The Memory of Earth

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The Memory of Earth (1992) is the first book of the Homecoming Saga by Orson Scott Card. The award-winning Homecoming saga is a loose sci-fi fictionalization of the first few hundred years recorded in the Book of Mormon.


Plot summary

Humanity has lived for 40 million years on a planet called Harmony, after leaving an Earth that has been destroyed by human conflict. In order not to repeat the mistakes that led to the destruction of civilization on Earth, a computer, known as the Oversoul, was left as guardian of this planet.

Its main mission was to prevent humans from developing technologies that could make wars a global affair. For that, humans were genetically modified so they could communicate with the Oversoul. The Oversoul uses this connection to make humans quite easily distracted when thinking about forbidden technologies, leading them to forget that train of thought. However, after this long time the Oversoul is beginning to fail, and it chooses a group of humans to return to Earth in search of the Keeper of Earth, in the hopes it will be able to find a way to maintain power over the people on Harmony.

To this end the Oversoul recruits Volemak, father of the protagonist of the story, Nafai. Nafai and Issib, his brother, begin to try and defy the Oversoul's capability to override thought. Through this they learn of the danger that it is in. Nafai begins hearing the Oversoul's voice in his mind. The first book focuses on the family's eventual betrayal, the taking of the Index, and the downfall of the man Gaballufix, who had been planning to ally the city of Basilica, the home of the main characters and the setting of the first half of the book, with a malignant nation.

Nafai, Elemak and Mebbekew, his older half brothers, Issib and his father Volemak are eventually forced to leave the city. They come back to retrieve the Index of the Oversoul, which allows them to communicate with it directly. Because of Nafai's careless blunders and miraculous successes, Elemak, Nafai's oldest brother, begins to hate him, a theme that will play out throughout the rest of the saga.


The characters listed here are those whose primary role is in The Memory of Earth. For other characters, see Homecoming Saga or individual books.

See also

External links

Ender's Game (1985) · Speaker for the Dead (1986) · Xenocide (1991) · Children of the Mind (1996) · A War of Gifts (2007) · Ender in Exile (2008)

Ender's Shadow (1999) · Shadow of the Hegemon (2001) · Shadow Puppets (2002) · Shadow of the Giant (2005) · planned: Shadows in Flight (TBA)

Full article ▸

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