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GeekNights Book Club - Book Club: Oryx and Crake

Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we review and discuss (with spoilers, obviously), Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. We enjoyed it thoroughly, and had a lot to say. Gene-fueled science fiction dystopia, too-real commercialization of life itself, and a short read to boot, we had no choice but to make this - the first of the MaddAddam Trilogy) our GeekNights Book Club choice.

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  • edited August 2016
    I did one Google search and found that there seems to be more than one Magic card that gives you another turn.
    Post edited by MATATAT on
  • Rym's Rule of Game Design #445: never put a thing in your two-player game that skips the other player's turn.
  • edited August 2016
    Post edited by Luke Burrage on
  • I finally finished reading the previous book club book, Oryx and Crake, last night, and listened to this episode this morning. Couple of thoughts.

    Crake's Motivation - You guys alluded in the episode a couple of times that there were easier ways Crake could have fixed the f'd up state of the world, like taking over the evil megacorp and making it not evil, or lending his talents to resistance type movement. But I think those possibilities overlook an important aspect of Crake's motivation. He doesn't just think society is f'd up. He thinks humanity itself is f'd up. Human beings are flawed, sub-optimal, inelegant things, and he wants to wipe them out and replace them with something more perfect; his primary goal is not to repair human society, but to replace it.

    Crake's Endgame for Oryx - I believe that Crake's sounding "drunk" was not because his resolve wavered, but because he was physically injured by Oryx, who attempted to resist, and because of coming off of the adrenaline rush of the confrontation, which was more violent and dramatic than he expected; I think Crake had planned to incapacitate Oryx before she had a chance to figure out what was going on. Oryx was mentally a half-step ahead of where Crake thought she was. Still too late to change the flow of events, but not too late to put up a good fight when Crake showed up to collect her. This is also serves as a glimse at one of Crakes weaknesses -- he "lives in the world of ideas". Because of this he misses subtle but critical insights about the abilities and motivations of those around him, and glosses over the one huge caveat that should undermine his whole worldview -- the proliferation of "unintended consequences" to every action.

    Crake's Endgame for Crake - I'm definitely a believer in the Crake's suicide-by-Jimmy interpretation, and I think Jimmy even figures out why; mostly Crake is afraid that he'll be captured and coerced into giving up the (or creating a new) antidote. But also, Crake's plan is to wipe out humanity and leave something better in its place, and he doesn't hold himself as an exception to this plan.

    Crake's Endgame for Jimmy - Likewise, I believe Crake assumes that Jimmy will only last long enough to get the Crakers out into the open world. He believes that Jimmy won't have the fortitude to continue living once he has nothing but time and the memories of what he'd been through. Crake is counting on Jimmy dying through accident or suicide before Jimmy has much of a chance to pollute the Crakers' destiny with the taint of the human touch. He even salts one of Jimmy's biggest wounds by echoing the dying words of Jimmy's mother at the critical moment. But Crake has slightly misjudged Jimmy just as he had slightly misjudged Oryx. Ironically, Jimmy lacks the fortitude to end his own life, and lingers on to witness and even facilitate the first cracks in the idealistic veneer of Crake's plan for the Crakers.
  • Interesting. Your interpretation of Crakes plan for Jimmy was much different than mine.

    Ps I finished the book yesterday. Didn't start reading until way after the episode and then put the book down for a couple weeks before picking up again.
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