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Appalled at first, Tom finds himself doubting his atheistic convictions once he is diagnosed with lung cancer and must deal with the pain of losing his family and his special relationship with his alien friend. Theologian Mike Alsford, in What If?

Religious Themes in Science Fiction, provides readers of science fiction a framework through which to understand these novels in terms of what their authors consider the essence of humanity. Alsford provides four general concepts for understanding human being: subject, agent, contingent and relational.

By analyzing Card's pequeninos and Sawyer's Forhilnors, I will use Alsford's framework to argue that Card sees human being as agent and that Sawyer ultimately defines human being as relational; that is, Card sees humanity as performing our lives on a continuum which moves us toward our destiny, and Sawyer views humanity through relationships with other humans and here, aliens and God.

Speaker for the Dead, the pequeninos, and human destiny The events that take place in Card's novel Ender's Game provide the backdrop for the events of Speaker for the Dead, but it is not entirely necessary to have read the first in order to understand the second.

Thanks to relativistic time effects as Ender travels through space, he ages only 25 years in Earth years, and in Speaker we encounter this 30 year old, now called Andrew, performing truthful eulogies for humans across the galaxy.

For Ender, the publication and the job provide moderate catharsis as he plans to find a home for one last remaining Formic queen whom he rescued. Wagner n.

His travels take him to Lusitania, home to a species of pig-like creatures called pequeninos. Biologists know that piggies are infected with the Descolada virus as is all life on the planet, and the murdered xenologers were working on projects related to that at their deaths.

Ender arrives after a request for a Speaker, and it is Ender, and his Hive Queen companion, who are able to communicate with the pequeninos and attempt to uncover their mysteries. Ender meets with a group of male piggies to discuss interspecies relations, and it is here that Card begins to reveal his thoughts on humanity.

After an exchange of information about starflight, a piggy asks Ender to teach them the ways of technology.

He claims that he will only teach them what will not hurt them. With this exchange of information, Card has revealed what he believes to characterize human being — the freedom to choose our destiny.

Everything the piggies do is in order to become a Brother tree of their species — a living tree which can communicate with the pig form of the pequeninos, created by a genetic link caused by the Descolada, and which is the only form of pequenino male that can impregnate a female Card, Speaker The life cycle and culture of the piggies is entirely focused on the transition from male pequenino to Brother tree.

This cycle seems so alien to the humans that Ender must convince them to remember that the pequeninos are indeed not human, an interesting and ironic way for Card to explore his own feelings about human being. Every action we take leads us on a path either closer to or further away from this goal.

We see a parallel in the life of the piggies on Lusitania. Dzurick 4 Each of their activities, including what appears to be a brutal murder, is in fact only a way to come close to what they consider to be religious bliss.

It is the highest honor for a male pequenino to complete the transition to Brother tree. Ender discovers that the vivisection of a piggy corpse is carefully designed to allow this transition.

When the pequeninos felt comfortable enough around the human xenologers, they tried to honor them by allowing them to transition. While viewed as brutal upon human inspection, in the mind of a piggy it was ultimate religious sacrifice — a sacrament for resurrection Card Speaker Card's exploration of destiny as a means to understand human being is accomplished in his discussions of an entirely alien species.

The pequeninos choose to live a life in which they must ritually kill their own kind in order to advance the species. When given the opportunity to learn about starflight, the piggy Human emotionally claims that it should be up to the piggies to decide what is best for the piggies, and not left to Ender to choose what they should or can do. This kind of free will to make their own future — whether that be on Lusitania continuing their animal- plant double life or learning to colonize other worlds — is ultimately a mindset of destiny.

Through the pequeninos, Card has defined the ability to make choices about our future to be an essential characteristic of human being. Calculating God, the Forhilnors, and human relations Tom Jericho, the protagonist of Calculating God, works at the Royal Ontario Museum as a paleontologist, and things seem to be going well in his life.

Things change after he meets Hollus, an alien anthropologist and scientist, who arrives on Earth to greet for the first time the human species. The Forhilnors resemble giant spiders, and they travel along with another alien species, the Wreeds, who look like four-handed headless pears Sawyer, God After relativistic travel, Ender arrives at Lusitania 22 years later, finding that Novinha had canceled her request for a Speaker, but in the intervening time, not only has Libo also died in a similar manner to Pipo, Marcos recently died, and Novinha's children, Ela and Miro, have requested a Speaker for Libo and Marcos.

Ender, gaining access to all of the appropriate files, learns of tension since Pipo's death; Novinha has turned away from xenobiology to study crop growth, which created a loveless relationship with Marcos, while Miro has secretly worked with Ouanda to continue to study the Pequeninos, while sharing human technology and knowledge with them.

Over the course of time, Miro and Ouanda have fallen in love. With Ender's arrival, Miro tells him that one of the Pequeninos, Human, has taken a great interest in Ender, and Ender becomes aware that Human can hear messages from the Formic Hive Queen. Ender and Jane discover that Marcos was infertile: Ender also learns what Pipo had seen in Novinha's data.

As word of Miro's and Ouanda's illegal sharing of human technology with the Pequeninos is reported to Congress, Ender secretly goes to meet with the Pequeninos.

