Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
Children of the MindThe Stairways Congress is sending a fleet to destoy the planet Lusitania. A dangerous virus there threatens the known universe. But it will be xenocide because all the pequeninos, their ancestors, and their third incarnation all live on Lusitania along with the humans who had settled there and learned to live with the aliens. Andrew “Ender” Wiggins lives on Lusitania with his wife. But he has two representatives who are trying to save Jane, the sentient computer being, Lusitania, the pequeninos, and the Hive Queen’s beings (the buggers). The Congress doesn’t fully understand that their plans would destroy three groups of non-human sentients, not only a virus.
The human shells Ender accidentally created, new versions of his sister Valentine and brother Peter, are trying to stop the invasion and destruction of Lusitania. Peter and his companion Wang-mu are traveling to the philosophical instructors that influence voters in Congress that cast the deciding factors to send the fleet. Valentine, along with the young version of Miro, are helping relocate Jane, looking for planets to colonize for the pequeninos, the buggers, and the humans from Lusitania, and to locate the sentient beings that first sent out the deadly virus.
Children of the Mind is the conclusion to the saga of Ender Wiggins – or at least Ender’s original life. Hurray for science fiction – we have learned ways to become nearly immortal. The continuation of Ender Wiggins will be more than the original, with less regrets. Orson Scott Card has wrapped up and brought Ender’s story full circle. Yet he has left enough threads to continue the series. Children of the Mind is also the completion of Xenocide. This novel can not stand alone – you should read Xenocide even if you haven’t read Ender’s Game or Speaker for the Dead.
This novel is full of philosophical wonderings about humans, their drives, their strengths, their prejudices, and their war like nature. It doesn’t have the strength of Ender’s Game or some of Card’s other work. Yet it is a decent, if slow, novel. I don’t recommend it without reading the others in the series. But if you have found the series, this continues a fascinating story.