Clay's Ark Author:Octavia E. Butler "Ms. Butler has created a horrifyingly believable world in the not-too-distant future, a time when the bonds of civilization have all but disappeared, when violence and vigilante justice are the rule rather than the exception. In such a world, the kidnapping of a doctor and his two daughters traveling across the California desert is hardly excep... more »tional. But the small band of emaciated strangers who capture them is. They do not speak of ransom. Although sometimes their eyes glint with almost animal cunning, their bodies are wracked and wasted -- the consequence of drugs or disease. Paradoxically, they possess almost superhuman strength.
Led by Asa Elias Doyle, the sole survivor of the ill-fated starship Clay's Ark, the desperate people have become innocent victims of a 'close encounter' with an alien life-form -- one so sinister and ultimately destructive of humankind that it has forced them into exile in a remote corner of a desolate wasteland, the better to resist a compulsion to spread the infection. To resist is to ensure mental agony, but to surrender is to relinquish one's humanity and free will -- to be ruled by physical drives that know no morality or restraint..."
An innocent family, carjacked on a desolate highway, is abducted to a bizarre new world. A world being born in the California desert.
They discover Earth has been invaded by an alien microorganism. The deadly entity attacks like a virus, but survivors of the disease genetically bond with it, developing amazing powers, near-immortality, unnatural desires ? and a need to spread the contagion and create a secret colony of the transformed. Now the meaning of "survival" changes. For the babies born in the colony are clearly, undeniably, not human...« less