Read Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card Online


In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told of 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 XenocIn the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told of 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....

Title : Speaker for the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780812550757
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 382 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Speaker for the Dead Reviews

  • Stephen
    2018-10-09 17:22

    One of my ALL Time Favorites. I loved Ender's Game, but I think that this novel surpasses it on just about every level. Writing, emotional resonance, characterization and depth. This novel is a much more "adult" read than Ender's Game. It impacted me greatly and I found that it stayed with me long after I finished reading it. 6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!Winner: Hugo Award Best Novel. Winner: Nebula Award Best Novel. Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Nominee: Campbell Award Best SF Novel.

  • J.G. Keely
    2018-10-15 19:38

    While Ender's Game is a solid piece of modern sci fi, the sequel falls all too short. 'Speaker' is preachy and allegorical, and the characters often devolve into simple mouthpieces for the author's opinions, which are numerous, long, and not particularly original.While I do respect that every author has his own point of view, and that one should be able to glean some understanding from their books, such a heavy-handed case detracts from the story and characters as a whole. The suspension of disbelief should not be broken by the author's message; rather, the message should be communicated by carefully built characters and situations so that it emerges naturally and believably.While in the first book the main character was often guilty of extended internal monologue, this underlined the character's personal journey instead of just pushing a preconceived worldview. The second novel has a transparency of motive that, for me, destroyed both believability and the central flow of the story. Card's belief is not a hindrance to his ability to write a good story, but his overbearing expression of it sadly is.

  • Lacey Louwagie
    2018-10-04 14:24

    Orson Scott Card has said that Speaker for the Dead is the book he always "meant to write" and that the only reason he wrote Ender's Game was as a "prequel," so he felt a little baffled when Ender's Game ended up becoming his most famous and most read work. After reading Speaker for the Dead, I understand where he's coming from. The complexity of issues tackled in Speaker for the Dead are much deeper than those in Ender; likewise, the cultures and worlds explored through Speaker are much more intricate. One thing I love about Orson Scott Card -- which I somehow always end up forgetting when I'm not reading him -- is that, despite the fact that he writes fairly "hard science fiction," his stories are still completely character driven. Unlike many SF writers, he spends as much time developing his characters as he spends developing his society, and the result is a compelling book regardless of the plot. (Heck, I even enjoyed Ender's Shadow, which basically had the same plot as Ender's Game except told from a different character's perspective.)Despite my enjoyment of the book, there were a few things that annoyed me. Although Orson Scott Card's characters are well-developed, the female characters seemed to have less complexity; in particular, the principle female character spent about 3/4 of the book wallowing in her own self-pity. This may endear her to male readers with a knight-in-shining-armor complex (as, indeed, it endeared her to Ender), but as a female reader I wanted her to just get over it already. Orson Scott Card seems to play the female moral superiority card even as he grapples with some real ambivalence about female leadership -- the female leaders in this book were either veiled tyrants (whom Ender felt compelled to put in their place) or rendered ineffective as leaders the moment Ender burst on the scene. Finally, Ender himself is a main character in this book whom you're almost tempted to despise just because the author is so clearly in love with him. But truth be told, that didn't keep me from being a little enamored with him, myself -- although the "piggies," an alien race introduced in this book -- held my heart and my attention most completely.

  • Clouds
    2018-10-01 12:25

    Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became a father. As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life (so far).I really liked this book. I’ve never read Ender’s Game. I’ve never read any other Orson Scott Card. But I will, because I really liked this book.The overall premise is superb – mankind’s dark history with the buggers, their potential for redemption with the piggies, the mysterious Descolada plague, the precautions taken to protect the xenobiology making understanding the evolutionary leaps impossible... it’s fascinating stuff.But it's the individuals who populate this world – Ender who is the very epitome of his race, the killer seeking redemption, the last Hive Queen, Jane, the insecure AI, Ender’s genius sister, Valentine, Novinho, the brilliant but bitter xenobiologist who Ender is determined to make accept his love – her dysfunctional family! and finally, there are the stars of the show – the piggies themselves – an alien race who rank up their with Hamilton’s Kiint as my personal favourites. Lots of sci-fi starts with a good idea or two – but very few have a cast like this.It’s awkward, anguished personal stuff, wrapped up as a murder-mystery inside a scientific enigma, driven along relentlessly by a humble messiah. My only complaint is the choice of names, the ‘buggers’ and the ‘piggies’. Let’s face it – these are bloody ridiculous names for well-crafted alien races. One of the ways I judge a book is by how many moments remain behind afterwards, resonating with my understanding of the world. For Speaker, there are dozens – and they’ve lingered in vibrant, sparkling form.The one I’ll never forget is the moment that gives Ender his purpose (and the book it’s title) – when he Speaks the Death of Marcão. It’s a scene that I knew was coming from the get-go, – a scene I tried to guess and second guess, and still found surprising, still found emotional and couldn’t have broken away from had my wife gone into labour while the house was on fire.When the piggies ask (view spoiler)[a brothertree (hide spoiler)] for wood – I was grinning like a loony!When the piggies realize why (view spoiler)[Pipo and Libo hadn’t grown into Fathertrees (hide spoiler)] – my heart broke for the (view spoiler)[murdering (hide spoiler)] little aliens!When Ender helped (view spoiler)[plant (hide spoiler)] Human – my chest ached.When they crack (view spoiler)[the descolada (hide spoiler)]!When Ender wins over (view spoiler)[Grego (hide spoiler)]!When Valentine (view spoiler)[comes to join the rebellion (hide spoiler)]!Olhado’s eyes!When Ender (view spoiler)[marries (hide spoiler)] Novinho!When Ender (view spoiler)[buries the Hive (hide spoiler)] Queen!When Ender writes (view spoiler)[The Life of Human (hide spoiler)]!Speaker for the Dead is the kind of book I was looking for when I started my Locus Quest and I’ve found it hard to resist buying Ender’s Game and Xenocide immediately. But those are the bad old ways – to find a new author I like and then devour their catalogue before moving on - that’s a habit I’m trying to break. So I’ll space out the Ender's Saga books – enjoy them over a few months (or maybe years?) – but I will definitely be reading them at some point.(I've now read Ender's Game and Xenocide too and loved them both, so we're still going strong with one more in the core series to go)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Lyn
    2018-09-30 16:37

