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Octavia Butler describes herself as “a forty-seven-year-old writer who
can remember being a ten-year-old writer and who expects someday to
be an eighty-year-old writer… a hermit, a pessimist if I’m not
careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water
combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive”.
She started writing science fiction at 12 because she thought men were
doing a terrible job, and she could do better. In her work, it’s
apparent she believed humanity was inherently flawed and doomed to
destroy itself. I get sad about her early death and miss her a lot.
According to Butler, “Bloodchild” is not about slavery. It’s about
botflies. But we don’t really believe that an artist gets to define
the meaning of their work once it’s out there. It’s definitely a story
about male pregnancy (mpreg, for those in the know) and creepy hot
bug-alien sex. Butler’s all about uncomfortable, taboo sexual
relationships and forcing us to acknowledge what little choice or
consent we often have when forced to survive within unequal power structures. Have fun!
Voice, editing, and description by September
Production by Free Radical Radio