The Ambivalence of the Gene Trade in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy

  • Francisco Saez de Adana University of Alcala, Spain


  The ambivalence of gene trading in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy is treated in this paper. Genetic manipulation is one of the main science-related issues addressed in that trilogy. The behavior of the alien race presented in the paper, the Oankali, is analyzed from three points of view and compared with contemporary human behavior. Interbreeding with other species and the creation of new ones, the use of genetic engineering to cure diseases and the acknowledgement of DNA information as property when it is used for research or other objectives are considered.



Este artículo estudia la ambivalencia de la manipulación genética en la trilogía Xenogenesis  de Octavia Butler. Se estudia el paralelismo entre el comportamiento de la especie presentada en el libro, los Oankali, con respecto a la raza humana, mostrando el paralelismo con el comportamiento que la especie humana tiene con respecto a otras especies actualmente. Para ello se analizan tres aspectos presentes en la obra bajo estudio: la posibilidad de cruce entre especies, el uso de la manipulación genética para la cura de enfermedades y, el controvertido tema de la propiedad en lo que se refiere a la información genética.


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Author Biography

Francisco Saez de Adana, University of Alcala, Spain

Francisco Saez de Adana is Professor in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Alcala. He has a PhD on Electrical Engineering in the Universidad de Cantabria and he is now pursuing a PhD about American comic strips. He has obtained a Master degree on American Studies in the Universidad de Alcala and, at this moment, he is studying the Master on Contemporary Cinema and Audiovisual in the Universidad Pompeu Fabra. Among other papers related with engineering, in the field of Humanities, he has published two journal papers related with the presence of Edgar Allan Poe in the comics and the importance of the representation of the Holocaust in American comics industry.