Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake

It’s the future, civilization is over with! A hermit named Snowman is one of the last humans around, living in a tree and wearing a baseball cap. Snowman is a guardian/religious figure to the Children of Crake, genetically engineered humanoid creatures designed to be physically flawless. Also, their private parts and butts turn blue when they want to mate, like if a DVD of Avatar could get horny.

Snowman reminisces about when he used to be a boy named Jimmy, before all of mankind was wiped out. Jimmy and his genius friend Glenn (nicknamed Crake) lived in corporate science compounds separated from the pleeblands, aka the dirty crime ridden cities where everyone else lives. Take that, normal people- you don’t know shit about science so you have to live in squalor!

Jimmy’s dad was a bio-engineer crossing pigs with other pigs so he can make the best of the pigs, a pig to rule over all the other pigs, even the ones who wear pants. The pigs he makes are mean, though. He also develops rakunks, raccoons mixed with skunks. They’re cuter than a baby animal zoo crossed with a bag of Earl Grey tea. See, here’s the thing scientists; instead of making vicious pig monsters just so you can get an extra spare rib, you need to be making cute animal hybrids that WON’T bring about the fall of man.

Jimmy’s mom feels guilty about ethical science violations so she runs away and goes from being a scientist mom to a freedom fighter/revolutionary insurgent mom who sends postcards from mysterious locations. My mom is a nurse, so she never did much freedom fighting. She did design and build an outdoor aviary to house finches and parakeets, though. If any of those birds had started a corrupt global corporation or dabbled in questionable genetic splicing techniques I’m sure my mom would have put a stop to it.

Jimmy and Crake get high and surf the internet of the future. According to this book, the internet is going to be full of naked people reading the news, websites of horrific death videos and terrible pornography of all types. So they’re going to tone it down a bit in the future as far as the internet is concerned, apparently.

They see an eight year old girl (Oryx) on one of those websites and become fascinated with her. Crake tracks her down as an adult and hires her to help him build his own race of humans from the ground up. Crake hires Jimmy, too. Jimmy and Oryx fall in love even though Crake is dating Oryx. A love triangle and a scientist playing God. This should go smoothly.


Oh no! Things did not go smoothly! Crake sneaks a deadly virus into the birth control to wipe out humanity. He kills Oryx right in front of Jimmy then asks him to take care of the Children of Crake. If you want a favor from someone, don’t kill the love of their life right before you ask for it. Don’t even maim the love of their life. Try flowers.

Jimmy does Crake a solid, though, and keeps an eye on the Crakers; though to be fair his calender was wide open after the fall of civilization.

When I first heard about Oryx and Crake I didn’t know what the story was going to be, so I envisioned two rakish detectives, Oryx and Crake, gadding about in space getting in duels with aliens and drinking Scotch in grimy cantinas. Another case solved by Oryx and Crake, Esq. LLC. Inc.!

I say old bean that Moon Centipede nearly severed our neatly trimmed mustaches with its 3G network enabled razor sharp claws, good thing we had our laser proof iPads. And so on and so on. Damn, now I’m just inventing steampunk characters, and not very original ones, either. You know what I think it is? I saw this Sherlock Holmes-in-the-future cartoon in Netflix where Watson was an android and Sherlock Holmes was cloned back to life from his body preserved in a honey filled coffin.

“Honey filled coffin” sounds like a euphemism for condoms. And that’s the review, folks, goodnight!

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