!!> Epub ➥ Wild Seed ➤ Author Octavia E. Butler – 1sm.info

Wild Seed A unique fantasy novel that centers around supernatural superhuman characters from Africa The story begins in the time of slavery, when slaves were captured and brought to America I found it to be a very unique and refreshing premise, compared to the common tropes of fantasy, be they paranormal or Tolkeinian.The two central characters and antagonists were interesting personalities One seems to represent the Earth Mother the power of healing and nature and animals The other seems to repres A unique fantasy novel that centers around supernatural superhuman characters from Africa The story begins in the time of slavery, when slaves were captured and brought to America I found it to be a very unique and refreshing premise, compared to the common tropes of fantasy, be they paranormal or Tolkeinian.The two central characters and antagonists were interesting personalities One seems to represent the Earth Mother the power of healing and nature and animals The other seems to represent Patriarchy and masculinity and control And although they both have great power in many ways, the male force is dominant and relatively unstoppable Doro, the male, can t be killed, and he can kill anyone at will by taking over his or her body, and then abandoing that body to move into a new one He essentially takes over their brain and then leaves it empty when he s done Anyanwu can heal almost any injury, sickness or disease in her own body and can transform it into an animal once she observes that animal closely She has near total control of her body and can even disguise herself to appear as any human shape she chooses She also does not age and like Doro may never die unless her body is physically destroyed Wild Seed is a story of power, of slavery, of social control and of gender issues It s also a story filled with powerful emotions, the pain of loss and the struggle to develop empathy It s also a story of compromises, and the choices that are made by those with less power in order to survive.The following spoiler relates to what does NOT happen in the book, not what DOES happen But if you are looking to avoid any tip off, then please avoid it In the hands of a lesser writter, view spoiler Anyanwu would have figured out a clever way to kill Doro She would have won by somehow defeating him with trickery or battle That s what you d read in a mainstream fantasy book or movie The issue is facedhonestly and with complexity here Patriarchy can t be defeated in battle or with trickery It s a social force that requires significant social upheaval over long periods of team We have not won this battle, as exemplified by the throw back to cro magnon times President we have in place today hide spoiler Wonderfully told with profound and meaningful themes invoked without facile answers This is great storytelling Would appeal to anyone looking for an unusual refreshing take on the fantasy genre with socially powerful meaning Butler s sci fi classic has so much to recommend it She is a very talented writer, and she creates a mythology and cosmology which are, if not unique, then arguably the best developed of their kind Wild Seed is beautiful and lyrical and powerful, but the rampant misandry and peculiar romanticization of pre colonial Africa mar it infect it like a virus There is neither subtlety nor nuance in Butler s representation of the two sexes No woman is ever a criminal or a monster or a villain Butler s sci fi classic has so much to recommend it She is a very talented writer, and she creates a mythology and cosmology which are, if not unique, then arguably the best developed of their kind Wild Seed is beautiful and lyrical and powerful, but the rampant misandry and peculiar romanticization of pre colonial Africa mar it infect it like a virus There is neither subtlety nor nuance in Butler s representation of the two sexes No woman is ever a criminal or a monster or a villain those roles are reserved exclusively for the men And the only men who show any virtuous traits are remarkable because they are explicitly exceptional aberrations who invariably die at the hands of other true men.Butler presents the male as mind, male as monster, male as thief, male as predator, male as manipulator, male as sociopath, male as destroyer, male as wanderer, male as slaver, male as arrogant false god, male as controller and dominator, male as compulsive, incurable rapist Butler presents the female as body, female as healer, female as savior, female as settler, female as nurturer, female as victim, female as mother, female as creatrix, female as liberator, female as rebel, female as builder, female as gardener, female as defiant and noble and inherently virtuous.The sense is often that the male is the rude, brute beast from which the morally, ethically spiritually superior female has evolved.And re her depictions of pre colonial AfricaWell, i think this novel would have benefited from consultation of the works of Frank M Snowden cross referenced with that of Lloyd A