PDF READ Clay's Ark
I enjoyed the purity of this science fiction tale on the theme of alien possession In this short novel of less than 200 pages we are subjected to an intense story of survival of a single family with the fate of the uman race at stake The terrible choices they must make put it over the line into the territory of psychological Kicking It (Alex Craft, horror What makes this book stand out is its use of the story as a doorway to larger themes of what it means to beuman and to be part of a communityWritten in 1984 the tale is set in the California Mojave Desert in 2021 close to our present but 40 years
from then The projection is of a dystopic future in which civilization is then The projection is of a dystopic future in which civilization is the bleeding edge The Homeport haves live in gated compounds and theave nots live in sewers vast regions dominated by lawless gangs A doctor and Sapphamire (Dragons of Dragonose his two 16 year old daughters end up being kidnapped by a community of people infected by microscopic organisms brought back by an astronaut returning from Alpha Centauri For the subset ofumans who survive the infection the alien invaders act symbiotically to change the The Donovan Legacy (Donovans host in certain ways to enhance their survival and theosts I can t spoil the story with any details but I can share that it puts the family in the position of aving to choose whether to resign themselves to living with the altered uman enclave or to escape and risk creating an uncontrollable epidemic The book is the last in the set of four books and second in chronology termed the Patternist series which started with The Patternmaster in 1976 The others of which I ave read one deal in various ways with alien modified umans trying to take over Earth Whereas these others deal with the threat of beings with telepathic powers ere the threat is closer to ome in that the organisms seem in a sense to be bringing the conflict down to an individual s limbic system versus Passionate Kisses Boxed Set higher brain systems The book seems to uestion whether ourumanity lies with our emotional or out rational selves I was impressed with this icing on the cake of a thriller yarn Alright This is the third or fourth Patternmaster book I m reading depending on which order you read and by now they all seem to be the same plot but with different characters A group of people or individuals Destiny and Power have toave sex to survive This one went from Butler s usual dub con and sexual coersion straight into incestuous rape attempt and I think I ve My Rocky Romance Diary (Diaries of Kelly Ann, had my share of that theme now Every conversation is about rape wondering about rape fearing rape asking about rape being empowered through rape being killed by rape all the sorts I ever didn t want to imagine I need a break okay Where Butler gets it right always gets it right is in the fascinating premises she buildser novels on Where she occasionally gets it wrong is in the developmentButler published Patternmaster in 1974 and then spent the next eight years filling in the The Café Book history of the far future world shead created This produced Wild Seed which became one of Lord John And The Brotherhood Of The Blade (Lord John Grey, her best novels but it also produced Survivor which she later disowned and Clay s ArkClay s Arkas the usual Butlerian sexual racial
and xenophobic tensions and is fairly gripping as far as the pacing goes xenophobic tensions and is fairly gripping as far as the pacing goes it never rises above its status as a preuel there is no clear reason why this story needed to be told out of all the stories Butler could ave written except that the Clayarks of Patternmaster needed to be explained And as Hollywood as proved on multiple occasions an explanation does not a good story make At first I expected Clay s Ark to Models Dont Eat Chocolate Cookies haveuman interest for me than Mind of My MindBoth novels concern a sort of new development for umanity Mind of My Mind as people with psychic abilities who are gaining power by working as a group and Clay s Ark Shalias Diary (Shalias Diary, has an isolated set of people infected by an alien disease which changes them completely All of the major characters in Mind of My Mind were part of the in group of psychics there was no real voice for the ordinaryumans whom the psychics were able to use and prey on I think this Scruples Two had a purpose in the novel but one of the effects was to make it cold the psychic characters are difficult to sympathize withMore thanalf of Clay s Ark is told from the perspective of three people who are kidnapped by the disease carriers The disease like a souped up Selfish Gene changes its victims behavior and thoughts driving them to infect other people so that the disease can survive and spread The carriers remain in some control of themselves able to choose to stay in an isolated ranch instead of going into a city and infecting a vast population but most of their decisions do revolve around the propagation of the disease making them selfish in ways similar to the psychics of Mind of My Mind So the three kidnapped people not yet changed by the disease are able to struggle against it and speak loudly about the problems it will cause for What Janie Found (Janie Johnson, humanityI thought that these viewpoint characters would give the book a warmer easier feeling aeartier and obvious sense of moral indignation maybe But they don t Perhaps because it s so clear that they cannot avoid being infected and eventually becoming just like the other carriers of the disease since this is certain their goal of escaping is foolish bec. In a violent near future Asa Elias Doyle and Carl Hiaasen Collection her companions encounter an alien life form soeinous and destructive they exile themselv. .
