"Bloodchild" and Other Stories Summary

"Bloodchild" and Other Stories Summary


Bloodchild tells the story of the extraordinary relationship between aliens known as Tlic and the human ex-;pats of earth who are living there. The Tlic realize that humans make excellent host carriers for their eggs and each earthling is required to chose a child for implantation. The story is narrated by a male named Gan who is required to carry the eggs of one of the lead females of the Tlic. Since he can remember Gan has thought of being a host as an honor and a privilege, but when he witnesses the premature hatching of eggs in another male host, he has to participate in performing a cesarian surgery so that the Tlic grubs can be retrieved and so that Lomas, the other male carrier, will not be eaten alive from the inside out.

Not surprisingly this experience changes the way in which Gan feels about being a host. He declares that he will kill himself before letting himself be impregnated. He begins to question the relationship between the humans and the aliens and sensing his distress, T'Gatoi asks if she can impregnate Gans' sister instead of him. Because he loves T'Gatoi, but wants to protect his sister too, he relents and agrees to become impregnated; she promises that she will not desert him, and will be loyal to him forever.

The Evening and the Morning and the Night

This story is an exploration of a new social caste of people created on earth entirely because of genetic disease.

Near of Kin.

A girl who has recently lost her mother confides in her uncle about her sadness that she never really had a proper relationship with her. The girl was raised by her grandmother after her mother abandoned her and she wants to talk to her uncle about a long-held family secret that she feels was the reason for this abandonment. She believes that she is her uncle's child because they look so similar, and he admits this, which leaves her feeling that the abandonment was completely justified.

Speech Sounds

This story is about a universe where the ability of speech has been eradicated by a virus.


A woman who works in a factory hates her job and is struggling with alcoholism. She has thought about suicide a lot and struggles with loneliness and low self-esteem, and as the story progresses she becomes more and more self-destructive. This is chiefly a story about alcoholism, and because the woman was raised in an alcoholic environment, it is also a consideration of the nature versus nurture argument.


Noah, the protagonist, meets potential employers in her search for a job working for the alien species that have taken over Earth's desert areas. She was abducted by the aliens as a child and wants to convince humans that they are not frightening and that they should overcome their fears of their "invaders" and try to work alongside them for the common good instead. Although she has lived her life basically as a science experiment, she seems unaware of this and is actually working for the aliens who have brainwashed her in communicating with humans and subliminally brainwashing them to create a bond.

The Book of Martha

In an effort to create the perfect world, God asks Martha for some help in coming up with some ideas about how to make humans nicer, and less destructive. Although she is initially annoyed by this request, Martha begins to make a list of ways in which this seemingly impossible goal could be achieved. The process also makes her start to think of herself in a godlike way. She decides that people should have lifelike dreams every night so that when they wake up they are inspired to create the world they have just been dreaming about. This is a double-edged sword for Martha; she is a writer and she knows that people won't read her books anymore for pleasure because they will have all the creative pleasure that they need whilst they are asleep. However, because she knows she can make a difference and make a nicer world, she decides to sacrifice her career for the greater good.

Positive Obsession (Essay)

This is an autobiographical piece of work and details her love of team sports in high school. Of all of the sports she participated in her favorite was archery because it was not a team sport. Despite her love for team sports she resented relying on others for success, or in some cases, failure. Archery enabled her to stand alone. This she views as a positive obsession.

Furor Scribeni (Essay)

Butler shares her perspective on the roller-coaster life of a writer. This is the most instructive essay she has written and was used in conjunction with the workshops she was teaching at the time with Clarion. She does not believe in giving in to a writers' block (which is ironic because she suffered enormously with these at the end of her life) and entreats readers to power through and force themselves to write even if they don't feel like it.

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