Продолжение «Саги Эндера» — одного из величайших циклов в истории научной фантастики, лауреата «Хьюго», «Небьюлы» и множества других наград. Он — величайший из полководцев космической эры, палач, стерший с лица Вселенной целую цивилизацию, человек, чье имя стало синонимом жестокости на всех обитаемых мирах, — Эндер Ксеноцид. Он — Эндрю Виггин, Говорящий от Имени Мертвых, спаситель целой цивилизации. Даже двух цивилизаций — и это не считая человеческого населения Лузитании, к которой направляется карательный флот, дабы разнести ее на молекулы, ликвидировать мятеж и угрозу заражения других человеческих миров смертельным вирусом. А поскольку этот вирус успел стать основой экологического равновесия целой планеты, полностью перепрограммировав геномы всех ее жизненных форм, то всё то недолгое время, оставшееся до прибытия смертоносной флотилии, Эндеру и обитателям Лузитании предстоит решать множество трудных вопросов — и не только научного характера.
Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts.
Card was born in Washington 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 teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He recently began a long-term position as a professor of writing and literature at Southern Virginia University.
Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and their youngest child, Zina Margaret.
I didn't hate it. The philosophy and science annoyingly reminded me of Tom Clancy's later stuff where he rambles on and on over minutia no one but him and his 7 true fans really enjoy. The rest of us start skimming hoping to find something to make continuing to read worth it. Only to depressingly read the last sentence wondering why successful authors stop using editors.
I grudgingly give this book a 3, based only on my affection for the characters and the creativity of the story. Most of the book suffers from overkill in one sense or another, which leads to its main problem of length. It´s impossible to deny that Card is brilliant, but I can think of no writers other than Tolstoy and Dickens (barely) that can justifiably write 600 or more pages of novel. Yes I'm aware I'm including Dostoyevsky in this statement (sorry Karamazov-lovers). Card could have brought this one in at under 500 and lost nothing while gaining much due to brevity.
Problems (where to start?):
Much of the length problem was due to tedious treatment of 3 of the main characters. Miro -- look, I get that he doesn´t like being paralyzed and that he´s wallowing in self-pity. You can cut at least 10 pages of his wallowing and I will still understand it. His transformation at the end will still be impactful.
Si Wang-Mu -- the introduction of Path and the gradual revelation of OCD was masterful. What I needed much less of was the hammering home of their inner turmoil over the gods. There´s a specific 5 page passage starting on 430 that as far as I can tell is used solely for Wang-Mu to ponder the nature of godhood. If you´re going to spend 5 pages on her, at least use it to develop the mind-boggling and completely inexplicable split-second decision she makes at the end.
Quara -- I did not swallow this character for one instant. Besides the ridiculous lapse in logic that she´s prepared to wipe out 2 species (including her own) so as not to kill 1 species, I´m supposed to believe that she´s defending Descolada just to get back at her family? And this is the first sign of mental instability that she´s shown in 30 years? Ender couldn´t have "healed" her in all that time (Is he a demi-god with supernatural powers of healing as shown in Speaker for the Dead or isn´t he?)? And then in all the arguments they had with her, no one could have raised the point that a dying Piggy raises at the very end:
This woman is simply insane, and I do not believe that she would have been allowed to affect so much of the goings-on if Card were trying to be at all realistic. She was used to create conflict in an already uber-conflictive book, and guess what -- not necessary! That´s almost 30 pages saved right there. Did anyone else catch the part where she was passing Ela´s defense work to the virus itself? Mentioned but never follwed up on.
My other objections are less grave. There´s the dialogue style, just as present in Speaker and to a lesser extent in Ender´s, where every character is constantly psychoanalyzing every other, and everything they say can be decoded to show a deep personal insight. Although it worked without overtly bothering me in the first two books it got to be too much in this one (perhaps due to the length). People don´t actually talk like this, or if they do I´ve never met them. It´s not natural and became intrusive to my reading experience. There was a bizarre narration sequence on page 100 where Card suddenly addresses the reader in the 2nd person -- jarring to say the least. Finally
This book was very frustrating to me, because there were so many really good things about it (mainly plot and the ethical/geo-political dilemmas), but some really bad ones as well.
The war for the survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the heart of a child named gloriously bright.
Says the cover. Such a misleading thing to say. This novel was 500 pages of bullshit, and 91 pages of slight enjoyment. More or less 81.8% of useless shit.
Nominated for the Hugo award? Thank heavens it didn't win.
I loved Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but Xenocide was just bullshit. It even felt like Card didn't write this. How could he create amazing characters, and manage to make them lifeless all of a sudden? I didn't feel any kind of connection with any of the characters in this third novel. To make things worse, this novel is way too long. 591 pages, rambling on about uninteresting stuff.
The main goal of this novel I believe was to keep things interesting by introducing another possibility of a "xenocide", but all it did was introduce another set of alien species that are not even likeable. They were flat and unrelatable. I'm chinese, and I couldn't even relate to the characters. They were written that bad. I even had to check the front cover to see if Card wrote this alone. Unbelievable how much I hated this novel.
The list of annoying things does not end. Card made the characters seem like they were trying to be like Ender a lot. Miro, Grego, and Wang-mu were all pretentious in this novel. They were trying too hard to be likeable, but they seemed like losers. Especially Wang-mu, and the twist that Card wrote in the near end about her was not even good. She was not a likeable character from the start, so relentlessly trying to make her likeable is not going to work. You might ask, who could be more annoying than Wang-mu? Qing-jao. Another pretentious little bitch. All her whining from the start annoyed me already. I got it the first time, you don't want the life that you were given, so stop whining about it every fucking time you appear in a chapter.
Ender himself was fucking unbearable in this novel. I saw this coming already, but Card just made it worse.
"Ela, after you've inadvertently killed a couple of people with your bear hands, either you learn to control your temper or you lose your humanity."