Thompson It s moving in a Pan Africanist sense, but it lacks reality.Again, there is so much of worth here, and it deserves its status as a classic, but its flaws are so glaring, so appalling, that they can eclipse everything that is good about it I was able to seeof its worth with this re reading, able to filter out the hypocritical misandry and suspend my disbelief for the African history portions, and maybe next time I ll be able to filter out a bitFor now I regrettably leave it as a 3 star book Doro Is An Entity Who Changes Bodies Like Clothes, Killing His Hosts By Reflex Or Design He Fears No One Until He Meets Anyanwu Anyanwu Is A Shapeshifter Who Can Absorb Bullets And Heal With A Kissand Savage Anyone Who Threatens Those She Loves She Fears No One Until She Meets Doro From African Jungles To The New World, Doro And Anyanwu Weave Together A Pattern Of Destiny That Not Even Immortals Can ImagineDoro Un Uomo Nato Anni Fa Nell Antica Nubia, Grazie Ad Un Misterioso Processo Diventato Un Essere Capace Di Trasferire Il Suo Spirito Da Un Essere Umano Ad Un Altro Diventando Praticamente Immortale Nel Seicento Doro Ossessionato Dal Progetto Di Creare Una Razza Di Esseri Immortali Tramite Accoppiamenti Selettivi In Una Foresta Africana Incontra Anyanwu, Un Altra Immortale Con In Pi Il Potere Di Trasformarsi In Altre Creature E Guarire Le Sue Ferite, E Cercher Di Usarla Per Il Suo Programma blog goodreads Most of us don t believe in gods and spirits and devils who must be pleased or feared We have Doro, and he s enough What can I say about Wild Seed that could come anywhere close to doing it justice This is the story of how Doro met Anyanwu, the only living soul on Earth who could possibly match his will test his patience, endure his passive cruelty, and time and again defy him in ways even she could not possibly understand.And forever is a long time to endure one another w blog goodreads Most of us don t believe in gods and spirits and devils who must be pleased or feared We have Doro, and he s enough What can I say about Wild Seed that could come anywhere close to doing it justice This is the story of how Doro met Anyanwu, the only living soul on Earth who could possibly match his will test his patience, endure his passive cruelty, and time and again defy him in ways even she could not possibly understand.And forever is a long time to endure one another when you are two of the only immortal beings on the planet Theirs is a love story that goes beyond physical desire Anyanwu needs Doro as much as he needs her, whether either are willing to accept it or not Doro looked up He held Isaac s gaze, not questioningly or challengingly, not with any reassurance or compassion He only looked back Isaac had seen cats stare at people that way Cats That was apt More andoften, nothing human looked out of Doro s eyes Doro is both our antihero and villain An ogbanje evil spirit as Anyanwu would call him, he is not malicious through any evil intent of his own He simply is Much like fire must burn and virus must spread, Doro s nature is simply a part of him he cannot destroy view spoiler image from DeviantArt hide spoiler Having lived long before the Son of God even walked the earth, Doro has developed his own moral compass or lack thereof He has very utilitarian motives, is constrained by no societal boundaries, and therefore much of the contents of this book would strike the reader as outrageous, disgusting, and their abhorrence inevitably directed towards our antihero.But I could not bring myself to hate him This is what it should be like to be immortal and see your loved ones die one after the other To bury your lovers, children, grandchildren you don t live for thousands of years without these kinds of things changing you.Doro could have been intentionally malevolent and put his power to actively harm people Instead, all he seeks for is a way to simply endure And in this aspect, I sympathized for him view spoiler image from DeviantArt hide spoiler But this is what Anyanwu has a hard time accepting and I do not blame her one bit How can a healer, a mother, a being that respects all forms of life such as her, submit to the heartless demands of a sociopath Doro looked at people, healthy or ill, and wondered what kind of young they could produce Anyanwu looked at the sick especially those with problems she had not seen before and wondered whether she could defeat their disease And when people say opposites attract, this is what they re talking about Anyanwu and Doro are two very opposing beings who complement each other perfectly Their love for each other is so complex it s beautiful They hate each other for completely different reason, they need each other for equally different reasons, and they are inevitably, constantly drawn back towards one another.For Doro, Anyanwu is the only one who could last long enough to keep him rooted to his long forgotten humanity and for Anyanwu, Doro is the only one who can understand her with an intimacy no mortal man ever could.But please, if you are daunted by romance novels