Speaker for the Dead

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Tom Doherty Associates, Nov 30, 2009 - Fiction - 304 pages
189 Reviews
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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 The Ender Saga, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.


Ender series
Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind

Ender’s Shadow series
Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight

Children of the Fleet

The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens

The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm /The Hive

Ender novellas
A War of Gifts /First Meetings

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Unraveling their secrets may cost Ender his own.
Humanity has spread throughout the stars, colonizing a thousand worlds, until they discovered Lusitania, home of the pequeninos. Determined to not
let them follow in the buggers’ fate, Congress moves swiftly, passing strict laws to limit human interaction with the pequeninos, ensuring that they continue to thrive without interference. But tragedy still strikes; prompting many to reevaluate the fledgling species. For most the debate is academic, but not for Ender Wiggin. As a child he nearly wiped out the bugger species, and since then he’s spent 3,000 years searching for a planet where the last bugger queen can safely awaken. Lusitania might be such a world, but first Ender must solve the mystery of the pequeninos, and decide whether to protect them from humanity, or sacrifice them to the queen.
While rooted in the vast conflict of cross-cultural communication and interaction, the story quickly branches out. Rich characters struggle to understand themselves and others, creating a network of complex relationships that fill every scene with deeply personal conflicts, which often overshadow the main conflict, even as they echo the same themes of perspective and otherness. At times the drama can feel excessive, but the thick web of subplots helps to obscure a predictable outcome. In the end the story manages to invoke a moment of awe, as both audience and character are asked to widen their gaze.
+Strong Characters
+Strong Ideas
*Very little description
*Relationship driven subplots
-Predictable Outcome

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Hugo award winner 1987. Nebula award winner 1986

All 10 reviews »


1 Pipo
2 Trondheim
3 Libo
4 Ender
5 Valentine
6 Olhado
7 The Ribeira House
8 Dona Ivanova
11 Jane
12 Files
13 Ela
14 Renegades
15 Speaking
16 The Fence
17 The Wives
18 The Hive Queen

9 Congenital Defect
10 Children of the Mind

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Page xvii - The romantic hero is unconnected. He belongs to no community; he is wandering from place to place, doing good (as he sees it), but then moving on. This is the life of the adolescent, full of passion, intensity, magic, and infinite possibility; but lacking responsibility, rarely expecting to have to stay and bear the consequences of error.

About the author (2009)

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 Saga, 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.

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