    Ian McKellon, Ellen DeGeneres, Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons and Samuel Delany sit in a trendy coffee house in Chelsea and discuss Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel Speaker for the Dead.Ian: Let me begin our book club meeting with a very special thank you to our very gracious host, thank you Andre, as always your staff have been kind and hospitable and have once again made us all feel at home.[all thank the host and servers]Ian: Alright, so … Speaker for the Dead, Card’s sequel to his fine novel Ender's Game, any opening remarks?Nathan: Well, what can I say, I loved it.[all agree]Ellen: It reminded me of Ursula Le Guin’s writing, much more so than Ender’s Game or any other of his writing that I have experienced.Samuel: Yes, and Card used Le Guin’s ansible, the device that allows for instantaneous communication across light years of distance.Jim: On the set of Big Bang Theory, we often talk about the technology as a part of our back-story and we have frequently discussed the ansible.Samuel: Speaking as a science fiction writer myself, I have to say that this may have been his virtuoso performance, again, more so than Ender’s Game, which has some irony because Card stated that this was the book he intended to write before Ender’s Game, and Ender’s Game was written almost as a prequel, and then it became far more popular.Ian: Certainly this was the more spiritual of the two books.[all agree]Nathan: I think that Card also borrowed from or paid tribute to many other writers in this book: Heinlein, obviously Le Guin, Clarke, and also maybe Joe Haldeman.Jim: The lost in time, relative time gaps, where a traveller in a near light speed vehicle will age less than someone on Earth may be a ubiquitous them in his work.Samuel: Yes, this was reminiscent of his The Worthing Saga stories, where one character finds himself centuries, even millennia older than his peers.Ian: What do you think of his use of the aliens as being described as “piggies”, was this perhaps an allusion to William Golding’s’ brilliant 1954 novel Lord of the Flies?Ellen: I wondered about that too! I mean maybe, almost in reverse, as if they are the alien juveniles to our older, but still immature and incomplete adults.Nathan: Yes, I think that was definitely a goal of his – to make the piggies into a kind of retro mirror to ourselves, although they are certainly alien.Samuel: The inclusion of the Hive Queen and the Hegemon is also an important inclusion, very much like something Frank Herbert would write, to offer a path towards redemption.Ian: So it’s unanimous, we all like his work and simply must invite him to our next book club meeting.

  • Doc Opp
    2018-09-22 15:42

    When I first read this book I was in middle school and I hated it. It was such a disappointment as a follow up to the brilliance of Ender's Game. I re-read it when in grad school, and it was an entirely different experience. The book has elements of mystery, religion/mysticism, anthropology (albeit fictional anthropology), philosophy, politics, and intrigue. But its got a very slow start, and there isn't much in the way of action - its all about two cultures trying to understand each other. Its not a traditional sci-fi read, but for the right reader, it can be a really deep and meaningful experience.

  • Will M.
    2018-09-19 15:34

    Card claims that this is his masterpiece. He said that he only wrote Ender's Game so that he could write this. It's such a shame though that Ender's Game became such a hit, and Speaker for the Dead became its shadow. Before I start with the serious part of the review, let me start with something that I can't seem to erase from my mind while reading this. The new alien species are called piggies. Piggies. The thing running inside my head wasand it stayed like that till the end. I'm not proud of it, but for me, Card wrote of a new alien species, in which they are pigs. Not so new to me.Another thing running in my mind would be the word ramen. It kept appearing from time to time. Mr. Card, a ramen for me would be I believe that this is my first time using pictures for my review. Might be my last time, but who knows what the future might hold.--------------------Like what 90% of the goodreads people say about this, Speaker is more of a philosophical novel, rather than a hardcore SF-war one. That didn't bother me, to be honest, because the issues tackled in the novel were quite interesting. There was not a dull moment in the novel, so that's a good start. The reason why I didn't like this though would be because of the bad ending. After such an amazing world building and character development, the ending was just terrible (for me). It felt rushed and incomplete. He could've made the novel a bit longer, considering how average the size is. It's either the novel was inadequate in size, or I was just wanting more. Only two characters from Ender's Game were still present in this novel, Ender and Valentine. I really liked both characters, so I was thrilled to read more of the two. The novel was 90% Ender of course, and probably 5% Valentine. I'm not complaining much because Ender's one of my favorites, but the other characters were just not interesting to me. The main problem would be their names. I hated their names. They were made up and weird as shit. I hate those things, it hinders my ability to like a character. If I hate the name right from the start, odds are I'll hate the character itself. Come to think of it though, even if the characters had better names, I don't think I'd like them as much as some characters from Ender's though. Most of the characters here were rather flat and boring. They contributed a lot in the plot, but I couldn't see myself remembering them in the future.Plot wise, this novel was above satisfactory. It didn't falter off at one point, so consistency was present. Chapter after chapter I was impatient to know what would happen next, and what would be the explosive ending I was expecting. I was really disappointed though. Even the secret of Pipo was terribly bullshit. After reading the whole novel to find out about it, it felt like Card gave me a piece of canned meat, after expecting a nicely grilled steak. 4/5 stars. Main problem would be the dull characters and terrible ending. Overall though, this novel was really great. The "journey" was good, but not enough to garner a 5 star rating. I really liked Ender's Game more, but I'm not saying don't read this, on the contrary, I'm also recommending this. Not sure if I'll read Xenocide right away, because the ending of this one doesn't make me want to know what's going to happen next, but I will read it probably next year (2015).

