Anyone read Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler out there?

Well no one responded to my last thread but I said I would write another when I finished reading the trilogy. There will be spoilers so stop reading if you don’t want it spoiled.

Anyway, I found it to be pretty entertaining. As I said earlier, the alien culture seemed very alien and really felt not to be based on most human cultures that I have seen.

The main problem in the series (other than the ending, I didn’t want the aliens there at all) was what the aliens claimed to be the inherant flaw in humans: being very intelligent and heirarchical. I think the aliens were fooling themselves because they seemed so heirarchical that the other races they came in contact with were usurped into their own and had most of their free will taken away.

Just thought I would share.

I didn’t see your last thread, sorry. I THINK I’ve read the books you’re talking about…these are the stories about aliens who interbreed with humans, right? The oolani? I’ve found that Butler will often write about forced breeding…for example, Bloodchild has aliens using humans as hosts for the eggs, and the old Patternmaster books have one variety of humans breeding other varieties for both prey and pleasure.

I think that we humans ARE pretty hierarchal. I also think that the aliens were pretty darned arrogant in their treatment of humans. Mind you, my memories of this series is rather dim, as I read the books when they first came out, I haven’t reread them in a while.

IIRC, the problem was that the Oankali (I think that’s right… the ooloi were the third sex they had) claimed to be able to read humans’ genetic destiny, and realised that, left to themselves, humans would destroy themselves… so, they knew they were right, and that pretty much excused whatever they did. This argument didn’t exactly go down well with the surviving humans, but they weren’t in a position to do much about it - the little they could do being the driving force behind the plot of the trilogy.

I, too, haven’t read it in a while… thought-provoking stuff, though, and Butler’s world-building skills are pretty darn good, too.

I read the first and second in the series. The first one is called “Dawn” if I’m not mistaken. In it Lilith awakens in the alien ship and has been charged with freeing her fellow human beings and preparing them for life on Earth.

I can’t remember the name of the second one, but it’s about Lilith’s son (who has a Japanese name, can’t remember it) and his coming of age on the turbulent, recolonized Earth.

I thought both books were very good, even though I read them out of order. I too thought the aliens were arrogant, but I thought the humans were a little bit irrational in their hatred for both Lilith and the aliens. Yet it was all very believable.

I haven’t read the third book, though. I suppose I need to pay my late fee at the li-berry so I’s can check it out.

I agree that humans are also heirarchical.

The first book was Lilith awakening the other humans. The second one was her son setting up a Mars colony for humans only who could interbreed with eachother. And the last book was Liliths 2 Ooloi children (the third sex) seducing the few humans who can interbreed with eachother.

The Ooloi were very creepy. They reminded me of rapists. They would tell the humans what they needed and then get their sexual pleasure off of them until the person was so doped up with their pheremones and drug like scent to not care any longer. I can’t remember what novel/movie I read/saw that had a similar premise. Was it Hellraiser, where humans went to some S&M hell and were tortured so much that they started enjoying it again?

Were the ooloi the ones who would sit in the corner of the room and stay “frozen” while you had sex? Yes, they were creepy.

Yeah that was them. The ones who would also make it that touching another potential mate made one ill.

Read 'em years ago - Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago - and thought that Butler is a very thoughtful writer. I would argue that she attempts to write literature that happens to use Science Fiction context as metaphor in a much more “writerly” way than most.

Anyway, I seem to recall the series as being much more about character and how characters develop and evolve when placed in complex situations than about creating the perfect alternate world. Overall, I found them intimate character studies that I enjoyed reading. I would have to go back and re-read them to remember more than those initial impressions.