You killed people with your bear hands? You fucking killed an entire species, shouldn't that be the cause of your "losing of humanity"? Terrible example given, and I thought you were supposed to be the amazing speaker of the dead/murderer of the buggers. And up to now, I still can't believe that he married Novinha. She was fucking crazy right from the start.
The plot itself ventured off a cliff. Instead of focusing on the main story, it focused on the art of whining instead. We get more of scrubbing grease off hands, Miro's paralysis, Ender's marriage, and Novinha's family problem rather than the fucking possibility of a Xenocide. Let me add the constant whining of everyone regarding Jane's "humanity". I don't give a rat's ass who created her, please talk about the fucking Xenocide instead. Based on the summary at the back, this should've been the best of the 3. Instead, I'm considering giving up on the whole series because of this being such a bullshit novel. Once I've calmed down though, I believe I'll be reading the next novel.
1.5/5 stars. I gave this 2 stars because I still have an ounce of mercy left in my system. Card could've done better, and he already proved that with the first two novels. I'm not sure what happened here, but I'm hoping the next novel wouldn't be this bad.
This novel should be called "The Art of Whining" and not "Xenocide".
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This is one of the most profoundly philosophical science fiction books ever written.
Humans have colonized the planet they call Lusitania, home to the "piggies," intelligent mammal-like animals with no technology. Then Ender Wiggin arrives, with the Hive Queen, the last remaining member of her high-tech species. Now three intelligent species must cohabit one world -- for if they leave it, they will take with them the ultimate biological weapon, the descolada virus.
Human contact with not one but two intelligent alien species sets the scene for a thorough and balanced discussion of some of the most important questions about being human: What does it mean to be intelligent? What does it mean to be alive? Does free will exist? Where did the universe come from? How can we pursue our own interests while remaining respectful of others'?
My only reservation about this book is that it really only makes sense having read the other two first, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. I tried reading it immediately after Ender's Game, and put it down in frustration after a few pages.
But if you have time to read a great sci-fi trilogy, with interesting characters, a suspenseful plot, and some surprisingly unique ideas, you will be richly rewarded.
Addendum: In light of Card's homophobic statements, I feel obligated to add a few words. It is incredibly disappointing to me that such an imaginative, creative writer as Card sees homosexuality as wrong. He is able to imagine species that reproduce in incredibly innovative and foreign ways, yet is not able to tolerate something as banal as one human loving another human who happens to be of the same sex. I admire Card's creativity, but I am saddened by his narrow-mindedness regarding his own species.
Had this been a stand alone novel, rather than a continuation of the Ender Wiggins series, it probably wouldn’t have irritated me so much. In the interview with the author at the end of the CD, he pretty much verifies what I thought throughout the whole novel. The premises of this book is one that he had first thought of as an independent story line, but since Ender Wiggins was a ready made hit, rolled it into the trilogy instead. With each subsequent book, Card looses a bit more of the initial power of Ender Wiggins. His need to explore philosophical ideas, in far greater depth than is necessary, overwhelms the story. One of the greatest aspects of Ender’s Game was that it delved into a number of deeper issues, without being in your face or pushy. It managed to be a fast paced, action oriented science fiction novel, while at the same time offering enough substance to appeal to a more intellectual mindset. Xenocide completely missed the mark in this aspect. The philosophical debates are rammed down your throat, detracting from, and eventually completely ruining, the characters introduced in Ender’s Game. Had he simply written a separate novel that dealt with the issues addressed in this novel, I think I would have enjoyed it much more. As it is, though, the forcing of a separate story plot into the continuing saga of Ender Wiggins did not work.
Let me tell you the most beautiful story i know. a man was given a dog, which he loved very much. the dog went with him everywhere, but the man could not teach it to do anything useful... instead it regarded him with the same inscrutable expression. "thats not a dog, its a wolf!" said the mans wife "he alone is faithful to me" said the man and his wife never discussed it with him again. one day, the man took his dog with him onto his private airplane and as they flew over the winter mountains the engines failed and the airplane was torn to shreds among the trees. the man lay there, bleeding his belly torn open by shards of sheared metal... but all he could think of was his faithful dog was he alive? was he hurt? imagine his relief when the dog came padding up and regarded him with that same steady gaze. after an hour, the dog nosed the mans gaping abdomen and began to pull out the intestine, spleen and liver, gnawing on them, all the while studying the mans face. "thank god" the man said. "at least one of us will not starve."
how can you NOT love that. the book was AMAZING. my second favorite in the series.
5.0 stars. I was amazed by how good this book is. Speaker for the Dead is one of my all time favorite books and this book picks up right where Speaker left off. Superb characters, amazingly orginal concepts of life and the universe and intense ethical debate (Card's strong suit) highlight this exceptional novel. Highly recommended.
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1992) Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1992)
Xenocide (1991) is a science fiction novel by American writer Orson Scott Card, the third book in the Ender's Game series. On Lusitania, Ender finds a world where humans and pequeninos (Portuguese for "Little Ones") and the Hive Queen could all live together. However, Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequeninos require in order to become adults. The Starways Congress so fears the effects of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered the destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there. With the Fleet on its way, a second Xenocide seems inevitable.
I can't say that I enjoyed this as much as the other two.
I found the characters bland. There wasn't one that I could connect with among them, other than Jane, and perhaps Valentine. The women were all ridiculously emotional, leading to foolish and irrational decisions that made me want to scream. (Quara, Gloriously Boring Bright, Novinha) The only redeeming factor was a "female" computer and Valentine, as the other women just opened their mouths and made more problems or spent the entire book talking about their unworthiness. Luckily they have men to fix everything right?
Lets move to the synopsis, which states: The war for the survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the heart of a child named Gloriously Bright.
I can't even say how irritating that statement is, since Gloriously Bright exacerbated the problem, and then spent the entire book being a stubborn fool, contributing nothing further. That statement alone dropped my rating by one star. I would have enjoyed this book more had she never had been in it. Wang-mu is the real hero, and should have been credited, or maybe it is because she is just a lowly servant.