  • Tony
    2018-10-16 12:36

    My favorite book of all time, if only because it brings back sentimental memories. More than simply a sci-fi page turner, it deals with non-trivial matters such as guilt and love. In a whole different league than the rest of the Ender series, not to mention the rest of Scott Card's works. A must read for anyone who was ever interested in sci-fi.

  • Brian
    2018-10-14 14:35

    Calling this book the sequel to Ender's Game is like calling Mary Poppins the sequel to Star Wars. It's boring, overly observational, and totally unrelated in style and setting to Ender's Game.

  • Carolyn
    2018-09-21 15:47

    I can understand why this book might not enthrall all of its readers but for me, it was brilliant. The anthropological framework certainly entertained me and the deeper themes hooked me.The concept of a Speaker for the Dead and the healing properties of truth make the book a self-searching read. Perhaps the book does not glorify the catholic concept of confession, but it certainly values repentance and forgiveness while acknowledging the absurdity of the act of forgiveness. Above all, it reminds readers of our common humanity and urges each to pursue peace through understanding."When you really know somebody, you can't hate them...Or maybe it's just that you can't really know them until you stop hating them...Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.""...she felt strangely healed, as if simply speaking her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn't a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate.""Sickness and healing are in every heart. Death and deliverance are in every hand.""How suddenly we find the flesh of God within us after all, when we thought that we were only made of dust."

  • Britney
    2018-09-25 14:49

    UGGHHH! I figured since some of my all-time favorite books are Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, that Speaker for the Dead - another installment of Ender's life - was going knock my socks off too...I was SO disappointed. This book won the Hugo and Nebula awards - and one critic even said this was Card's best work. I have to assume that they weren't reading the same novel I was. They just couldn't have been. It was awful. This book was such a let down, I wish I never would have read it. It completely ruined the future Ender for me, so I'm going to forget the whole story as soon as possible. It was SO far out there, completely boring, and just too nuts that during the most intense part of the book, I found myself reading it as "and blah blah blah, and then blah blah blah..." Ender isn't the same brilliant and complex character he once was, and the new characters Card introduces are just sad. If you are looking for another story that brings back the excitement and intrigue of battle school, look elsewhere. Ender's future is bleak...make a good future for yourself by picking a different book.

  • Kerry
    2018-09-29 15:31

    Blah. After Ender's Game, I was all excited to read this one, and it . . . was pretty boring. It wasn't TERRIBLE -- I finished it, but it was mostly boring.The only really interesting things about it were a) biological concepts that are totally different from what we have here on earth, which, after watching a lot of "forehead aliens" on Star Trek is a nice change, and b) the impact of the whole you-don't-age-when-you're-travelling-close-to-the-speed-of-light thing (i.e. relativity and whatnot.) Besides that . . . eh. Jane could have been interesting, but she wasn't. And I missed Valentine. And the stupid Portuguese names were too similar and therefore confusing.

  • Wes Morgan
    2018-10-17 16:45

    Wow. This book was a very pleasant surprise. Absolutely one of the finest works of fiction I've ever read. It's unfortunate that it's technically science fiction because that stigma will cause many to dismiss it out of hand. That would be a big mistake, as this is a great novel regardless of genre.Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Card's best-known work, Ender's Game. I read that first and enjoyed it, but it is The Hobbit to Speaker's Lord of the Rings. It helps you understand the characters and names of things and places better, but reading it first is not essential to appreciating the story in Speaker. Although, if you enjoy Speaker half as much as I did, you'll want to (re-)read Ender's Game next anyway just to get more background on Ender himself and the events of his childhood. So you may as well start there. :)Speaker for the Dead reminds me of other epic, character relationship-focused novels such as One Hundred Years of Solitude or Midnight's Children. Here the advanced future technology stands in for the magical realism of those works. Unlike much science fiction, the characters are very well realized and developed, as are their relationships with each other. Card's background is in psychology, not technology, which makes the book much more accessible to those who aren't big sci-fi geeks (and, I would argue, a more interesting story over all). As an example of this, the book focuses on the painful effects space travel has on human relationships (because of the time dilation effects of relativity, a voyage of a few weeks for those on the ship lasts several decades for those they leave behind) rather than how the propulsion technology works.The story revolves around a small colony of Brazilian Catholics on a planet they've named Lusitania. They discover another intelligent species on this planet, the second humanity has ever run into. We wiped out the first such species in an act of self-defense, but we have since come to regret this action after realizing it was based on mutual misunderstanding. So humanity is determined not to let the same thing happen here.This story of epic scope is told from the perspective of the family who is charged with studying this species on Lusitania and the small community of the colony in which they live. We see 3 generations of this family over the course of the book, but most of the novel focuses on Novinha (pronounced no-VEEN-yah) and her 6 children. The family's broken home and lives of quiet desperation are interrupted only by death, on several occasions and twice at the hands of the alien species. These deaths deflate humanity's hope of peaceful coexistence with the aliens.Into this mix comes Ender, who has a very unique connection to the first alien species we wiped out (I won't say anymore about that because it's a spoiler for Ender's Game). He is now a Speaker for the Dead, which is a sort of humanist priesthood of people who learn about those who have died and speak the truth of their lives, their hopes, fears, intentions, virtues, and vices. He is called by several members of the family to speak the deaths they have experienced in an act of defiance of the Catholic hierarchy that essentially runs the colony.As I've implied, the characters are what make this book great, and that applies to all of them, human or otherwise. The alien species on Lusitania are called "piggies" because they resemble pigs who walk upright and speak. They are a fascinating creation of Card's imagination and you grow to care very much about them and a few individuals in particular as you read the book, as does Ender in the story. The humans' attempts to understand their culture and help them to understand ours are a central component of the book and cast many things we take for granted in a fascinating light.This book is a wonderful story of redemption; of old misunderstandings and pain turning into mutual respect and love via decades of blood, sweat, and tears; of humans (and non-humans) learning and growing and being better than our worst demons; and of loss and suffering planting the seeds of new loves and lives.It's a story spanning thousands of years and a hundred worlds, but told in the most intimate of settings, a single extended family. It shows humans at their best and their worst, and makes you care a great deal about the individual characters all the while. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2018-09-24 16:42

