I’m currently in the process of looking for a part time, applying for grad school, and juggling a full time school schedule, so short story collections are just so convenient at the moment. I stumbled upon this collection while browsing through my library, and boy was I ever pleased. Also one of my goals for this year, is to read more sci-fi, so I think this was the perfect introduction into the genre.Here are my thoughts hope you enjoy!
Absolutely amazing!! I have no idea how I am just coming across Octavia E. Butler. Everything in Blood Child and other Stories is pure gold. I was continuously blown away by this short story collection which is Sci-Fi at its best. From aliens and plagues, Blood Child and other Stories manages to capture human experience, fears, joys, and sentimentality so vividly.
My favorite of the stories is “Speech Sounds” which takes place a in a destroyed Los Angeles where the inhabitants are suffering the fall out of an illness which has made the world go silent. Some people have lost their sense to speak, read, or hear. Those who have retained any bit of their senses chose to keep it hidden because they are targeted by others who are envious. The world is violent and in complete anarchy. “Trust no One” is basically the motto here.
Another one that really struck me was “The Evening and the Morning and the Night” which takes a look at the aftermath of a cancer cure and the repercussions it had on those whose ancestors took it. The effects of the cure lead to a disease known as Duryea- Gode Disease (DGD). This disease is so extremely destructive and harmful that the carriers are treated as a sort of sub species to humans. I cringed at some of the imagery even though I couldn’t look away.
It’s these kinds of stories that cause me cause me real terror because I can imagine them really happening. Are we so far from these “stories” becoming reality?
“Blood Child” is also another work of brilliance and terror, as is “Amnesty”. “The Book of Martha,” “Crossover”, and “Near of Kin “are very dark and somber, yet all three have oddly hopeful endings.
An awesome bonus to this collection, is that Butler includes an afterward after each story where she describes how she came up with the story.It’s a nice treat to hear have her tell us in her own words what she wanted to accomplish with them, especially since sadly she is no longer with us.
In addition to the shorts, she also includes two personal essays where she talks about her journey to becoming a writer. In Positive Obsession she takes up back to when the spark for reading and writing was lit. Her perseverance to make it into an industry that did not cater to her gender or ethnicity. And in Furor Scribendi she gives advice to young budding authors. If you are a writer yourself, or on your way there then I highly recommend these.
Overall, brilliant, beautiful, amazing, and every other positive adjective out there! I cannot wait to read more from her.
After finishing the book, I was so impressed by her, that I went online to watch and read interviews with her. This is my favorite because she’s funny and a lot of what she says is applicable to all fields of literature.
R.I.P Miss Butler
Thanks for reading!