Speaker for the Dead: By Orson Scott Card
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 08:34 AM
This book is a sequel to Ender’s Game. What I love about how Orson Scott Card writes Sci-Fi is that his focus is not on technology. Pick up a Star Trek or Star Wars book and a majority of the time you get so lost in the jargon and technology that the plot really is just an excuse to see more cool stuff and neat toys. This story is different. Yes, there is a technical aspect to it, and yes the science is defiantly there, but the story is about the people.
I think I appreciated this book far more than I would have, had I no read the introduction by the author. As an aspiring writer, it was awesome to see the process of brining this book about. It made me understand that the “speaker” is really out there to expose the truth. The truth can bring healing and closure to situations that would otherwise be left to fester and grow bitter, and can relieve people of obligation to keep a secret. A Speaker for the Dead will honestly tell the story of a person’s life, regardless of whether or not that person’s life was good, bad, or had a few places that could be of major embarrassment to their families. The idea is that the truth will set people free. I echo Card’s wish that someone will stand up and speak my life when I pass from this world into the next.
This story challenges the reader’s preconceived notions of right and wrong from the very beginning. An alien race has been discovered, and mankind is determined not to repeat their previous mistakes that resulted in the Xenocide of the only other race they have ever encountered in the universe. Humans study the race and try to learn what they can with out impacting them in any way. When a researcher ends up dead in the course of their work, killed in brutally ritualistic way by the alien race, Humans begin to second-guess their desire to allow the species to develop into what ever they may become. What unfolds is a beautiful look at how humans interact with themselves, and how foreign ideas and differences in biology really can completely cloud our understanding of a situation.
Ender Wiggin, due to physics of relativity and light speed travel, has reached the age of 32. However the rest of the universe has aged over 500 years since he was the once that actually caused what every one refers to as “The Xenocide.” Ender has been atoning for what he sees as his greatest sin, by Becoming the First speaker of the dead. But no one is aware that “Speaker Andrew Wiggin,” is in fact “The Ender Wiggen.” Ender sees this situation as a way to atone for his previous actions, in more way than one. What follows is a tale of redemption, healing, understanding, and exploration of social norms and taboos. But this is no made for T.V., after school special. This is a well told mystery that speaks the truth about humans and how we relate to one another.
I highly recommend this book to anyone how has an interest in relationships, and who just like a good story in general.
Speaker for the Dead
Orson Scott Card