And don't get me started on how weird the relationship is between Ender and Valentine. They are so close they make their marriage partners jealous? What?
The story isn't awful, although I feel like it could have been shorter than it was, featuring pages and pages of dialogue. While some of it was interesting, I did feel myself start to glaze over as it continued with no end in sight.
I can see why people don't progress with the series past Ender's Game.
I keep taking away stars. I am cruel. The problem with this book is the use of stereotypes and isn't it sort of, I don't know, unsettling to people how monochromatic these worlds are? A world where everyone is Chinese or Japanese or Brazilian. Where would someone like me fit in? Just because you're in a world full of people like you ethnically or religiously doesn't mean you will fit in.
This is sort of the same problem in Children of the Mind too, where you have whole worlds were most of the people are the same race and religion and they act as stereotypical as possible. Just because someone is Japanese doesn't mean they eat raw fish. OSC is not good at creating characters that are believable as PEOPLE and not just as some kind of stereotype of this ethnic group.
More later. I must exorcise these books. Lucky for me someone wants them so I will mail them to her so I stop reading these books and getting angry. I have enough stress, thank you.
Reading this again. OSC is so ABLELIST!
Also, he can't write people without using so many dang STEREOTYPES.
OMF Why would you torture a child this way? What is UP with this guy and tortured, tormented children?
WTF would you believe in gods who want to torment you with OCD anyway? These gods are terrible! Why does he create so many warped and insane cultures? I know the world is warped, but when you are a writer, you can create the sort of world you want. And his worlds are extra dysfunctional.
Look, a person can be disabled and still be brilliant! Being psychically disabled doesn't change that. It doesn't make you less you!
So they went and converted some aliens, but how do you know the aliens don't have the One True Religion, eh?
AUGH YOU ABLIST ASSHOLE! WHY WOULDN'T SOMEONE ACCEPT AS A MARRIAGE PARTNER A MAN WITH ARTIFICIAL EYES IF HE'S A GOOD GUY?!
BLOODY HELL WHY AM I READING THIS?! it's so freaky, Ender and Valentine. UGH.
Make me stop reading this but WHY are all of these worlds SEGREGATED??! NOT ONLY THAT BUT THEY ARE SEGREGATED BY STEREOTYPES!!! WHY IS HE SO FAMOUS AND POPULAR?
Am I the only one bothered by all of this ableism in this book? It's really bothering me.
How do you expect me to believe that it's THOUSANDS OF YEARS into the future and people are going to choose to live like this? To have bowing servants and be carried around on sedan chairs. This seems a bit... well... KIND OF RACIST! As if these folks on an all Chinese world can ONLY live like they're in some old school precommunist Chinese society. I'm surprised there's no foot binding. HOW COULD I HAVE THOUGHT THIS GUY WAS A GOOD WRITER?! And this whole concept of kow towing to congress. Why? You have to think critically about EVERYTHING!
Goddess's TITS almost everyone in this book is a complete and total asshole.
Still reading this book like an IDIOT. Goddess's TITS OSC, Having sex before marriage doesn't mean you're some immature person who would not stop a mob. It just doesn't. And that sort of attitude isn't healthy. What is up with religions that get their nipples in a twist over sex, but when it comes to real issues, they balk?
You cannot science. stop trying.
Fuck you osc. rape is not a reproductive strategy.
WHY do I keep reading this book? Woman excepts my rule? Male and female social models? WTF?! OSC's world view is stupid and narrow. One aspect of Science Fiction is to long for a better world, not just a world where we follow the same tired conventions that are not really working. Atypical genes my left butt cheek. These simple stereotypes don't take human complexities into consideration at all. They don't understand that men and women VARY!
Ender’s series has long been one of my favorite in the sci-fi genre and that is why I am slowly working through the series long after I have moved on from most of my childhood favorites. There was something about Ender’s world - even for a reader who was most at home with the most elaborate of high fantasy and sci-fi, the subdued world of Ender had a different sort of fascination. It did not try to sell a fancy world or any fancy technology or an advanced race of humans - none of the regular tropes. It was the most human of sci-fi stories in a way - only dealing with the fundamentals, with life and death alone and with how to deal with them. True it was set in a fascinating slot to tell this story but it asked nothing of the reader, no suspension of belief, no acceptance of an distinct world, it only asked the reader to connect with Ender.
Then Uncle Orson had the brilliant idea to take this brilliant story line and merge with a rejected story from his early career and mix in all sort of mumbo-jumbo. He took the big leap that so many sci-fi authors love to take - straight into ancient hindu philosophy - which is a very tempting and logical end space for all of sci-fi. In fact, you will not find a more cogent and perfect sci-fi universe. But that is no excuse for so throughly mixing it up with a series that was going so perfectly.
Worse, just when I promised myself that I will wrap up this series with this book, Orson throws at me the most absurdly taunting sort of conclusion and then has the nerve to come along with an afterword and tell me slyly that the best way to earn more from a book is to split it in two. So bingo, please read the next one and sorry to leave you hanging. And true to the spirit of Ender, I am pretty sure I will.
How many stars do you give a book that starts off good, wanders around dully in the middle, and then becomes offensively horrible at the end? Do you average 5, 3, and 1 star? Do you give it 2 because of the overall picture? Do you give it 1 because it's doubly bad to start out promising and then mislead the reader?
I'm in the last category.
I'm 90% finished, and I think I'm not going to make it much further. I loved the first two books, but this one is sort of awful. It started out with a good mystery: who are the gods and how does this planet relate to the other, but that got resolved about 3/4 of the way through the book, somehow the struggles on Lusitania seem mostly tedious and obnoxious. All of this is fine though, all it did was impact my reading speed. Instead of chewing through the book, I read it at a casual pace. On the other hand, what happens at about 90% of the way through the book appeals only to people who have absolutely no grasp of science, or buy into that whole J.Z. Knight (the frustrated housewife who started channelling a 35000 opponent of atlantis and suddenly got rich) cult recruitment film: What the Bleep do we know?