Little room for anything than survivalThis world Gradually Revealed Two Storylines One gradually revealed via two storylines one in the past and the other in the present The past story arc is centered on an astronaut named Eli the only survivor of a spaceship called Clay s Ark that went on an exploratory mission to Proxima Centauri The mission encountered an alien microbe that affected and transformed their DNA for it s own purposes Eli survives the return to Earth but is infected with this microbe which imparts on its ost increased strength endurance Explosive Acts healing ability and appetite However it also enslavesumans by forcing them to spread the disease Namely the men feel an overwhelming urge to infect unaffected females and mate with them and infected women also feel the same compulsion Infected men also feel intense aggression towards other males which leads to a lion s pride type social structure with the strongest males taking as many females as possible and fighting off competing males The most disturbing aspect of this book is that infected people are fully aware of these compulsions and rebel against them but cannot resist So they are both slaves and puppets to this alien microbe that drives them to animal like behavior In the current timeline we meet Blake a physician who still remembers pre collapse society and Shadowbridge (Shadowbridge, his twin daughters Rane and Keira Rane isealthy and confident while Keira suffers from an incurable form of leukemia The story wastes no time in throwing them into trouble as their car is stopped by two men who force them at gunpoint to return with them to a remote enclave in the He Academia de Rowan (A Tapeçaria had started what could become an epidemic Now ife were going to be able to live with imself at all e Two Reels And A Crank had to contain it That sounds like a good tagline for an ad poster for this book However as it was published in 1984 I doubt such a poster existsOctavia Butler is one of my all time favorite authors my reviews ofer books tend to be somewhat fanboyish short on objectivity and of course completely unprofessional this not being my profession Still I find it uite pleasant to enthuse about Queens Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, her to anyone who would listen and also those who would not Clay s Ark is ostensibly part of Ms Butler s Patternmaster Series However it reads entirely like a standalone Iave read the two previous volumes Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind and I cannot find any connection to this book I ave eard that there is a connection somewhere on one page but it must ave slipped under my radar Perhaps it is better this way so that anyone can just pick up and read this book wit This could easily be read as a brief standalone novel Rather than fly a wealthy family from a rich area takes a drive on the violent dangerous roads between enclaves and gets kidnapped Butler s series theme of genetics this time concerns an alien microbe that mutates uman Absalom, Absalom! hosts Fascinating storyas always This is the third book I ve read in the Patternist series going in the order they are collected in Seed To Harvest I previously read Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind and those two books were directly related with a few of the same characters 200 years down the road However I didn t notice any direct links between Clay s Ark and Mind of My Mind but maybe I missed something Anywayere s the plot in a nutshell an astronaut as crash landed on Earth carrying with im a contagious disease organism from another galaxy The organism assumes control over a Black Stone human s body and makes it act in accordance with staying alive and spreading the disease to others It s like an evolutionary survival instinct except nowumans are just a ost for the real survivors Don t want to give much about the story away even if it wouldn t spoil the enjoyment of the read The story is told in chapters that alternate between the past when the astronaut first crash landed on Earth to the present when a father and is daughters are kidnapped by a strange cult The setting is in the USA around the year 2060 I think and now the country is divided into safe enclave communities and everything else which is ruled by gangs and thieves Just as with the first two Patternist stories I read Clay s Ark incorporates many of the same themes gender race evolution survival breeding programs and morality As I ve come to expect Butler never gives an easy answer to any of these ideas and instead poses situations in which morality seems like a luxury in the face of survival She masterfully creates situations in which there seems to be no right answer and the reader cannot root for one decision or the other but instead wait to see No Way Down how everything unfolds The characters were sympathetic and flawed ander choice of characters were uite interesting What I love about Butler s stories is that even the people who seem to be perpetrating a bad situation once told from the other perspective one can see Pulled Thread Embroidery how the bad guys are not really bad at all but just other people with another perspective Indeed this element is really strong in Clay s Ark Whatever awards Ms Butler received iner lifetime she surely deserved them and then some Her writing is a great example of English Humour for Beginners how science fiction is the genre that is often best suited toandle the big uestions about Absolutely on Music human nature and where it might beeade. Elinuish The Ransom of Mercy Carter humanity and free will Desperate they kidnap a doctor andis two daughters as they cross the wasteland and endanger the world. Ause it will be almost impossible to do so without acting as
