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Speaker for the Dead (1986)

by Orson Scott Card

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ender Saga (2), Ender's Game (2), Enderverse (15)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,887213335 (3.97)268
Ender Wiggin, the young military genius, discovers that a second alien war is inevitable and that he must dismiss his fears to make peace with humanity's strange new brothers.
  1. 31
    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 268 mentions

English (201)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Hungarian (2)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (209)
Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
bello!!!! completamente diverso dal primo
uno di quei libri che puoi rileggere ad ogni lustro
Orson Scott Card entra a pieno titolo fra i miei autori del cuore ( )
  LLonaVahine | May 22, 2024 |
Still love it! ( )
  jazzbird61 | Feb 29, 2024 |
Sequel to Ender's Game, set three thousand years after its end. Ender is now a Speaker for the Dead, recounting the lives, motives, thoughts and actions of those he is called to speak.

Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Game almost as an introduction to this book. Although it did not recieve as much recognition, it deals with many more complex issues - especially the treatment of strangers through Demosthenes' groupings of utlanning, framling, ramen and varelse. Much of the story focuses on recognising that the species known as piggies are ramen, the stranger that is human but not homo sapiens, rather than varelse, like the animals. Brings up ideas of how we judge others that we don't know. Neither the Xenocide nor minimal intervention is the right way.

Other characters include Novinha, a xenobiologist, and her children in the colony. They tell us something of fear and guilt, and the way that different people deal with different issues (Ender's speaking is masterful in its comprehension of the events, as well as the audience reaction.)

Enjoyable also due to the concepts of scifi technology introduced. The ansibles enable instantaneous communication, but the ideas behind starflight, protection, genetic engineering, and the unique biology of Lusitania are ideas worth revisiting.

Definitely looking forward to Xenocide, the next book. ( )
  Zedseayou | Jan 30, 2024 |
Might currently be my favorite book (circa 2020).

Significantly better than Ender's Game; the ending of the first book was simply worthless. ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
I started reading this book when I was a kid, after I finished Ender's game, but it didn't appeal to me. I'm glad I decided to give it a second chance, because this time around, I thought it was really good. The tone and atmosphere of the book are very different, I find. Ender is an adult, and is in a completely different situation now. He is no longer being controlled and no longer in school.
Speaker for the dead deals with tolerance, truth and cultural (racial) differences. The characters are well developed. You can understand how they came to make the decisions that they do (which is important, because that is part of what the book is about). This not only goes for the human characters, but also for the piggies. Perhaps especially for the piggies. I very much like the way the biological mysteries are presented, and how the answers make everything clear. Partly I think there is some simplification going on: everybody has clear reasons for what they do, whereas in real life, I think things tend to be a bit more muddled. On the other hand, this is part of what Ender does as a speaker. He takes the muddle of everything and structures it so people can understand. Quite possibly, not even the person he speaks for would have known enough to be able to tell their own story: it is difficult to be impartial about yourself, and we are probably the most muddled about things that come close. But if the speaking is good, than that person would have resonated with the clarity Ender gives things. That clarity also permeates the book. Even though the subjects can be emotional, they are presented in a rational way. This makes it possible to lay the book aside, but doesn't take away from its allure. As a matter of fact, I happened to finish the book at 3 am in the morning (on a friday night, fortunately). If it had been a weekday, I could have put the book away, but since it wasn't, I didn't want to. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Card, Orson Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birney, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiFate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemoine, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marín Trechera, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Gregg Keizer who already knew how
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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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Ender Wiggin, the young military genius, discovers that a second alien war is inevitable and that he must dismiss his fears to make peace with humanity's strange new brothers.

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