Orson Scott Card concludes his epic Homecoming Saga – the story of the return of human beings to Planet Earth after forty million years – in this fifth book of the series.
High above the Earth, the starship Basilica orbits. On board the huge vessel are a sleeping woman and an artificialvintelligence, the Oversoul of Harmony, returned at last to its planet of origin. Of those who made the journey, Shedemei alone has survived the hundreds of years since Earthfall and the return of the children of Wetchik to Earth.
She now wears the Cloak of the Starmaster, given to her by Nafai when he chose to live out his life on Earth. The Oversoul wakes her sometimes from her hibernation chamber to watch over her descendants on the planet below. The descendants of Harmony have at last made uneasy peace with the Earth's new children, the Diggers and Angels, and all three intelligent races are learning to live together, though it is not easy. The population has grown rapidly – there are cities and nations now, whole peoples descended from those who followed Nafai or Elemak. Shedemei watches with sorrow as the war between those two brothers lives on in the enmity of their descendants.
Shedemei and the Oversoul have recorded much of the history of Earth since they came. But in all the long years of watching and searching, the Oversoul has not found the thing it sought across the light-years from Harmony to Earth. It has not found the Keeper of Earth, the central intelligence that alone can repair the Oversoul's damaged programming and allow it to return to Harmony.
But on the planet below, among the people there, Shedemei and the Oversoul can see the influence of the Keeper. And now, in Shedemei's dreams, the Keeper speaks to her again, sending powerful warnings. She is needed on the surface below, with her knowledge and the power of the Starmaster's Cloak. And so at last she determines to go. The last living child of Harmony will return to Earth and search for the Keeper as she once searched for the Oversoul – by being its servant until at last they come face to face.
ORSON SCOTT CARD is the nationally best-selling, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of Ender's Game, Speakerfor the Dead, and Xenocide. The previous books in the Homecoming series are The Memory of Earth, The Call of Earth, The Ships of Earth, and Earthfall.
Genres: science fiction
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Orson Scott Card (born 1951) is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game (1985) and its sequel Speaker for the Dead (1986) both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win both science fiction's top U.S. prizes in consecutive years. He is also known as an advocate for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he has been a lifelong practicing member, and as a political commentator on many issues, including opposition to homosexual behavior and the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Homecoming Saga :: Series
In this science fiction epic from Orson Scott Card, it is 40 million years in the future, and humanity long ago abandoned Earth, rendered uninhabitable by their destructive wars. Now, mankind survives on the planet of Harmony, where the Oversoul - an artificial intelligence - protects them from their own worst impulses. There are no wars, no dangerous technologies or weapons of mass destruction.
But after so many millennia, the Oversoul is beginning to fail. Now, a group of humans must return to Earth and seek advice from the entity on which the Oversoul is modeled - the mysterious Keeper of the Earth.