Xenogenesis Trilogy

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:45 pm

@Werel wrote:
Spoiler:
So after learning more about how the deal works and how they've done trade partners in the past, I'm kinda on board with there being no choice. It seems like way more choice as any organism gets in the course of its evolution-- there's always at least the choice to either die out/species-suicide (which there still is once the Oankali come: there won't be any more pure humans if all the prewar folks off themselves), or continue in a changed form. Humanity may have a bunch of ideas about evolving "purely" on their "own" instead of being "chattel," but honestly, humans had no choice in becoming humans, so the resisters seemed kind of entitled and myopic. When they introduced the concept of the Oankali Akjai I was like "hey why don't they just do one of those," so as soon as Akin (also: wow v subtle name decision Laughing) got on that train it seemed like the problem was pretty much solved, and I'm excited to see how that turns out.

And re: the nature of the Oankali's approach to humans: the fact that they break the original consensus to allow a human Akjai means they're actually less coercive than I initially thought - if they're willing to do something they feel deeply immoral just because the "captives" demand it (through an intermediary, true), they feel less like captors and more like actual attempted partners. I also really liked how they were portrayed as being strongly, almost embarrassingly attracted to humans as a species. That gave the power imbalance a little tweak that helped keep things complicated, and made the Oankali a lot more interesting and sympathetic to me.

Spoiler:
Again, I don't disagree with the actions they took but I refuse to spin it as anything but exploitative on the part of the oankali. I'm still on board with it 100%, but it warrants consideration. Them giving an inch means relatively little when they're still in the position of authority. Especially if the ultimate goal is full integration, it's not giving anything at all to the coerced party, it's just part of the process. Humans had no choice in becoming humans, sure, but they also weren't directly acted upon as a species by other forces with sentience/will. There's a whole thing here about will/intent and the dynamism of choice/exchange re: a tornado vs. aliens but that's a deep hole.

@Werel wrote:
Spoiler:
Also re: Otherness, the whole first book I was like "JEEZ, we sure are lucky that our first contact species is corporeal, perceptible by our organs, uses verbal language which we can hear AND reproduce, and bipedal to boot, this is insanely convenient," but was pleased to be shut up when they showed the Akjai Oankali who were nothing like that at all. As sea slug gene-engineers, they feel pretty plausible (still, feels like the best possible first contact species, couldn't be too unsettled by them cause I just kept feeling like "JACKPOT they're being nice instead of just eating/annihilating us")

Iiiiii also really liked having the whole first chunk of the book be the POV of a sentient infant, all those little moments where he was like "fuck I'm gonna get stepped on" were delightful. Really looking forward to Mars Colony Book 3.

Spoiler:
I may have an image of the oankali that isn't striiiictly supported by the text. The language/bipedal thing is convenient, I'll grant you, but they are real keyed in to making changes they feel necessary. I feel some of this "coincidence" was more out of design. They've got a deep pool to draw from. I've forgotten a lot of details. It's been many years since I read the books! Especially later in the series my memory fogs a bit.

Maaaybe we should have just made a separate thread? There's a lot of stuff under spoilers here that isn't doing much good to recommend books to others!
avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by Werel on Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:16 pm

@EncouragementMachine wrote:
Spoiler:
Again, I don't disagree with the actions they took but I refuse to spin it as anything but exploitative on the part of the oankali. I'm still on board with it 100%, but it warrants consideration. Them giving an inch means relatively little when they're still in the position of authority. Especially if the ultimate goal is full integration, it's not giving anything at all to the coerced party, it's just part of the process.
Spoiler:
I guess it depends on where you draw the exploitation lines. She makes clear that the Oankali are doing what we do to animals (if they're lucky), but that they're altogether better at it-- there was a line at the end of the second book something like "Humans have to tie up their animals. Oankali breed animals that want to stay, and find pleasure in doing what they're needed for." If anything, we get to be the equivalent of dogs: a species created to be so closely intertwined with the creator species that a real mutual love often develops. There's a case to be made for the invention of dogs being exploitative, and I bet some wolves would've been like FUCK THAT, WOLF PURITY, but I bet if you ask most dogs they'd argue with the label "exploited species." You're right, though, the Oankali do have all the power, and I think the reader is supposed to have their shoulders around their ears about that.

If the ultimate goal is full integration, though, that does mean giving an inch (allowing a "pure human" Akjai population) had meaning-- allowing a non-integrated segment to go off and reproduce on their own planet, especially since they were 100% certain the result would be the species killing itself off again, pretty much removes their authority over that segment (well, I assume there'll be a reveal that they've fundamentally fucked with even the Akjai humans, but we'll see). It could even be dangerous to them-- they keep talking about how dangerous humans are, and we've seen that it's possible for humans to kill Oankali, and that they have spacefaring capabilities, so their willingness to permit what's proven itself to be an insane, xenocidal, suicidal species to perpetuate itself and develop new technologies is pretty generous on their end.
Spoiler:
Humans had no choice in becoming humans, sure, but they also weren't directly acted upon as a species by other forces with sentience/will.
....Presumably, but talk about a whole other deep hole Laughing

Spoiler:
I may have an image of the oankali that isn't striiiictly supported by the text. The language/bipedal thing is convenient, I'll grant you, but they are real keyed in to making changes they feel necessary. I feel some of this "coincidence" was more out of design. They've got a deep pool to draw from. I've forgotten a lot of details. It's been many years since I read the books! Especially later in the series my memory fogs a bit.
Spoiler:
Oh, yeah, I was referring to the part where Akin finally goes to the ship and meets the Akjai/"original form" Oankali, which were described as basically caterpillars, and they talk about how the Oankali populations bred to work with humans were given two legs and a roughly humanoid shape and vocal tracts. It was a nice touch.

