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Bloodchild and Other Stories

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  6,497 Ratings  ·  546 Reviews
A perfect introduction for new readers and a must-have for avid fans, this New York Times Notable Book includes "Bloodchild," winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and "Speech Sounds," winner of the Hugo Award. Appearing in print for the first time, "Amnesty" is a story of a woman named Noah who works to negotiate the tense and co-dependent relationship between hum ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published September 1st 1995)
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Emily  O
Jul 14, 2010 Emily O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: basically everyone
Bloodchild is a collection of short stories by the famous science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. The problem with most short story collections is that they are usually a mixed bag, populated with mostly mediocre stories speckled with a few stinkers and a few gems. Well, I am happy to report to you that Bloodchild is not like that at all. Every single story in this collection is captivating, intelligent, and written in a style that is clear and accessible without losing any of its sophistication. ...more
Absolutely amazing!! I have no idea how I am just coming across Octavia E. Butler. Everything in Blood Child and other Stories is pure gold. I was continuously blown away by this short story collection which is Sci-Fi at its best. From aliens and plagues, Blood Child and other Stories manages to capture human experience, fears, joys, and sentimentality so vividly.

My favorite of the stories is "Speech Sounds" which takes place a in a destroyed Los Angeles where the inhabitants are suffering the
Jun 06, 2015 fromcouchtomoon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expecting the titular "Bloodchild" to be the pinnacle of the collection, I passed over most of these tales. Boy, was that stupid. "Speech Sounds" and "Amnesty" are equally fascinating and compelling. A personal and enthralling collection.
Aug 26, 2016 Negativni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloodchild - ljudska kolonija na nepoznatom, naseljenom planetu mora "platiti stanarinu" tako što će biti domaćin larvama parazitske rase koja tu živi. Osvrt.
- 5/5

The Evening and the Morning and the Night - genetska bolest DGD izaziva samoozljeđivanje i psihozu pa se oboljele već na prve znake bolesti zatvara u institucije gdje mogu samo sebi nauditi. U odgađanju završnog stadija pomaže posebna dijeta, a oboljeli moraju nositi i posebne ambleme. U pogovoru Octavia kaže da je ova priča nastal
Octavia E Butler is one of the greatest writers I have discovered in a long while. Intelligent and thought provoking - I found myself in green-eyed envy of her skill at taking such a simple writing style and imbuing it with such depth and meaning. Her contribution as a black American woman is invaluable to the usually Caucasian male dominated Science Fiction genre and this collection is an example of how very good Science Fiction writing can be. Not shying away from difficult and heavy ideas, th ...more
May 18, 2017 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the smartest, most thought-provoking books I've read in a while. I can't believe it took me so long to discover Octavia E. Butler.
Octavia Butler writes with such clarity and inertia that I don't even mind that I didn't like this collection much. Missed my subway stop as pages turned and turned. She's got big ideas and I like big ideas. She does admit that she's a novelist over a story writer, though, and I agree. The prose wasn't really very different from Parable of the Sower, it's just the pacing--stilted. Many of these stories felt like ideas, ideas that are tacked to the board, stark. Ok, I see what you're doing here. ...more
Mar 19, 2009 Theo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if it was a refreshing read after a bout with Cormac McCarthy, but this small collection of short stories and two essays was amazing. Butler is characterized as a sci-fi/fantasy writer, but these shorts have only have trace amounts of those genres. The stories themselves are strong narratives that employ slight variations on reality to move the plot while quickly developing readers' understanding of the characters.

