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Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Speaker for the Dead (1986)

by Orson Scott Card

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ender's Game (2), Ender's Game: Extended (2)

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11,339145245 (3.98)185
  1. 21
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (sturlington)
    sturlington: Also about first contact with an alien civilization that humans cannot understand.
  2. 10
    City of Pearl by Karen Traviss (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: These two books have quite a lot in common: first contact, a Christian human colony, a group of scientists, moral dilemmas, sharply drawn characters, and even more that I won't get into for fear of spoilers. Both fantastic books.

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» See also 185 mentions

English (137)  Hungarian (2)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
@speaker_dead +enders_game ( )
  Lorem | Sep 28, 2015 |
When I attempted Speaker for the Dead for the first time back in 6th grade, shortly after finishing Ender's Game, I'll admit that most of it went over my head. I understood the basics of the Lusitanian colony life, the interactions among the Piggies and the external threats all were facing, but I simply didn't have the life experience to appreciate the bigger themes. I knew what a Speaker for the Dead did; I did not understand what a Speaker for the Dead was for. It would take two more attempts before I "got it." And now—some decades and countless philosophical discussions later—I can claim that Speaker has affected me in profound ways that would have been impossible when I was younger.

To change things up I listened to the audiobook on this last re-read, and at the end Card gives this interview where he provides a little background on how the story came about. He relates an anecdote about when he was a Mormon missionary in Brazil attending a funeral for a man who was an abusive husband, and how his victimized wife openly and unabashedly mourns upon his coffin. You'll have to hear it. It wasn't that this story was particularly sad, but I'm nearly moved to tears by the end. There was a part about "To understand someone, even one who has done wrong to you, is to love them." It's arguably THE central theme of both Ender's Game and Speaker. Have you ever been exposed to an idea that your heart understood right away but would take your mind days, months or even years to grasp?

The irony is that in the past few years Orson Scott Card has earned public derision for being intolerant of homosexuality and for espousing a slew of bigoted ideas—ideas I certainly do not share. Meanwhile, I've been a committed atheist/agnostic for over almost two decades. And yet here we are, meeting in the middle on the shakiest of common ground, able to share this one enlightened idea. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Sep 9, 2015 |
We give up. I thought this book would be an expanded version of the last chapter of Ender's game -- a chapter that reads like a novel with the air sucked out. That chapter *ought* to have a novel version. Instead, I've got a clunky, didactic book that starts with a morally shaky premise: the idea that if a planet you want to colonize turns out to have intelligent life, you should limit your colonization to certain areas. Really? Turn that one around a minute. What if aliens thought Earth looked terrific, noticed us, and decided to "just" colonize obviously uninhabited areas like, say, the outback of Australia? Also, saying that a species isn't an "animal" because it's intelligent and self-aware? I know Card is a severely right-wing Christian conservative, but seriously.

We'd read part of the first chapter yesterday. My son wanted to read at least one chapter together before we gave up on it, and I agreed. Tonight, I assumed we'd finish that chapter and see what he thought. Instead, he groaned as I reached for the book. So forget it. Our bedtime read is supposed to be a pleasure, not a slog.

This is now in my "to read" file, but the date for that is probably the twelfth of never.

---Just started reading this with my son. And the award for the most long-winded, pretentious introduction ever written goes to...
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Ender was an ok book, added some meat to the short story, and had a surprise ending.

It's been downhill after that, and this book is just a gateway to the next two godawful ones.

Get out now, save time, money and frustration. ( )
  meekGee | Jul 6, 2015 |
Not as good as a 1rst book. ( )
  otikhonova | Dec 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birney, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiFate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemoine, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Only one rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So, of course, we killed him.
No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one’s life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.
Order and disorder, they each have their beauty.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812532570, Mass Market Paperback)

Ender Wiggin, the hero and scapegoat of mass alien destruction in Ender's Game, receives a chance at redemption in this novel. Ender, who proclaimed as a mistake his success in wiping out an alien race, wins the opportunity to cope better with a second race, discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. Orson Scott Card infuses this long, ambitious tale with intellect by casting his characters in social, religious and cultural contexts. Like its predecessor, this book won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker of 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. -Back cover.… (more)

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