    I've read this book several times since I first read Ender's Game back in 2001. The problem with this book is everything could have been solved by simply asking the aliens how they reproduce from the start instead of assuming they reproduce like humans do. That kind of story almost always annoys the beejeesus out of me. No, I'm sorry, Orson Scott Card is NOT a good writer. Why doesn't anyone else NOTICE this? It drives me nuts. Maybe I should read this again, but I don't want to. I just seems like this one simple little thing would have changed everything. But OSC has to make things SEEM complicated. Like Novinha can't marry the man she wants to marry because he'll learn everything because she will be one person with him.Why? For what reason do married people have to be the SAME PERSON? So, if you have some secret account, your husband gets to share it suddenly? This makes no sense. There's no real reason for it. I have got to get these OSC books out of my house. Anyone want them?Edit-I am sorry, but no real actual scientist would ever, ever encounter aliens and assume they reproduced the same way humans do! This is just so deeply dippy. Couldn't Libo or that other fellow simply have said, we can't turn into trees, don't cut us? And you get 2 people in which this happens to. How are we supposed to believe that two people could not have said, don't do this, our bodies don't work like that. SEE? Simple! I'm sorry, OSC is overrated! Another EditNow, you have to understand that I was a fan of OSC since Jr. High school when I read Seventh Son for the first time.But he's been driving me crazy. There's the homophobia to consider, the constant nagging in his stories and SWITCHING FROM THIRD PERSON TO FIRST PERSON! It's extremely irritating. You are not SAYING something silently but THINKING it and there's no reason to switch from third person to first person every few paragraphs. I'm skimming through this book and I still can't believe that characters would actually be this stupid in the sense of letting themselves be killed by the piggies when they didn't have to be. This doesn't make them look noble or self sacrificing but really, really dumb and lacking in respect for another being's culture and way of life.Also, the romance between Ender and Novinhua is not believable. Perhaps from Ender's side, but not from her.On the bright side, at least Jane is AWESOME. I love her. I do find her whole part very satisfying and I hate when Ender turns her off and she becomes lost.12/18/12 Edit-Why did I read this book again? I think I need to just not read OSC the way I should NOT watch Anti-christ by Lars von Trier because I don't even want to SEE all of that genital mutilation.I will hurt. OSC just isn't a good writer. It seems like he is but he isn't. He nags and lectures. He tells when he should show you. He has no subtlety. His bad guys are too evil and his good guys are too good. He's terrible at character development. You're better off reading Wraethlu or something like that. Especially if you are keen on gay rights. That serious has fantastic character development, interesting beings going from being human to something else dealing with that. It's also very gay friendly too, unlike OSC who will never be gay friendly and will always think homosexuality will destroy society if you just allow people to openly be themselves.

  • Davie
    2018-10-04 17:32

    Made me question what I thought I liked about Ender's Game. Like a Dan Brown book, it manipulates you into reading onwards in order to find out what the hell was going on in the first chapters -- even as you suspect more and more strongly that it's not going to be worth it in the end. Hokey space soap opera.

  • Stuart
    2018-10-10 12:23

    Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of plot and narrativeEnder’s Game and Speaker for the Dead really opened my mind to the wonders of the SF genre back in junior high. Ender’s Game was a gripping coming-of-age military SF adventure about child genius Ender Wiggin, which raised serious questions about training children for military combat, and whether genocide can ever be justified, even in self-defense of humanity.SynopsisSpeaker for the Dead revolves around a dysfunctional family of xenobiologists and xenologers, and features an adult Ender Wiggin (now know as Andrew Wiggin, Speaker for the Dead) who is only in his mid-30s thanks to the time relativity effects of interstellar flight. On Lusitania, a new alien species has been discovered, the pequeninos (or piggies, as they are commonly known), the only other alien race to be encountered since the buggers were exterminated by Ender Wiggin, the Xenocide. So now the Hundred Worlds and Starways Congress are much more cautious about alien contact, and restrict all contact with the piggies to just the handful of xenobiologists and xenologers.The story involves the emotional trials of the Ribeira family, which has been struck with a series of tragedies tied to interactions with the piggies, as well as contact with a deadly plague called the Descolada which scrambles DNA in unexpected and fatal ways. Despite her parents finding a way to prevent the Descolada from harming humans, the main character Novinha loses her parents to the plague. Although she takes on their mission to study the biology of the piggies, along with a father/son pair of xenologers (Pipo and Libo), tragedy strikes both of them fatally as they are killed by the piggies after discovering information related to the Descolada. Novinha, who considers Pipo a father figure and Libo as her lover, is emotionally devastated and retreats further from the community of Lusitania. She later decides to marry Marcao Ribeira, who turns out to be an abusive drunk, and although they have six children together, their family life is toxic and everyone’s emotional lives are a mess. It is the death of Marcao, along with the earlier deaths of Pipo and Libo, that triggers the main events of the story.Andrew Wiggin answers a call for a Speaker for the Dead sent initially by Novinha (to speak the death of Pipo), but later requests are also made by her eldest son Miro (to speak the death of Libo) and her eldest daughter Ela (to speak the death of Marcao) after Andrew has already begun his journey. When he arrives, it becomes clear that Novinha regrets her request (which cannot be cancelled), and that the family is in disarray due to the abuse of Novinha by her husband Ribeiro, and her refusal to reveal what information about the Descolada lead to the deaths of Pipo and Libo.It takes only a week of sleuthing and infiltration of the family by the incredibly perceptive Speaker for the Dead to unearth layer after layer of secrets and emotional pain buried in the Ribeiro family, and despite the resistance of various family members, he finally undertakes to reveal the true story behind Pipo, Libo, Novinha, and Marcao, and this cathartic Speaking before the Lusitania community provides one of the key moments of the book. There is also a subplot about Starways Congress finding out about illegal contact with the piggies and attempting to shut down the colony (which it views as being in rebellion) and its ansible communications network, along with an artificial intelligence named Jane that has formed a connection with Ender Wiggin over the 3,000 years since the genocide. However, I found this subplot quite underdeveloped and not really critical to the plot. Most likely it was added to lay the groundwork for the following two sequels, Xenocide and Children of the Mind, which are widely regarded as inferior to the first two books. Finally, the Hive Queen also features as part of the redemption of Andrew Wiggin, as he seeks to find a new home for her race to atone for his unwitting act of Xenocide 3,000 years earlier.ConclusionApparently Orson Scott Card had always wanted to write Speaker for the Dead, and wrote Ender’s Game partly to set the stage for this story. Unfortunately, it is very clear that the book is mainly an opportunity for him to espouse his various views about morality, guilt, lies, and redemption via revealing of the truth, no matter how painful. I don’t have any problems with OSC’s ideas about redemption via truth, that lies can only destroy family relationships, and that guilt must eventually be let go if people are to ever move on with their lives. However, I would say a good 75% of the 415 pages of Speaker for the Dead are weighed down with endless, well-meaning descriptions of the pain and suffering of the characters, and it got to be extremely annoying after a while. I think if OSC had simply allowed the story to speak for itself, he wouldn't have to spell out exactly how emotional and cathartic the Speaking was. I also didn't like the fact that the Speaker seemed so all-knowing and infallible for much of the book. Finally, I thought it was such a waste that just 25% of the story was devoted to the fascinating alien biology and alien thought-processes of the piggies. The book would have been better served by a 50/50 breakdown, or even the reverse. This is where Ender’s Game succeeded and Speaker for the Dead failed, because the former story was driven by the action of the plot with occasional thoughts on the moral implications of the story, whereas Speaker for the Dead is almost entirely a discussion of those ideas, with the storyline taking a backseat (and several storylines are barely explored at all, so why bother?). So the irony is that while OSC is probably much more enamored of Speaker for the Dead, I think Ender’s Game has had a greater impact on readers, especially younger ones. And while I can’t say I didn’t like Speaker for the Dead, I really wish it could be rewritten with less exposition and more plot-driven narrative. It would be a much better book.

