In 2016, The New York Times described her as “America’s greatest living science fiction writer.” (Source)
The first person narrative of “Bloodchild” (1995) begins by stating that the narrator’s last night of childhood is in progress. We eventually learn that his name is Gan, and that his mother’s name is Lien. Gan speaks about family, but also speaks of a multiple-limbed being named T’Gatoi that has a stinging tail. A couch is spoken of, and on this couch, T’Gatoi stung Lien as it was cradling her in its limbs; the sting injects a narcotic that causes sleepiness. Apparently, T’Gatoi and Lien are old friends, and they obviously differ in species, but the catch is that at some point in time, Lien promised this T’Gatoi a child of hers. Lien thought she was ready to sleep in T’Gatoi’s limbs, but the creature gets up and flies out the front door–[she] returns immediately with a man and puts him on the floor. She makes a point of learning and announcing the man’s name, which is Bram Lomas. T’Gatoi suddenly instructs Gan to go outside and slaughter an animal. When Gan expresses his apprehension at performing such an act due to inexperience, she smacks him hard with her tail. He realizes the import and thus heads into the backyard, then returns with an “achti” that he shot with a rifle that was kept hidden. T’Gatoi guts the achti, then “opens” Bram. She finds a grub in him and places it in the achti, then continues the process. Gan heads outside to vomit and a car pulls up. Then Gan talks with his brother Qui and they speak of being unable to runaway from the preserve. When the conversation turns to how T’Gatoi is taking Gan, and Qui asks if Gan has been implanted yet, Gan hits him. They fight, Gan runs him off, then goes to the kitchen and loads the rifle. T’Gatoi comes to the table he’s sitting at and they talk about how he shouldn’t have seen all the gutting. She suspects Gan will shoot her. They discuss Gan’s sister taking his place, then struggle over the gun. Gan sacrifices himself, however, and undergoes implantation. Gan narrates that T’Gatoi had been pulled from his father’s flesh.