Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:03 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Speaker for the Dead 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Speaker for the Dead
Wow! What a book so far. Much more mature and thought provoking than "Ender's Game". We should consider this for a future reading. I do not have any notes or the book in hand as I write the following...so forgive me if it tends to ramble and not flow well....


Taking place 3000 years after the events of "EG", humanity has found another intelligent species. Unlike our last mistake of Xenocide, this time we are treating this new species with kid gloves, going to the opposite extreme to ensure we do not make the same mistake.

Ender is not involved overly much in the first 70 pages. He is effectively 36 years old, due to his travel from place to place at near light speed. He is a teacher on the planet Trondheim. He is a well known Speaker, but no one knows he is "Ender the Xenocide"...Ender is not looked upon as a hero in the 100 worlds, rather he is a bane to sentient life.

The story so far revolves around a Xenologist named Pipo and his apprentice son Libo. There is a third main character to date and that is Novinha, a Xenobiologist who came into the office way ahead of the normal age, passing the test for certification with scores well above the average score. (Sound familiar). Both her parents were killed by an indigenous disease to the planet Lusitania, where a human colony was set up to observe the sentient race, the "Piggies" as they are called by the humans.

The "Piggies" are very intelligent, but live in an environmental niche that could be filled 'by an opposum', as Pipo observes. Why did they evolve intelligence? Or the other adaptive traits they have? There is no answer yet. The Piggies are tree worshipers. The society of the Piggies seems to be female dominated, as the males do not let the humans see their females...who are referred to as 'wives' and seem to kill the males when they decide it is time. (I am not sure on this as it has been referrred to in passing conversation with Rooter, the only Piggy we really hear from).

So upon her parents death, Novinha became introverted and was sort of shunned by society. The society of Lusitania is under a "Catholic License" which means that the Catholic religion rules the society of the world. Novinha's parents were the previous Xenobiologists and before thier death, they found a cure for the disease and saved the human settlement from totally being killed off. This is also what lead to their deaths. The society has made them saints because of this, and Novinha resents this. Interesting religious/humanist overtones in dealing with this situation and others.

Pipo eventually takes Novinha in and she becomes part of the family, but better still, the two trades they represent merge and they start to understand the Piggies better because of this. So the research goes on until one day, due to some conversation that Rooter gets involved with with the humans, he ends up being ritually vivisected, which consists of all his organs and arteries and veins being cut from his body, yet still attached, then he is laid out on the ground and a tree is planted in the area of his heart. The humans cannot understand why the Piggies did this, nor are they allowed to ask due to the restrictions of contact placed by the governing council.

One day Pipo and Novinha are looking at DNA sequences of different plants and notice that the disease organism is present in all the dna on the planet. Pipo discovers something in this fact and rushes off to ask the Piggies about this. Novinha asks him what he saw and he says to ask Libo when he gets back...he should be able to see it too...

Turns out that Pipo gets vivisected by the Piggies...Novinha blames herself and hides the evidence so that Libo will not see what Pipo saw and get killed as well.

Ok...so my summary is erratic and I have probably missed much...but the book is darned good! It is even less noticeable as Sci-Fi and has so much more to say about society and morality than Enders Game.



Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper

Edited by: misterpessimistic  at: 5/19/06 1:24 pm



Thu May 18, 2006 3:51 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Speaker for the Dead
Just want to add that I really appreciate the way Card handles religion and atheism in this book. He is a Mormon, but he seems so open to the validity of a lack of traditional faith.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Fri May 19, 2006 12:42 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Speaker for the Dead
I am also diggin the fact that Card keeps the existence of other life to a strict minimum! We have explored at least 100 worlds and only 2 intelligent life forms other, humans, have popped up. Most Sci-Fi has worlds teeming with life and that becomes dry after a while. Card has created a nice, believable universe.


Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Fri May 19, 2006 3:32 pm
Profile


Post Re: Speaker for the Dead
I agree about Card's ability to keep the science fiction part of the story a background to the real story. It, and his amazing characterizations, are what make me love him. Most science fiction becomes boring after a while because the author has to keep coming up with so many foreign ideas. I have heard many people complain that they couldn't get into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine because of there being too many aliens. There is still a level of suspension of belief that is required, but these books are about the people.

