Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Jane, Bean, and the Kids.

Author Topic: Jane, Bean, and the Kids.
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post 
We know that both a continuation of the Ender Series and a continuation of the Shadow Series is in the works. But since they are a ways off, we are left with nothing but speculation. So, I will speculate -

Bean and the Kids-

In a gravity free environment, it might be possible for Bean to live to the age of 20; by an extreme stretch of possibility, a few years more. That gives Bean maybe 5 to 8 years with his kids. I'm assuming Bean was about 16 when he left; can we confirm that?

So, while Bean had a completely horrible first few years of his life, starving, on his own, uneducated except by the streets, Bean's special kids will have their father there, and they will have access to all the latest knowledge and information. So, they will be cared for and very well educated.

We see that Bean is already a giant when he left earth. I have to wonder how much his brain (and body) will grow in the next five years? To what extent will his intellect develope?

Which brings me to my actual question. Will Bean and his kids be able to communicate with each other telepathically or intuitively? Will they have taken evolution to that next step?

Remember Bean is growing at a tremendous rate, and Bean's kids relative to him, are growing up in an ideal environment.

Last point, we know that the Star Congress genetically altered the people of Path. I have to wonder if the technology and expertise to do that was a direct result of the research to cure Bean. Did the Star Congress take that knowledge and use it in an alternate way that served their own advantage? It seems a little too ironic and coincidental to not be connected.

If they can genetically alter the people of Path, does that mean they have found a cure for Bean, or is the method so haphazard as to be an unreliable cure? Note that not every one on Path is Godspoken. That implies that there is still an element of natural genetic mutation involved.

In any event, if Jane can take the Biologist of Lusitania back outside, a cure can certainly be created for Bean's kids in the same manner that the people of Path were 'cured'.


I wonder about Janes development. Presumably, the Star Congress will remove all the time delay and other safeguards on the ansible connections. The ansible network has all new computers, latest technology, with all new software. That would seem to constitute a much more powerful network that Jane would now have access to.

Now that Star Congress is aware of Jane, and her faster than lightspeed capabilities, will they expand the network with Jane in mind? Will they expand it to enhance Jane abilities, or will the be afraid, and try to find ways to control and restrict Jane?

Will Jane's new physical form be in danger? Jane as a computer/ansible entity had her vulnerabilities, which she found ways to overcome. But now that Jane has a physical body, she is vulnerable in ways she never conceived of before. Will Star Congress attempt to exploit the new physical vulnerability?

So, some basic questions-

Will access to the ansible network minus the restiction enhance Jane in unimaginable way? Will that make her more powerful than she was at the end of the story?

Or, will the expansion of the Piggy and Bugger worlds be the central point of Jane's increased Power?

Lastly, how will Starways Congress relate to Jane? Will the be afraid and desperate to gain control of her, or will they be friendly and curious?

Presumably New!Peter and Wang-mu will act as the liaison between Jane and Star Congress, are they in any danger from the Star Congress? Will Star Congress try to control Jane by controlling New!Peter and Wang-mu, in a sense, holding them hostage?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Again, since the story isn't written, it's pure specualation, which I think is fun.


Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Flaming Toad on a Stick
Member # 9302

 - posted      Profile for Flaming Toad on a Stick   Email Flaming Toad on a Stick         Edit/Delete Post 
Bean will probably grow at the same rate. Another question you might ask is "Is Malu a descendant of Bean, or even Bean himself?" [Wink]
The mutation on Path was a variation of OCD, which has nothing to do with Anton's Key. That being said, it's an interesting idea.
The idea of Outside was presented by Grego, 3000 years after Bean left on his voyage. It's still a possibility, though.

Jane is vulnerable in many ways. That being said, she is pretty invincibe, being spread through the communication networks of three species on over a hundred worlds. Starways Congress will try to control her, though.
How they will do that, along with how they deal with the descoladores, and the possibilities of children to the new married couples, will be the foundation (I think) of the novel.

I love speculation. So much better than real work.

Posts: 1594 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post 
Flaming Toad on a Stick, I liked what you said, but I see one small mistake unrelated to my questions.

"The mutation on Path was a variation of OCD, which has nothing to do with Anton's Key. That being said, it's an interesting idea."

The mutation of Path manifested itself with OCD symptoms but was more or less proven to NOT be OCD. In fact, that is how they determined the Godspoken; if they had OCD symptoms but didn't respond to OCD treatment.