  • Apatt
    2018-10-09 19:47

    Ender's Game is one of those rare sf classics that are placed in the top 5 of most "All-time best sf books", I have seen it occupy the pole position in a few such lists. Such accolade is not undeserved as Ender's Game is a great book, and one of the best military sf novels ever published, alas military sf has never been my favorite sf sub genre so Speaker for the Dead is much more to my taste. What makes this book very special are the existential and philosophical issues raised by this book. I also love the Pequeninos (piggies) alien species and their highly unusual stages of growth. Their culture is very alien and this leads to a terrible misunderstanding and a couple of tragic human deaths, that said, there are some recognizable human characteristic in their behavior. Characterization has always been a particular strength of Orson Scott Card and this is very much a character-centric book, though the sf element, the sense of wonder and immersion is very strong. The character of Andrew Wiggin (Ender) is very different from the previous novel he has grown up, grown old and attained a lot of wisdom. Some of the alien piggies characters such as Rooter and Human are as vivid as the human ones. For me this book has a lot more emotional resonance than its predecessor as I can identify with some of the problems the characters go through. This book epitomizes all that I look for in a perfect sf novel.The two books in the Ender's Saga that follow this one, Xenocide and Children of The Mind are not shabby either.

  • W.C.
    2018-09-21 15:20

    Card is wrong when he tells his readers that Speaker is a better book than Ender's Game. He says young readers don't like it as well because it doesn't feature kids. I don't like it as well as Ender's game because while Ender's game is a psychological epic, with all the heartfelt intensity of a writer's first real story, Speaker reads to me like just another science fiction novel. Some aliens, a superintelligent virus; snooooozer. Well depicted snoozer, but still. Ender spends his whole life in isolation, and comes out of it a wimp, not a hero. Makes me wish Mazer Rackham had kicked his ass a little harder in the first book.

  • Pavle
    2018-09-30 18:40

    Govornik za mrtve je totalno atipičan, a opet, potpuno (i jedino) logičan nastavak Enderove igre. Fascinantan pogled na drugačiju inteligenciju, na moral i istinu i smrt, na porodicu i individuu. Ovde nema a od akcije, ali ima a od antropologije (tojest ksenologije), i a, i n, i t... I ja ne mogu biti srećniji zbog toga. Iako je i Enderova Igra bila nekarakteristično promišljen roman, ipak se dosta oslanjao na vojni aspekt (i čuveni obrt), dok Govornik poseduje melanholiju i promišljenost kao direktnu posledicu Endera. I sve je kako treba, ne bih promenio reč romana – ni jednu jedinu reč (e sad, to već nije slučaj sa prevodom, ali to je druga priča tojest pljuvačina). Orson Skot Kard hoda po tankoj žici, kako ga je sam nazvao, „antropološkog saj-faja“ i sapunice (ozbiljno, ovde ima svega; nije kolonija džabe naseljena kolonistima španskog govornog područja winkwink) ali to radi na spektakularan način koji pretvara celinu romana u nešto što stoji samo na svojim nogama, čvrsto, snažno, nepokolebljivo.5

