Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Xenogenesis #1-3

Lilith's Brood

Rate this book
Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected -- by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. This is their story...

746 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1987

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Octavia E. Butler

62 books16.5k followers
Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.

After her father died, Butler was raised by her widowed mother. Extremely shy as a child, Octavia found an outlet at the library reading fantasy, and in writing. She began writing science fiction as a teenager. She attended community college during the Black Power movement, and while participating in a local writer's workshop was encouraged to attend the Clarion Workshop, which focused on science fiction.

She soon sold her first stories and by the late 1970s had become sufficiently successful as an author that she was able to pursue writing full-time. Her books and short stories drew the favorable attention of the public and awards judges. She also taught writer's workshops, and eventually relocated to Washington state. Butler died of a stroke at the age of 58. Her papers are held in the research collection of the Huntington Library.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
10,477 (54%)
4 stars
6,189 (32%)
3 stars
2,042 (10%)
2 stars
435 (2%)
1 star
131 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,549 reviews
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,678 reviews5,258 followers
October 6, 2018
from the Earth Journal of Scientific Analyst SLJLK92349UO,
Earth Invasion Exploratory Unit

one thing became clear to me as I read this trilogy: Octavia Butler is not partial to the human kind. oh, humanity: violent, vengeful, and vicious; petty, pitiful, perpetually proud. avaricious and all too willing to prey on their own. as a fellow visitor to this planet, I can only view Butler's perspective as one that is in line with my own. and so this was quite an invigorating experience given the overabundance of naively pro-human novels in the science fiction genre.

the story, in broad strokes: humanity destroys itself... the starfaring race of the Oankali arrive to pick up the pieces by saving what few humans remain on their blighted planet. these saviors of humanity offer them a sort of bargain: join with us - literally - and be reborn. it is not actually a bargain because humanity does not have much say in the matter. predictably, humans seethe and rebel against this kindly offer. my cynical self can't help but think that the main reason humans resist the compassion of the Oankali is because a large number of tentacles are involved. oh, racist humans! the trilogy follows the lives of three individuals: the woman who paves the way for a joining of the two species, and two of her children - two different kinds of human/Oankali "constructs".

Butler correctly assesses humanity's tragic flaw: a genetic tendency towards hierarchism at every level. a flaw that on the micro level leads to an inability to form relationships based on equality - and in the macro, one that could easily lead to the end of humanity's home world as they know it. oh, humanity. Butler writes in simple, straightforward prose, in what I imagine to be a chilly, neutral monotone. her style of writing makes the reading experience a deceptively simple one. but this is not a simple work. there is so much to contemplate throughout this series, in particular the idea of essentialism in terms of basic human nature: in gender roles, in the propagation of the species, in the ability to form families and other necessary social units, in the ways that humans think and act and react. science fiction as a genre once had at its core the idea of "speculation" - what would happen if this concept was introduced, what would happen if that idea changed a world. Butler's trilogy is a part of that excellent tradition and these books are challenging in the best sort of way: they force the reader to speculate on their own limited natures, on their own individual decisions and on the future of their kind. Lilith's Brood imagines where humanity's ultimate path may lie if they continue to give free reign to their basest genetic impulses - and then she imagines another path.

it should go without saying that Butler is ultimately in favor of the Oankali way. as a race, they are not without their own rather endearing flaws. but compared to humanity? well, that's like comparing a human child's scribblings to the works of the relatively advanced human Da Vinci. it was quite refreshing for me to read an alien invasion saga that is so resolutely on the side of the sensible "aliens". it was also fascinating to witness Butler's iciness gradually melt away, slowly revealing herself to be a rather tender individual who fully endorses the spirit and acts of cooperation and connection and joining that are necessary for any species' ongoing survival. her calm, dry-eyed observational skills are merely the outer shell of a person who values above all else such things as curiosity, compassion, and the concept that to live is to change. all beings are works in progress.

I have observed humanity as well; indeed, that is my entire mission on this planet. I hesitate to say that I am more sympathetic to the species, but my robot heart does have a certain fondness for this stumbling, bumbling race - a sympathy that a being from Butler's own insect species would most likely find quite foreign. well, I have been programmed for both sympathy and empathy while such emotions are often eschewed by her culture. I suppose these differences in perspective will be reconciled once our joint invasion of Earth commences.
Profile Image for Magrat Ajostiernos.
580 reviews4,087 followers
July 28, 2021
Menuda trilogía maravillosa e imprescindible para todos los amantes de la ciencia ficción.
La humanidad termina destruyendo el planeta tierra y los pocos supervivientes que quedan son rescatados por los oankali, unos alienígenas dispuestos a ayudarles, ¿Pero a qué precio?
Cada libro va a estar protagonizado por un personaje distinto, el primero, por Lilith, que será la primera en "aceptar" a esta nueva especie tras el terror inicial, mientras que en las secuelas veremos las consecuencias del encuentro entre los oankali y los humanos.
Es una obra que me ha sorprendido por muchísimas cosas, por un lado la cuestión de género y cómo se adelanta a su época de mil maneras (de la misma forma que también lo hizo Le Guin con 'La mano izquierda de la oscuridad'), por otro lado el análisis que hace sobre la propia raza humana, su falta de empatía, el horror que le genera lo diferente, la xenofobia imperante... Y por otro me ha fascinado la capacidad de la autora para imaginar a unos seres como los oankalis, esas formas de vida tan extrañas como maravillosas. Además, que consiga que acabes queriéndolos más que a los de tu propia especie pues tiene mérito xD
He disfrutado mucho de esta lectura, me ha hecho reflexionar enormemente y al mismo tiempo ha conseguido tenerme atrapada en todo momento.
Si no le doy las 5 estrellas es porque aún siendo 'Amanecer' de los libros más espectaculares que he leído este año, esta trilogía no me impactó tanto como 'La parábola del sembrador', aún así, recomendadísimo de principio a fin.
Profile Image for Kara Babcock.
1,954 reviews1,294 followers
November 26, 2009
This is one of the scariest books I have read in a long time. Good science fiction, good posthuman fiction, challenges the idea of what it means to be human. Octavia E. Butler goes beyond that, way beyond, challenging not just what human means but how open-minded I am to such challenges. This book blew my mind.

As a huge fan of science fiction, and as a relatively erudite person, I like to think that I have an open mind. I like to think that I'm receptive to the idea of drastically alternate human futures. I believe the Singularity, if we survive long enough, is inevitable—and I welcome it. After reading Lilith's Brood, especially the first book, Dawn, I'm no longer so sure of my open-mindedness. As I read the book, I found Butler's ideas running up against walls of prejudice and bias I didn't even know I have.