This collection perked my interest in picking up a couple of her nov
Valyssia Leigh
This was a rare gem among anthologies. One of the few, in my experience, that was well deserving of a five star rating, and I compared it to the creme of the crop. Anthologies by such august authors as Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Flannery O'Connor and Isaac Asimov didn't resonate as well. What parted Bloodchild and Other Stories from many of its contemporaries, in my opinion, was its sense of purpose. These stories weren't written simply to entertain. They were aimed at specific issues that trou ...more
Mar 23, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Disturbing. Powerful. You can't look away.
Dec 02, 2013 Sunil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2013
Bloodchild is my introduction to grand dame of science fiction Octavia Butler, but like most short story collections, it's a mixed bag. The two non-genre stories ("Near of Kin" and "Crossover") are the weakest, and the award-winning "Bloodchild" and "Speech Sounds" are the strongest, both powerful and evocative. The former deals with a horrifying arrangement between aliens and humans, and the latter tells a story without dialogue, as humanity has lost the ability to communicate with words. I als ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Downward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Octavia Butler's Bloodchild collection serves as a clinic on worldbuilding, and how to deal with social issues in fiction without sacrificing story in the name of politics. These stories, all but one science fiction, each feature a world unique in its depiction of future dystopias of disease, violence, alien occupation, or alien visions of pregnancy that mostly feature female protagonists grappling with moral issues. The most obvious and effective lens through which to evaluate these stories is ...more
Chon Mkliiry
Dec 19, 2012 Chon Mkliiry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story 'Blood Child" is fucking crazy. It is a well thought out post-colonialist allegory to the experience of living as a fringe member of society. I do not want to spoil it too much, but the story takes places in the future as humans are made the servant class of an extraterrestrial race. We are used as house pets, "friends" and as a vessel for their reproduction. This story is uncanny, creepy and genius. Very well thought out and an example of science fiction doing what it does best- illum ...more
Bob Rust
May 18, 2017 Bob Rust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Preface (Bloodchild and Other Stories) • (1995) • essay by Octavia E. Butler
Bloodchild • (1984) • novelette by Octavia E. Butler
The Evening and the Morning and the Night • (1987) • novelette by Octavia E. Butler
Near of Kin • (1979) • short story by Octavia E. Butler
Speech Sounds • (1983) • short story by Octavia E. Butler
Crossover • (1971) • short story by Octavia E. Butler
Positive Obsession • (1989) • essay by Octavia E. Butler
Furor Scribendi • (1993) • essay by Octavia E. Butler
Sep 05, 2010 Arrianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There seems to be an unwritten rule, hurtful and at odds with the realities of American culture. It says you aren’t supposed to wonder whether as a Black person, a Black woman, you really might be inferior- not quite bright enough, not quite quick enough, not quite enough to do the thingds you want to do. Though, of course, you do wonder. You’re supposed to know you’re as good as anyone. and if you don’t know, you aren’t supposed to admit it. If anyone near you admits it, you’re supposed to rea ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-sff, 2015
My full reviews of the stories aren't on GR but at my blog.

Octavia E. Butler didn't produce a large amount of shorter works, her favourite length was the novel. This collection gives a good impression to her work.

The stories seem to be hit or miss for me - when she uses phantasical elements or writes SF, I love the stories. But her dramatic writing doesn't work for me at all, as good as they might be.

★★★★★ • “Bloodchild” • 1984 • novelette by Octavia E. Butler • huge insects use human males as
Alan Chen
I'm quite sad. I've been binge-reading Butler's books and this was the last one. This is structured a little definitely than most short story collections in that she began with a introduction that details how she considers herself mostly a novel writer but has explored short stories and many turned out to be sketches for her novels, however, the tales included were meant to be short stories. Each story is followed by their own afterword where she gives a brief explanation as to what led her to w ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This has been a good read. I didn't know anything about Butler before picking up this collection because the title story was a Hugo winner. Butler was probably the first female African American sci-fi writer, and still one of only a handful of black writers in sci-fi. Her stories are succinct and thoughtful, usually focusing on biological and anthropological issues. She's more known for her novels, which I haven't read.

In addition to the short stories, this collection includes two fantastic ess
Oct 12, 2010 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Octavia Butler was a genius. This collection of short stories is a great and quick example of her ability to imagine new worlds. I read this in about 3 days. The stories are rather disturbing, especially the title story, "Bloodchild." But there is an excellent personal essay on her life as a writer than was inspiring, yet still written on her honest manner. An excellent book for a winter day where you can curl up with a mug of something warm. Underneath it all, Butler is struggling with why huma ...more
Mar 03, 2013 Antonio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Bloodchild: A+
The Evening and the Morning and the Night: A
Near of Kin: B+
Speech Sounds: A
Crossover: A (reads like something good written by Raymond Carver)
Amnesty: A+
the Book of Martha: D (annoying, pointless, preachy, reads like a ridiculously self-centered mashup of those movies where Morgan Freeman plays God, videos of Sunday school, and The Matrix)

I found the essays Birth of a Writer and Furor Scribendi enjoyable reads, A for both.

Overall, this is a great collection. I recommend it to scif
B.  Barron
Jul 20, 2011 B. Barron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-online
Bloodchild - ***** Wow! Just Wow!

