In the "Ender" series of Sci-Fi novels written by Orson Scott Card, a raman is a class of alien considered "the stranger that we recognize as human, but of another species." The plural seems to be ramen.

In this case the meaning of the word "human" is really modified to mean "somehow comprehensible," as opposed to utterly alien, or varelse, the way we would view, say, the Andromeda Strain. The specifics of raman vs. varelse vs. utlanning vs. framling are laid out in Demosthenes' Hierarchy of Exclusion, from Speaker for the Dead. Supposedly with a raman it is never necessary to go to war, because the two parties can understand each other, come to empathize with each other, and work out their differences.

The great tragedy of Ender's Game is that Ender realizes after he has committed genocide (called xenocide in the series) against the Buggers, he finds out that they are in fact raman, and not varelse. This discovery damages Ender greatly for he is extremely empathic, and his justification for his ongoing hatred of the buggers is that the buggers are not raman, and cannot be made to understand that every human life is precious, and therefore must be destroyed. He later sets things right with the raman buggers in Speaker for the Dead.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.