunctional family was heart breaking at best and overwhelming sad. None of the action was there, as in the first book. I can omly hope that the third book in the series is better.
Humans and an alien species slowly learn to live together having solving each other's riddle. This is a strange book, more fantasy than Sci Fi, really, and it is not surprising that Card gave up on Sci Fi for a few years after that and instead dedicated himself to fantasy. I would not call Card's writing the most enchanting I have met so far in the English language, but his ideas and his taste for the most bizarre settings make this a good read.
This is one of the most amazing books i've read in a long time. If you loved first book in the series,ender's game, as much as i did you are sure to love this one! This book and enders game entirely changed my point of view of sci-fi stories, as i used to hate them, and i cant wait to read the next book, The Xenocide. I would reccomend either of the first two books to anyone, and will gladly give my input on the next books when i have read them!
Loved it! Definitely not light reading though.
I read Ender's Game a few months ago and I was absoulely and utterly in love with it. I read that Speaker for the Dead wasn't that great and I'd have to agree. I love Ender and if you haven't read Ender's Game you could probably understand the book. But, there were sooo many characters and just a very dull plot line that gets very complex sometimes. I will probably not read the next books in the Ender series.
Its good but no as good as enders game
While this book wasn't my often preferred style, I still rather enjoyed it.
This book is one of my favorites. Dont expect it to be like Enders Game though. It is more profound and spiritual rather than action based. It is very slow in the beginning but I promise you if you stick with it, it wraps together nicely at the end and could possibily change the way you perceive those around you.
Hands down, my absolute favorite book by Card.
This is an amazing second installment. Card chooses to go in a completely new direction, but Ender, the other characters, and story still shine. Don't expect the same kind of book as the first, but just as good.
I have read enders game and enders shadow and they were both really good. Is this a good book? It sounds like part two to me.
It's hard for me to get over the fact that "un" turns into "m" in a lot of places and the first letter of a lot of words is just completely left off in parts of the eBook.