"Bloodchild" and Other Stories

Reception

Reviewers of this short story collection by “the Grande Dame of Science Fiction” were generally impressed by the quality and “its diversity of subject matter.” Janet St. John concluded that “although this book is little 'compact' in size, its ideas are splendidly large” and that “Butler’s imagination is strong --- so is her awareness of how to work real issues subtly into the text of her fiction.”[18] The reviewers also discovered, across her stories “whether she is dealing with the role of medical science, biological determinism, the politics of disease, or complex interrelations of race, class, and gender, [that] Butler’s dystopian imagination challenges us to think the worst in complex ways while simultaneously planting utopian seeds of hope."[19]

J. Miller from the American Book Review observed that “Octavia Butler’s works is science fiction at its best. The fictions in Bloodchild and other stories get us off the beaten track and encourage us to think differently about the way we live, the way we treat ourselves and each other. This makes Octavia Butler not just a good science-fiction writer, but also one of the most interesting and innovative political writers around today."[19] Janet St. John saw Butler as “making writing a habit “ and she supplemented our understanding of that with “her first hand analysis and discussion of the impetus and influence in her own work”.[18] She explained how “in her “enlightening “ and “ inspirational” afterwords that follow each story or novella" contain “a refreshing look into Butler’s writing process and helps to clarify what excites and motivates.” As Gerald Jonas of The New York Times views it, "Bloodchild and other stories is a fine example of how science fiction, by subverting expectations, can jar us into a new appreciation of familiar truths.”[20]


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