Tlic Reproduction makes no Sence

In Bloodchild, the Tlic are stated to need to have humans as birthing vessels for their eggs like Thread waisted wasps, however, if you know a bit about biology then you will know that this makes no sense at all. First things first let’s get the biggest one out of the way, we have more genetic similarity with Bacteria growing on the Marianas trench then we do with any type of alien. You see we and the Bacteria both have DNA and are from earth. The Tlic on the other hand are aliens and originated far from earth. It is incredibly unlikely that out of the 1.3 MILLION recorded species that only homo Erectus actually works with the Tlic. but, okay, suspension of disbelief. If it really is only humans that can work, why raise them with human parents? Imagine this, the Tlic take the humans as a baby and raise them with other babies and tell them that they are the larval forms of the Tlic and need eggs implanted in them to grow up. Or, maybe raise the humans to worship the Tlic as Gods and the eggs are some bizzare communion wafer, better yet just clone humans as brain dead flesh vessels. I’m starting to get the feeling that Butler just wanted to write a story about a pregnant man. 

5 thoughts on “Tlic Reproduction makes no Sence

  1. Josephine D

    You raise an interesting question–why do the Tlic provide the Terrans with a measure of autonomy in “Bloodchild”? Why do they allow them to stay with their biological families? Why don’t they completely manipulate, brainwash, or dominate them, or “just clone humans as brain dead flesh vessels” as you suggest? It certainly would be a lot more convenient for the Tlic. In fact, they used to do something of the sort, holding Terrans in pens and drugging them to encourage them to reproduce. However, they stopped doing so and started treating the Terrans in a more humane way. I think this might be because Tlic have a moral compass that is actually very similar to humans’. Tlic, just like nearly all humans, want to believe that they are good people who behave morally. Finn touches on this in his blog post “Bloodchild and Moral Relativism,” writing, “Indeed, that is what the Tlic are — people. The story refers to them as such. Even though they might look like gross, giant centipede-things with the gift of speech and technology, they are still individuals with their own desires, fears, and personalities.” I thought this was a really good point that Finn made. The Tlic seem psychologically very similar to humans. They are not a race of people without empathy or conscience. Therefore, I don’t think they could live with themselves making “brain dead flesh vessels” and enslaving them any more than the average human could live with himself if he did that. Even though what the Tlic do to the Terrans is pretty awful, they try to make themselves feel better about it by veiling its awfulness with a superficial concern for the Terrans. I think that’s why they allow the Terrans some rights and freedoms.


  2. Lauren d.

    I think that is really the beauty of science fiction. It doesn’t have to be completely logical because it is a new world. The Terrans are even from a different planet which would not have been possible now. The Tilcs added to the world of the story and made it more interesting.



    You bring up a very interesting point. I think that the author wanted to relate the story directly to the human condition, where in fact, we are the center of the universe.

    In addition,had the hosts been a random animal, the story would lose a lot of it’s flavor. It is hard to get immersed in a story that the hosts for the Tilcs are cows.



    If Butler did not want to just write about a pregnant man, she could have made this story a lot more exciting by giving the humans a lot less free will. She could have made the Tlic build a warehouse of humans in cages and describe the escape of the humans or a revolution. But because she did not, it is very clear that she just wanted to make a story about a pregnant man. Also, the afterward is kind of anti-climactic, telling us she wrote this just to take over her fear of bugs, which is kind of lame not going to lie.



    This is a very interesting point that I have also thought about. While reading Bloodchild, I was very confused. I tried to constantly make sense of the events that were happening in the story to real life events, but I simply could not. I then took the time to think about it, and like Lauren said, it really is science fiction. The reader should focus more on enjoying the story rather than making biological sense of it, and that is what I believe the author was going for.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s