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KINDLE ì Bloodchild and Other Stories × Octavia E Butler Once Gleefully Described Her Eerie Novella Bloodchild , The Title Piece Of Bloodchild And Other Stories As Her Pregnant Man Story Bloodchild Explores The Paradoxes Of Power And Inequality And Starkly Portrays The Experience Of A Class Who, Like Women Throughout Most Of History, Are Valued Chiefly For Their Reproductive Capacities After It Appeared In Isaac Asimov S Science Fiction Magazine, It Won Both The Hugo And Nebula Awards, SF S Highest Honors Speech Sounds , Which Also Won The Hugo Award, And Crossover , Butler S First Published Story, Both Describe Women Continuing To Endure After Their Lives Have Become Unbearable The Evening And The Morning And The Night Wrestles With The Double Edged Sword Of Illness And Talent Near Of Kin , Butler S Only Non SF Story, Describes A Young Woman Coming To Terms With The Death Of The Mother Who Abandoned HerAlso Included Are Two Autobiographical Essays, Positive Obsession And Furor Scribendi , About What Butler Calls The Art, The Craft, And The Business Of Writing Octavia Butler hit me with the humanity and relatability I didn t know I was seeking in the often cool and clinical world of science fiction This was my first Butler book and, as it turns out, I adore the writer as much as I adore the writing Who couldn t fall for someone who sets out to write a pregnant man story Bloodchild , and gets real about that day she was so disgusted with humans and our inability to communicate with each other that she had to tell a grim tale about the end of communication through words Speech Sounds For this reason, please don t pass over the afterwords following each story or the two essays at the end Butler was one of the greats I can t wait to read Kindred S Zainab Williamsfrom The Best Books We Read In June Those whom we love are often the most alien to usChristopher PaoliniMy review centres on Bloodchild, the better known segment in this anthology an extremely short sci fi story, recommended to me by apatt and cecily.As the story s curtain rises, we are led into an intriguing scene of surreal domestic bliss, whereby view spoiler something resembling a walking lobster scorpion is casually cuddling up to a human on a sofa Please excuse my flippancy, it s way evocative and macabre than I ve described I m someone who just can t help himself hide spoiler My review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, also can be found on my blog.A collection of seven speculative short stories, featuring a pair of essays on writing, Bloodchild uses the tropes of science fiction to probe existential questions and imagine alternatives to the present The fiction ranges from considering what a world stripped of speech might look like, to questioning how one might create a utopian society if granted godlike powers In precise prose, Butler moves at a measured pace in all the stories, lending herself enough time to delve into the subtleties of her ideas Her essays, by contrast, offer practical advice about craft, in addition to recounting the difficulties she faced as a Black woman author working in a genre dominated by white men The essays were a highlight of Bloodchild, and while I m not a fan of sci fi, the stories were so thoughtfully constructed that I enjoyed the collection as a whole. My last night of childhood began with a visit home. The short sci fi horror lite story of the title, Bloodchild, opens thus You know something significant, and probably not good, will happen But at first, it s a pleasant enough domestic scene among the family, sipping a soporific but rejuvenating egg, snuggling against the velvet underside of someone s something s embrace.The awareness of mysteries and taboos grows slowly, seeded by careful choice of vague but uneasy words the need for one s people to be available , concern about thinness, choosing an infant, living in the Preserve And then there is a gross out scene That leads to a choice A dreadful choice, but a newly informed one And choice, especially about family, is the beating, bleeding, bloody heart of the story A story of coming of age, adoption, family, sacrifice, symbiosis, improbable love, impregnation, and birth, against a background of enslaved refugees And it challenges our primeval assumptions about gender Search Google images for fan art, and you ll get idea of exactly what it s about Clue it s not about birds or crocodiles The picture above is a loose analogy There s an excellent profile of Octavia Butler HERE It includes pictures of some of her notes, of which this is my favourite, especially the final exhortation Butler certainly made me feel as if I d touched, tasted, and known, and above all, to feel, feel, feel This fully deserves its prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards from 1985 and 1984, respectively.