Bloodchild and Other Stories Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Six remarkable stories from a master of modern science fiction. Octavia E. Butler's classic "Bloodchild," winner of both the Nebula and Hugo awards, anchors this collection of incomparable stories and essays. "Bloodchild" is set on a distant planet where human children spend their lives preparing to become hosts for the offspring of the alien Tlic. Sometimes the procedure is harmless, but often it is not. Also included is the Hugo Award - winning "Speech Sounds," about a near future in which humans must adapt after an apocalyptic event robs them of their ability to speak. In this audiobook, Butler shows us life on Earth and amongst the stars, telling her tales with characteristic imagination and clarity.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 38 minutes|
|Author||Octavia E. Butler|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 17, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #12,059 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#30 in Science Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories
#67 in Fiction Short Stories
#95 in Science Fiction Anthologies (Books)
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I mean, sure, everyone has their gaps in their reading history, where there's an author here or there who you've always meant to get round to reading but just haven't. But Butler has been a glaring hole in my reading - until now.
She freely admits in her introduction to this short story collection that novels are where her heart truly belongs, but this is a good way to delve into her writing, a gentle starter with the main course ready and waiting to follow, if you will.
There are seven stories and two essays in this collection, kicking off with the award-winning title story. Bloodchild is a complex story of interdependent relationships, with humans being used as hosts to nurse the infants of an alien species, but at a cost. There are questions of what one is willing to exchange in order to survive, issues of abusive relationships and personal sacrifice, all heady topics swirling within the confines of a short story.
Award-winner that it is, though, personally I prefer another story in the collection, The Evening and the Morning and the Night. It's a story of a society where a drug created to cure ailments such as cancer has after-effects, with the descendants of those who took the drug affected by a condition which can cause them to "drift", losing touch with the society around them and slipping into dangerous psychosis. Told from the perspective of the children affected by this disorder, as they face a future which seems inevitably to slip towards madness and death, it's a deeply poignant tale of how society deals with those it cannot cope with, and what happens to those individuals themselves - whether they can carve out their own future in a world that offers them none.
These two stories stand out above the others, but there's still plenty of great reading to be had in the collection. There's no binding theme - though a recurring focus is on issues of biology and illness. One nice feature is that each story has notes after it with the author detailing her thoughts on the tale. For example, she addresses the fact that many think Bloodchild is about slavery - it isn't, though talk in the story of selling people hints that way. It's more complex than that, though, and very much worth discovering if, like me, you've been lagging behind on exploring Butler's work.
The book also includes two essays, the first of which provides insight into Butler's life and development into a writer as a Black woman, and the second intended for those hoping to become published writers.