Tom MacWright

I read Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler on


Octavia E. Butler knew how to bring you into the story. Even in these short stories, maybe 30 or 40 pages at most, by the end I was there, often pretty freaked out by the graphic imagery and scary ideas.

It’s not all doom and gloom: she’s also all about tenderness, duty, and connection. I think that’s why her dystopias feel more real to me than those on Black Mirror or other depictions: even in catastrophic circumstances, the people in her stories are still so recognizably human.

There’s one bit of non-fiction thrown in: Positive Obsession, about her journey with writing. I really liked that, too – like other authors, it presents writing as a struggle and her rise to success as hard-won.

My only caveat with a whole-hearted recommendation is related to what makes this so compelling: the subject matter can get graphic. It felt like reading a horror movie sometimes, and was pretty disturbing. But if you can handle that, go for it.


  • Bloodchild by
  • ISBN: 1644212471
  • ISBN13: 9781644212479
  • Look up with:
    • Published:
    • Publisher: Seven Stories Press