I love the first two and this one started out well, but it explodes in a gigantic ridiculous Deus ex Machina event that reinforces that Orson Scott Card knows little about science, and expects the same from you.
P.S. Just so you know, I lost all will to read this book right at the end. So I never actually finished the book. I asked my buddy who had initially warned me about it what happened and I call that good. I can't bear to read any more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Xenocide, the third book of the Ender’s Game series, continues the story from Speaker For the Dead. It is a far more difficult story to follow as it is filled with philosophy, physics, religion, and strategy, much more than action and could perhaps have risked some editing. As it is, though some might find it obtuse, others will find its moral quandaries illuminating and rewarding.
Things are happening in the far-off planet where several intelligent species are co-existing. The humans still live within their fences. The piggies or pequeninos are everywhere. And, the queen bee is laying her eggs and building something. Because the descolada virus which is in every part of the planet’s environment and essential to the pequininos is deadly to the rest of the universe. And, there’s a fleet with a doomsday bomb ready to save the universe from the descolada and the reemergence of the alien species. And Jane is being revealed as she tries to quietly stop the fleet.
What makes this a worthwhile read is the moral issues and ethical quandaries of how to save the universe and for who. And whether the coexistence can continue. The themes of the difficulty understanding the alien species continue, but the threads connecting them all are complex and lead to dimensions and surprising results.
A very different novel from the first two in the series and a more complex read.
Xenocide is the third book in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Saga series. It picks up where Speaker For The Dead left off, with Lusitania struggling to survive the Descolada and The Little Doctor.
It's hard to corral my thoughts about Xenocide, because there are so many things going on. We have threads of solving the Descolada AND Path viruses, multiple family dramas, solving FTL travel, the nature of the soul, intricacies of inter-species relations, first contact, the frivolity and wastefulness of intentional violence, the meaning of spirituality, and that's just a start. You might think a book jammed with so many big ideas can't possibly give them all adequate attention. Card not only discusses all these big ideas at length, he painstakingly works his way to conclusions. I firmly believe The Godspoken's purification rituals are a metaphor for Card's writing style. Writing this book had to be similar to endlessly tracing lines in floorboards. There's a lot to take in here, but Card rewards you for opening your mind to his words.
Ender's Saga takes its place in my pantheon of science-fantasy series. Xenocide reminds me a lot of Hyperion, Dune, and Children of Time. I'm sure there are others, but these come immediately to mind. I love series that take a broad, deep dive into all aspects of a planetary setting, and use that rich, detailed canvas to paint intimate stories of the inhabitants with a blend of sci-fi and fantasy. I think a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into writing books like this, and I'm eternally thankful to the authors who do it well. Thank you Orson Scott Card.
I highly recommend Xenocide to anyone who's finished The Speaker for the Dead. The series must be read in order, though. I think of this series as a single book with three acts. A must read for all sci-fi fans.
I adore the Ender series. 'Xenocide' by Orson Scott Card is really part one of a two-book set in the Ender series, and it's book 3 if reading in order. On to Children of the Mind next which will finish what was started in Xenocide. There are a lot of ideas in the story as everything related to the psychology and philosophy of prejudice is explored in a dramatic speculative fiction setting. Religion and politics, as well as basic species survival imperatives come into play throughout the complete Ender series.
Generally the book is very realistic and true to human nature, with the additional bonus of well imagined two other sentient species involved. I love it. That super smart people would be driving the story forward is a plus as well, but I find myself wishing that intelligence really was behind more real-life politics than it appears in this series.
I really enjoyed this. In all honesty, stick Ender Wiggin in any book and I'll probably love it. Unlike the last book which was basically a 300+ page ethnography, Xenocide went into the looming threats of the descolada virus, the growing threat of war between piggy and human, and the survival of every race in the galaxy. On the negative side, this book could have gone through some editing, as parts seemed to be long winded and overly drawn out. But overall, I really liked it.
"So let me tell you what I think about gods. I think a real god is not going to be so scared or angry that he tries to keep other people down . . . A real god doesn‚Äôt care about control. A real god already has control of everything that needs controlling. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them."
The third part of the Ender Quartet, the sequel to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, which takes place on the Brazilian colony of Lusitania -- the habitat of all three known species in the universe: humans, pequeninos, and the Hive Queen's buggers -- and a planet called Path, a descendant colony of China whose inhabitants believe themselves to be "godspoken." The plot is concerned with three main issues: the development of a cure and an understanding of the descolada virus, which is threatening to wipe out all life it comes into contact with, but which is necessary for pequenino survival, and the existence of which has led Starways Congress to condemn the planet to destruction; the growing conflicts between species on all planets and the ethical, spiritual, and philosophical dilemmas that result; and finally, the quest of three individuals on Path to find out what happened to the Lusitania fleet which was sent by Starways Congress to destroy Lusitania -- a "godspoken," his daughter, and her servant -- all who will be instrumental in the shape of things to come.
I enjoyed this book. As always, Card manages to make you care about his characters at the same time as making you think in ways you never have before about religion, philosophy, and the nature of life. Reading one of his books is like a religious experience; I always walk away after finishing one feeling as if I've really accomplished something, like I'm a better person for having done it. For this reason alone all of his stories are 'A' quality, but this one misses the mark (as does it's sequel, Children of the Mind) in terms of narrative structure and control. More on this below. Overall, though, this book is well worth your time, if only for the education of your soul (and the tying up of a few plotlines from Speaker for the Dead).
I love Jane -- so much. I also really enjoy all the ethical dilemmas that Card so brilliantly orchestrates. His creation of a planet full of people who believe themselves to have the ability to speak with the gods, but who have really been genetically manipulated into having a specific form of obsessive compulsive disorder, is frankly genius. But I think my favorite part about this book (and the rest of the Ender Quartet) is the way that they force you to examine the way that you see the world through the use of the pequeninos and the buggers. Everything looks different and a hell of a lot scarier when you don't understand it.
