Science Fiction Required Readings

3 Bloodchild


Octavia Butler

Silhouette of an open bookRead online  (alternative link)


As a young undergraduate taking her first college sci fi course, it was this story that had the most impact on me. Butler is just a bad ass, and probably one of the best at using SF to question traditional notions of gender and race.

Essay Ideas

Check out this short video on the Characteristics of Coming of Age Stories. Using information from this lecture, explain how “Bloodchild” could be considered a coming of age story.

Butler has said that “Bloodchild” could be read as a “love story.” What kind(s) of love could she be referring to? How might Gan’s and/or T’Gatoi’s thoughts and actions be interpreted as acts of love? What of Gan’s mother?

How do the T’lic as a society and their relationship to the humans complicate traditional notions of gender and gender roles?

Library Notes

isaac-asimovs-science-fiction-magazine-june-1984-aAuthor website:

Additional works by Octavia Butler:

Interview with Octavia Butler on Charlie Rose:

Additional Scholarship about Octavia Butler:

Loving the Other in Science Fiction by Women” in the Journal of Science Fiction.

A New Biological Citizenship: Posthumanism in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling” – Academic article (Modern fiction studies, Nayar, Pramod yr:2012 vol:58 iss:4 pg:796 -817)

In Memoriam: Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006). Gregory Hampton. Callaloo , Vol. 29, No. 2 (Spring, 2006), pp. 245-248.

Remembering Octavia Butler: an Interview with Juan Diaz by Salon. Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 03:59 PM PST.


Radio Imagination: Artists and Writers in the Archive of Octavia E. Butler Feb 2016–Jan 2017

This clip starts off with Robert Silverberg, then Karen Joy Fowler and Octavia Butler discuss how more women writers began writing science fiction in the 1970s:

Book Display of Octavia's novels.
“OB Book Display” CC BY 4.0 by Whatcom Community College

Media Attributions


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Sci-fi & Fantasy Anthology by Octavia Butler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book