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Pollinators Of Eden; sex with aliens
Topic Started: Jan 20 2007, 08:14 PM (2,712 Views)
starexplorer
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hautdesert
Alien Menace
Posts: 1501
(7/17/02 8:31 am)

Pollinators of Eden

So there was a thread, probably a year ago, over on rasfw about sex with aliens. And someone mentioned that if you wanted an odd read in that area, try Pollinators of Eden. Just a week later, I'm at a large local used book sale, and what do I see but a copy of Pollinators of Eden perched atop a stack, just waiting for me to take it home and find out just how odd it was. I handed over my fifty cents and took it home--how could I lose? It sat on my "to read" shelf and I passed it over several times in favor of other things, but the other night I decided to give it a go.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was written in 1969, but set in 2237. Apparently, in 2237 computers are hooked up to typewriters, and if you want to see information stored in a computer, it prints out a sheet of paper with the information you want. Also, the people of 2237 seem to have exactly the same morals, customs, and social institutions that existed in 1969, and aside from they typewriter-computers, technology seems to be more or less the same as 1969. With the exception, of course, of interstellar travel, and in 2237 it is apparently commonplace to take seeds and plants found on other planets and plant them on Earth, you know, just to see what they'l do.

I could type for quite some time about the rather odd attitudes towards women and female sexuality, but I'l spare you that rant. I'l just point out that another book by this author was about a conspiracy by women, who have managed to make men unnecessary to the breeding process, to go one step farther and make them extinct. (No, I haven' read it. I got that info off a website. I was wondering what other people had to say about this book, and I didn't find a whole lot.) I will also point out the rather odd observation by one character that she couldn' be made pregnant by a certain person, because she was a father-image to him. I'l have to try that, next time I' contemplating birth-control methods.

It' not actually a bad read, it' decently written and witty in places, although sometimes that' a bit forced--the author had something witty in mind and just had to put it in the mouth of one of his characters, whether it fit or not. But there are also a number of "uh?" moments, like the aforementioned contraception thing, and some number of others. At any rate, it' mostly a pretty typical piece of late sixties SF, except for, you know, the weird stuff. Which mostly comes near the end. But which we know is coming, because at the beginning of the book we're told:

Quote:
 
Paul had not inspected the blossom with the eyes of an empirical scientist; he had ogled it with the longing of a lovesick adolescent.


Nothing hardcore, or even anything shocking--just.....odd. I've read more explicit and kinky things, and been less weirded out, I'm not exactly sure why.

It seems to still be in print, and amazon has a number of used copies.

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Susan
Apprentice Ilisidi
Posts: 2029
(7/17/02 11:44 am)

Pollinators of Eden

The only accounts of sex with aliens I've ever read that were convincing (or appealing) were those in which the aliens are very human-like. The atevi, for example.

Sex with an alien plant? Hmm. I've heard that some men
like melons.

?

Bujold -- The Auditor's Enclave
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creature feature
Banichi's Playmate
Posts: 456
(7/17/02 3:38 pm)

Re: Pollinators of Eden

Hmm, interesting Haut. I've not read it. I've often found that if a book weirds me out for some reason, it's not for the reason it's "supposed" to, or the most obvious reason, but for some more subtle thing. My guess would be that it's not the sex that weirded you out, more the author's odd attitudes and ideas, the part of himself that was written out on paper for you to think "huh?" about.

Personally, weird sex never disturbs me, what disturbs me is violence associated with it, or nasty attitudes, or making it about power etc., most especially when such things are presented as normal.
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hautdesert
Alien Menace
Posts: 1504
(7/17/02 3:46 pm)

Pollinators of Eden

You're probably right, CF. As I said, I've read much more graphic sex scenes, and I'm pretty open-minded about things like that. But this was just weird, and I'm sure what made it odd was the underlying attitudes of the author.

And I'm with you generally on the violence/power thing, too, although I'm less tolerant of violence. I'll go for the power or nasty attitudes if it's part of character, and not just presented as part of the universe and isn't that great?

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CKTC
Cherryh Pit Aiji
Posts: 8052
(7/17/02 11:03 pm)

Re: Pollinators of Eden

Interesting report, haut. I think if I were to actually read this book, I'd enjoy it less than your summary of it....
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Danamr
Atevi Citizen
Posts: 5
(7/22/02 12:39 am)

Pollinators of Eden

I have read the book, many years ago, and I must admit I don't remember most of it other than the Pollination sceen, which to this day does stick in my mind. I don't think we can consider this classic SF, but I do admit the mental picture of the advent was something that does not leave you.......

As I recall there was a short story collection about alien sex, or sex with aliens, don't recall the name.
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hautdesert
Alien Menace
Posts: 1533
(7/22/02 7:17 am)

Pollinators of Eden

The name was Alien Sex. It was an interesting collection.

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Razz2togo
Senior Bujavid Security
Posts: 570
(7/23/02 3:05 pm)

Pollinators of Eden

Sounds like the stranger than truth forum. (was that made with me in mind??) heehee

Death is instantanious... Its dying that takes awhile.
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starexplorer
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I archived this though it was never a widely discussed thread, because the book is very memorable, and the author is a personal favorite!




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Thread copied from the original Shejidan site
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Kokipy

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The author I remember writing about sex with aliens was Piers Anthony, although I believe in his case it was the aliens that were having sex. But it was always pretty wierd.
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starexplorer
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It was more for the author that I was interested in John Boyd, though this sex with alien plants was a memorable theme. He had a number of good books, but one excellent one.

His The Last Starship From Earth has always been a special favorite of mine. I loved it as an adolescent, and the last time I reread it (and it is saying something that I read this book several times, because I rarely do that!) I still thought it was quite good. Of course there is a certain surprise concept that especially grabbed me as a youth.
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Kokipy

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on your recommendation I have ordered that one, Star-ji. [i rid my shelves of the Piers Anthony collection several decades and about 8 moves ago....]
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starexplorer
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That's exciting! I hope you like it, but do let me know whether my adolescent self has made one more grievous mistake!
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Kokipy

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I will. I am confident that you are able to speak judiciously regarding these adolescent favorites. Some do survive to please us as we age.
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starexplorer
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Thank you. But I am always apprehensive when making a recommendation. I just hope the adolescent Gee-whiz! thrill wasn't a factor. Also, I'm a sucker for romance, and I think I recall a strong 15 year-old pull toward the main female character.
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Kokipy

Citizen of the Association
I am reading the Last Starship from Earth now, and will follow it with Pollinators of Eden. Boyd's introduction to LSFE says that it is one of a triology [including Pollinators] based on classic myths- shades of Port Eternity! I like LSFE quite a lot....

I finished it. I did like it but the ending seemed to try to do too much, all at once. And I am not completely sure I like the idea of the secret controlling group, ala Asimov, although I was hoping for something like it as Haldane got himself in deeper and deeper trouble. Although at the end I understand Helix's role, I am not completely sure I understand what it is she was thought to have done during the ***SPOILER*** trial? Still, I am glad to have it and to have read it. now I have to go put a few additional tags on it in LT.
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starexplorer
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I think I'll have to reread it to discuss it sensibly. I do remember liking the ending because the surprise appealed to my adolescent sense that SF was liberating -- that anything could happen, without the constraints of RL.

i don't recall liking Pollinators as much. Girl With The Jade Green Eyes was a nice human/alien love story.
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