The Oankali rescue humanity from the brink of total annihilation by global warfare. They offer humanity the chance to survive, but at the price of human independence: humans and Oankali would hybridize, their mating supervised and controlled by the third-gendered Oankali ooloi, who can manipulate DNA of individual cells. Some humans don't like this idea, so they resist. This surprises the Oankali, who are continually frustrated by "the human contradiction" of "intelligence and hierarchical society." It takes a human, at first, Lilith, to help the Oankali succeed in their plan to save humanity. Later, two of Lilith's human-Oankali construct children, Akin and Jodahs, make valuable contributions toward ensuring the future of both humans and the human-Oankali species being born on Earth. Of course, the question remains: is it enough? Can we ever triumph over "the human contradiction" and survive, whether independently or in a merger with the Oankali?

Butler doesn't seek answers to these questions. She addresses their existence, which may or may not have been obvious to the reader, and then explores the idea of merging with an alien species. This isn't a trashy SF novel with tentacle sex and mind-blowing orgasms. It's a deeply seductive, profound, and repulsive SF novel with tentacle sex and mind-blowing orgasms. The Oankali are terrifying because they are truly alien, and it's impossible for humans to negotiate with them on human terms. Probably the most potent example occurs at the end of Dawn, when Lilith tells her ooloi mate, Nikanj, that she is not ready to have children with it. Yet ooloi are perceptive to the cellular level, and Nikanj knows that even if Lilith claims that she does not want children, her body wants children. So he makes her pregnant. This abrogation of Lilith's free will and control over her body recurs throughout the series, and is explicitly codified in Imago by Jodahs. It is undergoing its first metamorphosis, changing from child to subadult ooloi—an unexpected change, and one that may mean exile to the orbiting ship. Nikanj again makes a promise, this time to Jodahs, to let Jodahs stay with it "for as long as you want to stay." Jodahs interprets:

It meant as long as I was not more miserable alone with the family than it believed I would be if I were cut off from the family and sent to the ship. Humans tended to misunderstand ooloi when ooloi said things like that. Humans thought the ooloi were promising that they would do nothing until the Humans said they had changed their minds—told the ooloi with their mouths, in words. But the ooloi perceived all that a living being said—all words, all gestures, and a vast array of other internal and external bodily responses. Ooloi absorbed everything and acted according to whatever consensus they discovered. Thus ooloi treated individuals as they treated groups of beings. They sought a consensus. If there was none, it meant the being was confused, ignorant, frightened, or in some way not yet able to see its own best interests. The ooloi gave information and perhaps calmness until they could perceive a consensus. Then they acted.

Through the ooloi model of decision-making and action, Butler challenges our individuality by removing our prerogative for self-deception. Suddenly, our wants and needs are determined biologically, regardless of what we say we want. Is there a difference? Should there be a difference? I don't know, but the idea of some third party disregarding my wishes, whether those wishes are right or wrong, certainly scares me.

This emphasis of the biological over the social is a major theme of Lilith's Brood and also the source of my only real disappointment with the series. I dislike how strongly Butler emphasizes the biological construction of gender and ignores pretty much anything except the "traditional" heterosexual masculine male and feminine female. Yes, the mating of humans and Oankali challenges our ideas of sex, but not really gender—aside from the act being performed, men are still masculine and females are still feminine. There are no gay men or lesbian women—I don't think the Oankali would have an equivalent relation, because they would not understand the idea of "sexual orientation." To them, sex is purely physical. Love, as humans define it, does not exist. Mating is based on attraction, maintained by permanent neurochemical attraction, and for the purpose of procreation. The gender roles of the Oankali are even more strictly partitioned than human genders have ever been, to the point of being indistinguishable from biological sex. I'm not certain how much of this omission is deliberate on Butler's part or to what purpose, but I think it's an avenue of exploration that shouldn't have been left fallow.

Aside from this disappointment, this book's brilliance compensates for its other faults. Adulthood Rites and Imago are somewhat less compelling than Dawn, partly because of the changes in perspective—although it's interesting how Butler begins the series with a human protagonist, then switches to a male human-Oankali construct, and concludes with an ooloi human-Oankali. These increasing degrees of Otherness are an effective narrative strategy, but sometimes the later two books failed to hold my interest. Sometimes the Resister characters felt too thin—not that I disbelieved that humans could act so harshly and shortsightedly, but that everyone seemed to act that way. Butler explores the psyche of the very alien Oankali and human-Oankali constructs, but she seldom delves into the minds of regular humans, save for Lilith in Dawn.

Lilith's Brood made me look at my own psyche, however, and question how well I knew myself—that is, to what extent I was deceiving myself when it came to my tolerance for change. I still like to think I'm eager for the posthuman future, but Butler has helped show me that it could be far more frightening, on both a visceral and conceptual level, and far more seductive, than I previously thought. This series is a masterwork combination of thought experiment and character conflict, and it has accomplished what all books set out to do but few books can achieve: it has changed me. A thought-compelling exploration of possibilities, Butler creates verisimilitude even as she pulls us away from any sense of normal, removes any sense of safety, and refuses to reassure us that the questions we ask ourselves will have nice, comforting answers.

Read this book.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
321 reviews707 followers
June 29, 2022
La trilogía olvidada de la que es una gran dama de la CF. No sólo merece, merecía y merecerá un inmenso reconocimiento. Sino que también merece mi largo aplauso por esta maravillosa, interesante, intrigante y desafiante lectura.

Treinta años después de su primera publicación en castellano, "La Estirpe de Lilith", título que reúne toda la Trilogía Xenogénesis en un solo volumen, vuelve dispuesta a reivindicar a Octavia Butler como la enorme pionera que deslumbró en ciencia ficción siendo una mujer negra. Hoy se la considera la primera escritora afroamericana de género en incorporarse al canon de la literatura norteamericana.

Yo le aplaudo y me quito el sombrero. Brava.

Lilith Iyapo despierta en una nave espacial oankali, la raza alienígena que salvó a la humanidad de la extinción después de que la Tierra quedase devastada a causa de una guerra nuclear. Estos seres han mantenido a Lilith y a otros supervivientes dormidos en animación suspendida durante siglos.

Ella será la elegida que guiará a los suyos de vuelta a su propio planeta, ahora dominado por la naturaleza salvaje, para que aprendan a vivir en él y se conviertan en la semilla de una nueva estirpe.

Pero todo intercambio tiene una contrapartida un precio a pagar. Y es que a partir de ahora su descendencia no será humana. O no 100%.

Una aventura desafiante para la raza humana como para los lectores que pasen las paginas de esta epopeya interplanetaria que ha convertido a Octavia E. Butler en una maestra.

Este es un libro que te hace cuestionar quiénes son realmente lo que debe temer. Los humanos con sus armas y su propensión a la violencia, hacia lo que no entienden, y que pensaron que podían tomar lo que quisieran porque sintieron miedo; o los extraterrestres que ofrecían paz y aunque tenían un problema con el consentimiento y su comprensión aún aceptan sus diferencias y creían que la diferencia es importante para la supervivencia de una forma de vida.

Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) la gran dama de la CF estadounidense, y la primera escritora negra de género. En 1995 se convirtió en la primera autora de CF en recibir una Beca MacArthur, y en el año 2000 fue galardonada con el PEN Lifetime Achievement Award por su trayectoria. En 2021 la Library of America ha incluido a Butler en el canon de la literatura norteamericana, algo impensable en vida de la autora.