The purpose of the genetic mutation was to make the Godspoken of Path hyper-smart, and in that I see the connection to Bean and the research related to his cure.

I'm sure that in 3,000 years, Bean has been long forgotten. But I'm also sure that the research into turning ON and OFF Anton's Key continued on long after Bean was forgotten. I could very easily see the results of that research being used by the obviously less than ethical Starway Congress to create a race of geniuses that they could exploit while at the same time using the OCD-Godspoken myth as a way of controlling them.

Final point, I doubt that Malu could be Bean or a direct decendant of Bean, because, given his condition and perpetual space flight, it is highly unlikely that Bean or any of the kids with him were able to procreate. Further, Malu is clearly Polynesian (native islander). However, it is marginally possible that one of the decendants of Bean's normal kids could have married into a line of Polynesians, that eventually lead to Malu. I don't think that is likely, but it is marginally possible.

My question regarding Bean, is because I personally see a likelihood that Bean and his special kids would develop telepathic communication with each other. Bean grows tremendously mentally and intellectually, however, at the same time he grows physically bigger, in doing so he actually become weaker since his heart and skeletal structure have limited capacity.

I suspect Bean developes the ability, and his kids just take it for granted that that is how things work, and develop their abilities by mentally communicating with Bean. This could come in very handy when Bean has to send is very small children down to various planets to negotiate for more supplies. If Bean has a mental link to them, he can assist them the way Jane assists Ender.

Regarding the Jane question, I am really wondering what Jane's capacity is. At the level we see her functioning at in the current end of the series, she is not able to provide universal or even wide scale faster than lightspeed travel. She can only supply it to a limited few people, and only within objects that she is intimately familiar with.

But she is now connected to a better ansible network, futher she can draw on the resources of the ever expanding Bugger and Piggy worlds. So, I find myself wondering just how far her capacity can expand. Are we eventually looking at the possibility of wide scale instantanious travel?

The last point is, how Jane now having a physical body helps or hurts her? Certainly it has positive aspect in her personal relationships, but how will it limit her ability to act as a utility and resource for the 100 Worlds?

Just curious.


Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9025

 - posted      Profile for Aryei   Email Aryei         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think we can count on Starways Congress on being so unilateral on the issue of Jane, I think a big part of her story will be the conflicting opinions in the Starways Congress on how she should be dealt with. if having a human form is going to limit her ability to act as a utility and resource for the 100 worlds - I doubt it. by the end of CotM she was bragging about how easy the ansible network was to her compared to inhabiting a human body. I think the real surprise to everyone will be - this can't change transportation all that much - you can't ask a living thing to spend all it's time transporting ship after ship after ship across hundreds of worlds 24/7 so to speak - it's particularly rude. so there will be, rather than a whole bunch of changes in the Hundred Worlds economy from faster-than-light travel - a trickling of change. I think rather that the government will be very interested in the propogation of Jane as a species. Imagine sentient intelligences on networks - although I think we're only 20-50 years away from having networks that could convincingly fake sentience, with perfected emulation of a human brain from the perspective of calculations per second and a greater understanding of how the human brain works - well - how much cooler would it be if you could truly place a soul in such a mimicry? The best thing we'll ever have is hope that artificial intelligences have souls - OSC's universe has proof.

but the biggest change to the Hundred Worlds - their economy and their governance - isn't Jane - it's the colonization efforts of the new species and the humans from Lusitania Colony. that change is akin to - well, imagine discovering the New World and finding it was as far along in technological and scientific development as Europe. A whole new world of equals. That there's a greater challenge to how the congress works, and I think they'll see that, even look to Jane as an ally, knowing she's had the power to harm them for thousands of years, and yet all she's done is saved them from committing Xenocide.

Posts: 18 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post 
I think rather that the government will be very interested in the propogation of Jane as a species. Imagine sentient intelligences on networks

I can't help but think of the many science fiction movies where a computer network autonomously control our military defenses, and decides that humans are the greatest threat to the survival of earth, and firther decides it must eliminate them, or a story along similar lines.

If they are somehow able to create more Janes, how do they prevent conflict of interest? How do they prevent Evil!Jane from trying to undo everything Good!Jane does.

We have seen that Jane can cut off the communcations to a planet, in doing that Evil!Jane could in effect hold the planet hostage until the some demands are met. Say Evil!Jane is working with a greedy Evil!Ender to extort money from the planets and Star Congress.

