Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Could You Do Lilith's Brood on TV

So this season there have been a lot of good television shows based on science fiction and fantasy novels, Chronicles of Shannara, The Magicians, The Expanse,  Childhood's End, (So now I forgive Syfy eghhhhh for WWE)  I haven't read most of these books but I am enjoying at least so far watching the first few episodes of these series and it makes me think about other books I would like to see adapted into film.

A few months ago I heard that Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood's had been optioned for TV and there is one question that won't leave my mind. How will the television show deal with sex.

Butler uses sex and birth as a reflexive metaphor for colonialism/imperialism. That theme is everywhere as two cultures reluctantly create something  that is at the same both and neither.

It's in the name of the title character. It's in the androgynous nature of the aliens themselves and how social adulthood for them is tantamount to sexual adulthood. Its in all the discussions about what having children mean to these characters both human and alien. In how being with someone in that way makes it harder to leave them even if you do not want to stay.

Those themes are what largely elevate that series from being kind of interesting to being profound and I don't know if a television show or to be honest even a major motion picture would have the stones to carry those themes throughout the entire piece the way the books do, not just a scene that can be fast forwarded or ignored but the entire length of the adaptation because the plot all of it is about a kind of mating some of it willing but a lot of it not.

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