[Content Note: guns, assault]
This dream was basically entirely influenced by the fact that I was re-reading Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler into the wee hours of the morning. In my dream, I was a human foster child of an Oankali family living on Earth (except it was modern Earth, not the reborn Earth in the book), and they’d made an arranged marriage for me with a human male who was also an Oankali foster child. I was still in contact with my human family, and invited them to my engagement party, because I was really happy I was going to become an adult and be able to have children and have an ooloi. When they arrived, though, things quickly deteriorated. They were afraid of the Oankali, and my father even brought a gun, which sent my foster sisters (who were mixed human-Oankali constructs) into panic. I made it very clear, in no uncertain terms, that either the gun had to go or he did, if my parents returned with my betrothed’s parents and found the gun, they’d destroy it, and possible ban my father from the house entirely. So he threw it on the roof, thinking he could retrieve it later, but I knew my foster parents would find it and destroy it. When my Oankali parents arrived with my betrothed and his Oankali parents, things started getting awkward. I liked him okay, but I didn’t feel the “draw” that I was supposed to. I realized that I was more strongly drawn to my foster brother, another human fosterling (who I was not biologically related to). Since Oankali families usually have brother/sister mating pairs (plus their ooloi), we’d been raised without that human taboo, and when I approached him (ostensibly to ask his opinion about my betrothed) I could feel the electricity of our connection. I realized then that I couldn’t go to my betrothed, and started struggling with the fact that it would disappoint my Oankali parents (and probably shock my human ones), but that they’d probably be happy eventually. I was still agonizing over how to approach them about it when I woke up.
The oddest thing about the dream was the complete lack of ooloi. In the book, the ooloi are basically the ones that hold the family unit together (both literally and figuratively, such as in the group matings), but I didn’t have an ooloi parent present my dream, or a prospective ooloi mate (although that could be partially explained by the fact that I didn’t have a male mate yet, hence the betrothal, since the ooloi prefer their mates come to them as a pair). Obviously the dream referenced ooloi, but near the end even my dream-self was like “wait where are the ooloi”. XD
Obviously this dream doesn’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t read the books. 😉 Do yourself a favor and go read them, they’re easily one of the best sci-fi trilogies of all time. One of my favorite things about it is how alien the Oankali are. A lot of aliens in modern sci-fi tend to be simply “weird-looking humanoids”, who aren’t truly alien at all (they have the same motivations and passions as humans, because we have a hard time relating to them otherwise). The Oankali are so completely alien that it’s a little disturbing to read about them. And yet there’s also this longing, this mixture of fear and desire that the humans in the book feel, that the author so expertly expresses and makes the reader feel too. Truly alien aliens are so rare in sci-fi, and so often played as hostile or unknowable, that it’s really a pleasure to read about aliens who are so utterly alien and yet also so enticing.