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* ShootingSuperman: The Oankali have a HealingFactor that leaves them NighInvulnerable in most circumstances, which doesn't stop certain humans from trying to shoot them. Repeatedly. {{Downplayed|Trope}} since they can suffer a HealingFactorBurnout after taking enough punishment, but this is not seen.

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* ShootingSuperman: The Oankali have a HealingFactor that leaves them NighInvulnerable in most circumstances, which doesn't stop certain humans from trying to shoot them. Repeatedly. {{Downplayed|Trope}} since they can suffer a HealingFactorBurnout get brought down after taking enough punishment, but this is not seen.


* ExtraDigits: Oankali have sixteen fingers and two thumbs, thanks in part to their ongoing genetic manipulation of themselves as a species. Humans tend to find the arrangement creepy, but not nearly as much as their {{Eyeless Face}}s and anemone-like tentacles.
* ExtraParentConception: Oankali children are born to a male, female, and ooloi, the latter of whom does not contribute its own genes but combines the other parents' genes and implants the blastocyst into the female. When they start cross-breeding with humans, they add a human male and female to the mix.



* GenerationShips: The Oankali travel on [[PlanetSpaceship colossal]] {{Living Ship}}s as they travel the galaxy in search of genetic trade.
* GeniusLoci: Oankali villages on earth are grown from the same type of organism as their ships, making them sentient and able to respond to chemical signals. They can also awaken to full sapience when the occasion calls for it.



* HealingFactor: Oankali can use their abilities on themselves to regenerate their injuries. Simple healing happens subconsciously, but some injuries are severe enough to require their conscious attention.



* LegoGenetics: The Oankali have been collecting genetic information from species across the galaxy for untold millions of years and have a truly amazing ability to mix-and-match various traits.



* OurHumansAreDifferent: By ''Adulthood Rites'', the human race is LongLived on the order of centuries, resistant to disease, and [[ChildlessDystopia sterile]], thanks to genetic manipulation by the alien Oankali who rescued them AfterTheEnd. All children that are born are [[HalfHumanHybrid human-Oankali hybrids]].

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* OurHumansAreDifferent: By ''Adulthood Rites'', the human race is LongLived on the order of centuries, resistant to disease, and [[ChildlessDystopia sterile]], thanks to genetic manipulation by the alien Oankali who rescued them AfterTheEnd. Oankali. All children that are born are [[HalfHumanHybrid human-Oankali hybrids]].hybrids]].
* ParentalIncest: [[spoiler:One remote human village is populated by the descendants of a woman who wasn't made sterile and was able to have a child. The father [[DisappearedDad ran off]], so the villagers bred the woman with her own son.]]



* PunyEarthlings: Compared to humans, the Oankali are stronger, tougher, and longer-lived; have superior senses and vastly more efficient metabolisms; are more mentally stable; and are much more technologically advanced; to say nothing of their ability to {{Heal|ingHands}}, [[TouchOfDeath kill]], or perform comprehensive {{genetic engineering|IsTheNewNuke}} with a touch.



* RuinsOfTheModernAge: : {{Defied|Trope}} by the Oankali. Before returning them to Earth, they deliberately raze and bury any old human settlement that survived the final nuclear war, in order to discourage them from [[InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves repeating their predecessors' mistakes]] and force them to form a new social order.



* SexByProxy: When Oankali mate with each other and/or with humans, the ooloi sex acts as intermediary, linking their nervous systems and transmitting pleasurable sensations to everyone involved. The other parties never touch each other and, in fact, are altered to experience profound disgust if they ever try to.



* SpeculativeFictionLGBT: When the Oankali start interbreeding with humans, they form {{Polyamor|y}}ous family units with two males, two females, and one ooloi. This proves to be a source of tension, since even well-disposed humans are weirded out at first by the idea of sleeping with an ooloi, and the less-well disposed accuse the Oankali of "making women of human men" by derailing stereotypical gender roles.
* ShootingSuperman: The Oankali have a HealingFactor that leaves them NighInvulnerable in most circumstances, which doesn't stop certain humans from trying to shoot them. Repeatedly. {{Downplayed|Trope}} since they can suffer a HealingFactorBurnout after taking enough punishment, but this is not seen.



* StarfishAlien: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like being; it's also mentioned that they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of aquatic creatures for a while.

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* StarfishAlien: StarfishAliens: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like being; it's also mentioned that they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of aquatic creatures for a while.