No fue reconocida en su tiempo cuando era, es y será una de las grandes maestras y damas de la CF.

Los oankali rescatan a la humanidad al borde de la aniquilación total por la guerra global. Ofrecen a la humanidad la oportunidad de sobrevivir, pero el precio es la independencia humana. Grandes ideas y aún mejor llevadas.

El drama y epicidad aquí son tan emocionales como físicos. Personajes que no quieren matar por ningún motivo, pero son capaces de hacerlo en un instante, o que tienen todas las razones para hacerlo pero no lo harán. Personajes que matarán sin pestañear, pero que han quedado indefensos y luego han sido entrenados para querer y defender lo que temen. Se analizan muchos aspectos humanos reflejados y llevados a las páginas con absoluta maestría.

Pues los humanos y los oankali se hibridan, su apareamiento es supervisado y controlado por los ooloi oankali del tercer género, que pueden manipular el ADN de las células individuales. A algunos humanos no les gusta esta idea, por lo que se resisten. Esto sorprende a los oankali, que continuamente se sienten frustrados por la contradicción humana y la inteligencia de una sociedad jerárquica. Una raza alienígena que es dueña de la raza humana que pasan a ser como mascotas, pero que a su vez los quieren.

Al principio, se necesita una humana, Lilith, para ayudar a los Oankali a tener éxito en su plan para salvar a la humanidad. Más tarde, dos de los niños hibridos de Lilith, Akin y Jodahs, hacen valiosas contribuciones para asegurar el futuro de los humanos y de la especie humano Oankali que nace en la Tierra.

Un futuro incierto, frágil y sostenido por un fino hilo.

En este punto como lectores, como humanos conocedores de lo que somos capaces para bien y sobretodo para nuestra desgracia como la de todos los seres vivos, para mal. Surgen dudas y preguntas, ¿Cuánto se mantendrá esta nueva sociedad, está toda la verdad sobre la mesa?

CF de calidad en una ficción posthumana que desafía la mismísima idea y las bases de lo que significa ser humano. Octavia E. Butler va más allá de eso, desafiando no solo lo que significa ser humano, sino los desafíos a los que somete al propio lector y eso a mi me voló la cabeza.

Una pionera rompedora y sobretodo una valiente. 👏👏👏🎩

Me fascinó. Un 10 redondo y absoluto. CF pura. Es brillante, sencillamente brillante.
Profile Image for Lex.
22 reviews
January 10, 2008
Okay, so, how dare I give anything Octavia Butler wrote four stars instead of five? I think that if I read some of her later stuff first, I would have understood this narrative to be part of her growing process as a theorist/novelist. Being that it was my first book of hers to read, after hearing so much about her gay genius and feminist protagonists, I was really disappointed with her tendency to fall back on tired notions of femininity/masculinity, imperative to breed, and the alien third gender. I mean, thank you so much for the chemical/biological dis/utopia, the symbiosis, the incredible view of new kinds of love that revise our relationships, but where are all the people I know and love in this post-apocalypse? Are the only humans to survive really these archetypal strong/weak woman and confused/rapist men, all joined in the innate and violent drive to make babies? There is some character variations, like Lilith herself, but I just don't think that the legion of i-pod addled, youth obsessed, individualistic perverts I know would be bitching and whining that much about living for hundreds of years and have polyamorous relationships involving aliens that plug directly into your nervous system. I mean, if that is our future, let's hurry this shit up (maybe that was more of a digression than a review). Basically, I didn't like the glum view of humanity as being straight, violent, baby obsessed fascists, but if it gotta be that way, she did it really well.
Profile Image for Raquel Estebaran.
299 reviews191 followers
November 16, 2021
Olivia E. Butler crea un mundo rico y complejo, con una visión rompedora y original que te sacude completamente.

Escritora pionera, interesante y valiente, parece increíble que no haya tenido tenido la trascendencia que ya merecía en su momento.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews806 followers
August 6, 2019
My personal favorite sci-fi trilogy. I have reviewed the individual volumes separately:

- Dawn
- Adulthood Rites
- Imago

Mind blowing, thought provoking, thrilling stuff. (Plenty more hyperbole in the above mentioned reviews!)

One thing I particularly want to mention about the author is I love how she embraced the "science fiction author" label. Unlike some "literary" talented authors who prefer to avoid the sci-fi label she took pride in it. Certainly I agree that it is an author's prerogative how they want their works or themselves to be classified, which makes Octavia Butler's choice that much more meaningful, the photo below beautifully illustrates this point:

Octavia Bultler loved sci-fi

I wish she was still with us.
Profile Image for Owen   .
66 reviews11 followers
September 22, 2007
this is the first science fiction book i have read since i was a teenager, and it was so good, i fell in love with octavia butler, and my interest in science fiction was rekindled.

when i started to develop a critical consciousness in college i found that i couldn't read my formerly favorite science fiction books, i.e. stranger in a strange land by robert heinlein, because while they could imagine amazing technological and magical futures where the human mind could overcome previous boundaries, they couldn't reconfigure race, class, gender or sexuality. women were actually objects, poor people were dispensable, people of color were invisible, and heterosexuality as we know it still ruled.

octavia butler is the answer. in her novels, and in this series in particular, she re-imagines race, gender and sexuality. as society is destroyed by war, and a new one is created by aliens, it is not possible to maintain a semblance of "normalcy"...a new reality is constructed.

besides all this, it is a terrific story. i envied akin's abilities to detect edible wild plants and read people thoroughly through touch and taste. i will certainly go back and read these stories over and over.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
1,018 reviews1,184 followers
April 10, 2020
I have come to the conclusion that Octavia Butler did not like humans all that much. In most alien invasion stories, humans are the victims, in danger of assimilation or annihilation, and they must fight and resist and overcome. But in this particular, subversive tale of aliens taking over Earth, I have to say it’s really hard to feel sorry for the humans…

As I read an omnibus of the Xenogenesis series, I will try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible, but there might be a few spoiler-ish elements for “Dawn”, “Adulthood Rites” and “Imago”, so you’ve been warned.

Lilith wakes up on what can best be described as a massive alien spaceship, a couple of hundred years after a nuclear war has destroyed most of humanity and made most of Earth uninhabitable. “Lucky” for humans, an alien race, the Oankali have rescued as many humans as they could and put them into a sort of cryogenic sleep, until they are ready to be Awakened and sent back to Earth to rebuild and repopulate. This, however, comes with a caveat: the Oankali survive and evolve by mixing their genetic material with that of other races, so they offer humans their freedom and planet back if they can do the same with us. There are advantages to this, as they can improve humans’ resistance to disease, their longevity and their general ability to survive what is now a hostile environment. The trade off is a few tentacles and a third gender as a result of hybridization. While Lilith comes to see this as the only way for her species to endure – at least in some ways, other humans saved by the Oankali resist this notion and as one might imagine, this creates a whole lot of problems once they are returned to Earth…

Butler created a fascinating alien species, so strange and so unlike humans in every way, and the dialogue, while sometimes heavy, is a great attempt to show how a communication would go between two species who perceive and interact with their environment so differently. She also explores those differences in point of view by having the first book narrated from Lilith’s perspective, the second from her “construct” (hybrid) son Akin, and the third by another construct, Jodahs. This also helps her to show the evolution of relations between humans and Oankali, which are complex but also made very difficult by some groups of humans. The lack of open-mindedness in the face of challenges and their very survival was sadly not shocking – and in these strange days, felt a little too realistic, which is upsetting. “Human beings fear difference. Oankali crave difference. Humans persecute their different ones, yet they need them to give themselves definition and status. Oankali seek difference and collect it. They need it to keep themselves from stagnation and overspecialization.”

