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Bloodchild: And Other Stories (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Octavia E. Butler

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

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 these pages, Butler shows us life on Earth and amongst the stars, telling her tales with characteristic imagination and clarity.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.

Biographie de l'auteur

A writer who darkly imagined the future we have destined for ourselves in book after book, and also one who has shown us the way toward improving on that dismal fate, OCTAVIA E. BUTLER (1947–2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of contemporary fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community’s top prizes, the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3413 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 228 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1583226982
  • Editeur : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy; Édition : 2 (24 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008HALO0U
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°500.466 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  66 commentaires
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Great Collection 26 juillet 2011
Par ReadingWhileFemale - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Bloodchild is a collection of short stories by the famous science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. The problem with short story collections is that they are usually a mixed bag, populated with mostly mediocre stories speckled with a few stinkers and a few gems. Well, I am happy to report to you that Bloodchild is not like that at all. Every single story in this collection is captivating, intelligent, and written in a style that is clear and accessible without losing any of its sophistication.

What really struck me about Bloodchild was the sheer emotional impact of each story. Because each story is such a perfect little world, and because the characters are so well realized, every story really packs a punch. I put down the book between each story, incapable of doing any real thinking because I was so blown away by what I had just read. I think the effectiveness of the stories comes from a mix of excellent writing and characterization and the way Butler uses those characters to explore complex ideas. One of Butler's strengths is in never letting her work become preachy or one-sided. Butler's ideas are as complex as her characters, and that makes her stories resonate in a very real and powerful way.

Usually, this would be the part of the review where I would tell you which stories were my favorite and which ones to skip, but I can't really do that with this collection, because they are all absolutely worth reading. I believe that Butler's most famous stories are Bloodchild and Speech Sounds, both of which are in this collection and both of which are absolutely mind-blowing. Bloodchild actually left me speechless and shaking by the time I finished it. Her other stories are more subtle, but are still incredibly well-written. There are also two essays included in the book, my favorite of which was Positive Obsession. Since I bought the updated version of the book, I got an extra two stories on top of the original five stories and two essays. If you are going to get it, I recommend getting the updated version, because the two added stories are both very good, especially Amnesty. In all of the stories Butler's characters are absolutely convincing, and her story-telling is so smooth that you never need time to get adjusted to the story, even when you are dropped right in the middle of the action. That is, to me, a sign of a great writer.

I know this review is vague, but that is only because Butler's stories are so good. I don't feel like I need to speak for them, and I'm not sure that I could even if I wanted to. If you want intelligent stories with concise yet vivid writing and realistic characters, then Octavia Butler is absolutely the writer for you.

Rating: 5 stars
Vivid writing, engaging plot, convincing characters, and intelligent world building. Highly recommended.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 the short fiction of Octavia Butler, the outstanding Speech Sounds 7 mars 2007
Par Joe Sherry - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Besides her exceptional novels, Octavia Butler has published a collection of her short fiction entitled Bloodchild and Other Stories. The opening story in the collection is her Hugo and Nebula award winning story, the title story, "Bloodchild". This is what she has called her "male pregnancy story" and it features an Earth which has been taken over by some sort of alien creatures who form symbiotic relationships with humans, but who also use humans to breed their young and usually males because impregnating females means fewer humans will be born which means fewer young of their own kind. It was an interesting story.

My favorite of the collection, however, is her Hugo winning story "Speech Sounds". Some sort of cataclysm has hit our planet, one which has robbed humanity of the ability to speak and in some cases regressed the mental development of humanity to a more base level. Set in Los Angeles, "Speech Sounds" shows the loss of communication and what that does to society and we see it through the eyes of one woman who was on a bus when an incident occurred.

"The Evening and the Morning of the Night" is a story which sticks with the reader, though with me it was for the wrong reason I believe. This story features a hereditary disease which causes some people to lose their mind and try to dig their way out of their own skin and it is that image of people trying to do that to themselves that sickened me a bit, even though all that action occurred off camera, if you will. Interesting as a concept and well written, it is also one I would rather forget.

"Near of Kin" is Butler's one non-science fiction story and it is a story about family and perceived family. Quite good, but it would belong more in another collection than in a genre collection like this.

I did not remember "Crossover" two minutes after I finished.

Bloodchild and Other Stories also includes two essays on writing and being a writer and for all their brevity, they are interesting as a mini biography of Butler and also for the glimpse of her publishing career. The glimpse I was most struck by was that after selling two stories at Clarion, she then went five years before selling another piece of work. Five years! For an author of Butler's talent! This explains, of course, Butler's mantra of: Persist.

Each story or essay is followed by an Afterword written by Butler giving a little bit of context or explanation as needed to the piece of fiction (or non fiction).

The edition of Bloodchild and Other Stories I was able to read was not the expanded edition which featured two more short stories. This edition, succinct as it is, is worth reading for fans of the genre and especially for fans of Octavia Butler.

-Joe Sherry
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Can't you write anything normal?": the complete short fiction of Octavia E. Butler 12 juin 2011
Par D. Cloyce Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The 2005 expanded edition of Butler's only collection of short fiction contains the original five stories and two essays, plus two additional stories published in 2003. Each story is remarkable for its succinct, raw power, and the collection, while slight, is impressive for its variety. There's more going on here in seven stories than many more prolific writers offer in a lifetime. Two of the earlier stories are not science fiction; one is a "sympathetic [that is, non-judgmental] story of incest" inspired by various biblical examples; the other is a story about a working woman "turning to alcohol." And Butler wrote an afterword for each selection, explaining its inspiration, meaning, and place in her oeuvre. In one of the two essays, she recalls how an exasperated writing teacher asked her, "Can't you write anything normal?" The answer, happily, is no.

Although the most famous piece is "Bloodchild" (Butler's "pregnant man story"), for my money the gem of the book is "Speech Sounds," about a woman who has mysteriously retained her functions of speech after a deadly disease has robbed nearly all the surviving population of the ability to communicate. (The basic set-up reminds me a little of Saramago's "Blindness," which was of course written much later.) The mute survivors attack the healthy for their "superiority" and so even those who can speak are forced to be silent and armed. The woman struggles to survive in the anarchic violence of a world "where the only likely common language was body language."

The final selection, "The Book of Martha" (one of the stories written in 2003), also shows why, five years after her death, Butler continues to be regarded as one of the best of science fiction writers. An extended dialogue between a woman and God, it is Butler's "utopia story," but her take on the perfect world explains much about why the ironies in her fiction still resonate: "I don't like most utopia stories because I don't believe them for a moment. It seems inevitable that my utopia would be someone else's hell." There is some version of heaven or hell for every reader in each one of these stories, but all of them are immaculately rendered.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A wonderful collection 6 novembre 2014
Par E. VanZwoll - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
After reading a portion of "Bloodchild" in a Hugo Award "snippet" book earlier this year, I picked up Octavia E. Butler's "Bloodchild: And Other Stories." For an author who claimed to hate writing short stories, her talent at sharing glimpses into a possible future shine through in this collection.

From stories about a post-alien landing on Earth to humans who have traveled to other universes themselves, we see the desperation and drive that is ever-present in history and will continue into the future. This collection of short stories really drives home the fact that humans will always BE human and will always shine through no matter how difficult or dark the circumstances are. Our compassion may be hidden in some, but there will always be someone caring. One of my favorites stories is "Speech Sounds," where we see a woman struggling to hide a secret while protecting herself from the world surrounding her. "The Book of Martha" is the last tale told, highlighting how impossible it is to make a Utopia that everyone will be happy with... and a unique solution discovered along that way.

About halfway through the collection, we take a look into the past as we see a young Octavia struggling to make her way as an author... not only a science-fiction author, but a black female science-fiction author. As a young girl born black, in the south, poor, and in the 1940s, we see the determination of a woman who wouldn't take NO for an answer. She should be an inspiration to all aspiring authors.

Overall, I was very happy with this collection. It was great to view the world through Octavia E. Butler's eyes, and I can see why she won both Hugo and Nebula Awards. When she passed away in 2006, the science-fiction community lost a wonderful and talented storyteller, though her dreams will follow us into the future.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not One Word Wasted 7 novembre 2007
Par J. T. Glover - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
"What good is science fiction to Black people?" If you have ever wondered this, or if you've ever thought that the future was limited to shiny, cybernetic miracles, you need to read Bloodchild and Other Stories. A collection of five short stories and two wonderfully spare essays on the art of writing, this book serves as a fine introduction to the works of Octavia Butler.

Butler's novels have won the most prestigious awards in the science fiction world, even though they often deal with questions of race and culture that have not always captured the attention of science fiction writers, or the interest of science fiction readers. Her protagonists are frequently strong Black women - think Celie by way of Ellen Ripley. The stories in this volume include everything from synthetic diseases that rob people of their basic humanity to the subtleties of interpersonal relations in difficult circumstances. The title story is an SF exploration of the relationship between two unequal species that stands as a mind-bending discourse on slavery and human bondage. There are no laser swords or starships here - only a series of meditations on the possibilities of being human.
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