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* SuperiorSpecies: The series has quite a lot to say about how Oankali are better than the PunyEarthlings. In addition to their physical advantages, they can use their semi-telepathic abilities to participate in conversations involving thousands of them at once, with little confusion; coming to a consensus this way produces better solutions than electing a single leader.
* {{Transhuman}}: The Oankali modify the human species to be LongLived and resistant to disease; a few, like Lilith, also get SuperStrength, a HealingFactor, and a limited ability to interface with their OrganicTechnology. Terms and conditions apply.
* UnusualUserInterface: Oankali can interface with any of their OrganicTechnology by touch alone, thanks to the same sensory filaments that let them perform microsurgery and genetic modification on living organisms through skin-to-skin contact. Allied humans need to be modified so they can do such minor things as signal a door to open, and are unable to use the technology in more sophisticated ways.


* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: The Oankali believe that humanity is doomed to destroy itself because of its contradictory traits - intelligence and hierarchical social structures.[[note]]Indeed, Oankali and their hybrid descendants can ''see'' this contradiction. A hybrid who argues for permitting a pure-human settlement on Mars does so knowing that the settlement ''must'', inevitably, destroy itself.[[/note]] The only solution is to correct it by breeding with the Oankali, removing the hierarchical instincts by genetic manipulation of the next generation.

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* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: The Oankali believe that humanity is doomed to destroy itself because of its contradictory traits - -- intelligence and hierarchical social structures.[[note]]Indeed, Oankali and their hybrid descendants can ''see'' this contradiction. A hybrid who argues for permitting a pure-human settlement on Mars does so knowing that the settlement ''must'', inevitably, destroy itself.[[/note]] The only solution is to correct it by breeding with the Oankali, removing the hierarchical instincts by genetic manipulation of the next generation.



* OurHumansAreDifferent: By ''Adulthood Rites'', the human race is LongLived on the order of centuries, resistant to disease, and [[ChildlessDystopia sterile]], thanks to genetic manipulation by the alien Oankali who rescued them AfterTheEnd. All children that are born are [[HalfHumanHybrid human-Oankali hybrids]].



* StarfishAlien: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like being; it's also mentioned that for a while, they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of aquatic creatures.

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* StarfishAlien: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like being; it's also mentioned that for a while, they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of aquatic creatures.creatures for a while.


* ExposedExtraterrestrials: Oankali only wear clothes when they're deliberately trying to put humans at ease. {{Justified|Trope}} since they have [[BizarreAlienSenses sensory tentacles]] across their bodies, are tough enough not to need the protection, [[BarbieDollAnatomy don't have]] ([[BizarreAlienReproduction or need]]) genitalia, and come from a PlanetSpaceship that maintains a safe environment for them.

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* ExposedExtraterrestrials: Oankali only wear clothes when they're deliberately trying to put humans at ease. {{Justified|Trope}} since they have [[BizarreAlienSenses sensory tentacles]] across their bodies, are tough enough not to need the protection, [[BarbieDollAnatomy [[NonHumansLackAttributes don't have]] ([[BizarreAlienReproduction or need]]) genitalia, and come from a PlanetSpaceship that maintains a safe environment for them.



* NonHumansLackAttributes: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Since the Oankali read body language, pheremones, and other physiological things, they can "understand" what humans "want" even though said humans have not actually explained what they wanted.

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* NonHumansLackAttributes: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.
birth; also, their digestive systems only produce trace amounts of dust as waste, which they secrete through their skin.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Since the Oankali read body language, pheremones, and other physiological things, they can "understand" what humans "want" even though said humans have not actually explained what they wanted.want -- or even if they're explicitly saying they ''don't'' want something.



* StarfishAlien: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like creature; it's also mentioned that for a while, they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of fish.

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* StarfishAlien: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like creature; being; it's also mentioned that for a while, they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of fish.aquatic creatures.
* SufficientlyAdvancedBambooTechnology: Oankali OrganicTechnology tends to look as little like technology as possible. One human visitor needs to be clued in that a village of primitive-looking huts is actually [[GeniusLoci one living, intelligent organism]] that handles all utilities and long-distance communication and can grow into a [[LivingShip spaceship]] if the need arises.

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* BoldlyComing: The HalfHumanHybrid Akin looks almost completely human and tries to act as a diplomat to human resister communities. This generally involves sleeping with a few of the local women who hope that they'll be able to conceive a child with him. He does tell them that human sterility doesn't work that way, but hope springs eternal...


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* IntimateHealing:
** The ooloi use their sensory arms both for healing (by transmitting commands to the body) and for the Oankali version of sex (by transmitting pure pleasure), and like to add a bit of the latter to the former.
** In an intimate but starkly non-sexual instance, Lilith helps Nikanj heal [[spoiler:the loss of a sensory arm]] with some naked spooning, so he can use all of his sensory tentacles to copy helpful genetic information from her. He's in no condition to make it pleasant, so she has to endure the feeling of being perforated by hundreds of needles.