The views on gender and sexuality feel a little outdated, but considering when this book was published (mid-1980s), it explores ideas that were not a frequent topic of conversation at the time. The Oankali have three genders: male, female and ooloi – a neutral gender necessary for copulation and reproduction, which creates a very different family dynamic that the resisting groups of humans (who are all invariably heterosexual and heteronormative) have a very hard time adapting to.

This series is packed with so many great and interesting ideas, but it is not the best Butler I have read. There is more telling than showing, and little atmosphere built in the narrative. Butler has always had a lean prose, but here I wish she’d spend just a bit more time capturing the feelings her characters experience. I never really felt the horror, urgency or inner conflicts experienced by Lilith, Akin or any of the others. This is a fascinating thought experiment about human nature, loyalty, evolution and choices, but I’m not sure I’d call it a great book.
Profile Image for Mangrii.
901 reviews262 followers
May 15, 2021
En 1987, 1988 y 1989 respectivamente, y reunidas por primera vez en el año 2000, la escritora californiana Octavia E. Butler escribió una trilogía de ciencia ficción adelantada a su tiempo que explora abiertamente temas como sexo, raza, género y especie. La visionaria autora hizo algo diferente, pero tratando temas que parecen estar más vigentes hoy en día que en su momento de publicación.

La xenofobia, el instinto de aversión hacia el diferente, las relaciones de desigualdad de poder o la dificultad humana para empatizar con el diferente. También, por supuesto, su ruptura con la rígida dicotomía de estructura familiar o su planteamiento ya a finales de los ochenta de temas como la elección de género.

Compuesta por tres historias diferentes, aunque dependientes unas de otras, componen en realidad una gran obra unitaria que debe leerse como un todo. La autora habla en cada una de ellas sobre la esencia de la humanidad vista desde diversos puntos, donde tanto humanos como extraterrestres tienen sus motivaciones y son pilares importantes de la historia. Como resultado, La estirpe de Lilith resulta de engañosa lectura fácil, pero rebosa absoluta complejidad.

Reseña más extensa en Revista Windumanoth: número 12.
Profile Image for Eleven.
14 reviews11 followers
August 16, 2007
I wouldn't normally define myself as a straight-up science fiction fan - in fact, I'm normally put off by techno fairy tales and scary alien stories. But I finally picked up Lilith's Brood after my father (who is something of a purist) bothered me enough. I was instantly intrigued.

It isn't just a post-apocalyptic novel... or an exploration of other worlds... or other races of beings, for that matter. No, Butler decided to use the aliens that have taken control of the dying human race in order to raise questions regarding what it means to be human.

After the last nuclear war, most of Earth is left in ruin, with only a few survivors. The Oankali are nonviolent aliens with an unsettling appearance - and they're planning a genetic trade with the humans after they use their strange technology to bring the world back to its former luster. That means mating and intermingling - an idea that, naturally, does not initially sit well with the first group the Oankali want to sent down to the surface.

Throughout the first book, "Dawn", I found myself delightfully torn in my take on what was going on. What would I do if my only chance for survival (if future generations depended on) giving up pieces of my humanity? What if what defines us as humans is our most dangerous aspect? Would you willingly give yourself up to be fixed, or watch your children grow tentacles so that they didn't crave war?

Read this. You will like it.
Profile Image for Victorian Spirit.
240 reviews716 followers
August 9, 2021
¿Perecer como humano o sobrevivir como algo distinto? Esa es la gran pregunta a la que nos enfrenta en esta trilogía Octavia E. Butler, uno de los grandes nombres de la ciencia ficción y madre del afrofuturismo.
Esta trilogía se ha visto como una alegoría de la esclavitud y de lo que vino después, de cómo los afroamericanos se vieron abocados en muy poco tiempo a aceptar y adaptarse a una nueva realidad en la que seguían sin tener ningún tipo de control real sobre sus vidas.
Uno de los temas recurrentes a lo largo de la obra es el determinismo biológico, expresado como esa "contradicción" autodestructiva que encuentran los oankali (la especie alienígena que domina a la humanidad) entre la alta inteligencia del ser humano y su naturaleza jerárquica. También se exploran los roles de género, especialmente en lo que a la reproducción se refiere, ya que entre los oankalis existen tres géneros y esto hace que el hombre pierde buena parte de su 'control' sobre el acto sexual.
Es una historia muy avanzada a su época en todos los aspectos y eso hace que siga siendo rompedora hoy en día. Las reflexiones a las que invita y la imaginación que derrocha la autora a mí me tuvieron con la boca abierta todo el tiempo. Sí es cierto que encuentro el primer tomo mucho más cautivador y pienso que la trilogía pierde algo de interés según avanza hacia un final bastante anticlimático, pero si quieres probar algo totalmente distinto, algo que nunca has visto/leído y que te va a llevar a hacerte preguntas que nunca pensaste responder, dale una oportunidad.

RESEÑA COMPLETA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdZ4r...
Profile Image for JennRa.
329 reviews
January 19, 2022
Desde ya sé que este libro será de mis mejores lecturas del año y quizás de la vida, pero esto último aún no lo sé, necesito procesarlo más tiempo.

Octavia E Butler es la puta ama, fin. Una epopeya, una obra de Scifi de las más brutales, impactantes e inteligentes que existen.

No sé cómo Butler logró imaginar/crear a esta raza alienígena pero su fisionomía, anatomía, biología, génetica, creencias, cultura -por decirlo de alguna forma- es simplemente IMPRESIONANTE. Los oankali aunque te causan gran repulsión en un inicio, terminan llegandote al corazón.

Esta recopilación tiene los tres libros, cada uno de ellos protagonizados por un personaje diferente, muy distintos entre sí pero con los que iremos conociendo la historia a lo largo de los siglos. En lo personal amé cada uno de una forma distinta pero debo admitir que siento una gran inclinación por Lilith (el primer libro está narrado y visto por los ojos de esta), así como por el personaje que conoceremos en el tercer libro.

Tenía miedo de comenzar esta obra, pensaba que sería densa, complicada y hasta algo aburrida ¡gran error!. Es cercana, directa, narrada en una forma "simple" pero OJO, que la narración sea ésta, no significa que el contenido también, pues expone una cantidad monumental de temas como: sexo, género, racismo, xenofobia, homofobia, cultura, raza, amor, odio, el instinto humano, el concepto de familia y la conformación de la misma, así como muy largo etc.