I'm reminded of Ender meeting Jane for the first time in the short story 'Investment Counselor' from the book 'First Meetings...'.

Jane and Ender are discussing whether Ender will accept Jane's offer to manage Ender's finances. Ender is very suspecious. Jane responds with -

"I don't want to be heard of. If everyone could buy ne, I couldn't do half of what I do. My different installations would cancel each other out. One version of me desperate to know a piece of information that another version of me is desperate to conceal. Ineffective."

ENDER: "So how many people have a version of you installed."

JANE: "In the exact configuration you are purchasing, Mr. Wiggin, you're the only one."

**See note below

While this doesn't directly address the issue we are discussing, it does indicate that Jane is aware of the potential conflict of having more than one version of herself on the Net.

Jane's control of the Net gives her unprecidented power over the 100 Worlds, there is a part of me that thinks the Star Congress is not going to like having an entity with more power and control than them floating around the Nets.

We seem to be agreeing that Jane's potential to provide Instantanious Travel is limited. That makes Jane a powerful threat that is of limited utility to them. I have a suspicion that things will not go well for Jane once Star Congress becomes fully and completely aware of her. Since Jane unlimited access to the Net, gives her control of everything, I think the Congress will be very afraid of her. I'm just not sure what they will do about it.

In a sense, I think Star Congress will see Jane's potential for great villainy; she can plunder bank accounts, she can stop starship in flight, she can stop communication, etc... We all know Jane wouldn't do that, but Star Congress, like all politicians, are paraniod and power-hungry, and will likely not trust her. Yet, she has so much power, how can they fight her?

you say -
That there's a greater challenge to how the congress works, and I think they'll see that, even look to Jane as an ally, knowing she's had the power to harm them for thousands of years, and yet all she's done is saved them from committing Xenocide.

That seems very logical, Jane has always been there and had great power to control and/or interfere with the 100 Worlds, but she has always been benevolent. Still can we really trust powerful politicians to act that logically? Maybe in 3,000 year human nature has evolved, but I don't think I would want to place the decision of what to do with and how to respond to Jane in the hands of today's politicians.

In a sense, that's why I'm questioning the potential power of Jane. If she grows powerful enough then a limited number of Instantanious Travel program could be set up to run at her lower levels of conciousness. Still even with that, it would have to have some reasonable limit. I just can't help wonder what it is. If Jane can provide some degree of practical utility to Star Congress then they might be more willing to accept her. In a sense, they will see the practical aspects of her programming, and hopefully that will distract them from her full potential.

PS: When I say Evil!Jane and Evil!Ender, of course, I do not mean Jane and Ender, I mean NEW individuals fulfilling their equivalent roles.

**NOTE: Jane seems to imply that she is managing other people's finances just not in the configuration Ender has. I think part of this is to make herself seem reasonable and logical to Ender. But Jane is managing other people's finances. Very likely she is managing Bean's pension. Further, Jane was so good, that International Fleet was going to use her to manage their finances and specifically to create the funds to continue research into a cure for Bean.

Just a few thoughts.


Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7754

 - posted      Profile for CRash   Email CRash         Edit/Delete Post 
On the TeleBean, I say "no way". If that form of telepathy were introduced to the Enderverse, it would be a second type, version one being the philotic connections. I think one telepathic explanation per book series is enough for me.

Furthermore, how does brain growth lead to telepathy? I don't see any connection there, unless you reference other sci-fi works and use their reasoning. As intriguing an idea as it is, I just don't think Shadows in Flight is going to turn into The Chrysalids, or involve any telepathy other than philotic connections.

And let's not get started on the Beanettes going philotic. Human is human, even with genetic abnormalities. [Wink]

Posts: 973 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I use 'telepathy' as a broad generic term here. I could just as easily occur through Philotic Connections the way Ender communicates with the Formic Queen.

Further, I do see a strong corrolation between brain growth and non-verbal (telepathic/philotic) communication. The Hive Queen certainly has greater raw brain capacity than Ender or other humans, and Philotic/telepathic communcation is the standard for her.

So, to your point, certianly Bean is going to have deep Philotic connections to his children all of whom are exceptionally intelligent, nearly intelligent beyond human comprehension, and they are growing up under ideal conditions with an 'being' (Bean) that is their equal in intelligence and superior in experience. They have a far greater chance of being optimized humans than Bean ever had.

Bean, with towering and growning mental capability, could develop the ability first, and use it to speak to his kids. Having their father speak to them in that way, they could very easily develop that capability in themselves.