such as I am , do not be hesitant about Wild Seed Despite my gushing on and on and on about Anyanwu and Doro s beautiful love, this was not a romance book Well, it is, at the core But in no way, shape, or form does it torment you with romance It is only there subtly, being hinted at in our two main characters interaction and behaviour towards each other Power came the way a child came with agony Wild Seed is a complex, multi layered prequel to the Patternmaster series It is a fantasy novel, rich in themes of slavery, colonialism, and subtle commentary on human morality It is a long, deep look into multiple aspects of humanity, and as such readers looking for action and adventure are better off turning to a different book.But for those of you undaunted by exposition, and those of you who enjoy complex and subtle romances for me this book was heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time and I cannot recommend it enoughreviews are also available at my blog School book this semester was not a fan It gave me the creeps School book this semester was not a fan It gave me the creeps A great book, I can t believe that I just discovered Octavia Butler this year She has been one the gems that I have encountered while reading through the NPR list of classic science fiction and fantasy This novel could easily be a stand alone novel, but I was intrigued when I realized it was the first in a series I will be very interested to see where Butler takes the story from here.Although this is another book about extraordinarily long life, Butler examines it from a very different view po A great book, I can t believe that I just discovered Octavia Butler this year She has been one the gems that I have encountered while reading through the NPR list of classic science fiction and fantasy This novel could easily be a stand alone novel, but I was intrigued when I realized it was the first in a series I will be very interested to see where Butler takes the story from here.Although this is another book about extraordinarily long life, Butler examines it from a very different view point Two very long lived beings encounter one another and despite a relationship that is uneven in power, their lives remain entwined There is as interesting exploration of the nature of slavery and the uneven power situation examined muchdirectly in Butler s novel, Kindred But what really spoke to me was the contrasting way that Doro and Anyanwu deal with people around them.Now, I have found over the years that I enjoy my relatives immensely I like spending time with them, talking to them regularly, and planning events to share with them Anyanwu was my kind of immortal She collected family around herself, surrounding herself with children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc., building a community of relatives all around her and enjoying their company Completely different from Doro, who was also surrounded by descendants, but looked at themas a farmer would regard his livestock breeding them in an attempt to create people with special abilities including extra long life One doing it out of love, the other out of utility I m only guessing, but I think that Anne Rice must have read this book it reminds me strongly of her book The Witching Hour, where the family of Mayfair women are haunted by a malevolent spirit which nudges them towards the sexual liaisons that would be required to produce the qualities it required in their children in every bit as calculating a way as Doro manipulates his progeny This is the 151st book that I have read from the NPR list 4.5 5As Woolf once said Middlemarch is one of the few English books written for grown ups, so too is this one of the few pieces of science fiction written for the real world, not marketing and academia Of course, so chock full is this work with critical engagement and unflinching history that the cries of polemic and bias would not be an unlikely reaction If that doesn t work, prosaic could always be used as a strong condemnation via completely arbitrary standards of institutionalized re 4.5 5As Woolf once said Middlemarch is one of the few English books written for grown ups, so too is this one of the few pieces of science fiction written for the real world, not marketing and academia Of course, so chock full is this work with critical engagement and unflinching history that the cries of polemic and bias would not be an unlikely reaction If that doesn t work, prosaic could always be used as a strong condemnation via completely arbitrary standards of institutionalized repute The work has too high of a rating for those sorts of epithets to have much of an effect, but not all creations inherently concerned with the same material in many of the same ways prove as undeniably excellent in their respective domains.Black History Month as defined by the US Government has its last day tomorrow, and I wonder how much immortality would be required to value the conversation of the survival over the death of it s over, it s done, have a cookie to stave off the resolution cause