Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bloodchild (GLBT February Mini-Challenge)

On an alien planet there is a colony of humans who have developed an alliance with the insect-like Tlic, the native inhabitants of the planet.  The humans have to give one of their family to the Tlic to carry their young.  Gan is one of the young humans who has been selected and he is honored by this choice.  But after witnessing one of these "births," he is unsure about what he has to do.  He loves T'Gotoi, the one whose eggs he will carry, but he experiences doubt about what must be done.

This was an interesting and creepy short story.  The idea of carrying and hatching insects inside a human grosses me out.  In fact, Butler says in the afterword that she wrote it partly out of fear of the botfly who lays eggs in tissue and her fear of this.  I've read one other book by her, Clay's Ark, which I really enjoyed and when I was searching for an author for this mini-challenge, I found out she was a lesbian.  So knowing that I liked her writing, this was so great.  And this is a disturbing little story, but at the same time, sweet and caring.  T'Gotoi loves Gan and he loves her, but he is unaware of the exact repercussions of is going to happen.  And when he finds out he must decide what to do about it.  The choice he makes is a hard one, but probably the right one.

Octavia Butler is a female African-American science fiction who won numerous awards for her work.  The story "Bloodchild" won the following awards:

Something interesting is the foreword included where Butler talks about writing short stories and getting rejected by publishers.  She says she hates writing short stories because she finds it frustrating to try and contain her ideas in a smaller format.  But the stories included in this book are truly short stories for her.


  1. I really need to read something by Octavia Butler. I started reading Parable of the Sower and couldn't get into it, but big fans of hers have told me that's far from her best work.

  2. I don't know if I could handle this ... I got itchy just reading about the idea of the bugs laying eggs in humans. That is one of my fears in life. Ick.

  3. Gross, gross, gross! I hate bugs so I will definitely have to skip this one, like Jenners, I get itchy just thinking about it. Oh *shudders* EW! ok I'm done now :) Well it is a creative idea at least, one that I could live without though!

    Thanks for this review and particpating in the GLBT challenge. I've heard Kindred, Fledgling, dawn & Parable of the Sower are some of her best works.


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