* BarbieDollAnatomy: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.


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* NonHumansLackAttributes: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.


* BarbieDollAnatomy: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without a any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.

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* BarbieDollAnatomy: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without a any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.

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* ExposedExtraterrestrials: Oankali only wear clothes when they're deliberately trying to put humans at ease. {{Justified|Trope}} since they have [[BizarreAlienSenses sensory tentacles]] across their bodies, are tough enough not to need the protection, [[BarbieDollAnatomy don't have]] ([[BizarreAlienReproduction or need]]) genitalia, and come from a PlanetSpaceship that maintains a safe environment for them.


* {{Dehumanization}}: The more unpleasant resisters refer to humans who reproduce with Oankali as "animals".

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* {{Dehumanization}}: DehumanizingInsult: The more unpleasant resisters refer to humans who reproduce with Oankali as "animals".

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* HypocrisyNod: Akin gets the Oankali to acknowledge the hypocrisy of retaining an Oankali faction that won't interbreed with humans while denying humans the same option. [[spoiler:He convinces them to relent and allow a pure human colony to be founded on Mars.]]


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* StarfishAlien: The Onakali are sort of humanoid in their current incarnation, but have had much more exotic forms in the past. One side character appears as a giant caterpillar-like creature; it's also mentioned that for a while, they existed as {{Hive Mind}}ed schools of fish.


----



* [[ActuallyIAmHim Actually I Am Her]]: In the second book, Lilith introduces herself to a human who had run away from the Oankali. He remarks that she has an unfortunate name, since it's the same as the woman who betrayed humanity by allying with the Oankali, before she explains she ''is'' that woman.
* AfterTheEnd: The first book opens after nuclear war, which the Oankali almost interpreted as a collective suicide by humanity.

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* [[ActuallyIAmHim Actually I Am Her]]: ActuallyIAmHim: In the second book, Lilith introduces herself to a human who had run away from the Oankali. He remarks that she has an unfortunate name, since it's the same as the woman who betrayed humanity by allying with the Oankali, before she explains she ''is'' that woman.
* AerithAndBob: Family names start getting strange when the Oankali aliens [[HalfHumanHybrid start having children with humans]]; for example, Lilith and Tino have children named Jodahs and Aaor. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d when an all-human village takes in a half-Oankali girl named Shkaht and questions what sort of name that is.
* AfterTheEnd: The first book opens after nuclear war, which the Oankali almost interpreted as a collective suicide by humanity. It took centuries for the Oankali to repair the Earth's biosphere afterwards.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: Oankali have no breasts or genitals, which confuses one human who makes several attempts at a GroinAttack before realizing she's not kicking anything. {{Justified|Trope}} since they create and implant fetuses without a any need for gametes, then grow a temporary orifice to give birth.



* BizarreAlienReproduction: The Oankali have an "ooloi" [[BizarreAlienSexes third sex]] who collect DNA from male and female parents, genetically engineer a blastocyst in a specialized organ, and implant it into the female through their skin. On their own, Oankali children are born to those three parents, but [[spoiler:their HalfHumanHybrid children add a human father and mother to the mix]].
* BizarreAlienSenses: The Oankali sense of smell is acute enough to detect genetic conditions from a distance. More importantly, their sensory tentacles can extrude microfilaments that let them detect the composition of substances -- down to the subatomic level in some cases -- and analyze and modify any living tissue they touch.



* CursedWithAwesome: The Oankali consider humans uniquely blessed and genetically very attractive because we have . . . cancer. It turns out the same genes that can go so horribly wrong also can be used for regenerative abilities they've never seen before.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: [[spoiler: Turns out the Oankali aren't that nice after all - they're basically strip-mining Earth to make more spaceships because of their drive to genetically merge with other species, hence they can't just let a society of fertile humans alone]].

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* ChildlessDystopia: The "resister" villages are full of long-lived, exceptionally healthy humans with no children save those they can kidnap from human-Oankali settlements.
* {{Cthulhumanoid}}: Oankali sensory tentacles are described as making them look a bit like anthropomorphic sea slugs.
* CursedWithAwesome: The Oankali consider humans uniquely blessed and genetically very attractive because we have . . .have... cancer. It turns out the same genes that can go so horribly wrong also can be used for regenerative abilities they've never seen before.
* {{Dehumanization}}: The more unpleasant resisters refer to humans who reproduce with Oankali as "animals".
* EarthShatteringKaboom: [[spoiler: Turns out the Oankali aren't that nice after all - -- they're basically strip-mining Earth to make more spaceships because of their drive to genetically merge with other species, hence they can't just let a society of fertile humans alone]].alone]].
* EyelessFace: Oankali have no eyes, ears, or noses; instead, patches of short tentacles on their scalps, foreheads, throats, and bodies provide equivalent senses. They have to learn to face humans when speaking with them, since their species' equivalent is just to point some tentacles in their conversation partner's direction.