it s never going to come The last of this is all white people creation, for after centuries of winning in the absolute worst ways known to humanity and then some, we can t imagine going out in any way other than that which we put upon others A simpler explanation is that we love our money too much and would rather be run out on a rail than give it to those as reparation for a country s history of eugenicist leeching, but hey Life s a mess and the reasons for a collective people s amnesia and hoarding of personal trauma at the expense of anyone who doesn t correctly foot the physiognomic bill must involvethan fear of violence and indoctrination via capitalism.In this particular world of Butler s, the name of the game is power and itssubtle kin empathy Along with the much increased measure of supernatural inclusion that I am suspect to gorging on, I liked this better than Kindred because of the vaster space Butler worked on for her creations If there s one plus to my current philosophy class beyond my getting a measure of many an auspicious overheard name and finding the majority of them lacking, it s seeing where the body hatred came in, the disregard for existence other than the self, the splintering of mind and soul and truth that results in a class named Philosophy and should really be Greek and English and Scottish and German Philosophy of Various Hopscotch Periods in Somewhat that Particular Order This is an ideological movement of centuries whose myriad challengers are still fringed around the main, so if you want to write a work that destabilizes a thought process that so smugly thinks of itself as the center , you need eons of time and continents of space.Butler is not Anyanwu, but when it comes to the evil wrought by white supremacy in its breeding lines and uselessness makes waste, it s not hard to see that the main factor missing is humanity Butler is also not Doro, but the prototype of the white serial killer bred on a millenia of alienation and instinctive thrill kill is not hard to construct with the aid of the canon of literature and film and creed Anyone accusing this work of misandry, please Accuse each and every vaulted work of misogyny, white supremacism, classism, heteronormativity, etc, etc, ad nauseam when appropriate, and you will actually work towards saving lives and spirits Misandry Try reverse racism while you re at it If someone goes on a genocidal rampage against white men on a hegemonic scale and inculcates long lasting civilizations with the trend, I may start to take you seriously.Will I scare away readers by saying that this work is ultimately a romance If I do, they were not the right audience for this work anyway Wild Seed Two African immortals battle for supremacy in early AmericaOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureWild Seed 1980 was written last in Octavia Butler s 5 book PATTERNIST series, but comes first in chronology The next books by internal chronology are Mind of My Mind 1977 , Clay s Ark 1984 , and Patternmaster 1976 Butler was later unsatisfied with Survivor 1978 and elected to not have it reprinted, so I will focus on the main 4 volumes Wild Seed is an origin story set well befo Wild Seed Two African immortals battle for supremacy in early AmericaOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureWild Seed 1980 was written last in Octavia Butler s 5 book PATTERNIST series, but comes first in chronology The next books by internal chronology are Mind of My Mind 1977 , Clay s Ark 1984 , and Patternmaster 1976 Butler was later unsatisfied with Survivor 1978 and elected to not have it reprinted, so I will focus on the main 4 volumes Wild Seed is an origin story set well before later books and can stand on its own It s one of those books whose basic plot could be described in just a few paragraphs, but the themes it explores are deep, challenging, and thought provoking I ve read a lot of academic discussion of the book, but my approach is always on whether the book is engaging as a SFF story.It s the story of Doro, a being who inhabits and discards human bodies at will, who first arose in the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt Initially he was a just the sickly youngest child of 12 siblings, but when he was dying he accidentally took over his mother and father s bodies to survive After that he spent millennia continually switching bodies and creating seed colonies in West Africa where to attempts to breed people with psychic abilities, creatingandpowerful beings However, if they ever become a threat to him, he destroys them without hesitation For reasons unknown even to himself, he takes the greatest pleasure in taking the bodies of such psychic beings.One day Doro detects the presence of Anyanwu, a powerful black female shape shifter and healer She can heal her own body and change into the shape of any animal or person, and has lived for over 300 years Doro knows her genetic abilities could be tremendous if he breeds her with the right partners Because Doro thinks of humans as merely livestock intended to further his psychic breeding projects She is a proud creature, but she recognizes that his power is even greater andlethal, so eventually she agrees to be taken to the New World on a slaver ship, taking the Middle Passage that so many slaves from Africa travelled But because Doro rules the crew, who are mostly his people , including his white son Isaac, they don t make the trip in chains During the trip Anyanwu, who knows no English or Western customs, is slowly taught the ways of the New World.Upon reaching the New World, Doro mates with Anyanwu but then decides that she should marry his son Isaac, as he thinks this union will produce the most promising offspring Initially she is unhappy with this situation, but as she learns that Isaac is a decent man and nothing like his ruthless immortal father, she settles into this new life in the town of Wheatley It turns out that Doro has numerous seed communities, and they revere and fear him as a god like being who can take their lives at his whim But he also provides them protection from Indian attacks and sometimes from White racism Sometimes he takes white bodies, other times black bodies, but his freedom of movement is better with the former So he comes and goes, checking on each place, mating with the most promising women, and then moving on.The relationship of Doro and Anyanwu is an uneasy one he knows that she does not love him and resents his ruthless killing and domination of his people Yet he recognizes her value as a breeder She is also a strong willed woman who does not easily submit to him, a situation unthinkable for an all powerful being like himself One day fateful events involving Isaac and their daughter Nweke drive her to turn into an animal and run away, since Doro cannot track her in that form.A hundred years later, Doro discovers Anyanwu in a Southern plantation colony, where she has been conducting her own version of a seed village, one lacking the fear of death and oppression of Doro When he tries to force himself into this community, Anyanwu threatens to kill herself, the only viable threat for Doro He agrees to back off and be less contemptuous of his seed people, but it is an ambiguous victory There are so many themes and dichotomies to explore here master vs slave, man vs woman, white vs black, killer vs healer, Africa vs New World, African tribal networks vs modern Western communities, Colonialism vs Autonomy, Coercion vs Cooperation, etc The genius about Butler s books is that they dive into these complicated themes without resorting to convenient moralizing or stereotypes The book is almost exclusively focused on the relationship of Doro and Anyanwu, but it is a constantly shifting one Certainly Doro is a capricious killer and parasite, treating his people like livestock that exist for his convenience only But once he encounters the strong female presence of Anyanwu, whose powers manifest as a healer and protector of families and communities, he has to reassess his millennia of cruel behavior And despite Anyanwu finding herself in the slave position initially, she does everything in her power to resist in a peaceful and reasoning way Their relationship is all about the struggle for control Whether this plays itself out in gender, skin color, master vs slave, Old vs New World, we are constantly confronted with this dualism And while Doro could be easily categorized as the dominant male, slaver and killer, he also has a paternalistic attitude towards his peoples He also has a conflicted connection with race, taking over both black and white bodies, and understanding the New World ways of America but having millennia of experience in Africa and the Old World Meanwhile, Anyanwu is in many ways like Dana, the protagonist of Butler s Kindred, a strong woman forced into submission by a cruel and paternalistic master, but still retaining her resilience and strength, fighting to protect her family and children from harm It is part of the centuries long struggle that black women have fought against slavery and domination This is a book that demands repeat readings, analysis, and reflection, but also remains a compulsive reading experience, a tight story focused on the complicated entwined fates of these immortal African beings.I listened to the audiobook narrated by Dion Graham, a gifted voice actor who has appeared in a number of films and dramas including The Wire He is given a very difficult assignment here, which he pulls off magnificently He needs to give a strong African identity to his two lead characters, Doro and Anyanwu, and also convey their immortal perspective But once they reach America, they encounter various settlers and communities, and Doro himself is constantly switching bodies, so I was very impressed that Dion also switched accents accordingly Dear Goodreads friends,If you like to read science fiction fantasy you should get to know Octavia Butler.Love,LynButler s 1980 novel Wild Seed is the first chronological book in her Patternmaster series This details the beginnings of the sub race of humans that