The thing that makes Speaker for the Dead such an A+(++++++) book, a masterpiece really, is the way that Card interweaves character, plotting, pacing, and action. Speaker for the Dead is the perfect length, with things being revealed at just the right pace, and tension perfectly distributed. The result of this is a feeling of perfect completion upon finishing. The narrative is also almost all self-contained. With the exception of several unresolved problems (how they're going to stop the Lusitania fleet, what will happen to Miro, etc.) the conflict of the story is perfectly resolved. This is where Xenocide suffers. Xenocide and Children of the Mind were originally supposed to have been one book, but the narrative became too long and Card was forced to separate the two. Unfortunately this hurts both stories. Xenocide feels incomplete in terms of theme, and Children of the Mind feels almost trite in comparison to its behemoth of a brother. Ultimately, it would have been a much more successful story with a good paring down, and combining the two into one, as Card originally intended. And, to end on a whine, Ender's fate was pretty upsetting and I'm not sure what exactly about it bothers me, other than I felt cheated. Intellectually, the decision to give his soul to the Peter-body was a good one. He can now live out his life without the immense burden of guilt of having committed xenocide, which has haunted him since Ender's Game. While I know this is good, I still can't help but feel cheated in some way. But I digress. Oh, and also, I really hate Qing-Jao.
Three months ago I was introduced to Orson Scott Card through his book “Ender’s Game.” Seeing how awesome his envisioning of modern technology (a lot of which have come true since the book was published) and study of human nature was, I eagerly jumped into the second book of the series, “Speaker for the Dead.”
This book was even better!!
True, it was not as action backed as “Ender’s Game” but nonetheless it was an amazing book that dove deep into the human behavior. How does one treat an alien race that is different than one’s own? How about a human who is reacting out of guilt and secrecy? Can you learn to understand someone, even when they are ‘evil’ and do bad things?
It was with great joy that I picked up the third book in the series, “Xenocide” (especially since book two ended before everything was resolved).
Sadly enough, I have to report that “Xenocide” failed to uphold the same standard as the first two… =(
Well, kind of… the first three-fourth of the book was fairly good as Card tried hard to explore how one could live side-by-side with aliens, who by their very existence, places your life in danger. He also explores the nature of life and what it means to be alive.
I grant you that these are not easy questions/topics to explore…so some grace must be given to Card for tackling such concepts. However I must say that Card ended up backing himself into a corner with tons of major problems for his characters that could not be solved easily…
So instead of letting them die or having them fail, he jumps the shark and solves 95% of the problems with one action.
Normally I let an author get away with as there are times when something has to give…yet… when Card has his characters recreating their bodies, figuring out faster-than-light travel, bring 3,000 year old dead people to life, and developing new forms of a virus by simply wishing for it… sorry, I can’t go there… that is a tad much for me.
True, he develops a huge ‘scientific’ theory/argument for such wishing…but no…can’t buy it. =?
Sorry, Mr. Card, but you lost me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Wow. It took me so long to finish this book after racing through the previous portion of this series. It's really too bad because Orson Scott Card's ideas are definitely worth exploring -- some of the most thought provoking and original of the ones that I have read in my limited science fiction repertoire. Card is truly one of the most brilliant writers I have had the pleasure of reading.
That said, certain portions of the book I just found to be tedious. I finally finished this only after borrowing the audio version from the library and listening to it during my commutes. Certain notes of the book were hit too many times: the constant bickering between the family on Lusitania (you know they'll eventually get their act together) and the sometimes seemingly endless discussions about the nature of philotic connections come to mind. I also find fault with the fact that it is obvious artificial intelligence and the brilliant scientists of Lusitania will solve the scientific issues faced in the book, making the buildup of suspense difficult.
Nevertheless it's worth it to read the book. What Card does would be foolhardy for most writers, but for him it works. How many writers do you know that can write convincing dialogue and philosophy for the most intelligent people to populate a planet of geniuses? I can only imagine how truly amazing this book would have been if a bit shorter and more tightly constructed.
When I first started this series I was afraid that the first book would be good and then the quality would slowly start to dip, because the goodreads rating did so and you have to trust user ratings, right? I was so wrong. Not only was Speaker for the Dead so much better than Ender's Game, but now, Xenocide is EVEN BETTER than Speaker for the Dead. The character of Han Qing-jao was probably the best thing in this book, and probably the best storyline this series had to offer (I reserve the right to change my mind once I start and finish Children of the Mind).
This was on it way to being a middle of the road - didnt love it or hate sci-fi novel, when a sermon broke out. I spent a number of hours getting preached at, and I didnt care for it. It didnt even feel like the well-intentioned if ham fisted style of RAH trying to dole out advice / his world view - it was literally a sermon.
Jesus save the aliens, and in the end, just wishing (and a self-aware super-computer) can make miracles. It was a pretty bad excuse for fiction. And the ending resolved very little but tying down a superfluous oxbow in the story line.
I cant help but wonder if the success of Ender's Game & Speaker for the Dead - which were both very good - gave this author so much clout that his editors no longer reigned him in. 80% of the characters in this novel are extras - some were interesting, but they really did not have much to do with the story moving along. It seems like this was missing some red ink at the editorial phase. But I bought it, and the next, and several dozen others by the same author, so here is to hoping that it picks up!
Ender's Game was one of the best modern novels I've ever read, especially in this genre. It surprised, delighted, and asked ethical and epistemological questions I hadn't thought to ask up until having read it (not to mention some fascinating universe-wide questions of pneumatology, psychology, and hamartiology). Speaker for the Dead was better and did the same, though in an almost entirely different genre — that book changed how I offer eulogies forever, changed the nature of funerals in my mind.