No dejen pasar esta historia, fríos no los dejará.
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,833 reviews44 followers
November 5, 2022
Nov 3, 2pm ~~ Wow. Review as soon as I can think straight again!

Nov 4, 930pm ~~ I had never heard of Octavia E. Butler before joining Goodreads. Not sure how I managed to be so ignorant about her for so long, but there it is. I noticed comments about her writing and have been curious for a few years now, but I try to avoid books presented as a long series, so I never made a big effort to read this author for myself.

But in one of my recent used book spending sprees, I noticed this omnibus edition of her 'Xenogenesis' series of three titles and I decided this book would be a perfect way to explore Butler's work.

And I was totally caught up in the story, although I confess to a preference for the first book, Dawn, which dealt more directly with Lilith herself but of course created the setting and the characters of the other two books, Adulthood Rites and Imago.

There has been a war which destroyed much of the planet and nearly all of the people and creatures of the Earth. But Lilith survived, and was taken in by space beings known as the Oankali. What they want from her and what they will give her in return is slowly revealed, but will she or the other Human survivors ever truly understand exactly what the Oankali are doing?

This is a bit tricky to review, sorry. I don't want to say too much, I think it is best to just dive in without knowing much of anything about what you will be reading. The book covers many ideas, and whether it was Butler's actual belief or simply part of the story, she gives the impression on almost every page that Humans are deeply flawed beings. I have begun to lean towards that belief myself lately, especially if I follow the news too closely. Sigh.

Anyway, I felt this was an impressive display of creative imagination on Butler's part. I thought her writing style was nearly flawless, and I connected (surprisingly) with all the characters, caring about what they went through, whether they were Humans or Oankali.

I am glad I read Lilith's Brood and 'met' Octavia E. Butler at last, and I plan to reread this book someday to get a better grasp of the serious topics dealt with, but this will be enough Butler for me. I have had a look at blurbs and reviews of her other books. They sound more gruesome than this one, some with vampires, other such beasties, and lots of killings. I would prefer not to fill my little pea brain with such images.

The real world is scary enough these days.

Profile Image for Amanda.
840 reviews343 followers
June 30, 2018
This is one of my new favorite worlds. I adored the Oankali and learning more about them throughout the trilogy. I love how this book is saturated in ethical ambiguity. You need to decide if you think the Oankali have the concept of consent in their culture. If you think they do, then this is a very disturbing series. If you think they don't, then this encourages you to look at the situation from a fascinating new perspective. This sci-fi family saga constantly questions what it means to be human. I absolutely loved it!
Profile Image for Siğnem.
86 reviews1 follower
November 11, 2022
İlk kadın siyah bilimkurgu yazarlarından Octavia E. Butler'ın kaleme aldığı Lilith'in Dölü, 894 sayfa kalınlığıyla göz korkutan ama okumaya başlayınca elinizden bırakamadığınız, çok etkileyici bir kitaptı.

İnsanlık atom bombaları ile kendini ve Dünyayı yok eder. Hayatta kalabilen az sayıda insanın ise kurtarıcısı başka bir gezegenden gelen Oankaliler olur. Yaşam ve evrimi merkeze alan bu yabancı kültür tarafından kurtarılmanın ise bir bedeli vardır; takas.

Kitap yazarın 1 sene arayla yazdığı 3 bölümden oluşuyor. Özellikle yazıldığı seneleri de hesaba katarsak cinselliğe, kadın erkek ilişkilerine, toplumsal hiyerarşiye, ırkçılığa getirdiği farklı bakış açısıyla oldukça ses getirdiğini tahmin ediyorum. 1980'lerde hem siyahi, hem kadın hem de feminist bir bilimkurgu yazarı olarak Octavia Butler'ın kaleminden azınlık olmanın ve yabancılaşmanın hissettirdiklerini çarpıcı bir şekilde görebiliyoruz.

Kitap boyunca insanlıktan nefret etmekle empati duymak, kimin haklı olduğu yada herhangi bir haklılığın varlığını sorgulamak arasında gidip geldim. Okuması kolay ama etkisinden kolay çıkılamayan bir eser yaratmış yazar. Sadece üçüncü bölümde biraz kendini tekrar etmeye başlamıştı. Kitabın gittiği ve özellikle odaklandığı konunun daha çeşitli olmasını isterdim sanırım.

Çeviri ve editörlük İthaki'nin son zamanlarda okuduklarım arasında en iyisiydi.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
381 reviews31 followers
October 2, 2015
OK here is my review for Dawn: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... Read it or not. I discovered as I jumped strait into Adulthood Rites and finished it a day later that I was unable to write a review. I simply kept reading and into Imago I went. It was seamless. I am not sure why we have 3 different books. For me it read as a grand story. What an amazing beginning.Profound. It sets the whole tone. The middle. I still don't know what to say. I felt myself changing, becoming like the ooloi, taking everything in, letting it fill me, then my human part reared it's head and I was scared, confused. Then the finale. The end. The reason for it all. Oh the conundrum. We have hope. We have change. Which choice is correct. Some of it feels so wrong.I am human. But then I find my inner ooloi and think, this is it. This is the correct path. And we have Lilith. Steadfast throughout. Resigned. Happy? Content? Yes. I think so. Without Lilith we have nothing. It is said that Heaven lies at your mother's feet. I hope Lilith is revered. Remembered.

Oh right. This is a Novel. Actually 3 novels.

I don't know why I never read these. But I do know as soon As I return this to the library, I will be making a purchase and putting this on my shelf. It deserves to be read over and over. I can see it. Like an ooloi.
Profile Image for Bree Cheese .
268 reviews22 followers
November 27, 2015
Octavia Butler has a way of holding up a mirror to humanity and showing us everything that is ugly and perhaps shameful. I have read every book Ms. Butler has written and this was not my favorite of her books in my first read, but it is the one that has stuck with me the longest. This is the closest to straight up sci-fi that her books get, but it still remains human. The Xenogenesis series is so fascinating on both a cultural and an anthropological level, in the destruction of one world and the creation of a new one. But most importantly it is a completely and utterly disturbing look at the transformation of the human race and free will. I suppose all her books deal with this on some level, but throw earth's survivors onto a new planet to endure forced alien breeding and the issue gets forced pretty quickly in these novels! Overall, I would say if you are struggling with this series then read some of her other books (Fledgling is perhaps the easiest to read) and then come back to this series.
Profile Image for Emotonal Reads.
161 reviews45 followers
June 2, 2014
I don't like rape or forced behavior in my books and what happened to these people is rape.
how is drugging and sexually abusing the humans helping them? it makes no sense, and it made it so that they could not stand the touch of their humans mate. they were not given a choice, it's sick.
Lilith forced it on her human mate, of course she was sexually active with three of the alien monsters. I would of cried no tears if she died.

I care not what anyone says, what happened to them was rape because they did not consent to it, didn't want and it does not help them survive in the new earth. if the humans were sterile, I think the aliens made it so.

This author is an acquired taste

Profile Image for Maria Teresa.
763 reviews136 followers
September 21, 2021
Mi reseña de Amanecer:


«En su intento por destruirse a sí misma, la humanidad había convertido el mundo en algo inhabitable. Ella había estado segura de que iba a morir, a pesar de que había sobrevivido a los bombardeos sin sufrir siquiera un rasguño».

¿Cómo sería despertar y descubrir que eres una de las pocas personas que quedan con vida? ¿Cómo sería enterarte de que tu gente, con sus guerras, casi consigue aniquilar con éxito a toda la raza humana? ¿Qué estarías dispuesta a sacrificar por la posibilidad de volver a poblar la Tierra? ¿Qué ocurriría si los que te ofrecen esa oportunidad no son de tu misma especie? Hoy quiero recomendarles Amanecer, de Octavia E. Butler. La primera de las novelas que conforman la famosa Trilogía Xenogénesis, recuperada ahora por el sello Nova en una maravillosa edición en tapa dura en un solo volumen: La estirpe de Lilith.

Mi reseña de Ritos de madurez, de Octavia E. Butler http://inthenevernever.blogspot.com/2...

«Él era lo bastante oankali como para que otros oankali lo escucharan y lo bastante humano como para saber que se estaba tratando a los resistentes con crueldad y condescendencia».

¿Qué significa ser diferente? ¿Qué estarías dispuesto a sacrificar para darle a la humanidad otra oportunidad? Imagina lo complicada que sería tu vida si fueses el primer ser masculino nacido de una mujer humana con ADN extraterrestre. Ser el primer hombre que une en su cuerpo a humanos y a oankali, esos extraños alienígenas que salvaron a la humanidad y a la Tierra del exterminio causado por sus absurdas guerras. Hoy quiero recomendarles Ritos de madurez, de Octavia E. Butler. El segundo libro de la Trilogía Xenogénesis que ahora podemos encontrar en librerías gracias al sello Nova recopilada en un solo volumen: La estirpe de Lilith. Con la traducción de Luis Vigil corregida por Pilar Márquez.

Mi reseña de Imago

«Sois lo bastantes listos como para aprender a vivir en vuestro nuevo mundo, pero sois tan jerárquicos que os destruiréis tratando de dominarlo y de dominaros los unos a los otros. Quizás duréis un tiempo largo, pero al final acabaréis por destruiros».

Alienígenas, prejuicios, metamorfosis, crueldad, amor… Imago, de Octavia E. Butler, es el cierre perfecto para la Trilogía Xenogénesis. Una novela en la que de nuevo Butler explora un futuro hipotético, mientras habla de problemas muy reales como el racismo, el machismo o el consentimiento. Si están buscando una trilogía que les vuele la cabeza tienen que darle una oportunidad. De nuevo gracias a Nova por recuperar estas historias, Butler es una de esas autoras a las que hay que leer sin dudar. Porque sus mundos, aunque crueles o pesimistas, tienen un lugar también para la esperanza, y eso los hace aún más espectaculares.
Profile Image for Marimar González.
91 reviews25 followers
April 17, 2022
Una trilogía absolutamente maravillosa recomendada para todos los fans de la CiFi, es lo primero que leo de Octavia pero tengo claro que no va a ser lo último.

Profile Image for Rowina .
116 reviews274 followers
January 14, 2022
Es genial, me hizo reflexionar nucho y la escritora me encantó, voy a leerle más.
Profile Image for Librukie.
536 reviews313 followers
August 26, 2021
"Sois lo bastante listos como para aprender a vivir en vuestro nuevo mundo, pero sois tan jerárquicos que os destruiréis tratando de dominarlo y de dominaros los unos a los otros. Quizá duréis largo tiempo, pero al final acabaréis por destruiros".

Tras años de guerras y conflictos, una catástrofe nuclear deja la Tierra prácticamente inhabitable y al ser humano al borde de la extinción. Los pocos humanos que quedan son recogidos por una especie alienígena, que le ofrece a la humanidad una última oportunidad en forma de intercambio. Ellos tienen los medios necesarios para devolver a la Tierra a niveles habitables y devolverles a su hogar... Pero tendrán que cumplir unas condiciones. Los oankali son una especie que busca la síntesis con otros seres vivos para evolucionar y seguir con su viaje a lo largo del Universo. Así que el trato es el siguiente: o los humanos los aceptan y se sintetizan con ellos para crear una nueva especie... O tendrán que aceptar su final en un planeta moribundo.
En el primer libro de esta trilogía viviremos a través de Lilith los conflictos internos que sufrirán los supervivientes de esta catástrofe... ¿Qué nos hace humanos? ¿Merece la pena sobrevivir a cualquier precio? ¿Es mejor seguir adelante aunque nos convirtiésemos en otra especie, o es preferible mantenernos en lo que somos y morir con esa idea? ¿Quieren los oankali realmente ayudar al ser humano, o solo nos usan en su propio beneficio?

Octavia nos plantea todas estas cuestiones y muchas más a través de una historia absorbente y tremendamente interesante, todo ello narrado de una forma sencilla y accesible. El estilo de la autora es muy amigable, poco técnico y que se centra mucho en lo humano y lo social. Es muy sencillo quedarse atrapado rápidamente en esta historia mientras Butler te hace plantearte qué harías tú en una situación parecida. De nuevo, la autora utiliza la ciencia ficción para hablarnos del terror y la desconfianza que sentimos hacia el diferente, del miedo que tenemos al cambio y de como a veces preferimos quedarnos estancados y morir a abrirnos a nuevas opciones. Nos empapa de una cultura y una forma de vivir y de comprender nuestro entorno de una forma totalmente diferente a la nuestra, y de como eso podría chocar o entrelazarse con nuestra propia manera de construir nuestra sociedad.

Ha sido una lectura fascinante, y aunque el primer libro sea quizá el que más choca y sorprende... Los tres me han gustado prácticamente por igual. Los siguientes libros se centran un poquito más en esa mezcla de culturas y en la interacción más plena entre ser humano y oankali, y como evoluciona la relación entre ambos. Los tres aportan algo nuevo, desde perspectivas muy diferentes, y los tres tienen el equilibrio perfecto entre lo ameno, lo reflexivo y lo interesante o sorprendente.
Profile Image for DilekO.
73 reviews10 followers
August 25, 2022
Muhteşem bir kurgu, harika bir kitap!

Bilimkurgu kitaplarını çoğunlukla ya çok teknik ve duygusuz, ya da tutarsız bulurum; gerçekten sevdiğim bir kaç tane vardır sadece ve Lilith’in Dölü başa yerleşti. Ütopya mı desem, masalsı bir distopya mı desem bilemiyorum. Kitapta anlatılan onlarca karakter var; içlerinde çok sevdiklerim ve kızdıklarım olsa da anlayamadığım olmadı; hepsinin de bakış açısı büyük bir başarıyla anlatılmış. Türkçe çevirisi de çok iyi.

Özetle Lilith’in Dölü Avatar da dahil olmak üzere pek çok filme ve kitaba da ilham verdiğine inandığım, övmelere doyamayacağım bir eser. Uzunluğu korkutmasın , bir şans verin derim !
Profile Image for Tanya.
500 reviews271 followers
December 9, 2021
Octavia E. Butler has been on my radar for quite some time—as the first acclaimed African American and female science fiction writer, how could she not be? The book that's been on my list for ages was actually Kindred, but a friend suggested this series when I asked for dystopian/post-apocalyptic recommendations—although, after reading it, it's not at all what I'd been looking for, and I'd put it very firmly in the camp of post-human science fiction. I was sold immediately based on the title alone though: Lilith was supposedly Adam's first wife, created from the Earth at the same time as him, as his equal. When she turned out to be willful and refused to be submissive, she was "vanished", and Eve was created from Adam's rib, which began the whole Christian tradition of seeing women as inferior to men. If you look for them, there are quite a few biblical allusions in the series that go beyond just the name.

Lilith's Brood is the new title given to the omnibus collection of what was formerly known as the Xenogenesis series, which consists of the books Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988), and Imago (1989). Throughout it, Butler explores the belief that we are inherently flawed because of our innate tendency towards hierarchical behavior, which always ends up breeding intolerance and violence—not a very kind or optimistic view of humanity, but she certainly has a point, and makes it well. In events alluded to in this trilogy, the self-destructive "contradiction" between humans' high intelligence and their hierarchical nature has ultimately led to a nuclear war of such magnitude that it brought on the destruction of Earth, leaving it uninhabitable and almost entirely wiping out everything that lived on it, humans included.

This is where the Oankali come in—an alien species who travels the universe in search of other species to merge with by manipulating genetic material to mutate them. They save the few remaining humans, and the trilogy explores a variety of themes (sexuality, gender, race, eugenics, colonization etc.) over the course of the first century of the forced Oankali-human "co-habitation". While the core ideas of the trilogy—brought on by Butler being disillusioned with the sci-fi genre's portrayal of ethnicity and lack of female protagonists—are probably the most unique I've ever encountered, they were so very alien that I had a hard time with the story, although I think of myself as a very open minded person, especially in regards to gender and sexuality, but these books really challenged that belief with some mind-blowing concepts. The Oankali are so different in every way imaginable, it took a willful effort to create a mental picture of their anatomy, and to wrap my head around their inter-species, polyamorous type of relationships (I don't want to give too much away, because discovering it in bits and pieces is part of the experience, but I will say that I was disappointed that despite a very novel approach to reproduction, homosexuality still had no place in this universe, that she seemed to often fall back on femininity/masculinity stereotypes, as well as putting a universal focus on an inherent desire to pro-create), and I can't help but see where the "human resisters"—who'd rather die sterile than accept the proposed "gene trade" to ensure the survival of at least a part of humanity in a new hybrid species—were coming from.

"Human beings fear difference. (...) Oankali crave difference. Humans persecute their different ones, yet they need them to give themselves definition and status. Oankali seek difference and collect it. They need it to keep themselves from stagnation and overspecialization. If you don’t understand this, you will. You’ll probably find both tendencies surfacing in your own behavior. (...) When you feel a conflict, try to go the Oankali way. Embrace difference.”

I usually review a series by focusing on each volume in turn, but I decided against doing so in this case, despite the stories within each book being distinct and the series spanning a long time period—they somehow still manage to feel seamless and are all needed to bring a sense of completeness to the series; they just don't stand up on their own, and I'd consider them sub-sections in one long novel. Still, if I had to pick, my undisputed favorite would be Adulthood Rites for its exploration of the different needs and motivations of each human faction, and their ambivalent and resentful feelings towards the Oankali as either saviors of captors.

While Dawn can certainly be read as a stand-alone, it probably won't leave a reader very satisfied as it mostly sets the scene for the subsequent books, and I found the ending of the final volume, which gives us the Ooloi (the Oankali's third gender) perspective, to be a bit anticlimactic and not what I expected after close to 800 pages, as if she decided to pull her punch at the last minute. There are big time-jumps between the volumes, but all are necessary for understanding the inner and outer conflicts of this new "society", and it's interesting to view Xenogenesis through the lense of the African American experience, or, even broader, to consider the many parallels to imperialist colonization, which raises often uncomfortable questions on power imbalance and coercion (this lack of agency was a big issue I had with the whole idea behind the trilogy—I just couldn't get past some of the rapey scenes), something that didn't make the Oankali very likeable to me, despite being well-intentioned—or rather, not more or less likeable than the humans, who are painted as irredeemable unless they accept the "trade" to have their "fatal flaw" fixed. Just different.

As this series was: Different, always thought-provoking, sometimes just a bit too dense and heavy on the existential questions it asked, for my taste, and I'm choosing to be harsher with my rating than I'd normally be based solely on the fact that I was expecting more after hearing so much about Butler from feminist and queer friends, and I couldn't help but feel relief when I finished it. I ultimately think that the majority of issues I had with it mostly come down to personal preference: I haven't read a whole lot of such "hard sci-fi" works, and I think they may just not entirely be my cup of tea, although I can see both the appeal and merit, and I'm intrigued enough by Butler's themes to still want to read Kindred at some point.
Profile Image for Cami L. González.
1,165 reviews397 followers
February 21, 2023
Creo que pasé por todo el rango de emociones con estos libros. Adoré el inicio, mucho, creo que la autora escribe inicios sorprendentes e incómodos, son el tipo de inicios que te hacen querer seguir leyendo. Sin embargo, para el final del primer libro y el comienzo del segundo, ya no estaba gustándome, tanto porque un aspecto me chocaba como porque me aburría. Eso sí, el tercer libro me gustó más que los anteriores, aunque jamás enganché por completo de la historia.

Lilith despierta una y otra vez, a veces en celdas nuevas y otras en una que reconoce. A veces le hablan, a veces no. A veces hay un baño, a veces no. Ya no sabe cuánto tiempo ha pasado desde la primera vez que despertó, tampoco sabe quiénes la tienen secuestrada. Solo sabe que antes de todo la humanidad se estaba destruyendo en una guerra y ahora ella está ahí, pero quienes la secuestraron ¿qué motivos tienen para ello?

No sé qué tanto saben de estos libros o qué tanto quieren saber antes de animarse con ellos. Para poder hablar bien de ellos debo hacer un spoiler relacionado a los secuestradores, sin embargo, no voy a decir cómo avanza la historia ni ningún evento importante de la trama. Lo que diré ahora es algo de la sinopsis, pero quiero avisar por si son como yo y a veces se lanzan por los libros a ciegas.

Siempre voy a defender a esta autora por el solo hecho de publicar ciencia ficción en los 80s siendo mujer y negra, no sé mucho de ella ni de cómo lo logró, pero es algo que merece un tremendo reconocimiento. Además, de los pocos libros que he leído de ella, siempre hay un componente político y social en sus historias que me gusta mucho. Octavia no solo escribía de distopías, aliens o viajes en el tiempo, sino que usaba estas temáticas para analizarnos como especie y como sociedad y esa es la mejor ciencia ficción, a mi gusto.

En esta trilogía se analiza mucho lo que nos hace humanos y nuestras tendencias, además se cuestiona el límite de hasta dónde es ético salvar a alguien que no te pide ayuda y que, a la vez, estás modificando sin su consentimiento. Los secuestradores de Lilith son una raza alienígena que se dedica a comerciar con genes, es decir, salvan a especies a cambio de obtener ciertos genes que puedan serles beneficiosos a ellos mismos como especie. Esto significa que a cambio de salvarnos de la extinción obtuvieron de nosotros algo útil de nuestros genes.

La raza alienígena, los oankali, además de machos y hembras tienen un tercer sexo, ooloi, que se sentían atraídos por los humanos y los obligaban a emparejarse después de ofrecerles mucho placer, de una forma mental, como por ilusiones. Mi problema estuvo en que todo este emparejamiento fueron abusos que se justificaban porque los humanos sentían placer, los forzaban a ello, luego sus cuerpos lo seguían pidiendo. Pero nada de eso quitaba el abuso detrás por parte de los ooloi.

Al principio me chocó mucho porque creí que la intención de la autora era narrarnos los eventos de una raza más avanzada y evolucionada que nos salvaba y mostrarnos que en comparación éramos casi animales. Sin embargo, leyendo otros comentarios y considerando lo que va pasando, creo que no era tan blanco o negro lo que quería decir. De hecho, este abuso de los oankali contra los humanos era muy similar a lo que los humanos hacemos con otras especies.

Los humanos secuestramos especies en peligro, las encerramos, las obligamos a reproducirse, las esterilizamos si eso las pone en peligros y controlamos cada aspecto de sus vidas. Todo con la excusa de que sin nosotros dejarían de existir. Cuando lo vemos desde los ojos de la especie dominante, se ve como benevolencia, pero en esta trilogía, al hacerlo desde los ojos de la especie sometida... es un constante abuso y violación del libre albedrío. Darme cuenta de esto fue chocante, no es que no supiera el tema de los animales, sino que fue chocante lo diferente de mi respuesta frente a la misma situación pero con los humanos en roles distintos.

Lo más interesante es que los oankali no eran agresivos ni violentos, no eran vanidosos ni ambiciosos. Ellos de verdad querían lo mejor para los humanos, a pesar de cómo los trataban, intentaban salvarnos como especie... con el coste de dejar de ser la misma especie de antes. Era un dilema interesante que me puso incómoda muchas veces, consideré incluso abandonar el libro cuando todavía no entendía o no interpretaba lo que quiso o intentó la autora. Eso sí, una vez que pude racionalizarlo y entender que no había una romantización detrás, todo fue más sencillo.

Como el nombre de la trilogía puede dar a entender, el centro de todo es Lilith. En el primer libro, tenemos la historia de cómo ella despierta en la nave y va aprendiendo sobre los oankali y lo que estos quieren de ella. En el segundo, tenemos de protagonista a Aiki, uno de los hijos de Lilith que si bien se crió con oankali pasó mucho tiempo viviendo con humanos y aprendiendo de ellos. En el tercer libro, el protagonista es otro hijo de Lilith; Jodahs, sin embargo, él es el primero de una nueva raza y va sobre todo el proceso de entenderse a sí mismo.

Siento que con estos libros sucede algo que me pasa con las novelas de ciencia ficción previas a los 1990, y es que suelen no tener tramas tan elaboradas. Más que la trama en estos libros, lo que lo sostiene es el dilema moral y todo el imaginario de la autora, todo lo que creó y cómo construyó con detalle a esta nueva raza alienígena. Sin embargo, la trama como tal es una apenas existente, no hay una mayor motivación por saber qué va a pasar salvo en el primer libro que es el inicio de todo. Incluso en el final de la trilogía parecía no serlo como tal, no tuvo esa sensación de cierre ni nada por el estilo, podría haber sido una parte más de otra saga más larga.

Sumado a lo anterior, que la trama no era interesante, también está el tema de los personajes. No soy de la idea de que un libro debe tener personajes memorables o con los que encariñarse para que sea bueno. No obstante, acá llegó un punto que todos me eran indiferentes, y tanto oankali como humanos me desesperaban, por mí que ambas razas dejaran de existir. Creo que el único personaje con el que logré sentir algo fue Aiki y todo su proceso, me gustó su viaje y lo que terminó haciendo, pero fue el único, todos los demás me daban lo mismo.

Soy la primera persona en no ser una fan de la raza humana, la primera, lo prometo, pero los oankali me desagradaron tanto que lograron superar mi desagrado. Y sé que no era racional, porque como dije antes, no era una raza que buscara hacernos daño, desde sus ojos, eran benevolentes y solo nos ofrecían cosas buenas. Y quizá eso mismo me molestó de ellos, su incapacidad de empatizar, podían sentir nuestro dolor, pero no podían entendernos. Y, no lo niego, puede que su apariencia también me influyera, después de todo soy tan humana como los personajes del libro.

No disfruté tanto la trilogía de La estirpe de Lilith, pero no niego lo mucho que me hizo pensar y analizar mis sentimientos, e incluso mis valores morales. Pasé muchas partes preguntándome qué haría en esa circunstancia y varias veces no tuve respuesta. Creo que la buena ciencia ficción nos desmenuza como especie para que nos paremos a pensar y evaluarnos, nos pone frente a un espejo incómodo y nos obliga a mirar. Esta trilogía lo hizo, sin lugar a dudas y más allá de qué tanto "disfruté" su proceso de lectura, creo que tiene algo importante que decir al respecto y eso es valioso.
May 31, 2021
Publicados originalmente por separado como "Amanecer" en 1987, "Ritos de madurez" en 1988 e "Imago" en 1989 —octubre de 1989, noviembre de 1989 y marzo de 1990 en español respectivamente—, Nova recupera ahora en un solo volumen este clásico indiscutible que tanto tiempo ha permanecido alejado del mercado patrio. Una trilogía que se inicia como un «primer contacto» muy particular y que está dedicada a la exploración sobre la naturaleza del ser humano, al consentimiento, la dualidad, el género, el mestizaje y el posthumanismo. Temas candentes que en manos de Butler, aunando la necesaria aventura, peligros y tensiones, fluyen de forma intrigante, amena e incómoda para el lector, cuestionando las concepciones personales de forma perturbadora, desafiando las convicciones y provocando incluso rechazo en determinados momentos. La autora hace presente lo alienígena, consiguiendo transmitir la extrañeza de seres y formas de pensar y actuar de forma palpable a la vez que comprensible, aunque quizá no del todo aceptable según los parámetros actuales. Una lectura que remueve por dentro.

Reseña completa en Sagacomic:
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,549 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.