will, in Patternmaster, be set in the far future Butler begins her narrative in 1390, in West Africa, where her protagonist Anyanwu meets a strange young man named Doro.So begins a centuries old relationship, often rocky, between two Dear Goodreads friends,If you like to read science fiction fantasy you should get to know Octavia Butler.Love,LynButler s 1980 novel Wild Seed is the first chronological book in her Patternmaster series This details the beginnings of the sub race of humans that will, in Patternmaster, be set in the far future Butler begins her narrative in 1390, in West Africa, where her protagonist Anyanwu meets a strange young man named Doro.So begins a centuries old relationship, often rocky, between two immortals Anyanwu is a healer and a shape shifter and seems to remain at about 20 years of age though she can take the shape and apparently the DNA makeup of other people and even animals Doro, on the other hand, turns out to be much older and is a kind of spiritual vampire, taking the bodies of his victims and wearing them for a while.The central conflict of the story is the dynamic opposition between Anyanwu and Doro in regard to Doro s millennia project of breeding a super race Doro, who isspirit than man, has been gathering people with unusual talents and getting them together so that their talents may be madeusable andapparent in the offspring Anyanwu vehemently opposes his methods and his dehumanization of the subjects.As interesting as this story is, and it is quintessential Butler, the magnetic tension between Doro and Anyanwu is the gripping central focus of the book And like Milton s Satan, Butler s Doro is a fascinatingly complex and intriguing antagonist who displays both god like power and transcendent ennui Anyanwu s humanism, and her female relational practicality and leadership offer a vital juxtaposition to Doro s attentive but disassociated deity.On the checklist for SF F books that should be read and a must read for Butler fans I really don t know where to start with this review Wild Seed is unlike anything I have ever read before but yet it was still very accessible and easy to read I would say this book is a combination of urban fantasy, horror, historical fiction and fantasy Butler addresses slavery, gender roles, racial issues, sexuality, and class issues so subtlety you can miss the commentary if you want to and she does this all through the lens of a fantasy world involving supernatural beings that are seeming I really don t know where to start with this review Wild Seed is unlike anything I have ever read before but yet it was still very accessible and easy to read I would say this book is a combination of urban fantasy, horror, historical fiction and fantasy Butler addresses slavery, gender roles, racial issues, sexuality, and class issues so subtlety you can miss the commentary if you want to and she does this all through the lens of a fantasy world involving supernatural beings that are seemingly immortal and have various abilities from shape shifting, body snatching, mind reading, and telekinesis Personally, I don t want to miss the commentary and I enjoy the unique view I tend to like my urban fantasy and fantasy stories with a slice of heaviness on the side and Octavia Butler seems to be able to deliver that every time This is the third book by Octavia Butler that I have read I have come to expect that in reading her books I will have an escape from reality and a complete immersion into the characters that she writes She writes characters that seem to breathe and live somewhere off the pages of her books, they are real and three dimensional But such tangible characters come with a price, there is pain and anguish in her books and as a reader, I felt these emotions Wild Seed was no exception The characters witness some painful and sad events This is not urban fantasy lite.Wild Seed is a sweeping historical story that begins in Africa with ancient powerful beings These beings get caught up in the slave trade and arrive in the now United States These characters seem to have limitless power One being prefers to use her power morally and compassionately Another being, no longer sees himself as human and is not governed by any morality And of course they clash, both romantically and otherwise The book is surprisingly sexual in parts and raises some really interesting questions A shapeshifter that can take on any shape animal and human and gender how do you feel about it taking on the opposite gender and engaging in sexual relationships What about while it is in animal form The sex scenes are not explicit but they are referenced Octavia Butler is not shy about putting her toe across the border of most people s comfort zones I plan to continue on with the series and am excited that Butler s books are being published in e book and audio book format To readreviews like this check out www.badassbookreviews.com


About the Author: Octavia E. Butler

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.


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