@EncouragementMachine wrote:Maaaybe we should have just made a separate thread? There's a lot of stuff under spoilers here that isn't doing much good to recommend books to others!
Haha, true. Hey @Madzimum Thrill, can you split this off into a "Xenogenesis Trilogy" thread?
avatar
Werel

Posts : 94
Join date : 2017-06-23

Back to top Go down

Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by enail on Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:00 am

@EncouragementMachine wrote:Maaaybe we should have just made a separate thread? There's a lot of stuff under spoilers here that isn't doing much good to recommend books to others!

I clicked on the spoilers, and it's making me want to read them, so there, you're wrong Razz
avatar
enail

Posts : 42
Join date : 2017-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:47 am

I do that too. Finding out spoilers re: the conflict makes me want to see how it plays out. The only spoilers I really hate are the ones which negate the entire point of the piece.

Like, I wouldn't want a spoiler going into see The Sixth Sense. That just kills the buildup. Aside from that extreme, spoilers just get me curious tho.
avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by enail on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:38 am

I usually only click on them if I'm not planning to read/watch/play the thing, or at least not expecting to do it any time in the foreseeable future. But honestly, I don't usually feel like it's ruined my enjoyment at all if I do land up reading it anyway.
avatar
enail

Posts : 42
Join date : 2017-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:32 pm

The book has to do with the not-spoiler bookjacket conflict of "Humans in crisis! Aliens have shown up! What now?!" and a looooot of interpersonal exploration, so what we've said here is really just flavor/mechanics. It's the car that carries you along the rails of the story, but actually riding it thru is the good part.

We've spoiled relatively little, honestly.
avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by Werel on Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:50 am

Welllll, finished Imago....
Spoiler:
...kind of a letdown. Very much the weakest of the three books, and almost unnecessary-feeling. The first two maintained such a good pace, presented new and intriguing pieces of the setting and overarching story at a regular clip, brought us a new location each book, and felt like they were going somewhere. I was sort of perplexed when I started the third book and it was still on earth, still in Lo, even (was SURE book 3 would be on the Mars colony, or maybe on Lo once Earth had been broken), but figured there would be major developments coming. But... not really. Just Jodahs' coming of age story and personal saga, with a very minor "oops we missed some humans" reveal early on. Plus a whole menagerie of incidental humans who weren't really important to the story. This almost felt like some spinoff short story that just happened to be set in the Xenogenesis Trilogy universe. Did it also feel intensely anticlimactic to you?

I do really identify with/want to be an ooloi, though. Laughing
avatar
Werel

Posts : 94
Join date : 2017-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:43 am

@Werel wrote:Welllll, finished Imago....
Spoiler:
...kind of a letdown.

Did it also feel intensely anticlimactic to you?

Spoiler:
Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaah. I know. I could've warned you about that but like I said, it's been a while. And I didn't wanna put a sour taste in your mouth before you had a chance to judge for yourself. But yes, third book is by far the weakest. It fizzles.

@Werel wrote:
Spoiler:
I do really identify with/want to be an ooloi, though. Laughing

NGL, same.
avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:40 pm

avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by Werel on Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:35 am

OHHHHHH SHIT

With the people who've signed on, this could be really good if it's picked up by a network other than SyFy. I'd be super excited to see oankali tentacles with a huge effects budget Laughing
avatar
Werel

Posts : 94
Join date : 2017-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:31 pm

I mean yeah, I'm excited that the people attached seem to be exactly the right ones to do it justice.

But maybe I'm too bloody jaded at this point? I can't imagine a satisfying adaptation. We HAVE the technology, certainly. My concern has more to do with writing and artistic license. My thing is tho that the book(s) are so cerebral, like, what's the conflict? No explosions. No combat. Power dynamics and interpersonal drama to be sure, but it's ALIENS, there's gotta be fight scenes on screen! I don't want them to manufacture one, but viewers want a visceral payoff rather than a slow observational burn letting things play out. I'm glad it's not a movie, more likely to let the script breathe a bit.

I'm not holier-than-thou about books re: visual mediums, it's just that for every American Gods I've gotten a HUNDRED bloody Ender's Games. It caaaaaaan be done, I just know better than to expect it.
avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by Werel on Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:24 am

Hahaha, I was all ready to say some bitchy stuff about Childhood's End and Ender's Game but held off so I wouldn't be a mean jerk shitting all over the good news Laughing

Yeah, it's a cerebral, interpersonally-driven series without any clearcut heroes or villains (and ZERO action sequences), so I don't have high hopes for it not getting mangled in tone... but maybe, juuuuust maybe, Du Vernay will choose to focus on the power dynamics and moral questions and emotional tension. Like, if there's a director who might be down for that, she could be it?

The second I see Rihanna cast as Lilith I'm out though
avatar
Werel

Posts : 94
Join date : 2017-06-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by EncouragementMachine on Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:23 pm

@Werel wrote:The second I see Rihanna cast as Lilith I'm out though

avatar
EncouragementMachine

Posts : 69
Join date : 2017-06-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Xenogenesis Trilogy

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum