These three novels tell stories from multiple characters’ viewpoints before, during, and after the “waterless flood” in which bioengineer Glenn causes a mass extinction event for humans through dissemination of a Viagra-like pharmaceutical drug called BlyssPluss. To replace humans, Glenn has bioengineered a new species, referred to as the Crakers, who are human-like but free from hierarchies and violence. The title of the novel, and the name Crakers, derive from the game Extinctathon about animals that have gone extinct, including the oryx (antelope) and crake (bird).
Lilith Iyapo wakes up in a spaceship orbiting Earth to find out that humans have destroyed the world and made it unlivable and an alien species, the Oankali, have saved the few humans who survived the war. Lilith is charged with waking her fellow humans to establish a new Oankali-Human society on Earth.