mark monday mark's Comments (member since May 20, 2011)


mark's comments from the Science Fiction Aficionados group.

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Sep 02, 2014 06:13PM

48322 hello and welcome to the discussion of the second book in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy: Adulthood Rites! the novel was nominated for the Locus Science Fiction Award.

I thought the first book in the trilogy was really compelling and intriguing, so I'm excited to read the second installment. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks about it.
Aug 26, 2014 12:05AM

48322 well here you go again.

here is my original comment:

my perspective is coming from the feeling that Butler views the Oankali plans for humanity from a completely sympathetic perspective - she's biased towards them, not towards humanity

here is how you are characterizing my comment:

Kind of like the "there are cannibals somewhere in Africa therefore we're actually being helpful when we abuse Africans" reasoning.

this is a forum for discussion. we don't have to agree. we can make points and counterpoints. differences of opinion are the spice of life!

what is not tolerated here is the demeaning of other people's comments that you don't agree with. do not demean my comments by characterizing them as black or white. do not demean my comments by coming up with some ludicrous and offensive analogy about abusing Africans. you can feel free to demean my perspective in the comfort of your own head and your own home. or in your own book review. but that kind of bullshit is not welcome in this group. get this through your head, Outis.

this is your first and last warning. I will not hesitate to delete the membership of any member who is unwilling to abide by basic rules of respectful engagement. I have done it before and I have no problem with doing it again.
Moderator Thread (263 new)
Aug 25, 2014 03:19PM

48322 I just saw it! wow, what should I do? should I just choose myself?
Aug 25, 2014 01:02PM

48322 Rion wrote: "In that aspect it is clear that the Oankali feel justified and morally superior, perhaps in much the same way Humans look down on Chimpanzees...."

I agree with all of your post's points, except perhaps for the chimp part! I see the Oankali as looking at the humans as an undeveloped and problematic species, but still one that they hold in very high regard. certainly high enough to mate with them. er, I mean mate with 'us'.
Aug 25, 2014 12:56PM

48322 Outis wrote: "The "idea that governments need to be able to protect their people against outside threats" isn't especially conservative...."

I disagree. I think that has been a hallmark of conservative ideology (of which I am making no judgments), in both the U.S. and Europe.
Aug 25, 2014 12:52PM

48322 Outis wrote: "It seems some of you want to see this story in black and white terms...."

it seems as if you need to work on your discussion skills. speak for yourself and your own opinions; respond to mine if you see fit. but don't take my comments and dismiss them as wanting to see the story in black and white terms. that is not the case for me and I do not appreciate you saying so.
Aug 24, 2014 06:59PM

48322 I just finished this one and found it to be thoroughly intriguing. Butler is such a thoughtful author, but not in a wispy, meditative, melancholy way. sort of the opposite. there is something very cold about her writing and her outlook, a real lack of sentiment. I liked that about her. That coldness and lack of sentimentality was something I admired, but it also took me aback. the verdict on human nature's genetic problems was an unpleasant surprise. I couldn't help but both agree with and yet also resist the idea that humanity is genetically predisposed to hierarchical structures, and that will be humanity's doom. I see the truth in that but I also struggle with the pessimistic conclusion.

something Rion mentions above really resonates with me:

I'm not sure if I completely agree with this conclusion. I'm still want to be an idealist of course and hope that among the people they saved, there are a few humans that are not so quick to violence like Lilith

other thoughts:

- I think as also noted above in another post, I grew really frustrated with the survivors' lack of acknowledgement that their own race was the cause of their troubles. that the small few of them left did not realize on some level that they actually owed their future to the Oankali, and that that was a huge debt.

- the alien traits were fascinating. and repulsive. but mainly fascinating. truly alien rather than human-in-alien guise.

- unlike other folks, I did not get a conservative vibe at all from the novel. I didn't necessarily get a liberal vibe either. but for me, a conservative outlook would have demonized the Oankali and portrayed them as a threat, and would have been much more supportive of the human tendency toward maverick behavior, humanity's ability to survive on its own. I thought the book was quite critical of that outlook. it portrayed many (most?) of its humans as idiots who could not be trusted to come to the 'correct' conclusion about their surroundings or to view the Oankali without suspicion or disgust or an urge to violence. but then my perspective is coming from the feeling that Butler views the Oankali plans for humanity from a completely sympathetic perspective - she's biased towards them, not towards humanity. and then there's the whole 'world destroyed by power-hungry governments messing around with nuclear weapons', which is a classic critique of war-mongering governments that goes against the conservative idea that governments need to be able to protect their people against outside threats. I see Butler criticizing that whole mentality.
Moderator Thread (263 new)
Aug 24, 2014 06:41PM

48322 I don't mind doing all of the Butler trilogy, unless someone else wants to. I just finished the first book and really enjoyed it.
Aug 21, 2014 02:14PM