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2018-10-05 17:22

    'Speaker for the Dead' is a grown ups' book, a literary science fiction that has a lot of Big Questions, and by the end Ender answers the best he can by his understanding of what's needed. Perhaps this novel, book two in the Ender series, may not satisfy those who want a comic book hero. Ender is the kind of hero that has more living man as part of his character than a storybook person. He wants to be a husband, father, and someone who is building a home, not a military genius, not an adventurer, explorer or even a businessman. The title and job he takes on, Speaker for the Dead, is a penance for his perceived sin of genocide (Ender's Game) which almost crushes his ability to survive. Being Speaker for the Dead is how he maintains self-respect, and at the same time, he hopes to evolve the human intellect past its instinct to murder the different. He preaches walking in the Other's shoes as the way to understand, but in a holistic way of seeing. If aliens have sentience, then they can maybe see how the Other may have the same aspirations all living intelligences must have. The Buggers (an alien race discovered in space), by this definition, were not only ahead of humans scientifically but also morally(view spoiler)[, but Ender destroyed them in the previous book before understanding could be shared between races. (hide spoiler)] Jane (a wonderful character) is a proof flesh isn't necessary for an evolved intelligence. She is a powerful metaphor for what is possible and a god icon at the same time. Lack of flesh leads her initially to being heartless, as all superior gods are(view spoiler)[, however Jane' mature evolution begins when she falls in love with a man.(hide spoiler)]Biblical references much! Maybe Ender is Jesus, and maybe his brother Peter and sister Valentine could be representing...Biblical disciples? Guessing is part of the joy of reading. Some of my musings: the alien planet, which this book is about - maybe a metaphoric Garden of Eden? The Piggies (a new, recently discovered, alien race) are a symbol for who we humans are today, and they have a literal Tree of Life? Or not - you decide...People have been arguing for decades about what is Literature and what is simple entertainment. I think Literature has become too solipsistic and it needs to admit new genres like Speakers of the Dead. This is a beautiful read.

  • Leighton
    2018-09-29 17:35

    What's a hero to do once he's accomplished his heroic deed? Ender doesn't quite know--and unfortunately, Card doesn't quite seem to know either. Ender decays into something of a pathetic and self-pitying figure who wanders about uttering platitudes and aphorisms. It's Card at his preachiest, and thus at his worst.

  • Keely
    2018-10-15 15:22

    I never expected Ender's Game to be so damn engrossing when I finally got around it last January. I certainly wasn't expecting I would even read anything written by Orson Scott Card ever, considering his homophobic stance which had personally offended me. However, I wasn't quick to dismiss his literary contributions to the science fiction genre, so I put aside my negative bias and bought the Ender Quartet series. And I'm glad I gave myself the chance to do that because I can honestly say that two books later into the series, what Card accomplished in both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead has made me into a massive fan. Unlike its predecessor, Speaker for the Dead is more humane in scope, focusing on the empowering choice of peace and tolerance whilst Ender's Game dealt with war and annihilation of a species that threatened our own. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is no longer the sole and primary focus of the story though his importance is still pronounced; but in a different sense from his destroyer days. Set three thousand years later after the bugger wars, Ender is no longer that prodigy child who won the war for humanity's survival; he's a man in his thirties who traveled the stars for so long that he never had a chance to feel at home. Together with his sister Valentine, Ender had seen humanity spread across the galaxies, and he had moved with them but as a Speaker; one who tells the truth about a person's life upon death. He is in fact the very first Speaker since space travel has slowed down his ageing process, and he wanted to once and for all discard Ender by speaking on behalf of the dead to impact their histories on the living. This is the perfect form of penance for Ender, and the only people aware of his identity are his sister and the sentient artificial intelligence Jane who sought him out herself and hoped one day that he could help human beings accept her kind.Though Ender still plays a huge role in Speaker for the Dead, the story is focused on a human settlement called Lusitania which is a largely Catholic community that lives alongside a newly discovered species called "piggies". Ender was called to speak for someone's death in that place, a summoning by a suffering young girl named Novinha. But before Ender ever gets there, Novinha (who was now an adult) cancels the summoning, especially after she figures out a significant revelation about the piggies, and wants desperately to protect it to avoid bloodshed among the people she loves the most. Puzzlingly enough, Novinha's other two children have also called for a speaker, and this is when Ender knew that something troubling is brewing in the stifling confines of Novinha's family; that there is a corrosive wound that has made it essentially hard for both her and her children to move forward with their lives.The book's plot goes twofold. On one hand, the anthropological examination of the piggies' culture and practices is zoomed in, enabling readers to understand this species in the human context but even that is already limited. With Ender's arrival, he served as an ambassador between humans and piggies, offering agreeable alternatives for co-existence between these two species. On the other hand, Ender's presence was also a powerful instrument that shattered the shackles that surrounded Novinha and her children. By speaking on behalf of their dead father, Ender exposed the painful truth and the healing process thus began. He had also unwittingly woven himself into the family's fabric, and perhaps in doing so he finally had a home to belong to after being a vagabond for so long.Speaker for the Dead is an astounding follow-up that is drastically different from Ender's Game in tone, setting and execution, and yet in most ways it was also able to surpass its predecessor. It's a daring commentary on science and religion, challenging the limitations of both fields. It also served as a heartfelt testament about the freeing capacity of truth and compassion. It's a searing examination of what makes families grow together and communities prosper as one. The characters are memorable and sympathetic even when they do and say things that are more harmful that they thought (I'm of course referring to Novinha and her insistence to conceal the truth which cost her the love and trust of her own children). And as much as I enjoyed Ender as a child in the first book, I was pleased to see him in this new role as Speaker, and that he is making amends from his past transgressions and in my eyes he has truly become a mender of worlds.RECOMMENDED: 8/10* A well-developed and earnest parable about forgiveness and acceptance set in a futuristic backdrop of moral ambiguities and social discord.

  • Laure
    2018-10-16 14:43

    A very good science-fiction book. I could not put it down for a while! I wanted to know of course what the 'Little Ones' 's secret was, but there is more than that in the book. There is an attempt to give a spiritual dimension to the story. However, the conflict resolution feels a bit too pat for me. The Utopian reality that the characters all embrace at the end of the book seems forced. A good ending is not always what is needed. I would have liked to see a more nuanced reality emerging from this alien world.

