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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,966 ratings  ·  200 reviews
Contains the short story Bloodchild only.

Years ago a group known as the Terrans left Earth in search of a life free of persecution. Now they live alongside the Tlic, an alien race who face extinction; their only chance of survival is to plant their larvae inside the bodies of the humans.

When Gan, a young, boy, is chosen as a carrier of Tlic eggs, he faces an impossible
Kindle Edition, 31 pages
Published March 13th 2014 by Headline (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,966 ratings  ·  200 reviews

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Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of children, men
Dear Ms. Butler:

I feel the same way about bearing children.



(view spoiler)
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, american
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Skylar Phelps
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exceptionally weird and quite creepy. It’s really a stellar example of quality short fiction. I have a feeling that this one will stick with me for a long, long time.
Alec Lyons
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A strange and alien exploration of what it means for two dying races to flourish once again through a new found and tentative symbiosis.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
...I very much liked this story. Although the middle in particular is quite horrific, the story ends on a note of hope for the future. What I also liked about it is that Butler manages to do so much with it in so few words. Any of the themes she uses could have been enough to carry a story. Despite the elements of exploitation and gender relations, the story is not overly political or moralizing. Butler channels it all into the confrontation in a way that makes you feel she needed those elements ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Blood Child is as thrilling and intricate as it was the first time I read it. However, as was the purpose for re-reading it today, I would like to say Happy Birthday Octavia Butler. Her words, ideas and imagination inspired so many of us to feel bold enough to write our own stories, and to believe they were important enough to be told. She has influenced my own world so immensely, both in my personal creative endeavors as well as in my professional teaching career. And I am only one piece of ...more
H.A. Leuschel
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly weird and creepy as well as gripping and fascinating. This author has got an amazing imagination and this was a fantastic example of compelling short fiction and I now look forward to reading more of this writer's work.
Arkapravo Bhaumik
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short story available for free at amazon kindle is my first reading of Octavia Butler's writings. It is a very nice story, yet it is really weird and sick. It is similar to the stories of H.P Lovecraft and China Miéville and the prescient horror of an alien monster species (the Tlic) with whom one has to strike a deal for mutual welfare is the central plot of the story. The description of hatching the Tlic offspring from the human hosts (the N'Tlic) gave me a stomach-churning. This breeding ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: feminism
I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to at the beginning. I was a little hesitant about how sci-fi it was and in what way (not being huge on less "realistic" sci-fi), but the story was very visceral and engaging and feminist and pregnant with meaning (pun intended). This uncomfortable resigned human-alien cohabitation (view spoiler) is one I have not often seen and made for a really good introduction to Octavia ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All sci-fi fans
This story is still offered for free on Amazon, so go and get it.

6 stars and a new favorite. Can't praise this story and Octavia's writing highly enough.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, sci-fi
Landing on another planet, already inhabited by creatures, often turns ugly in scifi. Bloodchild was a nice compromise between cohabiting and surviving, with touches of fear, love and disgust. As with Kindred, the writing flew easily, the story was interesting and I liked to discover what was happening with the characters, even if I didn't understand everything at the beginning.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
just go ahead and fuck me up, Octavia
My review is under a different edition, here:
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stunning and emotional short story.
Makeda / ColourLit
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really good short story - interesting premise with the afterword clarifying a few points I’d guessed. Looking forward to reading more Butler, in particular Parable of the Sower ...more
Matthew Lloyd
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to read some Octavia E. Butler for a while, but the only book in the OUSFG library was not the first Xenogenesis book ( Adulthood Rites , I think...) and I have so many books around that buying more has not been my priority. But then I moved country, didn't bring any books besides my kindle with me, and thus felt justified in seeking out some Butler. It was certainly worth it.

Bloodchild is a short story, with (in the edition I read) an Afterword by Butler about the genesis of
Now this is how you write a short story! I've been wanting to dive into Octavia E Butler's work for a while now, and thought I'd start small to get a taste of her style, with this Hugo award winning kindle freebie.

