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Bloodchild and Other Stories
By Octavia Butler

Discussed June 2008

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  1. Butler claims this story is not about slavery. Do you agree with her?
  2. Which characters in this story do you find sympathetic? Which characters do you dislike?
  3. As Butler says in the afterword, in part the story is about how humanity pays its own way on another species' planet. Does this form of payment seem like it makes sense? Or, has the story jumped the shark?

"The Evening and the Morning and the Night"

  1. Is the disease believable? Do you find Butler's slowly unfolding description of the disease and the main characters' strengths consistent?
  2. In a lot of speculative fiction, one disease is supposed to be a metaphor for another. Do you think this disease is a metaphor for anything specific?

"Speech Sounds"

  1. What makes this post-apocalyptic story special?

"Near of Kin" and "Crossover" -- The non-genre stories?

  1. Did these read like complete stories? Or, were they more character sketches?
  2. Did you find any of the characters to be sympathetic? Any entirely not sympathetic?
  3. Is there anyway either of these could be some form of speculative fiction?


  1. All in all, the items in the collection are not light hearted. What rays of hope or optimism do you see in the collection?
  2. Do all of the items in the collection go well together? Do you wish anything had been left out?
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