Ancestral Night 6: Alternative family structures

0

There's a lot of exploration of alternative family structures, like clades (a term from biology, referring to all descendants of a common ancestor). There's a clear metaphor here (IMHO) to cult groups and the control they exert over both adult and child members. But Bear is careful to show how similar problems can afflict any society, especially regarding how the views of minority groups can be ignored or overruled. Was this interesting? Obvious? Irrelevant?

Comments

  • 1

    I think the only "alternative" group was the clade, and that was presented as a constricting cult, as you say. Were there other family structures?

  • 0

    @NeilNjae said:
    I think the only "alternative" group was the clade, and that was presented as a constricting cult, as you say. Were there other family structures?

    I think you're right as regards human structures - I was getting muddled up with the occasional references into diverse alien groupings.

  • 1

    Clades in the book are not clades in the biological sense, which set me back a bit, but clades of animals often resemble each other in looks and behavior, and I think this is why she uses the term. Otherwise I saw no alternate family structures among humans.

  • 0

    You could probably argue that she has taken current ideas and projected them into the future - for example same-sex partnerships (Haimey and Niyara), non-sexual small intimate groups (Haimey, Connla and Singer), or human-AI pairings (same three). If this book had been written say fifty years ago that might have seemed very daring, but nowadays we say "there are no alternative family structures" :) . What we don't see (so far as I remember) is human-alien pairings, which Becky Chambers does tackle in Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

  • 1

    @RichardAbbott said:
    You could probably argue that she has taken current ideas and projected them into the future - for example same-sex partnerships (Haimey and Niyara), non-sexual small intimate groups (Haimey, Connla and Singer), or human-AI pairings (same three). If this book had been written say fifty years ago that might have seemed very daring, but nowadays we say "there are no alternative family structures" :) . What we don't see (so far as I remember) is human-alien pairings, which Becky Chambers does tackle in Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

    Ha! True! I was thinking 'sexual partnerships' for 'family', and that is not at all true! Guilty!

  • 1

    But then, what counts as "family" as distinct from "friend" or "crewmate"? I associate "family" with "caring for children" so I didn't consider the Haimey, Connla, Singer group to the a "family". Is that a blind spot of mine?

  • 1
    Yes, but not an uncommon one. Politicians keep trying to tell my wife and I that we aren’t a family because we don’t have kids, for example. From my perspective I belong to 3 family units, only one of which has children (and they aren’t mine).
Sign In or Register to comment.