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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,178 ratings  ·  386 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 dil
Kindle Edition, 31 pages
Published March 13th 2014 by Headline (first published June 1984)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,178 ratings  ·  386 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: american, sci-fi
Alien Perversity

A short story that is meant to be maximally disgusting. Humans used as living incubators for 9 foot tall centipedes is only the start. These intelligent insects are part of the human household. They hold and caress adults and infants as they enjoy their warmth. They supply humans with a nourishing, intoxicating food, their own infertile eggs. They choose when and with whom to implant their grubs in the human body. If not handled in exactly the correct manner, birth is lethal for
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aman Tripathi’s father in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan could not stop throwing his stomach’s content up when he found his son kissing another boy, passionately, I must add. On the other hand, even though I did not vomit like the father, I was occasionally turning myself away from Octavia E. Butler’s short story, Bloodchild. It was gory, sometimes really disgusting; I would ask myself repeatedly why am I even reading it but the desire to finish the 31st book of 2020 was strong enough to keep me go ...more
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short stories are a tough sell for me, but it seemed like an easy (and free!) point of entry to Butler's writing, so I downloaded it. And, wow--talk about an uneasy symbiosis that might just be strange love that definitely is horror... I really wish that Bloodchild was longer, for the very simple reason that I wanted to marinate in all of those emotions it made me feel for longer. Otherwise, like I said--wow. ...more
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.
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. ...more
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
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2021
A human colony living as little more than slaves, joined to an insectoid race as (view spoiler) Love, possesiveness and self-sacrifice are themes.

Butler voices her surprise in the afterword, that readers see this as a story of slavery. But are we looking at symbiosis or at a parasitic relationship? Is it really consent in a situation, where your p
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 sta ...more
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 by H.P Lovecraft and China Miéville. 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 in ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
such an interesting little story!
i love how it mixed so many different topics - male pregnancy, coming of age or life altering choices (depending on how you see such things), owning your own body or owing someone something simply for being born and having nothing to say about it, choosing your own suffering for that or your family and i guess in a sense even touching slavery but not in the typical format.

and all that in about 30 pages!

which is basically the only problem i had with this story.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
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. ...more
Allie Riley
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have been trying to get hold of a reasonably priced copy of Kindred for ages and Octavia Butler has long been an author I have wanted to investigate. Leafing through my ebook library, I found that I owned this - I had quite forgotten! It's a wonderful little short story and very thought provoking. The author's afterword was also very helpful. Essentially a meditation on what it would be like for a male of a species to experience pregnancy, which is presented in this instance as parasitical. Fa ...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 Butl ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
just go ahead and fuck me up, Octavia
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best science fiction short stories I've ever read!!!
Octavia E. Butlers story works on different levels..

**How far would humankind go for living on an inhabited, extrasolar world**

**A horror story, humans as host of of a parasite alien race attached, living and growing under their skin, and eating their flesh as they grow**

**A dramatic story of a man becoming pregnant as an act of love**

**A love story between two very different beings**

**About making decisions in spite of disturbing in
3.5 Stars

Bloodchild was my introduction to the works of Octavia E. Butler. After I was recently told I should really try her books, I came across this short story which has won all the prizes and was free on Amazon. Since it was short, I immediately squirmed it in with my other readings.

Two things that really stood out for me where on the one hand the worldbuilding. Within only 31 pages there is an entire world created and touched upon so many of the details of this world that I was awed by thi
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-story
Butler herself has stated this short is not about slavery, but I find it impossible to read it and not subconsciously draw that parallel. I don’t think it’s a simple allegory for slavery, and in so few pages Butler manages to display a plethora of complex elements, but to me as a reader slavery was definitely one of those elements.

The premise evokes as much, and is deceptively simple: humans, or at least a certain group of them, have been driven off their home planet (by another group of humans
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.
Hamid Babayev
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
An interesting and somewhat creepy story. it was a bit of a horror story about symbiosis with an alien, but of course it was an allegory. I don't find this like a story about slavery. It contains more. the author tries to show us what it would be like to change responsibility in worse situations or to go ahead as a sacrifice in order to survive. to save someone, especially family. such as an artificial (and definitely non-sterile) pregnancy of men by alien. like the insects in our blood, right?

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
Stephanie Jane
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 understa
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
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stunning and emotional short story.
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, sci-fi
3.5 ★★★☆☆*
Free ebook copy via Amazon Prime Reading
«I would like to have touched my mother, shared that moment with her. She would take my hand if I touched her now. Freed by the egg and the sting, she would smile and perhaps say things long held in. But tomorrow, she would remember all this as a humiliation. I did not want to be part of a remembered humiliation. Best just be still and know she loved me under all the duty and pride and pain.»

Review in English | Reseña en español (abajo)
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been meaning to read Octavia E. Butler for a while now and I don’t understand why it’s taken me so long. This short story will stay with me not only because I was so invested in the world and the characters in 30 pages (!), but also because this hits the right spot of sci-fi & horror for me. It’s terrifying and human (and hard to stomach), there is probably not a sentence that’s superfluous and it builds tension between the two main beings in a very poignant way. I will say, I’m so intrigue ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, classic, short-story
Humans have ended up on a planet far away from Earth where they need to learn to live with the original inhabitants the T'lic. The T'lic need humans to be able to procreate and survive and therefore both species must adapt and accommodate each other. Sci-fi is not my genre, but I enjoyed it in this short format. ...more
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 t ...more
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SBHS Book Wyrms: Bloodchild Group reading 2 11 Jun 30, 2020 09:05PM  

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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.

After her father died, Butler was raised by her widowed mother. Extremely shy as a child, Octavia found an outlet at the li

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