Forgotten Book Toilets Used as Meditative/religious Device

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Forgotten Book Toilets Used as Meditative/religious Device

Ago 30, 2019, 8:04 am

If this seems familiar, I've posted it here on "Name That Book" and over at Goodreads' "What's the Name of That Book". Anyway, here's my description.

I only remember 2 things about the book.
Set in the future, probably a hundred years or more. There are several human based lifeforms in the society. The heroine/hero is the result of 2 or more of them interbreeding. One of the lifeforms is somewhat feline. The heroine/hero is born a normal human which I think was rare for the time.
Some members of the society use old style human toilets as religious/meditative objects because they don't know what they are. One character has a mental snicker about this.
ETA: This is a minor plot point in the story and is only mentioned once or twice. I don't recall anything else clearly about the plot.
I read the book back in the 80s. I thought it was by C. J. Cherryh and I've looked at Cherryh's books list, but nothing rings a bell, so it may not be one of hers. Definitely not one of the Chanur books.
Link to the old thread so you can see what's already been suggested and eliminated.

Please, I don't need any more suggestions of just authors. If you recognize this, I need the specific book. I've posted this in several places and 2 other people remember the toilet bit, so I didn't imagine it, but neither could remember where they had read it.

Set 18, 2019, 10:23 am

You might try Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny which I read quite recently. I can't recall any feline characters per se but toilets become quite a big thing towards the end.

Set 18, 2019, 10:49 am

>2 SFF1928-1973:
...but toilets become quite a big thing towards the end.

I see what you did there.


Set 21, 2019, 8:17 am

No, not Lord of Light. There were no 'gods' in my book. Thanks for trying.

Set 21, 2019, 8:44 am

I have a feeling it was a short story by one of the big names. I don’t recall any religious aspect though.

The other story I recall was alien archaeologists excavating on Earth and finding thousands of mysterious plaques with an unknown purpose: Now wash your hands...

Of course, the joke is that archaeologists routinely describe objects with no known function as religious or devotional or cultural objects.

Set 24, 2019, 12:59 am

Of course, the illustrated book/graphic novel Motel of the Mysteries by David Macaulay features an archaeologist in the far future discovering an ancient site, interpreted by him as a sacred place (a motel room). As I remember, there's quite a bit of speculation about the functions of a particular shrine with a porcelain sarcophagus and a smaller water feature.

Nov 6, 2020, 7:56 am

Well, it's not Motel of the Mysteries. Sorry to be so long in replying.

So, still looking for an answer.

Nov 6, 2020, 9:33 am

I mis-read the thread title and thought the object in question was a Forgotten Book Toilet. My, I thought to myself: A special receptacle for voiding one's forgotten books? And people use them to meditate?

Hope you eventually re-discover the book / story.

Nov 6, 2020, 12:32 pm

Thanks, I've done the same kind of thing myself. :-)

Nov 6, 2020, 12:50 pm

It's just the sensible way to parse the title in the absence of any punctuation after "book."

Forgotten book toilets would make excellent religious furniture. Even ordinary toilets will suffice for routine excremeditation.

Abr 26, 2021, 6:13 am

>8 elenchus: Why would you do that to books?!

Abr 26, 2021, 6:44 am

>10 paradoxosalpha: excremeditation

Thank you for my new word of the day. :-)

Maio 9, 2021, 12:43 pm

>10 paradoxosalpha: Forgotten book toilets - Libraries! Many years ago the Dad of a friend of mine used to explain how he tried to impress people with the reading material he left about the guest bathroom.

Dez 5, 2022, 8:41 am

My, it's been a long time since I bumped this. Something possibly helpful, member pjfarm remembers this book.

"Don't know how helpful this is going to be. I read a library book (hardcover) in the US back in the early 80's, probably 82-84. No memory of title, author, or cover. Honestly, I don't remember the plot either. But I do remember that the human race had split into a number of different sub-species and for some reason they needed specific representatives of each sub-species to breed so they could produce the final offspring who would be what we would consider a fairly normal human of our day. I never read much John Varley, but that is sort of the 70's SF vibe with a fair bit of sex I remember.

Bits I remember which are hopefully helpful. I think there were between 8 and 12 sub-species. About the only vivid memory I have of it is one branch has emphasized the mind. One of their women is described as hairless except for short hair on her head and she's described as small and slender. All her branch has done for generations is artificial breeding including artificial wombs. She is required to physically breed with a male from a branch which has emphasized brawn. He apparently looks more like a Neanderthal. Before going to see him she is studying a book on human reproduction to learn how it's done and actually reads something along the line of "then you insert tab A into slot B." I don't believe her branch even engaged in recreational intercourse."

I'm not sure it's the same book, but I can't eliminate it either.

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