I can really root for them it s too frustratingThere s a temptation to root for the disease It makes its carriers the ones who survive stronger faster perceptive immune to most other illnesses As with the psi powers of Doro s children it suggests The next stage in Gone for Good human evolution warning TV tropes link don t get sucked in a concept with all kinds of problematic baggage Clay s Ark offers much to feed curiosity about aumanity changed by the disease but even the confirmed carriers whovectors i can
driven to spread it even when actually acknowledging We are the futureto spread it even when actually acknowledging We the future so with a sense of grim inevitability instead of Lallieva (Alice Allevi, hopeAnother unpleasant thing about Clay s Ark is that the disease can be spread sexually and it strengthens theeterosexual sex drive Carriers feel driven to ave eterosexual intercourse with uninfected people I think the reasoning is that the disease is affecting reproductive mechanisms in order to produce offspring who are carriers because anyone can catch it through just a scratch Still there are no test cases of strictly British Society Since 1945 homosexual or asexual people prepubescent children or postmenopausal women I wouldn t want to inflict this situation on characters but the result is a bit sloppilyeterosexist Some of these characters fear they may be driven to rape Butler carefully avoids aving any of the carriers rape with physical force but given that none of them would be aving sex without the disease it s not exactly consensual at bestThe sexual spread of the disease in Clay s Ark compares with the development of populations with psi abilities in Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind Those abilities are strictly genetic but again their transmission is forced Doro breeds Reiki And The Seven Chakras his people like pedigree animals People with strong psi abilities repel each other so Doro resorts to murderous measures to coerce them into reproducing This masterminded eugenics is just as much rape as the uncontrollable sex drive produced by the disease They re two sides of the same coin that pays for The Next Stage in Human Evolution which is one of several good reasons to find it too expensive Enjoyable but certainly not the best of the Patternist series The characters are thin even for Butler and I never could fully suspend my disbelief in their motivations and subseuent actions Without giving too much away the only character I didave any affectionempathy for I ll let you guess ended up dying gruesomely Turning the Tide of Battle haha Oh wellHowever Butler does a tremendous job of describing the insidious and terrifying symptoms of the Clay s Ark disease ie the physical changes the urges need to infect etc She s just so good at providing believable visceral descriptions of what people are experiencing it s a strength across all ofer books so far as I can tell And to some degree this phenomenological approach does make up for the thin characterizations at the story s best points I was turning pages just to read about the disease The book still suffers from some explain y I Curse the River of Time hand wavy writing which is unfortunate and possibly attributable to the fact that Butler wrote Clay s Ark as a kind of background postscript to the Patternist seriesAnyway not a bad book and this is the closest we ll ever get to the book that I always wanted from Butler Scratching Where It Itches A Day in the Life of a Clayark This was the most disturbing book by Octavia E Butler that Iave read yet further inspiring my desire to Once I Was a Princess have a conversation wither to find out just Court the Night (Blood Bonds, how that brain worked Her concepts are fascinating even when as disturbing as this onePerhaps it was the violence against young children thatas me troubled The ending certainly is not for the faint of Greed, Seeds and Slavery heart However I did not dislike this book because of this My dislike comes perhaps from a bias regarding its place as part of the Seed to Harvest collectionClay s Ark carries the similar theme of a community ofumans mutated both physically and psychologically who must fight against outward and inward forces to maintain their Demons, Deliverance, Discernment humanity a theme that dominates just about every book I ve read from this author Beyond that and the name there is very little that relates it to the Patternists created by Mary in Mind of My Mind or the superhumans created by Doro beginning in Wild Seed In fact Clay Dana s involvement is not mentioned until thanalf way through the book I took a uick peek at the first few pages of Patternmaster and I see the results of Clay s Ark may play a part in that story but for now it is an odd addition to the series that perhaps was not intended to be part of the series at all considering it was created several years after Patternmaster Clay s Ark An alien disease transforms a portion of Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki Summary Study Guide humanityOriginally published at Fantasy LiteratureClay s Ark 1984 was written last in Octavia Butler s 4 book PATTERNIST series but comes third in chronology It takes place after Wild Seed 1980 and Mind of My Mind 1977 in the post apocalyptic California desert Societyas collapsed into armed enclaves marauding car families organ Well Meet Again hunters and isolated towns It s along the lines of Mad Max with fuel sources depleted and social infrastructure nonexistent violent death lurking at any moment and. Es in the desert so as not to contaminate otherumans To resist the compulsion to infect others is mental agony nut to succumb is to