Blue Tyson (bluetyson) wrote,
Blue Tyson
bluetyson

Oceanic - Greg Egan

Novella

Number of words : 20000
Percent of complex words : 9.5
Average syllables per word : 1.5
Average words per sentence : 14.1



READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 9.4
Flesch : 66.6
Flesch-Kincaid : 7.5

PEOPLE

Martin

A young Covenant man that is religiously uncomfortable.

Daniel

Martin's brother.



Ma

Martin's mother.

Fa

Martin's father.

Carol

A Prayer Group leader.

Rachel and Bartholomew

A married couple.

Agnes

Daniel's wife.

Lena

Agnes' second cousin who has a brief relationship with Martin.

Diana

A boat breeder.

Barat

A Firmlander biologist and studier of native microfauna. Martin's academic mentor.

Celine

A fellow student, anthropologist and colleague.

David

A Freelander mathematician from the southern ocean.

Sophie

Daniel's daughter.

Carla Reggia

Author of "Euphoric Effects of Z/12/80 Excretions".

Custodians

Perform a religious ritual when a pool in a village has a zooamine bloom.


ORGANISATIONS

Deep Church

A religious denomination.

Transitional

A religious denomination.

Prayer Group

Daniel belongs to this.

Mitar University

Where Daniel studied.



PLACES

Covenant

The planet Martin lives on.

Monastery

Built from a ship hull.

Ferez

A coastal town on a river mouth.

Mitar

Town where Lena lives and the university is.

Ferez's Deep Church

A spaceship built of stone, glass, and wood where Daniel gets married.

Tia

A city of ten million people on the east coast.


CONCEPTS

Beatrice

Daughter of God. The Holy Jester.

Ecopoiesis

Transformation of the Covenant biosphere by the Angels when deciding to change from their previous posthuman forms.

Crossing

The trip to Covenant by the Angels.

Drowning

A religious baptism ceremony where the recipient must stay underwater for a considerable time.

Immaterial City

Ancient dwelling place.

Bridge

For Covenant people the penis is transferable after sex, from one partner to the other.

Angels

The original colonists. Apparently gave up immortality to produce the people and situation on Covenant now by devolution.

Benthic

Lowest level of a body of water.

Tau

Measure of time on Covenant.

Marni

Ocean god.


MEDIA

Scriptures

Religious texts of the Deep Church.

Beatrice Joining the Angels

A religious painting.


VEHICLES

Launch

Feeding on nutrients in the ocean, moving pumping water through channels in its skin, guided by both sunlight and Covenant's magnetic field.



RACES

Freelanders

Human inhabitants of Covenant, split by where they live.

Firmlanders

Other human inhabitants of Covenant, split by where they live.



ANIMALS

Zooyte

A native microfauna.


PLOT

Martin lives in a smaller town of Covenant, a settled colony of Earth now lower tech and devolved than when it began, having come through a history of strife and religious conflict. His family is still religious, and his brother has chosen a particularly backward hicksville religion the Deep Church, and talks him into undergoing the underwater religious rite.

Later, a sexual experience with a cousin of his sister-in-law's where the bridge of actual genital transfer happens shakes him as her worldview is radically different to his. She is not religious at all.

When he goes to university he studies microbiology and learns that an accident of the changes via ecopoeisis on this world left zoocytes with zooamines that can mess with brain chemistry when in the ocean. Leaving that Beatrice given religious feeling purely technical, even though it still happens. This causes some controversy and garners a fair amount of media attention for his team and from people that want to argue about it. There are still plent of fundamentalists.

At the end, in a small village a concentrated bloom of these happens periodically, and people gather to undergo a rite that leaves them with a religious high. His interruption and explanation of this to the credulous bumpkings is not overly well taken. He is left thinking all night sitting outside a church, pondering.


4 out of 5

http://www.gregegan.net/OCEANIC/Complete/Oceanic.html
Tags: greg egan, novella, religion, science fiction
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