The Hands on the Keyboard are attached to a spine and some other gross stuff, and a few years ago they had a spinal tap. That thing where you get a huge needle in your back to draw out some spinal fluid so it can be checked for strange things. Yeah, the thing about that procedure is, you should keep very still and flat for a good while after, possibly without even a pillow under your head, to make sure you don’t, like, spring a leak or something. Else you get to go to hell. I mean, you get the spinal headache. Basically, if this happens, you cannot lift your head because of a pretty excruciating pressure headache because something is wrong with your spinal fluid and your brain is like shiiiit. At least that’s what it feels like. It requires a procedure to fix it, but of course, in order to be sure you really have The Headache, you have to suffer politely for a few days first, before you get to wail at the hospital about it. At least that’s what, uh, some people do.
Some people at least have the good sense to have painstakingly ordered a pile of Octavia Butler before going in for a week of delightful bed-bound dehydration. Reading the Xenogenesis trilogy is the only palatable memory of the time that passed between being forced to walk through several hospital buildings immediately after the spinal tap, and, six days later, sitting up and being offered a tooth brush by a truly angelic nurse. Yes, anyway. I loved Xenogenesis, or Lilith’s Brood, or whatever you’re supposed to call those books. (My paperback had the “Lilith’s Brood” title on a cover that really looked more like erotica than anything else.) I squealed so excitedly when finally her books showed up in kindle format, I immediately bought some of them, and…
Um. And then they stayed put, waiting, while I read other things. I am finally reading Parable of the sower, and here’s the teaser this post is supposed to contain (although this is a near un-teasable novel, it’s hard to find a good set of sentences that don’t give away too much) :
“Create no images of God. Accept the images that God has provided. They are everywhere, in everything. God is Change. Seed to tree, tree to forest. Rain to river, river to sea. Grubs to bees, bees to swarms. From one, many; from many, one. Forever uniting, growing, dissolving – forever changing. The universe is God’s self-portrait.”
Yes, this is definitely a theology-laden dystopia, but keep in mind, while Butler isn’t afraid of bible quotes, and her protagonist is a preacher’s daughter, she isn’t describing any traditional/conservative set of beliefs, or, you know, proselytizing. (To which I am sensitive, and would be annoyed at.)