  • Joey
    2018-10-10 15:32

    I mean, its interesting how he sets up his plots with time : Characters use light speed to bump around, and while for people on planets time ages 50 years, the people on the ship don't age more then a couple of days. THIS I like.But I'm sick of his subtle racism; I'm a bit sick of how Card pretends to be able to view people like an open book - his characters can PREDICT exactly how other characters will act, due to their personality type etc.And we'll see if the plot has a pay-off, Its just a bit mediocre.PS: And I'm sick of his vapid discussions on "religion" - where he constantly brings up "calvinism," "catholicism," "mormonism," and his own goofy agnostic space thing : its a bit preachy at times.And his use of Portuguese to help individualize his focus planet in here : something called Luscitania : is more funny then interesting.PPS: Oh and one more thing. The names he picks for 'entire alien species' - seem like straight out of a 10 year olds pokemon imagination: "buggers" - this name is used for 1000s of years SERIOUSLY to describe an insect like species that is intelligent etc: and "piggies" for another talking species on Luscitania. Fucking ridiculous. Amen.

  • Mike
    2018-09-28 16:22

    5 Star all-time favorite best book. I have no idea why this second reading of Speaker for the Dead was so moving. My previous rating of 3 Stars is now incomprehensible to me. I am not a very emotional person and I have seldom been moved to laughter, tears, heartache or sheer joy while reading but this book did all that. I was mesmerized by the story of Ender, the colonists of Lusitania, the pequininos, Jane, Novinha and the Hive Queen. So very different from Ender's Game and, yet, so perfect a sequel. There are hundreds, if not thousands of reviews on the book. I can add little except note that you will find:Laughter GriefDelight AngerJoy SorrowDesire RejectionSerenity Rage Elation Desolation Treat yourself to Ender’s Game and follow up with this one. What a little treasure.

  • Itramsunshine
    2018-09-19 18:38

    Much better than Ender's Game. So interesting and carefully written, so many messages delivered in each page. Wonderful book.But why then, you may ask, did I rate it with 4 stars out of 5? The reason is rather embarrassing: I was not prepared to read this book. Not mature enough I think. It touched subjects that were very disturbing and made question tons of stuff. Also, to be able to go on I had to listen to most of this book, instead of reading it. My interest for science fiction is not that extense (other than Star Wars, of course) and the book lacked of romance, which is the genre I prefer to most. Other than this, Speaker for the Dead has a very deep message to give, and I encourage people to read it if they want to, as long as they are prepared, which I was not. To read it after Ender's Game is not completely necessary, although I would advise for you to read it first, no matter how slow it may seem.

  • Jeff Duarte
    2018-09-20 19:23

    The Ender series is one of the more bizarre series that I've personally encountered. It is a trilogy made up of four books, none of which were originally supposed to be connected or, in some cases, novels at all. Ender's Game (the first in the series) was born out of a novella Card had written based around the idea of a Battle Room, where students fought in simulated war games. Out of that novella came a compelling story of an outcast, genetically enhanced child who is destined to be the savior of humanity against a race of insectoid aliens who may or may not pose a threat to humanity. The last chapter of the novel, after the supposed Xenocide of the "buggers" (Ender finds a cocoon of a Hive Queen to save and eventually reinvigorate their civilization), sets up the concepts of the Speaker for the Dead, the Hive Queen and the Hegemony, and Ender's guilt of the destruction of an innocent race. Speaker for the Dead, the sequel to Ender's Game, was not intended to be a sequel at all. The introduction to the novel, written by Card himself, states that this was a completely unrelated idea, revolving around someone singing for the dead. Apparently someone eventually went, "Why not just make this main character Ender?" And thus, a sequel was born. Side note: the last two books in the series, Xenocide and Children of the Mind are completely unreadable pieces of garbage. They're boring, nonsensical novels that destroy everything about the main characters that we've grown to love from the first two novels. They're boring, trite, and to be avoided at all costs. Speaker for the Dead starts on the Portugeuse colony of Lusitania and the relationship between Xenologists (scientists who study new, different, sentient species) and a possibly sentient species, the Pequininos (referred to as the piggies, mostly for their porcine facial features). When the lead Xenologist Pipo dies at the hands of the piggies, a call is made by the pre-teen, Xenobiologist trainee Novinha, who had become an adopted member of Pipo's family, along with Libo's assistant and son, Libo. The culture of the Speaker for the Dead comes specifically from the original Speaker for the Dead, Ender Wiggin. In the five thousand years (yes that much) between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, it has become custom for Speakers to travel from planet to planet, from funeral to funeral. Their role is simply to tell the truth, to speak at length about the life of the man they are called to speak for. The Speaker who answers the call of Novinha is, of course, Ender Wiggin. Using his real name Andrew (since his nickname Ender has morphed into almost an insult, Ender the Xenocide has become the most despicable human to exist), he travels with his sister Valentine, who writes extensive histories of the prestigious figures he speaks for under the name Demosthenes. He answers the call not only because of the piggies, not only to find a home for the buggers, but because of a fourth form of sentient life, known simply as "Jane."I know I've spent a lot of time on exposition because it is a heavily expository book, and one that does lose a bit of its emotional impact with no knowledge of Ender's Game. However, behind the simple plot comes a deeply interesting anthropological and societal look at what happens when a "sophisticated" society encounters an alien society. The deaths of Pipo and eventually Libo turn out to not be acts of violence or rage, but misinterpretations stemming entirely from societal and biological differences. The piggies were bestowing upon the two Xenologists their greatest gift. However, the fundamental biological differences between piggies and Humans prevents the gift from being realized, thus turning a great service in the minds of the piggies into what the humans see as murder. All in all, Speaker for the Dead is a great companion to Ender's Game and a seemingly fantastic conclusion to the story of Ender Wiggin. Just don't read the next two books.

