Lilith’s Brood – Octavia Butler

2/1/17 ??
Great fiction book. Super engaging. The most alien description of aliens I’ve ever read.
  • “You are hierarchical. That’s the older and more entrenched characteristic. We saw it in your closest animal relatives and in your most distant ones. It’s a terrestrial characteristic. When human intelligence served it instead of guiding it, when human intelligence did not even acknowledge it was a problem, but took pride in it or did not notice it at all…That was like ignoring cancer. I think your people did not realize what a dangerous thing they were doing.”
  • Your denial doesn’t matter. A cancer growing in someoene’s body will go on growing in spite of denial. And a complex combination of genes that work together to make you intelligent as well as hierarchical will still handicap you whether you acknowledge it or not.
  • The Oankali say you’re potentially one of the most intelligent species they’ve found. But you’re also hierarchical — you are your nearest animal relatives and your most distant animal ancestors. Intelligence is relatively new to life on Earth, but your hierarchical tendencies are ancient. The new was too often put at the service of the old. It will be again. You’re bright enough to learn to live on your new world, but you’re so hierarchical you’ll destroy yourselves trying to domiante it and each there. You might last a long time, but in the end, you’ll destroy yourselves.”
  • “Not law. Consensus. They agreed to send accidental ooloi to the ship. Niki believes it can change the agreement.”
    “Now? In the middle of everything?”
    “What if it can’t”
    Lilith swallowed. I could see her throat move. “Then maybe we’ll have to leave Lo for a while — live apart in the forest.”