Or at least the audiobook version did — perhaps I need to merely read it in print as I read the other two. Then again, of the making of books there is no end and much study wearies the body. But the words of the wise are like goads, and the anthologies of the masters are like firmly embedded nails driven by a single Shepherd. The first two novels in the series clearly seemed like mastery. This one... not so much. Please leave a comment if he improves or returns to mastery in another series or even this one – am I way off base here?
Card seems obsessed with the nature of humanity, specifically humanity as tethered to the idea of consciousness, and the seedbed of that question lies in both Speaker and Ender's. Can a machine be a conscious being? Can a tree? A larva? Can a hive? All good questions. In this book, it shows up over and over again in the quarantining of OCD humans who — prior to the revolution led by an A.I. — had been treated as less-than-human. It shows up in a conscious virus. In conscious clones of memories of Andrew. In the piggies and buggers and so on. But I feel the farther we get into the series, simultaneously the more interesting his questions of religion and faith get AND the less interesting his questions of consciousness and systematic theology / philosophy grow.
I feel like rather than reading this book, everyone would do well to read the consciousness section of The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss — in fact, all philosophers of the mind, folks who study A.I., people who have questions of consciousness, and the like should have read that chapter. It's heavy, but it's worth it.
As for Xenocide... the title sums up the question of species extermination and how far that implication goes.
It's also telling that these questions seem wholly absent from the author's personal politics. Or at least they seem lacking in any discernible sense.
He is, in the end, a tight storyteller and I'll be checking out his lessons on writing. He even says in the afterward that to make it this philosophical and talky, he needed to grow into a better writer — it might be a good idea for him to revise Xenocide into a new edition, but what do I know? I'm no better or worse than him. The last word of the book does help with the brightness, but it feels it ends in a similar way to The Waste Lands in the Dark Tower series, the only problem being Stephen King WARNED us he'd split his book at the start, Card did not so... yeah.
Cannot recommend Ender and Speaker enough.
If you've read it, what did you think? If you haven't, why do you want to?
Xenocide picks up Ender's story on Lusitania. With a starship on the way to destroy the planet, Ender and his family race to find a cure for the descolada, a virus integral to the life cycle of the pequeninos, but lethal to humans. Jane, a sentient being who came to life as a result of the bugger's attempt to contact Ender through the fantasy computer game, may die as a result of her efforts to help Ender stop the destruction of Lusitania. A faction of the pequeninos decides they want to bring the descolada virus to other planets and wipe out humanity.
The third book in the Ender series would have been better with about 200 less pages. I loved the conversations between the Hive Queen and the pequeninos and Jane's developing character. The philosophical discussions of religious concerns had some interesting elements, but went on far too long for my taste. I felt like Card was trying a bit to hard to teach a lesson. And all the family fighting--ugh--that got old too. You'd think that the starship coming to destroy the planet would be a bit more of a uniting factor. I didn't like this one as much as Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but there was enough worthwhile stuff here that I will finish reading the series.
Ender Serisi'nin üçüncü kitabı olan Soykırım'ın çevirisini nihayet bitirdim. Ama ben de bittim. Sanırım "2312" (Kim Stanley Robinson) adlı devasa bilimkurgu romanından sonra çevirdiğim en zor kitap buydu.
Aslında 2312 kadar bilimsel açıklama yoktu içinde, onun kadar ağır da değildi. Filotlar ve çalışma presipleriyle ilgili sayfalarca süren, karmaşık açıklamaları saymazsak tabii. O kısmı gerçekten zorluydu.
Mesonlar, atomlar, nötronlar falan derken "filot" adını verdiği yeni olguyu bildiğimiz fizik kurallarının içine katmayı ve yepyeni bir fiziksel düzen kurmayı hedeflemiş yazar.
Ama bir önceki kitabında kime insan denir, kime uzaylı tartışmasından yola çıkan Card bu sefer işi bir adım ileriye götürüp tanrı nedir, kime tanrı denir konusunu irdelemiş. Batı ve Uzak Doğu dinlerini ayrı ayrı ele alıp bunları birbirleriyle çarpıştırmış. İnancı sorgulamış.
Öyle olunca da felsefi ve teolojik tartışmaların bol bol döndüğü, 600 sayfalık bir roman çıkmış ortaya. 3 ayda bitiririm dediğim kitabın çevirisini 6 ayda zor tamamladım.
Özetle, beynim yandı 😅 Muhtemelen seneye Pegasus Yayınları'nda...
The fleet is coming to destroy planet Lusitania! The piggies may counter by releasing the Descolada virus to destroy all humanity! No matter what Ender decides, an intelligent life form may be annihilated! Holy ethical dilemma, Batman! Let's talk freshman philosophy.
Speaker for the Dead was about what it is to be human. This one raises the stakes, and it's mostly about what it is to be a god. And here, Card basically goes a bit heavy handed on the Mormon theology. A true god would want to make people just like he is. In the end, we are all gods. And there's even a hint at the end of the idea that people can make it possible for their ancestors to enter the kingdom of heaven. I don't really object to this morphing of Mormon theology into sci-fi, but I did roll my eyes a couple of times.
The philosophy that really bothered me in this book was an extensive discussion of free will/determinism. We are three thousand years into the future, and these are the smartest people who ever lived, and the discussion here basically falls into the simplest trap. Valentine says that the problem with determinism, if its true, is that it leads to a lack of responsibility. That totally misses the point. If it's true, determinism is useless. It only might lead to a lack of responsibility if its false and people believe in it and act on it. If it's true, people will simply do whatever has been determined.
Even that wasn't my big issue with the book. One of the strengths of the first two books was Card's ability to get you to care some for the characters. Here, I had the feeling at times that he was working to achieve the opposite. There were times when I thought the best way to end the book would be to have the fleet receive it's orders and wipe these insufferable people out. That would still leave the insufferable people on Path, but one can't have everything, can one?
Finally, Card thoroughly writes himself into a box in this book, and I had some curiosity as to how he was going to get himself out of the box. I didn't suspect that he was going to have a physicist "invent" a pair of ruby slippers for Ender, so that all Ender would have to do is wish very hard that "There's no place like home." With these slippers we get faster than light travel, the fountain of youth, and a Star Trek style replicator without the limitations. Pretty nifty device. It makes pretty much anything come true as long as the person using it wishes hard enough for it (holds its pattern in their mind). Too bad Card didn't actually have such a device, then he could have wished for something other than a deus ex machina machine.
This book is masterful and I'm extremely mad at myself for not finishing this series so much sooner....but then again, maybe it's good I waited.
My story with the Enders Game books seems to have a long history. I started Enders Game in high school. Ended up buying the audio for my wife years later. Then after she finished, we listened to Speaker for the Dead. And now, finally, another full set of years later, I'm finally finished with Xenocide.
To be honest it might be a good thing I waited. If I had read Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide while I was still in high school I probably would have sluffed this series off and never given it another thought. Enders Game was fast paced action with kids in a battle school! The latter 2 books are philosophical thought provokers that encourage you to think. That was not high school me.
With that out of the way I have to say how utterly impressed with this book I am. It has many ideas that make you question a lot, but in a good way. It challenges you on what is good and what is evil and what one person thinks does not diminish someone's else's differing thought. It has scientific ideas that are explained in a way stupid 'ol me could understand, and almost made me feel smart that I understood it. It's also a story about family, and struggles that a family has and how no matter how much you think you're right, you can still be wrong. After all, everyone is the hero to their own story.
With that being said this book is obviously not packed with action, but nevertheless I still didn't ever want to stop reading. I couldn't wait to pick the book back up and read more of the characters story. It was an expertly weaved tale from beginning to end and Card tells that tale with artfully crafted strokes of the pen, like a painter creating a beautiful painting. And it all culminated together in a wonderful way. There is a lot left open at the end of the book, but it still somehow managed to have a satisfying ending.
I was very pleased with this book, obviously. It might be one of my new favorites. But even with that being said I don't think this is a book for everyone. If you somehow found this review after you've read Speaker for the Dead and you liked that book, this is more similar to that, but better, in my humble opinion. If you like books that make you think and challenge you through other people's stories, then definitely give this a go.
I'm so happy I read this. And I'm so happy I ended up reading this now instead of way earlier in my life when I wouldn't have appreciated it. It also makes me wonder why I'm not reading more OSC books. Shame on me.
Short off topic review - I often wonder when someone does something legendary did they know what they were doing was going to be epic, or did they just fluke it?
After reading this, Enders game seems more of a fluke to me, then something OSC knew would be legendary. Even more so when you hear his vile homophobic remarks and his wild conspiracies about Obama. I don't know at what point OSC came to Jesus, but this level of Christianity in this book is overwhelming, and no real counter argument is ever made to it. Especially after the mocking tone EG had to religion. I figure he must of had a revival in his life. Now I dont mind Christianity being in books, I just wish it was questioned by the semi intelligent beings in the novel. Even more so when its the only religion being brought to a planet.
I really wanted to love this series. The first books ending really meant a lot to me. (Not so much all the Mary sue'ing at the start) but the real first contact and the redemption. The 2nd book held my interest, and I enjoyed the meeting between the piggies and Ender, but the 3rd book? meh... way too preachy.
This really needed a Editor to trim 100 pages of it, there is so much repetition of topics and convos that it gets dull re-hashing the same debates, "Is the virus a living being we could talk too?"
Por lo general, las terceras partes de las sagas de los libros que he leído no me han dado suficiente satisfacción, y en Ender el Xenocida no fue la excepción. Tampoco significa que el libro haya sido malo o que no me haya gustado; de hecho, hubo partes interesante que me hicieron leer sin parar hasta la madrugada. Pero siendo sincero, no me gusto el final. Ver a un Ender derrotado, débil y sintiéndose tan inútil no me parece que haya sido una buena sensación. Ender por lo general siempre fue inteligente, capaz, el mejor de todos y siempre nos sorprendía con sus calidades para conocer lo irreconocible, pero aquí nunca fue así. De hecho, los verdaderos protagonistas fueron Ela, Miro, Jane y los de Sendero, pero Ender no tuvo un protagonismo digno de libros anteriores. Él ya se había dedicado a su vida de esposo, se volvió católico y siento que se convirtió en un personaje común y corriente sin nada diferente. Sí, tenía algunas anotaciones, pensamientos y reflexiones interesantes como estábamos acostumbrados, pero no es lo mismo; y al contrario, verlo sufrir con Novinha (que tuvo 0% de protagonismo en este libro), afligido por re-crear a Peter y a Val y completamente desorientado sobre las soluciones que tenía que hacer para salvar a Luisitania de la destrucción me pareció algo triste. Es similar a cuando tenemos un héroe, un deportista favorito y nos enteramos que a esa persona le han pasado cosas terribles en el futuro y que ha sufrido demasiado y sentimos como esa pena y ese dolor… así me sentí en este libro como Ender. Por lo cual, no entiendo porque el título del libro. No hubo nunca xenocidio, no hubo guerra y al contrario, los problemas casi que “mágicamente” se resolvieron casi todos a la vez. En cuanto a eso, sí que no me gusto. El 75% del libro había sido “lógico” y con un desarrollo de la historia normal, pero que de un momento a otro se fueran al exterior y todos los problemas se solucionaran así de repente, la verdad que me choca. Me choca, porque no me emociono, no sentí nunca acción y me pareció hasta aburrida la manera en que ese nudo de la historia se desarrollará. Pero también, tengo que destacar lo que me gustó, y en ese sentido me encantaron los personajes. Puede que no haya habido batallas serias (excepto un incendio), pero cada personaje tenía tanta vida propia que se hacían sentir: Sus