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Speaker for the Dead

(Ender's Saga #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  238,538 ratings  ·  8,302 reviews
Now available in mass market, the revised, definitive edition of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic. In this second book in the saga set 3,000 years after the terrible war, Ender Wiggin is reviled by history as the Xenocide--the destroyer of the alien Buggers. Now, Ender tells the true story of the war and seeks to stop history from repeating itself. ...

In the after
Paperback, Author's definitive edition, 382 pages
Published August 15th 1994 by Tor Books (first published March 1986)
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Jack Reickel "Actual sequel" is definitely the wrong title for it, as it's more of a market-driven bridge between Ender's Game and its actual sequel Speaker for th…more"Actual sequel" is definitely the wrong title for it, as it's more of a market-driven bridge between Ender's Game and its actual sequel Speaker for the Dead. In fact, Card said that he felt Ender's Game as the necessary prequel for the much stronger story of Speaker.

Ender in Exile came much later, from the demands of consumers more than the desire of the author.

That said, it has a couple of decent Ender moments. I certainly prefer it to Xenocide, but I prefer eating broken shards of glass to Xenocide as well, so that doesn't say much.(less)
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Ameena Zaman
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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.


Winner: Hugo Award Best Novel.
Winner: Nebula Award Best Novel.
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
Nominee: Cam
J.G. Keely
May 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
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 disb
Lacey Louwagie
Jul 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sociology / anthropology types
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 in ...more

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 beca
Ahmad Sharabiani
Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga #2), Orson Scott Card

A 1986 science fiction novel by American writer Orson Scott Card, an indirect sequel to the novel Ender's Game. The book takes place around the year 5270, some 3,000 years after the events in Ender's Game.

Some years after the xenocide of the Formic species (in Ender's Game), Ender Wiggin writes a book called The Hive Queen, describing the life of the Formics as described to him by the dormant Formic Queen whom he secretly carries.

As human
Doc Opp
Apr 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So great to revisit one of my absolute favorite novels of all time!

Back when I first read this, Andrew Wiggin immediately jumped into my heart to become my ultimate role-model, my hero, and the idealized version of myself. Ender's Game had him go through some horrific things and really set the stage for the man he was later to become, but it is the full-grown man that really pulls on my heartstrings.

No. He wasn't truly at fault for wiping out the Formics. That can be laid at other's feet.

But h
Will M.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, sci-fi, 2014
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 was

and it stayed like that till the end. I'm not proud of i
Jul 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Masochists
Shelves: r_fiction
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. ...more
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
I decided to go back and reread Ender’s Game and this book before finally reading the rest of the series. I did not know that Mr. Card had originally written Ender’s Game as a short story, and that he only blew it out to a full-length novel when he realized he needed to create too much backstory to include within Speaker for the Dead. So, with that understanding, it’s
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 complet ...more
Jun 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: you
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. ...more
Wes Morgan
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Deleted review
Spider the Doof Warrior
May 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-hate-this-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fromthelibrary, scifi
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.)
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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 a
Time to Meet A New Species

Speaker For the Dead is a magnificent epic work full of surprises. It joins as well as echoes the great science fiction works such as More Than Human, The Dune Trilogy, and Stranger in a Strange Land. But, make no mistake about it, Speaker is a bold original work that stands on its own. Originally conceived before Ender’s Game at least in idea form, it is a sequel to Ender’s Game but has as little in common with the world of Ender’s Game as a player piano has with a one
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book picks up 3000 planetary years after the first one. I say planetary because when you hop along on space ships like Ender has, it’s been only 22 years.
Yup, Ender is 35 but humanity has spread over 100 planets and 3000 years, making his deeds legend. Some herald him for being humanity’s savior but even more despise him for killing off a species.
And he’s still looking for what to do with the queen egg he has been given at the end of the previous book to atone for his involvement in the xen
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of plot and narrative

Ender’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.

Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars ( Amazing)

Speaker for the Dead continues with a powerful and wildly original sci-fi saga about Ender Wiggins and the exploration of humanity in space.

Certainly Orson Scott Card became most famous for his original work with 'Ender's Game'- a book about a boy who is groomed to become a mastermind commander of Earth's fleet against 'invader alien' species known as the 'buggers'. 'Ender's Game' was a massive hit and placed Orson Scott on the map. The book was eventually adapted into a majo
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 tw
aPriL does feral sometimes
'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
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished
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. ...more
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Mike by: aggie_mike2003@yahoo.com
Shelves: xcharity-2012, scifi
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 s ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
An astonishing book. People weren’t kidding when they said this is nothing like Ender's Game.

Speaker For The Dead is so fraught with human drama, on occasion you would be forgiven for thinking you are reading a Southern Gothic mystery. This is also where things get interesting, since, to be honest, I didn’t really care for the characters all that much. When it comes to the human condition, and emotions, the author seems to be dealing in extremes here, even though he clearly has a lot of understa
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 th ...more
Apr 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Speaker for the Dead, according to Orson Scott Card, is the book he meant to write, and Ender's Game was just the intro. Obviously Ender's Game evolved into much more than an intro, received a film adaptation, and is much more popular, but it's clear to see Card wanted the series to be a story about three species of ramen, not just humans.

Ender Wiggin continues to evolve as a character, totally assuming his new identity of Speaker for the Dead, and only known as Ender by a select few. Further,
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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 Th

Other books in the series

Ender's Saga (6 books)
  • Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)
  • Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3)
  • Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4)
  • Ender in Exile (Ender's Saga, #5)
  • The Last Shadow (The Shadow Series, #6)

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