In a sense, I also see it as a practical consideration from a story point of view. At some point Bean's ship WILL need supplies. It is unlikely that Bean can go down into gravity, so his very undersized kids will have to go down and negotiate for him. Being very small, they would seem the perfect targets for being taken advantage of. If Bean is in close contact with them, then he can monitor what is happening and protect them. I'm not underestimating the immense negotiating skills of Bean's kids, they are genius beyond genius, and they've had their father, a great military mind and stratigist, teaching them. But being physically small puts them at a disadvantage.

I do understand your point though. In some respects, it's almost too hokey. But I think it could be done right, and my instinctive gut feeling is that this is a logical extension of Bean unprecedented brain capacity.

Further, I'm really hoping Bean is alive in the next book. I was left very unsatisfied by the lack of his death in the Shadow Series. I don't want him to be 'just dead'. I want to see him die, I want to experience the grieving I missed out on. Further, I don't want him to just slip away in deep dark space. I want him to go with some ray of hope for the salvation of his children.

As a last and unrelated note, I find it odd that no one is interested in Jane's potential capacity. Surely that capacity will come into play in her ability to negoticate favorably with Star Congress. It also affects here vulnerability. If she has great power but limited utility, she will certainly be feared. But if she has substantial utility, Congress might be willing to overlook her as a potential threat since she is cooperating in the implimentation of Instantanious Star Travel.

I feel that if Jane's capacity can expand enough, she can perform Star Travel at her lower levels of awareness. Still even if Jane is very cooperative and does assist Congress, she still represents an unprecidented and uncontrollable threat to their Power. She in a sense can control the Hundred World far better and more completely that Congress can, and that is certainly an unallowable threat to their power.

It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.


Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tony Giannasi
New Member
Member # 9432

 - posted      Profile for Tony Giannasi   Email Tony Giannasi         Edit/Delete Post 
Ok, first post. Here are ideas I have for the new Bean novel:

1) Randi will board Han Tzu's colony ship that will populate Path (from COTM) - Mandate of Heaven, etc...
2) Achilles II will take over / play a part that has him mating with chinese people, making super intelligent beings.
3) Volescu will indeed find a cure for Bean's disorder, as it is not mentioned in COTM, but he will be instrumental in creating the "obsessive compulsive" behavior in Path-ians. (Mentioned in COTM that it was done "sloppily..")
4) Bean's children may or may not have a part in this, or maybe they become responsible for the takedown of their estranged brother. If this is the case, Bean's kids will be the reason for high intelligence on Path, and Volescu's "cure" entails his final blow: OCD for Bean afflicted individuals.
5) OSC knows this, he's setting it all up. Bean's kids are mostly normal, fewer "afflicted." The people of Path are mostly normal, fewer "God-Chosen."
6) I don't think Ender even has to deal with them, as COTM doesn't have him knowing anything about Path.
7) Bean will die. It will make you cry. He is the tragic hero.
8) The beauty of it all is that the Bean-curse will be removed by Volescu, but replaced with another (non-deadly) curse. Then that too is fully removed at the end of COTM, nicely wrapped up in a neat little package. And we didn't even know it at the time...

My 2 cents. (There's no "cents" symbol on the top of the keyboard???)


Posts: 2 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7754

 - posted      Profile for CRash   Email CRash         Edit/Delete Post 
1) Wasn't Randi in India? I think OSC mentioned possibly setting Ender in Exile on an Indian world. Possibly the one Virlomi founded.

3)Path was a new colony by the time of Xenocide. Very unlikely Volescu had any hand in its origins.

4)The plotline of Bean's kids is supposed to diverge into two parts--one of Achilles II meeting Ender and one of the rest taking place after CotM.

7)I think Bean dies between books, so we won't read directly about it.

You have an interesting plot, all the same, but I don't think the series will go that way.

Posts: 973 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8511

 - posted      Profile for cagreat1   Email cagreat1         Edit/Delete Post 
OSC has made it very clear that Bean will not be appearing in the post CotM book. Bean will have died before that.

The one thing that I keep having problems with is the fact that bean set out with the goal to find new worlds to inhabit so i don't see him stopping for supplies on too many inhabited planets. but with this in mind, it is consivable that beans children could be in contact with the descaladors (whatever they were called, it has been a while). it could be that bean's children will be doing the same calculations that jane is doing. They could be closing in on the same planet that jane has taken ender's children to with the same understanding that some alien race is colonizing planets. this would be an interesting story twist to have bean's kids and enders kids meet in space at this planet. and it would not be a stretch from what has been writen.

