13-69 Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

“My tribe be O-Positive, or OP. And our chieftrain, Lydia  don’t take kindly to the blood trade. O types don’t be needing transfusions like ABs do. The Fever be in us, but it ain’t eating O blood up from the inside like to do other types. So O types got to be extra careful of hunters and the farms where they be taking they kidnapped victims to drain them alive” (Page 16).

The Story Orleans takes place after devastating hurricanes and many casualties ranging from severe outbreaks, tetanus, suicide, heart attacks caused by stress of loss, and even lack of medicine that results into the quarantine. I choose the passage above because recently throughout the semester we have been discussing diversity within literature, most differences were results of physical composition, Shori being Inca, Big Hero 6 where robot ethics were put into questions, as well as Ms. Marvel with Kamala and her overall transformation.

With Orleans this futuristic society is broken up by tribes, and the tribes are classified by blood types. Fen de la Guerre explains how there in a sense is a hierarchy with each blood type due to the fact that each type is different in the sense of how it’s receptacle to the Fever. O types are fortunate enough that there is already fever within them so they are able to handle it better than other types like Abs would. I feel that this broken down rankings of tribe types will definitely be the core of how the story develops, since the understanding of blood types is seen with such importance.

I also wanted to highlight the language of the novel, Sherri Smith writes this novel not in proper English there are many grammatical errors, example “My tribe be O-Positive…So O types got to be extra careful…” These broken grammatical conversations can be foreshadowing of truly how set back these tribes are due to the fact that they are separated from an evolving technological society by “the Wall” that is mentioned within the novel.
-Nicole Crippen


15 thoughts on “13-69 Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

  1. I agree that the separation into tribes based on blood types is definitely going to be a major aspect in the development of the story. I found this separation very interesting because it’s based on something that the individual cannot control. Not only can the individual not control, which blood type they have, but it is passed down from parents. I think that this is notable because in this story, blood type is a major trait that defines someone. Unlike Kamala’s story where she feels defined by her religion, something that she can ultimately choose, the characters in the book are defined by the type of their blood and their resistance to the Fever.


  2. This relates a lot to the readings we’ve done so far this semester. This is about separation/segregation and also hierarchy as well. In regards to hierarchy, it brought me back to the reading “Protected Entity”. It was somewhat annoying reading this because of how poor the grammar was, but I agree with you, it could be foreshadowing just how set back certain tribes were and not at an advantage or high up in hierarchy.


  3. I like how you mention the separation of the blood types into tribes and how this relates to the other stories we have read throughout the semester because I thought the exact same thing. This trend of differences and segregation in all the works we read is definitely a common theme in this genre meant to highlight the contemporary issues in our world, just shown through the lens of scientific or speculative fiction.


  4. I think this type of segregation is very interesting because usually when thinking of segregation it’s by physical appearances but in this case it is by blood type. It goes deeper beyond normal segregation. But similarly to segregation by appearance and race, blood type is not chosen, you are born with it. I also agree that the broken English can be used as a reference for the tribes being set back due to the fevers.


  5. I really like how Chapter 6 opens, with a young child wondering if the flood in the Bible was one of the many floods they’ve dealt with in recent history. The naming of the final Hurricane “Jesus,” really highlights the biblical proportions that set up the backstory of the novel. The world has fallen away from god and into debauchery and murder, and mild cannibalism. It’s truly a horrifying sight.


  6. This highlights the hierarchy just like the Ina have different families, and how the Inks have different groups. Segregation is a very strong topic and just like Inks are segregated by their ink type and Ina by their families, here there is segregation among blood types. I suspect the conflicts will arise just like they have in past stories. Characters here are being defined by their background just like they were in many other stories


  7. In this story, the tribes are divided by blood type, a biological. Every thing seems to be about the body in regards to separation. The inks and the Ina are both discriminated against based on their bodies, a factor in which they cannot control. I find it interesting that some blood types are more prone to Delta Fever than others, almost making them superior. This seems similar to white supremacy and how because someone is born white, they automatically are superior in society. It is not by their own means that they achieve this status but of their biological appearance.

    -Serina Thomas


  8. I like you how noted the diversity in this scene (and book). Throughout our course, one of the overarching topics the class has discussed related to differences and marginalization of individuals, and this novel is no different. I also liked how you mentioned the author’s language of the quote and how the characters spoke rather informally. I do agree that this is a result of the lack of technology that abounded in the tribe’s society. The diction these tribes employ reminds me of The Semplica-Girl Diaries, where the father spoke in a similar way, due to his lack of a sophisticated education, or any schooling for that matter. This clearly shows that integrating our changing technology and education is crucial in order to be intelligent, knowledgable citizens that are able to keep up with our ever-growing society.

    -Nicole Schmalz


  9. I really like the passage you chose to talk about because there is a lot of emphasis on the different blood types. It really stood out to me how the tribes are separated based on their blood type and that’s also how they are ranked because usually that isn’t the case when it comes to segregation or hierarchy. O blood type being the universal donor don’t need transfusions like the other blood types do and have a better chance of survival since they can endure the fever better than those of the other blood types. Therefore, making them more relaxed than those people with different blood types.


  10. I really like passage you choose and specifically how you spoke about the broken up english and the grammatical errors. While reading I found myself fixing these errors and then i was thinking why is there so many grammatical errors, Im glad you pointed out the foreshadowing of how behind their society is. It makes a lot of sense and answers the question i came across while reading.


  11. This passage is very important and in that it signifies differences in the blood types. i liked how you mentioned the hierarchy of blood types in that one is superior over the other. i also believe that an alliance between blood types could form. i am getting an apocalyptic feel from the story which can be connected to other stories we have read.


  12. Even from the beginning of this novel it is apparent of the present hierarchy that is displayed amongst the different blood types and I really liked that you highlighted that in your blog response. Also the langue of the text stuck out to me to the point where I was having trouble with getting through certain parts of the text but that signifies the struggle within their post apocalyptic community. I feel as if in this story we are going to see a lot of struggles within the hierarchy relating it to our class system in the real world.


  13. The idea of the division of tribes based on blood types is a very interesting idea, and not one that I have heard of before in contemporary fiction. It makes me think of the rather chilling idea that no matter what happens to humanity; whatever kind of destruction may befall us, we can still figure out some way to discriminate against one another. There is a common theory that tragedy brings societies together, but this seems to do away with that idea which I find very interesting.

    -Jimmy Nolan


  14. I agree that segregation due to blood type is an interesting idea that differs somewhat from the modes of classifying difference that we have read about in class so far. Considering where the novel takes place though, I have a feeling that as the book progresses, questions of race and class will also likely emerge in relation to their treatment by the Outer States. The self segregation in the novel reminded me a little of how the school-aged inks in Ink also arranged themselves in a hierarchy despite the fact that they were all discriminated against by larger society.


    • Also, I think the use of grammar in the novel is more so just a reflection of regional dialect then foreshadowing the lack of development, but this of course, could remain to be seen.

      -Marjorie Eyong


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