Oryx and Crake

Every science fiction author tries his hand at the theme of catastrophe – The Day Afters, as they are known to the initiatiates. Atwood does it inimitably chillingly. Doff your hats folks, you are in the presence of greatness. Margaret Atwood has woven a cautionary tale of a world that could well be tomorrow morning’s headlines.

Snowman sleeps in a tree by night and wanders through a wasteland and his botched memory by day. He might be the only human left on our devastated planet watching over a new crop of genetically engineered “children” – humanoid creatures called the Children of Crake. Jimmy the Snowman’s recollections piece the story of how Crake wiped out mankind with a toxin concealed in a drug for sex-enhancement, and let loose a batch of genetically modified humanoids as inheritors of the earth.

Without some restraint, without some imposition of common sense it is all too likely that a devastating epidemic will be launched as part of a Spring Break biotech aphrodisiac or new wrinkle free facial. When genetics research is being privately funded by the mass sales of irresistibly appealing pharmaceuticals and therapeutic biotechnology, anything is possible.

Oryx and Crake demonstrates the power of individuals to impose their own values, standards, biases and whims upon the future of a whole race and planet. It reminds one of the first atomic bomb test, when they thought there was a 20% or more chance that the first bomb test would ignite and burn away the atmosphere. They figured it was worth the risk. That’s the kind of arrogance that self-determined greed can bare.

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4 Responses to “Oryx and Crake”

  1. Thrilled to have discovered another book blog. I will return for a longer visit, later – for now I just wanted to say “hello”.

  2. @Lotus: hey!! am ecstatic to find another bibliophile of Indian roots in the great white north, and that too with a preference for genres that are so close to my own heart!!! wherefore in ontario do you reside? am based in TO.

  3. Ooops, sorry didn’t see this comment – we’re in the GTA, but for convenience sake I just tell people (especially people living outside of Ontario) that I live in TO! 😉

  4. am in the heart of downtown @ spadina ave.

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