pensamientos, acciones, motivos de comportamiento y diálogos; me daban ganas de seguir leyendo para leer las nuevas aventuras de cada personaje, para conocer que le pasaría. ¿Se moriría? ¿Haría alguna rebelión? ¿Influiría en la decisión de alguien? ¿Cuál sería la siguiente rol que tomaría el personaje en la historia? Esa y muchas más preguntas me iba formulando mientras leía el libro. Quizás, por la misma enseñanza del personaje de Ender, cuando explicó que una vez que comprendíamos los verdaderos motivos de nuestro enemigo, no podíamos odiarlo, porque entonces ya lo conocíamos y en cambio lo amábamos porque lo comprendíamos. Asimismo, sin querer uno empieza a tratar los personajes de esa manera y a entender la forma en cómo se comporta cada uno, volviendo muy interesante las escenas al cruzarse los personajes en diversas situaciones. También, me encanto la historia de Jane, su rol tan importante en el desarrollo de la salvación de Luisitiana y su relación con Ender y Miro, siendo cínica, pero a la vez honesta. Siempre que seguía leyendo, esperaba ansioso la participación “entrometida” de Jane para que la escena tuviera un poco más de humor interesante, como yo lo podría definir. En cuanto al tema de racismo, filosofía, religión, ciencia y demás; me gusto porque es una visión diferente de estos temas. Por ejemplo, yo me imaginaba la evolución de una especie, como algo natural y no tan trascendente como lo vi en este libro. Aquí, era supremamente importante la evolución, porque si no evolucionaban y pronto todos se iban a morir, como en el caso de Plantador, y la verdad me toco el corazón la forma valiente en la que decidió desafiar a la misma naturaleza que se les había impuesto; y entonces, veo el tema de la evolución ahora un poco diferente, sin ser ahora tan molesto y tedioso el tema, sino en cambio un suceso más, que tiene muchas historias fundamentales tras de lo que ya ha sucedido. Me gusta la filosofía, el ser humano, el comportamiento y todo ese tipo de temas me parecieron geniales, incluso sirve para entender a mis semejantes o a mí mismo. En cuanto a la religión, me parece que el autor la hace quedar en ridículo. Todos oran y suplican, para que algo pasé, pero al ver la verdadera razón por la que se resolvieron las cosas entonces uno puede pensar que simplemente todo es una mentira y que usan la verdad no relacionada con la religión para controlar a las masas; pero a la vez, es contradictorio, porque los personajes implicados en el desarrollo hacen también parte de esa “religión” y se comportan como todos los demás, aunque sepan que lo que está pasando no es una obra divina sino científicamente está comprobado de ser algo distinto; por lo que no sé si tomarlo como burla, como mensaje subliminal para relacionar con la religión real o como simple casualidad y maldad mía en pensar de forma picara ante las situaciones. En cuanto a lo de Sendero es una clara referencia a lo que se vivió en China en épocas pasadas, y quizás para muchos pueda parecer irracional y hasta tonto, que 3000 años después y hayan colonias o lugares comportándose “no evolucionada mente”, pero yo no le veo lo malo a ese detalle. En mi opinión, sin importar la cantidad de años que pasen en el mundo siempre va a existir una evolución, y así como en nuestro planeta se han pasado por tantas eras, en otros planetas también podría presentarse este factor. Asimismo, me parece interesante conocer con una historia tan sencilla como la de Han Qing Jao, a la China antigua y algunas de sus creencias y costumbres que fueron influenciadas para la historia de Sendero. Eso también fue grandioso. En general, a mí me gustó aunque hay partes de la historia que no me convencieron demasiado; sin embargo, vale la pena leerlo y vale la pena continuar el siguiente libro de la saga para determinar si Ender seguirá con ese rol o tendrá un nuevo rol.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
The short-version review for this book comes in the form of an image I’d like to plant in your head.
Imagine yourself standing in a large, densely populated area. Think Grand Central Terminal, Times Square or the floor at Comic Con on a Saturday. You’re standing there, head tilted back, eyes squeezed shut, hands clenched into fists at your side as you scream out every ounce of anger, frustration, confusion, and disappointment that you’ve ever experienced in your lifetime, from the depths of your very soul.
Now, imagine you’re releasing all those feelings through one epic scream as a reaction to this book.
There’s your short-version review. You are welcome.
For the longer version, let me just add that I’m pissed. I’m pissed at myself for reading this, pissed at Card for writing this, and pissed at the characters for being so frustratingly annoying.
I read this book because I was told - by Card himself, in the introduction - that this book would be, at long last, the final chapter in the story of Ender Wiggin. Even though I doubted his words (there are still a gazillion books after this one, after all), I put my doubts aside, because he promised that when the door closed, it’d be with a finality that would allow the reader to move on, knowing that every last question had been answered; that new, thought-provoking and open-ended questions had been delivered; and that you, as the reader, would be at peace with it all.
I call BS. This wasn’t an ending at all! It was an opening that led to another set of questions, another group of characters I could barely stand to read about, and another series of books that I just can’t bring myself to be interested in!
This book was far too long, but I can usually deal with books that ramble. This book, though. It didn’t just ramble. It rambled on the theological, metaphysical, scientific and theoretic fronts. My eyes glazed over more than once. My brain wanted to shut down at almost every page. And just when I thought I couldn’t hate certain characters more than I already had (I’m looking at you, Novinha!), I got to the next chapter and realized, nope…it is possible to hate a fictional character with every ounce of my being.
I realized pretty quickly that I just didn’t care. What I wanted was Ender. His story, his progression in life. What I got instead was a group of arrogant adults, each convinced they were right, each blissfully oblivious to the damage their small-mindedness was causing.
Were there problems? Of course. Were they solved? Absolutely. Did they spawn yet more problems? What good series could survive if that weren’t the case? Did any of it matter, in the long run? Did any of it move me, the reader, to care more about the people, their issues, their thoughts or fears? Not one. Damn. Bit.
So yes, I’m pissed. Shame on Card for writing that this could be read as the last book in Ender’s life. Shame on me for believing him, when all the evidence pointed at something else. And shame on these characters, for being too flawed to be believable, too smart to be humble and too near-sighted to care about anything other than their own worlds.