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Xenocide
by Orson Scott Card


Book: Judith Rappaport, The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing

p.2 She longed for death now, not because she hadn't loved life, but because death was now unavoidable, and what cannot be shunned must be embraced.

p.13 "If they bow any lower they'll have to buy thinner carpet."

p.16 "Woman, you make my heart go flip-flop like a dying flounder."
     "You are so romantic when you talk like a fisherman."

p.22 "If you asked me to marry you all over again today, I'd say yes," said Valentine.
     "And if I had only met you for the first time today, I'd ask."
     They had said the same words many, many times before. Yet they still smiled to hear them, because they were still true.

p.35 "So you thought up the Hierarchy of Foriegnness. Utlannnings are strangers from our own world. Framiling are strangers of our species, but from another world. Raman are strangers of another species, but capable of communication with us, capable of co-existence with humanity. Last are the varelse--"

p.38 The nature of the organism remains the same. Humans are very proud of their changes, but every imagined transformation turns out to be a new set of excuses for behaving exactly as the individual has always behaved.
     You are different from humans to ever understand them.
     You are too similar to humans for you ever to be able to see them clearly.

p.41 Quing-jao -- Gloriously Bright

p.53 So many of you people are becoming Christians. Believing in the god these humans brought with them.
     You don't believe in God?
     The question never came up. We have always remembered how we began.
     You evolved. We were created.
     By a virus.
     By a virus that God created in order to create us.
     So you, too, are a believer.
     I understand belief.
     No--you desire belief.
     I desire it enough to act as if I believed. Maybe that's what faith is.
     Or deliberate insanity.

p.59 "And where does the galactic twine go?" said Jakt. It was an old question--schoolchildren asked it when they first got into philotics in high school. Like the old speculation that maybe galaxies were really neutrons or mesons inside a far vaster universe, or the old question, If the universe is infinite, what is beyond the edge?

p.72 Calm down, both of you. It isn't your decision. It's Jane's. She has the right to determine the value of her own life. I'm no philosopher and I know that.

p.83 "First the gods. Second the ancestors. Third the people. Fourth the rules. Last the self."

p.87 "Qing-jao, why do you carry the M.D. Device?"
     "Because--because that would be monstrous. It would be like Ender the Xenocide, destroying an entire world. So much power has no right or reason to exist in the universe."
     "Who taught you this?"
     "Decency taught me this," said Qing-jao. "The gods made the stars and all the planets--who is man to unmake them?"
     "But the gods also made the laws of nature that make it possible--who is man to refuse to receive what the gods have given?"
     Qing-jao was stunned to silence. She had never heard Father speak in apparent defense of any aspect of war--he loathed war in any form.
     "I ask you again--who taught you that so much power has no right to exist in the universe?"
     "It's my own idea."
     "But that sentence is an exact quotation."
     "Yes. From Demosthenes. But if I believe an idea, it becomes my own. You taught me that."

p.89 "But how can you know that either, Father?"
     "I can't be sure, no. Nature has done many strange things, and there is a chance that the Life of Human is genuine and true. This I neither believe it nor disbelieve it. I hold it in abeyance. I wait.

p.103 Because this idea was true, no amount of logical scrutiny or research would eliminate it.

p.148 "I can tell you now, my Gloriously Bright daughter, that opposing Congress will never be for my good. But I forgive you for loving me to excess. It is the gentlest and kindest of vices."

p.177 As they clambered off the car and dropped into the tall grass, Valentine noticed how Miro and Ender both kept glancing at Plikt. Of course, it bothered them that Plikt was so quiet. Or rather, seemed so quiet. Valentine thought of Plikt as a loquacious, eloquent woman. But she had also got used to the way Plikt played the mute at certain times. Ender and Miro, of course, were only discovering her perverse silence for the first time, and it bothered them. Which was one of the main reasons Plikt liked it. She believed that people revealed themselves most when they were vaguely anxious, and few things brought out nonspecific anxieties like being in the presence of a person who never speaks.

p.226 Some strangers, the earlier Demosthenes had said, were framlings--humans from another world. Some were ramen--of another intelligent species, yet able to communicate with human beings, so that we could work out differences and make decisions together. Others were varelse, "wise beasts," clearly intelligent and yet completely unable to reach a common ground with humankind.

p.366 "The future is a hundred thousand threads, but the past is a fabric that can never be rewoven."

p.387 "So where was I between the beginning of the universe and the day I was born?" said Miro.
     "I don't know," said Ender. "I'm making this up as I go along."

p.432 She remembered Wiggin telling her what the gods would be like. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them. Why would he say such a thing? How could he know what a god would be?
     Somebody who wants to teach you how to do everything they know and do everything they do--what he was really describing was parents, not gods.
     Only there were plenty of parents who didn't do that. Plenty of parents who tried to keep their children down, to control them, to make slaves of them. Where she had grown up, Wang-mu had seen plenty of that.
     So what Wiggin was describing wasn't parents, really. He was describing good parents. He wasn't really telling her what the gods were, he was telling her what goodness was. To want other people to grow. To want other people to have all the good things that you have/ And to spare them the bad things if you can. That was goodness.

p.435 She could only do good as far as she understood what goodness was.

p.472 You are not as terrifyingly brilliant as we thought.
     "Too bad. Terrifying brilliance would be useful right now."
     We prefer a comforting glow of intelligence.