Children of the Mind

Jacket art by John Harris
Jacket design by Carol Russo

By Orson Scott Card

Release Date: August 1996 (First Edition)
June 1997 (First Mass Market Edition)
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Description: Children of the Mind is preceded by Xenocide. There is a planned sequel that will tie together the Speaker and Shadow series called Shadows Alive.

“Lusitania is home to three sentient species: The Pequeninos, a strange race native to Lusitania; a large colony of humans; and the Hive Queen, brought there by Ender. But the Starways Congress fears Lusitania and a strange virus that it harbors, and they have gathered a fleet to destroy the planet.

Ender’s oldest friend, Jane, the computer intelligence that has evolved with him over three thousand years, allowed the Starways Congress to discover her existence when she tried to stop the fleet. Now they are trying to kill her as well, by shutting down the network of computers and ansibles in which she lives. They are afraid of her and of her control over all human communications.

Jane can save the three sentient races of Lusitania. She has learned how to move ships outside the universe, and then instantly back to a different world, abolishing the light-speed limit. But it takes all the processing power available to her, and the Starways Congress is shutting down the Net world by world. Soon she will not be able to move the ships.

But there is hope: during the first trip outside, Ender’s mind briefly took control and created two new beings – replicas of his brother Peter, who was the Hegemon, and his sister Valentine. These two children of Ender’s mind, together with his adopted children from Lusitania, are racing against time to discover new worlds, to influence the Starways Congress to recall the fleet, and to save Jane by finding a home for her disembodied intelligence once the Human Network is closed off to her.”

Book Length: 384 pages (Tor mass market edition)

Reviews: ”This is a worthy ending to what might be styled a saga of the ethical evolution of humanity, a concept seldom attempted before and never realized with the success Card achieved here.” -Booklist

“Card’s prose is powerful here, as is his consideration of mystical and quasi-religious themes. Though billed as the final Ender novel, this story leaves enough mysteries unexplored to justify another entry; and Card fans should find that possibility, like this novel, very welcome indeed.”
-Publishers Weekly

Interesting Tidbits: The title for Children of the Mind was suggested by Glenn Makitka during an online exchange. He wrote the following to OSC: ”Thought you might find it interesting how I came up with the title. I was trying to read Mind Children [Hans Moravec, Oxford University Press] and got through about 10 pages, some pretty cool stuff but NF just doesn’t do it for me. It was at that time on Prodigy you asked for help with Ender’s Children. I looked at Mind Children on my book shelf and it seemed like the perfect name, but it was taken. So, I thought of ways to rework the title and within minutes Children of the Mind came out and just resonated with possibility.”