Speaker For The Dead

This is the second book in the Ender’s Game series, and is better than the novelized Ender’s Game, although it is impossible to beat the short story version. Ender has grown a lot over the time between this book and the last, and the story is compelling and believable. I really enjoyed this book.

Speaker for the Dead Book Cover Speaker for the Dead
Orson Scott Card
Science fiction
Orbit Books

Science fiction-roman.

A World Out of Time

I was reading about cryogenics a couple of weeks ago, and that got me interested in stories around that topic. This book was one of those recommended as exploring the implications of being woken up after a long time. The first half of this book is better than the last half to be honest. I liked how the world had changed, and thought the employment prospects for a recently thawed person were both clever, and possible. However, the distant future world at the end of the book didn’t seem as well done to me, and was a stretch at best. An ok book, but not the best I have read recently.

[isbn: 345257502]

Ender’s Game

I’ve read this book before, many years ago. I figured I should re-read it, given how much I love the short story. Unfortunately, I think the short story is better than the novelization. The novel tends to try to explain too much, although the last chapter is a worthy addition. I’m sure I’ll still read the rest in the series though, as there is more to see in this universe.

Ender's Game Book Cover Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
Tor Science Fiction
July 15, 1994

From New York Times bestselling author Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game is the classic Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction novel of a young boy's recruitment into the midst of an interstellar war. In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel. THE ENDER UNIVERSE Ender Quintet series Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind Ender’s Shadow series Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight Children of the Fleet The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston) Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston) The Swarm /The Hive Ender novellas A War of Gifts /First Meetings


This book really worked for me. I’ve seen other people criticize it for being juvenile, but I don’t feel its any more juvenile than The Forever War, which is considered a classic. The style is quite conversational, as if the main protagonist is talking to you and explaining the story, but I liked that. This is a great book.

[isbn: 9780441017393; 0441017398]

A Separate War & Other Stories

This is a short story collection. I like anthologies, and this one was pretty good. The stories are:

  • A Separate War: the end of The Forever War told from the perspective of Marygay.
  • Diminished Chord: love and music on an old harp like instrument.
  • Giza: genetic engineering to enable space mining.
  • Foreclosure: let’s get rid of those nasty squatters.
  • Four short novels: eventually it came to pass that no one ever had to die…
  • For White Hill: artists as collateral damage in an interstellar war
  • Finding My Shadow: biological warfare in Boston.
  • Civil Disobedience: global warming in a post Bush world.
  • Memento Mori: a very short story about modern medicine.
  • Faces: life as a draftee on a planet with a noxious atmosphere.
  • Heartwired: viagra for the soul.
  • Brochure: a badly polluted Earth reopens as a Disney resort.
  • Out of Phase: a shape shifting alien learns about power on Earth, to the detriment of the Earthlings.
  • Power Complex: the same shape shifting alien learns about real power.
  • Fantasy for Six Electrodes and One Adrenaline Drip: a script involving love (or at least sex) and murder in a world with immersion entertainment.

[isbn: 9780441015177; 0441015174]

Forever Free

This book isn’t as good as The Forever War and Forever Peace, which makes it a pretty big disappointment. The book revolves around disaffected characters from The Forever War living on the planet reserved for them by Man. Almost all of the book is William Mandella complaining about how hard it is to live on an arctic world, with some minor plot development along the way. The book often ruins surprises by Mandella mentioning them before they happen. The ending of the story is particularly disappointing, and I am left wondering why Omnis were introduced at all.

[isbn: 0441007872]

Forever Peace

This a very different book to The Forever War, and not really a sequel. It covers some similar territory, but there are no characters in common, and the overall plots are unrelated (and conflicting). However, this book is as well written as The Forever War, and I enjoyed it.

[isbn: 9780441005666; 0441005667]
[award: winner hugo 1998; winner nebula 1998]

The Forever War

I read this book mainly because multiple sites recommended it as a response to Starship Troopers. I’d actually read the start of this book already in the form of the short story “Hero”, which is included in Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow. At the time, I would have described it as an ok short story, but not the best in the book. That’s interesting, because the extended version in the novel is amazing. Its one of those books I had trouble putting down, and its gripping to the end. The book has a very different perspective on war from Starship Troopers and is more like some of David Drake‘s writing (they’re both Vietnam veterans). There is also a little bit of Bill the Galactic Hero mixed in as well, without being so over the top. I strongly recommend this book.

[isbn: 9780312536633; 0312536631]
[award: winner hugo 1976; winner nebula 1975]