  • Annie
    2018-10-15 15:31

    THE FEELS, MAN. This book has all the feels. There were tears. I don’t know what to do with myself right now tbh. Bittersweet to the max. I love this book, I love it so much, I love it even more (maybe) than I love my precious Ender’s Game which has a cozy home on my favourites shelf. It put me through the emotional wringer more than anything I’ve read in the past year. It is just so… complete. That’s the best word I have to describe these books. Complete characters- characters so complete and whole that you feel awkward calling them characters not people (fucking Ender. And Valentine...! (view spoiler)[I was unreasonably happy by their impending reunion at the end, and by the fact that they would once again be more or less the same age and Ender would get to know his nieces and nephews and have a real family together again and with Novinha and Ela and... oh, there was just too much. And then the whole thing with Jane, and things not being the same again between her and Ender- my heart is broken. (hide spoiler)]). Complete worlds- worlds so detailed and casually referenced and slowly fed to you, world-building on the level of Tolkien or Cordwainer Smith. It’s just. All. So. Fucking. Complete. Happy part over. Here we come to the part of the review Orson Scott Card terms “the homosexual agenda.” Because I can’t review a Card book without talking about his uberfamous homophobia. As a bisexual, it’s hard to forget that the person who wrote the book currently in my hands, head, and heart thinks I’m an abomination. In fact, Ender’s Game & Speaker are both so sensitively, wisely, and compassionately written, rich with empathy, that I struggle to understand how someone so homophobic could have written them. It’s just so incongruous. In spite of what bell hooks says, I firmly believe authors and their works are too intimately connected to look at in isolation, and I can’t read Card’s writing without being hyperaware of his homophobia. And he just sounds so incredibly moronic when he talks about gays that it’s hard to believe he actually wrote something as brilliant as Speaker. It’s like you say the prefix “homo” and his mind is wiped of all rational thought. Like, in the past he's compared the legalization of gay marriage to courts deciding that “blind” and “sighted” people are “the same” and therefore blind people should be able to drive cars too. Orson, honey. Blind people can’t drive cars because it’s dangerous. Because they could kill someone. If I marry a girl, will you die? Let’s try it. I’m curious. It’s all the more annoying because, while we’re discussing minorities, I really love how Card writes female characters. It’s a common stereotype- and it’s *true*- that male science fiction writers (aka 99% of science fiction writers) treat female characters like props or attractive wallpaper or sex vessels. They’re often clumsy and unrealistic. Not here. No, I couldn’t ask for better female characters. Card has female characters in positions of authority. He has them be savagely witty, or out-reasoning their male peers in class, or being brilliant scientists and philosophers. And he doesn’t make a big deal out of those things- it’s just natural. In short, he treats women like human beings. This is annoying because I think highly of Card for this.Orson Scott Card’s books changed a whole generation of people who grew up with them. Like Ender, he “wrote a bestseller that spawned a humanistic religion” in some ways. His character is the ultimate empath, the only one who can truly understand why others do what they do, who can find compassion for anyone, even those who are so different from himself- even other species who have murdered his fellow humans. And he doesn’t try to change them. That’s why he becomes a speaker for the dead- because that influence gives him so much responsibility. How can Card not see the irony here, that he wrote a character capable of such empathy, capable of seeing things through others’ eyes, when he himself is so clearly unwilling or unable to do the same? I don’t know what I think about the answers to those questions. I struggle with the fact that I love this book. But I do- I can’t deny it. I wish, so much, that one of my favourite authors were different, and I feel uncomfortable loving this book so much, but there it is. So it is with a heavy, reluctant, guilty heart that I give this book five stars. It’s that good, that I can’t justify any other rating even though I want to.

  • Đorđe Bajić
    2018-10-11 19:29

    Retko se desi da drugi deo nadmaši prvi - a upravo je to slučaj sa Govornikom za mrtve. Enderova igra mi se veoma dopala, ali je Govornik ambiciozniji i maštovitiji roman. Bez obzira na obim (preko 400 stranica), pročita se za čas - Kard je odlično postavio priču i zna kako da zaintrigira čitaoca. Uz to - još jedan veliki plus - Govornik nije puka kopija prvog dela, već nudi originalnu priču koja se nadovezuje ali po strukturi i pristupu ne kopira izvornik.Vreme je da napustimo Zemlju i da se otisnemo u svemirska prostranstva. Enderova igra je kultni roman po kojem je nedavno snimljen i vrlo dobar film o kome sam svojevremeno pisao za City Magazine. Govornik za mrtve (1986), u izdanju Čarobne knjige, nadovezuje se na događaje opisane u prvom romanu i nastavlja da prati život Endera Vigina (sada već trideset i petogodišnjaka), ali zapravo nije klasičan nastavak. Orson Skot Kard se ne zadovoljava time da ponovi formulu Enderove igre, već čitaocima nudi jedan sasvim novi svet koji valja istražiti. Kard svog odraslog junaka odvodi na daleku planetu na kojoj je otkrivena nova vanzemaljska rasa – naoko neodoljivo simpatični pekeninosi (praščići) koji, ispostaviće se, kriju mnoge mračne tajne. U pitanju je prilično obiman roman (preko 400 stranica), ali je toliko zanimljiv i vešto napisan da se, ako imate dovoljno slobodnog vremena, može pročitati za dan-dva. Ne čudi što je Kard za Govornika dobio prestižne nagrade Hjugo i Nebjula, a roman je toliko dobar da se mirne duše može preporučiti i onima koji ne vole naučnu fantastiku.

  • Faye, la Patata
    2018-09-25 12:35

    Such a beautiful book. Seriously, this made me sit down and think so much about the universe and the threads of human and alien life, and how even if we haven't met other species from the other parts of the cosmos yet, we are all still somehow connected. If there's one thing that I thought of upon finish this book, it's that one day, humanity will progress so much that we can travel the stars, find other creatures, and learn from them and then have them learn from us. There is so much to learn about all of us, which can only be discovered if we have otherworldy beings to point them out to us.