Regarding religion, I also love the way Card deals with Theism versus Atheism. He seems so understanding of both sides of the coin. I saw this a lot in Ender's Shadow, too. I have read criticism that Card let's his Mormon upbringing get in the way, but I really didn't see it myself.

I relate with Card's understanding nature regarding religion, because I feel that way myself. I don't agree with most Theist ideas at all; however, I totally understand why most people are Theists. It seems to me that Card must feel the exact opposite (i.e. he is Theist, but understands why some are Atheist).

One more note on this book... I found it interesting how he handled the anthropological aspects. (Trying to not give too much away) Traditional anthropology teaches us to deal with other cultures in a way that impacts them as little as possible. Anthropologists are also supposed to suspend their personal feelings and report their findings. To become emotionally motivated, in any way, is one of the biggest no-no's in anthropology.

"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching." -- Keller Williams




Sat May 20, 2006 8:52 am


Post re: speaker for the dead
I read this several years ago and found that the aspects of the speakings for the dead themselves were quite good around the time I had a death in the family (coincidental timing of reading with a death in the family).




Tue May 30, 2006 4:09 pm
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Senior


Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 373
Location: Ashland, NH
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: re: speaker for the dead
i am also reading speaker as a result of read ender in the last fiction reading. it is a great book, in many ways far superior to ender's game which was rather straight forward and focused on ender whereas speaker draws in a wide web of characters and plot elements that are all tied to together, and tied together with such emotion. as with ender, the sci fi elements are only there to position the characters. the plot is driven by positioning the characters situationally to each other and then watching the drama and emotion unfold as if on a stage. remarkable. if ten percent of the authors i read wrote this good, i would be a much more satisfied read. but too often, books are straight line plot driven with the usual twist. the only twist in speaker is the emotional twist on the gut as situations are revealed and characters are forced to deal with reality. bravo.

i just finished reading ender's speach for the dead circa page 250-270. a very intense section! it was a long section too but felt like it ended so fast. i almost feel like i have hit the emotional high point of the story, which could be disappointing with over a hundred pages to go, but hopefully it will keep getting even better.

i also thought it interesting how card handled the religious aspect in the story. however!!! i don't think any one in the story is an atheist. no indication is given in the slightest that any of the characters are without faith. even at one point, ender seems to hint that he does have believes but are unlike what any catholic would understand. the catholic priest cries heretic and athiest at some of the characters, but i think card intended this more to the point of painting a negaitve picture of catholicism (he really portrays the lead preist as being way way way over the top to the point that it is silly, imo). any ways, i thought card was more making a catty slam at catholocism than saying agnoticism or atheism has something to it. i have yet to read anything in the book that would make me believe that any of the characters do not believe in some sort of higher power.

i wonder how strong card's mormonism is? while i don't think he makes any of the characters atheistic, he does have a certain morality that seems humanistic and inclusive of all types of belief. he seems so open minded which was why i was surprised to learn he is so against gay marriage.

i digress, great book! i already have xenocide on order from paper back swap.




Tue May 30, 2006 7:24 pm
Profile YIM
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: re: speaker for the dead
Quote:
i almost feel like i have hit the emotional high point of the story, which could be disappointing with over a hundred pages to go


I think you will find that you have not reached the emotional high-point! What a great story. I finished this weekend and I am a little upset that it is over. I started looking over "Xenocide" and I am not getting as good a feeling about it. I will put that aside for a bit before reading...maybe I am just a little "Carded-Out" at this time.

I will hold that Ender is indeed an atheist, but sees the value and necessity of religion and faith in society. No matter...for Card does a great job handling the issue of faith and manages to bring all the strong believers together at the end by focusing on the "Ramanity" of all.


Mr. P.



The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Wed May 31, 2006 8:52 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Senior


Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 373
Location: Ashland, NH
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: re: speaker for the dead
I just finished recently. It is a rare atheist that would be willing to get married in a church by a catholic priest. A few lines towards the end of the book definitely had me beleiving that Ender is a man of faith. Card seems open to the fact that religion mis-interperts faith and god, but in the end, Card seems open minded by still very much a man of faith and I think it does come through during the ending of Speaker for the Dead. A great book for sure, I think I enjoyed this way more than Ender's Game.




Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:21 am
Profile YIM
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Announcements 

• Promote Your Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:33 pm

• Promote Your Non-Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 pm



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank