Actually, you’re quite wrong. What a human assumption to assume that any advanced species is just going to be a more aggressive and violent version of humans.

Octavia Butler always writes about aliens, but they are never those kind of aliens. These aliens were biologically advanced. That was their technology. They were exceptionally skilled at breeding things, or not allowing things to breed. They could just shut humans down, put them in suspended animation for years and make decisions about what kind of humans they wanted to breed. Like they loved cancer. They said it was a genetic tool that humans just didn’t know how to use. So they loved to breed humans who were at risk for cancer. They could cure any genetic disease. As the main character of the first book explained, “they can do with DNA what we do with a pencil and paper.”

They didn’t come to rescue the humans…but the planet. They took it over. They had no guilt about this because by the time they got here, the planet was nearly destroyed and almost all the humans were dead or dying. The were curious about us, so they basically turned the survivors into lab rats. Their organizations were cooperative, so they didn’t understand humans at all. And they kept telling humans as much.

They were largely nonviolent, and everything was based around biology. So they would make all decisions based on biological markers. Their world was entirely organic, and they berated humans for their use of inorganic materials. They had no use for wood, glass, metal — they especially hated plastic. They thought that was truly the sickest thing ever. Everything in the world was organic and it was fine because these aliens could manipulate everything organically and make organic things cooperate with them, usually.

But not humans.

They wanted to mate with humans (that did not go over well) cause essentially that is what they did. They traveled the universe in search of new DNA to use. So the thing is, they would allow human/oankali hybrids — but no pure humans.

This made the humans quite pissy! So the humans kept demanding to be allowed to mate with just humans and the aliens were like, no, it is pointless. Your genes are self destructive. We know genes, and there is just no way. Your species is designed to self destruct because you are heirarchical but intelligent.

This doesn’t make sense to us, because we are human. In a way we were just Psychologically far more complex than the oankali. For them every decision revolved around biology. Does the biology of an organism indicate this can be done? If so they did it. So basically they raped humans and had no understanding of what they were doing, because they would be all like, “the biology said you were ready to procreate, all the genes matched well, so we did it.” They were baffled by the human violence and resistance to them. They thought everything wants to procreate, if it is genetically possible. So basing this around biology those concepts, the aliens were like, hierarchy is for primates and animals too stupid to outsmart the strongest one. Once you are smart enough for that, your structures will always crumbling because lower humans are always trying to outsmart the one on top. And I mean damned if they weren’t right. I mean look at what’s going on with Trump. He is the president. In a pure heirarchical structure, he would not be questioned on anything ever. That man is just nonstop aggravated about everything he says and does. It’s not a pure heirarchy, and it’s unstable.

The first book is told from the POV of a human. The second from a hybrid, who struggles being half and half, and the third from one of their master breeders (which is something that is neither male nor female because it holds all possible DNA potentials). They weren’t your typical aliens.

Finally, because the humans kept trying to kill them, they said to the humans, fine. We will send you to Mars, but we are warning you, that’s a pretty desolate planet. You will just die out quicker than even here. The humans didn’t care. They all hated these aliens so much.

I only dabble in sci-fi because I am curious about worlds that are totally different than this one. I don’t like extraordinarily complex world building because, it just takes to much mental effort to understand them. That’s why I like Octavia Butler, the worlds she builds are different, but never THAT different. So its an easy read.

Her focus is never technology but biology. All of her aliens have a biological advantage that leaves humans defenseless to them. In one book, they were Jedi mind tricking all the humans. In another they could shape shift to whatever.

I mean it’s a big universe, so I don’t know why the thought is always that other species are going to be more violent versions of humans. I believe that there is other life out there. I also believe that it’s probably entirely different.

Working with the Light!

Working with the Light!