The Evening and the Morning and the Night - ****

Near of Kin - ***

Speech Sounds - ****

Crossover - ***

Essay (Positive Obsession) - [*** - not counted for overall book rating]

Essay (Furor Scribendi) - [*** - not counted for overall book rating]

New (Amnesty) - *****

New (The Book of Martha) - ***

The story ratings only add up to a 4 star, but Bloodchild was too damn good so 5 it is.

I also really, really liked the afterwords by the author. They were insightful and ente
Lean, startling, compellingly inventive. I'm not usually a sic-fi fan, but these taut stories are excellent. Also, I rather liked that there is an afterword after each of the stories. Says Butler: "I like the idea of afterwords rather than individual introductions since afterwords allow me to talk freely about the stories without ruining them for readers." It's a nice conceit, one that gives a bit of insight into the writer's thought process.
Karen Mardahl
Mar 10, 2016 Karen Mardahl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook as much as I could because I couldn't get enough of Butler's writing. (Thank goodness for a major knitting project and some commutes!) This is the first I have read of her work, but it won't be the last.

The content is not all science fiction as I thought. Five of the stories are scifi (or fantasy) in my opinion. Two stories are "just" short stories (Near of Kin and Crossover) in my opinion. No fantasy or scifi about these tales, but they are powerful tales of somewha
According to the introduction Octavia Butler considered herself a novelist and thought much less of her own short stories, but out of the five books I've read of hers I like this one the best. It's the most consistently enjoyable and the best marriage of brilliantly original premises with a compelling narrative.

What she does better here than almost any other author I've ever read is to imagine truly alien scenarios. It's not just "humans confront aliens" but a deep reckoning of how the confronta
Lettie Prell
Apr 03, 2017 Lettie Prell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I had the lucky opportunity to meet Octavia Butler when she was guest of honor at DemiCon in what turned out to be one of her last appearances before her death. This book is a piece of her legacy. Her science fiction is intelligent, and I was pleased to discover "Amnesty" in particular, which I hadn't read before.
She was a pioneer for writers of color in the genre in her time. Now we have more, Nora Jemisin among them, who stand on their own creative wave as original as Octavia rode hers. They
Originally posted at

What a great collection of stories this is!

I was at first surprised when there was an afterword after each story. Then as I read through each afterword, after each story, I wished that more short story collections including such afterwords.

“But I’m still glad to be able to talk a little about what I do put into my work, and what it means to me.”

In her afterword to The Evening and the Morning and the Night, a story which focuses on a di
Feb 15, 2008 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Octavia Butler is one of the most talented, creative contemporary writers. "Bloodchild" is a collection of eight short stories, which essentially span from futuristic dystopias, to parasitic alien races, to strange diseases. While in theory these concepts may be dated and arguably cliche, she writes so fluidly and in such a skilled manner that, litearlly, every word she pens is unique and original.

Butler is still a relatively new voice in the world of writing. Rightly or wrongly, she is catogori
Jan 13, 2013 Kaitlynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Octavia Butler's one and only short story collection proves two things: 1) she is terrible at appraising her own skill in short stories, and 2) the woman delivers.

Bloodchild is an anthology collection that is primarily dominated by sci-fi stories, but also includes some short fiction, essays, and a short biography of Butler complete with photos. Each item is followed by a brief discussion from Butler regarding the inspiration and meaning behind the piece.

I can honestly say there is not a short
Jul 19, 2015 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book of science fiction stories. I've been wanting to read some of Octavia Butler's works for some time and this was a wonderful introduction for me. Butler's tales have a pessimistic tone while being very imaginative as she plays with our psyche. I found that the stories that stuck with me were: "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" (a couple dealing with a horrible genetic disorder) and "Speech Sounds" (a post-apocalyptic tale in which people lose most of or all their abilit ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: denver-library
HOW did it take me so long to discover Octavia Butler? These stories perfectly embody the ability of science fiction to hold up a funhouse mirror to reality, allowing us to see aspects of it more clearly when they're distorted as something alien or extraordinary. In this collection, I particularly liked "Bloodchild," an unusual take on alien contact with many resonances in history and human/animal relations, and "The Evening and the Morning and the Night," which deals with issues of mental illne ...more
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Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.
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“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.” 247 likes
“Positive obsession is about not being able to stop just because you’re afraid and full of doubts. Positive obsession is dangerous. It’s about not being able to stop at all.” 11 likes
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