I don't know how many people will understand my gibberish but it makes sence to me.

Posts: 18 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7754

 - posted      Profile for CRash   Email CRash         Edit/Delete Post 
I speak fluent Gibberish. [Wink] I agree with you that it is quite possible the Beanettes and Lusitanians meet over the descoladores conflict (I hope Shadows in Flight features the development of that alien species, I enjoy Card's aliens) because Bean did say in the book that planet exploration might be something they would do.
Posts: 973 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
New Member
Member # 9485

 - posted      Profile for krisamirault   Email krisamirault         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't have one theorey in my head anymore. This is because I thought of too many variable awhile ago and haven't though about it much since, but I do think it would be interesting if in the story with the working title Ender and AchillesII (is that what people were calling him?) were approximately the same age and AchillesII being raised by a mad women made him as bad as Achilles and Ender has to stop him. I find it interesting that throughout his life Bean never killed until the final fight with Achilles. I think it would be intriguing if Ender spares AchillesII because he never showed mercy when it came to winning. I did not know of this story until recently and I want to see Ender young again. The old relaxed man-Ender was not quite as interesting as the young military one.

Edit- Typographical errors, I keep forgetting to type the "S" at the end of Achilles, and my spacebar is messed up.

Posts: 1 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 6991

 - posted      Profile for Joldo   Email Joldo         Edit/Delete Post 
What will Jane do when Miro dies?

Will she live on, even when the Young Val body dies?

If she elects to die, who will succeed her? Could she and Miro somehow manage to have true Children of the Mind, children with corporeal forms and minds dwelling in the philotic web?

Posts: 1735 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry for posting again, I know this is pretty much a dead thread, but I still find the subject fastinating.

Yes, YoungVal/Janes physical body does complicate things. It seems fair and reasonable that her apperently...what?... 17 year old body will only have a normal life expectancy. What happens to Jane when her physical body dies?

We've already seen that Ender was able to transfer his 'essential Self' into New!Peter's body. In a sense, Ender's spirit or soul lives on in New!Peter.

Could Jane do this? Where would she get a spare body? She could go 'outside' and wish for a new body to inhabit, but could she do the same for Miro? Miro has once already transferred bodies, but the circumstances were unique; can he do it again? Does that mean the human race (eventually) has transended mortal life? That each 'Self' can continue on with new life after new life?

Sorry for essentially re-asking your questions, but I agree that Jane's physical body complicates both the lives of the characters and the plot of the story.

It is possible that Jane and Miro will have children who, through their connection with Jane, will have some degree of connection to the Philotic Web (Ansible). But again does that create the plot or just add an over-complicating factor to it.

I find the fate of Jane and that of Bean very interesting. Though a confess a true sadness that it seems as if we will never get to see Bean again. As I said earlier, the lack of his death in the story left me very unsatisfied. And now apperently, he will just be gone when the story starts again. Again, I find that very unsatisfying. I want to grieve for him; I want to experience his death; I want resolution.

Just a few thoughts.


Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9627

 - posted      Profile for IComeAnon87   Email IComeAnon87         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think Jane's physical body should have to much of an impact on how she survives outside the body. I mean before she had the Val body she lived in the philotic webs elsewhere such as the trees and the computers; so theoretically she could just live there after the body perishes. Thus I don't think we'll have a problem with Jane having to let another Janesque entity take over or fight with although it is an interesting question; what would happen if a Hive Queen or something else pulled another strong 'bridge philote' through, what would happen?
If Jane-Val and Miro have kids they might have a strong philotic connection but I doubt it because I don't think philotes are passed on genetically, the Val body is still completely human physically and thus her and Miro would have 'normal' kids.

As for Bean, I remember reading the Card plans to kill Bean in the first chapter which saddened me very much as he's my favorite character, but it's better than him dying BEFORE the story. I hope his kids take after him enough to resemble his thinking process as this was what made reading him so great.
I think that Bean's kids are going to be used to figure out the descaladores language as Bean did have a great knack for language ('Is Russian a hard language to learn?' 'Is that what passes for humor with you?') and they're young and evolving minds will be perfect for interperting this new kind of data.

[ August 25, 2006, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: IComeAnon87 ]

Posts: 24 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2