48322 Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
Dune - Frank Herbert
Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Hyperion - Dan Simmons
Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey
Spin - Robert Charles Wilson
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller Jr.
The Rediscovery of Man - Cordwainer Smith
A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
Frysepunket (English title: Freezing Down) - Anders Bodelsen
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi
Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
Downbelow Station - C.J. Cherryh
Stardance - Spider and Jeanne Robinson
The Mote in Gods Eye - Niven/Pournelle
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Old Man's War - John Scalzi
The Warrior's Apprentice - Lois McMaster Bujold
Gateway - Frederik Pohl
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
Consider Phlebas - Iain Banks
Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan
The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe
Adiamante - L.E. Modesitt Jr.
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
Dawn - Octavia E. Butler
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Damnation Alley - Roger Zelazny
The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson
Methuselah's Children - Robert A. Heinlein
Way Station - Clifford D. Simak
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Pandora's Star - Peter F. Hamilton
Battlefield Earth - L. Ron Hubbard
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
Startide Rising - David Brin
To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Phillip Jose Farmer
Ringworld - Larry Niven
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Paradox Men - Charles L. Harness
Voyage of the Space Beagle - A.E. van Vogt
Native Tongue - Suzette Haden Elgin
Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
Diaspora - Greg Egan
Cities in Flight - James Blish
Schismatrix - Bruce Sterling
The City and The Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
Glimpses - Lewis Shiner
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Judas Unchained - Peter F. Hamilton
The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov
Dying Inside- Robert Silverberg
The Demolished Man - Bester
The Engines of God - McDevitt
War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
Nineteen Eighty-Four(1984) - George Orwell
The Gone-Away World - Nick Harkaway
The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
When Gravity Fails- George Alec Effinger
The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard
Aug 21, 2014 02:14PM

48322 it is the same list! new folks just add a title to it. I'll add yours.
Aug 20, 2014 08:35PM

48322 yeah, Vernor Vinge and those two novels are awesome.
Hard scifi (21 new)
Aug 09, 2014 01:55PM

48322 Rabindranauth wrote: "Have you guys checked out Peter Watts yet? Blindsight is an award winner..."

I thought it was an excellent book. lots to contemplate during and after the reading.
Sci Fi TV (158 new)
Aug 06, 2014 12:14PM

48322 excellent news! ugh, Dave Howe. now I have a name I can attach to all of the dislike I've built up over that channel's various changes.
Aug 05, 2014 01:28PM

48322 hello everyone and welcome to the second book in our 'series read' of Women Authors.

Dawn is the first book in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy (alternately known a the Lilith's Brood trilogy). it was nominated for the Locus Science Fiction Award in 1987.

this will be my second book by Butler. I was quite enthusiastic about the first book I've read by the author, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

and very sorry for the delay in getting this thread up! thank you Maggie for your reminder. what would I do without you?
Jul 30, 2014 02:51PM

48322 If I want to read something with a primary and perhaps exculsive focus on characterization and dialog, wouldn't I be better off reading literary works?

this is a comment that, up until recently, I would have automatically agreed with - at least based on my personal experience with science fiction. even now, if I'm looking specifically for characterization, my go-to would not necessarily be science fiction.

whether it is the often thoughtful, sometimes challenging, sometimes dated, and nicely slim books of classic authors like Bester... or the microscopic world-building, intricate plotting, and unfortunately often bloated books of modern authors like Hamilton... I rarely look for depth of characterization or dialogue that feels real or resonant. I look for other sorts of things. mainly thought-provoking ideas. or a fun plot. or, at least with the classic authors, a stylish prose style.

however, through this group I met the Vorkosigan Saga and realized that a serial can have amazingly rich characterization if the author has talents in that area. there are other examples as well (Octavia Butler springs to mind, as well as Valente's excellent short story Silently and Very Fast), but until I recently I have seen them as exceptions to the rule. Bujold has really changed my perspective on what science fiction can be. I wish there were more authors like her out there - she's the whole package.
Jul 18, 2014 03:56PM

48322 how about the various series of Peter F. Hamilton? I've loved what I've read.
Sci Fi TV (158 new)
Jul 14, 2014 02:15AM

48322 I liked the first episode.
Jul 10, 2014 11:00AM

48322 same here. it is one of the reasons I like fiction from outside of the modern era, in all genres. less bloat.
Hard scifi (21 new)
Jul 08, 2014 05:49PM

48322 Bob wrote: "Perhaps I've been out of the loop for a while but, would Clifford Simak be considered a "Hard Science Fiction" author ? perhaps "Eon" by Greg Bear ? or "Blood Music" ?"

I would say no to Simak and a yes to Bear.

I'm not sure I would consider the Hyperion books hard science fiction. but I love them.

I haven't seen Bob's definition of hard scifi before, but I like it.
Sci Fi TV (158 new)
Jun 30, 2014 11:55PM

48322 just watched the 2nd episode of Dominion. not amazing. cliché dialogue and a one-note villain. actually, two one-note villains. ah well, why am I even surprised. I do like those angel battles though, may continue watching just for the possibility of see more.


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