They know his true identity, and they implore him to help them be part of humanity, while the Formic Queen tells Ender that Lusitania would be an ideal place to restart the hive, as her race can help guide the Pequeninos.

By the time Ender returns to the colony, Congress has ordered Miro and Ouanda to be sent off-planet for penal action and the colony to be disbanded. Ender delivers his eulogy for Marcos, revealing Novinha's infidelity. Miro, distraught at the implications for his relationship with Ouanda, attempts to escape to hide with the Pequeninos, but he suffers neurological damage as he tries to cross the fence.

Ender reveals to the colony what he discovered that Pipo had learned: Libo and Pipo learned of this, but their deaths were a respectful misunderstanding by the Pequeninos. The colony leaders recognize Ender's words, and they agree to rebel against Congress, severing their ansible connection and deactivating the fence, allowing Ender, Ouanda, and Ela to go with Human to speak to the Pequenino wives, to help establish a case to present to Congress.

Speaker for the Dead

The Pequenino wives help Ender to corroborate the complex life cycle of the Pequeninos, affirming that the death ritual Pipo observed was to help create "fathertrees" who fertilize the Pequenino females to continue their race.

The Pequeninos believed they were honoring Pipo, and later Libo, by helping them become fathertrees, but Ender explains that humans lack this "third life", and if the Pequeninos are to cohabitate with humans, they must respect this difference.

To affirm their understanding, Human allows Ender to perform the ritual of "killing" him to take him into his "third life" as a fathertree, providing Ouanda with the confirmation needed to present to Congress. Miro recovers from most of the physical damage from his encounter with the fence, but he is still paralytic. Valentine and her family inform Ender they plan to help Lusitania with the revolt, and they are traveling to help; Ender has Miro meet them halfway.

Novinha, having gained understanding into the death of Pipo and Libo, finally absolves herself of her guilt, and she and Ender marry. Ender plants the Hive Queen as per her request, and he writes his third book, a biography of the life of the Pequenino, Human. Now, I admit, there's plenty of unwatchable violence in film, but never attached to my name. Speaker for the Dead , I don't want it to be filmed.

I can't imagine it being filmed. Card writes in his introduction to the edition that he has received letters from readers who have conducted "Speakings" at funerals.

How to Study 7th Edition

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Speaker of the Dead. In chronological order. In publication order. Short Stories. Original set of sequels to Ender's Game , also referred to as: Original set of sequels to Ender's Shadow , also referred to as: Worlds Without End.

Retrieved Los Angeles Times. Speaker for the Dead, Revised Edition. New York: Works by Orson Scott Card. Ender's Game series. First Meetings A War of Gifts: An Ender Story Children of the Fleet Comics Film.

Ender Wiggin Formics Jane. Organizations Planets. The Tales of Alvin Maker. The Tales of Alvin Maker comic book, The Worthing series. Lovelock Rasputin TBA.

SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD (c) Orson Scott Card

Empire Hidden Empire Pathfinder Ruins Visitors As humanity uses light-speed travel to establish new colonies, Ender quietly travels with them along with his sister Valentine to find a home for the Formic Queen to restart her species. Ender agrees, and authors The Hegemon. These two books create a new religious movement for Speakers for the Dead who have full authority to investigate a person and their work after their death, and speak without judgement about the essence of them and their life in eulogy.

Some three thousand years after the formic xenocide, a human colony is established on the planet Lusitania. The planet is home to a sentient species of mammalian forest dwellers that largely resemble pigs.

The colonists who primarily speak Portuguese dub them "Pequeninos" Portuguese for little ones but they are often referred to as "the piggies" due to their physical resemblance to earth swine. The Pequeninos prove to be of great interest to xenobiologists and due to the fact that humans had previously wiped out the only sentient species they'd encountered the formics , special care is taken to ensure no similar mistakes are made with the Pequeninos.

The Native Speaker is Dead!

The colony is strictly regulated to allow only limited contact with the Pequeninos to those xenobiologists, and to not share human technology with them. However, shortly after the colony's founding, many of the colonists die from the Descolada virus before a cure is found. Xenologer Pipo and his son Libo raise Novinha whose parents died from Descolada.

Pipo has developed a friendship with the Pequeninos, finding that it is a matriarchal society with the females segregated from the males, and that their belief system centers around the trees of the forests. Pipo finds one of the males dead, his body eviscerated and a sapling planted within the body, believing this to be their funeral rites.

Meanwhile, Novinha discovers that every lifeform on Lusitania carries the Descolada virus, and while lethal to humans, appears to serve a beneficial purpose to native lifeforms. When Pipo learns of this, he suddenly has an insight, and before he tells the others, races off to talk to the Pequeninos.I can't imagine it being filmed.

This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.

Ender, who proclaimed as a mistake his success in wiping out an alien race, wins the opportunity to cope better with a second race, discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania.

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And Call Me Conrad aka: Formic Wars: In the process, he encounters another species known as the pequeninos, who live side by side with humans on the Portuguese colony of Lusitania, and he must learn to understand their way of life to prevent a breakdown of the colony. It is a slower, suspense driven novel. Pipo has developed a friendship with the Pequeninos, finding that it is a matriarchal society with the females segregated from the males, and that their belief system centers around the trees of the forests.