Oh my stars. In 30 pages or less, this amazing author has created a world that turns human supremacy upside down and inside out, but in a way where the humans are willing participants in their subjugation. I can't get you out of my head, Tlic. Or my guts.

Now to go spend big and buy up
This excellent short story was free on the Kindle app and, having stayed up late to finish it last night, I now I want to read as much Octavia Butler as I can. Thoughtful, intelligent, chilling sci-fi.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, school-made-me
If this is “easing into” the genre, idk what I signed up for w this writing class LOL

But oddly enough, I think I’d probably (definitely) choose to read this if it were a book longer than 20 pgs. Hm.
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

The short story, Bloodchild, is the first I have read of Octavia Butler's writing and I sincerely hope it won't be the last. Olivia (of Olivia's Catastrophe) is right. Octavia Butler is an amazing storyteller! I spotted Bloodchild free on Amazon so snapped up the download and would recommend every other reader to do the same. At just thirty pages, Butler gives us enough of the alien essentials of her imagined world that I was able to
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I tackled this short story last week for my African-American Literature class. "Tackled" seems like an interesting word to use, but for me it is not. Sci-Fi has never been my first pick with genres. This story is science fiction with an alien life force for good measure.The story was sometimes hard to follow because I was confused between who was human and who was alien and there appeared to be multiple kinds of aliens. The piece I read didn't give a lot of history or background leading up to ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm trying to figure out how to write a scary scene so I looked up "best horror" lists - and a short story kept coming up again and again as one of the best sci/fi horror shorts ever written - "Bloodchild" (a short story in this volume). They were not kidding - this tale of human males being used by an insectile alien race to gestate their eggs is not only chillingly-fantastic in how quickly the reader is submersed into this frightening world but also in the skill at work in ramping up the ...more
Anna Stephens
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disturbing and compelling

Although the author herself says this is not a story about slavery, I found it hard to read as anything else. With her afterword explaining how she saw it, though, I can see the idea she was heading for as well. Either way, whatever interpretation readers put on it, it's a frightening and compelling and strangely beautiful story.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Just... all my love and respect for this genius woman, Octavia E. Butler. It was weird good weird but I am sold 101%, wouldn't miss it for the world.

Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bloodchild is an amazing short story that illustrates, as beautiful allegory, the parasitic nature of both settler colonialism as well as slave societies, without being overtly political (Octavia Butler has stated overtly that this is not a story about slavery but is a love story; however, this is my experience as a reader, prior to that knowledge). The story is visceral and well paced, and in just 30 pages, the main character moves from a naive state to a more dynamic actor with a certain ...more
Katherine McDade
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This short story will lodge itself deep in your mind--I'm still wondering how Butler managed to pack so many major themes in 20 pages. It is her "male pregnancy" story, and it certainly requires gender norms to be left at the door. Limited agency is another factor each of the characters struggles with. Though some might argue it's a story about slavery, I see it as a love story through and through as it begs the question of whether or not humans are truly capable of being blind to difference. ...more
A fascinating sci-fi short story featuring an alien planet where humans are refugees(sort of). The story is weird from the get go and you do not understand what is actually happening until half way through, which really worked with this story.

The author's afterword is very insightful and widened my understanding of the theme of this story.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This short story gives me grave-digging urges. Miss Butler's grave, anyone? I got some worshipping to do, and I fear it'll only be enough once I do it face to face. Or face to skull. Hardly matters, as long as I get the job done.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I will probably fight you for Octavia Butler

Just. This is what I crave to read. Sparse yet descriptive, imaginative and gorgeous. And mpreg. Layers of feeling, concepts. Black characters in sci fi. Beautiful.
Lucas Mota
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
STARS: 4,4

That was beautiful, scarry, disturbing and unforgetable.
There are a lot of layers on this story. There are a philosofy thinking that makes us unconfortable.
It was my second read. It took two times so I could absorb all of this. Octavia is becoming one of my favorites authors.
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SBHS Book Wyrms: Bloodchild Group reading 1 7 Sep 05, 2019 04:24PM  

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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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