* HumansAreFlawed: also see below

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* HumansAreFlawed: also see belowAccording to the Oankali, the "Human Contradiction" is that they possess both advanced intelligence and an animalistic drive to form social hierarchies, which will inevitably lead humanity to destroy itself again.



* MalevolentMutilation: When a human village acquires two young [[HalfHumanHybrid half-Oankali]] girls, Neci is very persistent in wanting to cut off the small sensory tentacles that indicate their non-human ancestry -- and that help them breathe, see, hear, and taste. She's prevented from doing so, but it's presented as a sign that she's even more [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman prejudiced against Oankali]] than the others, and dim-witted and vicious besides.



* {{Metamorphosis}}: The [[HalfHumanHybrid Half-Human Hybrids]] shift into a final form upon reaching adulthood, which generally makes them look less like their birth mother's species. [[spoiler:Akin]] is annoyed when he shifts from looking almost entirely human to entirely Oankali, since it will make his diplomatic work harder.



* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Lilith Iyapo is the source of the name's ominous in-universe connotations, thanks to human "resisters" calling her the betrayer of humanity for being the first to cooperate with the Oankali's crossbreeding strategy.



* OrganicTechnology

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* OrganicTechnologyOrganicTechnology: Practically everything the Oankali make is alive, from their suspended animation pods (which were engineered from carnivorous plants) to their villages on Earth.
* PlanetSpaceship: Oankali bio-engineer titanic, intelligent [[OrganicTechnology living "great ships"]] that transport entire planetary populations from world to world. Since they host entire ecosystems within their mass, including {{Arboreal Abode}}s for the Oankali, visitors often need to be convinced that they're not still on a planet. [[spoiler:Growing a new one consumes enough mass to strip a planet to its core.]]



* PowerIncontinence: Jodahs is the first [[HalfHumanHybrid human-Oankali hybrid]] to be born an "[[BizarreAlienSexes ooloi]]" and inherit the Oankali's full ability to control DNA and living tissue. For a while, he's stuck inflicting random mutations on himself and everything he touches, including the buildings of the OrganicTechnology village he lives in. [[spoiler:His abilities stabilize once he finds mates.]]



* ShapeShifterSwanSong: The profoundly depressed ooloi [[spoiler:Aaor]] loses control over its ability to manipulate its own DNA, causing it to shift into ever more biologically simple forms over several weeks. It regresses to a sluglike creature by the time it's rescued, and restoring its original form is an uphill battle against its body's urge to dissolve into single-celled organisms. [[spoiler:They succeed in healing it.]]



* StarfishAliens

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* StarfishAliens----


* MindRape: Of a sort. Lilith mentions in a later book that if someone goes through the transformation stages of an Ooloi with them, they ''can't'' choose to leave them afterward.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Since the Oankali read body language, pheremones, and other physiological things, they can "understand" what humans "want" even though said humans have not actually explained what they wanted.



* RapeAsDrama: The Oankali are essentially raping humanity, and a lot of the humans don't take kindly to this.



* SexualHarassmentAndRapeTropes: The Oankali are essentially raping humanity[[note]]they even use the "your mouth said no, but your body said yes" rationale, which may or may not hold water considering their whole ''thing'' is reading body language, pheremones, and other physiological things like humans would have a in-depth conversation[[/note]], so this goes through a few of them:
** RapeAsDrama: A lot of the humans don't take kindly to the treatment
** RapeIsLove: And some do...
** NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Partly because the physical sensations are mindblowing.
** MindRape: Of a sort. Lilith mentions in a later book that if someone goes through the transformation stages of an Ooloi with them, they ''can't'' choose to leave them afterward.
** AliensMadeThemDoIt: ...with the aliens.
** RapePortrayedAsRedemption: Depending on how you look at it, for the whole human species.

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* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Oankali are peaceful vegetarians who either don't understand or don't care what's wrong with rape.


''Lilith's Brood'', by OctaviaButler, previously published as ''Xenogenesis'', is the compilation of three novels. The first in the series follows Lilith after she awakens to her new world, while the sequels are told from the point of view of her genetically altered children.

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''Lilith's Brood'', by OctaviaButler, Creator/OctaviaButler, previously published as ''Xenogenesis'', is the compilation of three novels. The first in the series follows Lilith after she awakens to her new world, while the sequels are told from the point of view of her genetically altered children.

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