When Miss Dow’s mission is over and she is cast back to gene pool to get back her original transparent and sexless form, she remembers the time when she was a female botanist, an assistant of Doctor Arnold Proctor. Protean could take on any shape, according to what is needed, and when they are with humans, they take a shape of a human being, because “there’s only one way for us to get along with them”. To start with, this amorphous being is not happy with the idea of putting on the face and “work with these people”. However, once out of pattern tank the alien find that, although it is difficult to be two-lobed, there are other dimensions to life which cannot be enjoyed in the transparent form. Asking Arnie to breed her koota became the beginning of the new relationship for Miss Dow. She starts to fall in love with him. She feels that because of his love she became real, “seen”. Her koota cannot be breed, because she has a defect. A doctor also has a “defect”, he is always tired and has to use analgesics in order not to feel pain. The koota will eventually die, so does the doctor. He dies of a heart attack. Miss Dowunderstands that he is not one of aliens, but still hopes he can be put in the gene pool to be recreated, that is why she brings him to her Warden, and states her request. It cannot be fulfilled and the alien has to revert to the original form. Miss Dow will be no more. However, the whole experience lives on the alien’s memory. The carving which was taken from Arnie’s house will also remind about the experience.
I do agree that the Bloodchild is a story about coming-of-age, maturity and love. Gan is used to the idea of one day becoming an egg carrier for T’Gatoi. Tlick is a governing official of the Preserve, which is a place of humans, or Terrans, who live on an alien planet. Although Gan was dedicated to this mission from the time he was a baby, and T’Gatoi was virtually a part of their family. He had to make a conscious choice to become a “pregnant man” and to carry T’Gatoi’s larva until they will be mature enough to be removed from his body through cutting his abdomen open. He did not realize how gruesome and life threatening it was until he became a witness of another N’Tlic going through it. That threw Gan into turmoil and questioned the purpose of relationships, which in this case seemed only as a slavery and exploitation, something akin being a domestic animal. He had a chance to share his thoughts with T’Gatoi and realized that emotions were involved. Moreover, love is the base of those relationships. Also, he had a choice of letting his sister go through the experience, considering sister’s future and how it will affect her being able to bare her own children. He voluntarily chose to accept egg implantation, which is a mature decision and a testimony of his love to his family and to T’Gatoi.
Slow life is a reading that although lacks of actions, is not boring and full of suspense. The action is mainly happening during conversations and in the dreams of the Lizzie O’Brien sees. The novel is not overloaded with scientific information, therefore, the reader can relate to what is going on. Also, the telepathic communication of Lizzie is involuntary. It is never boring and intriguing. It makes one wonder what will happen next. Lizzie wondered if life could be found on Titan, possibly under the ocean, and that is where it is found after all. It would not be possible to have a life on the surface because of the coldness and density of the atmosphere and the sea. However, having discovered life and bringing new knowledge to this planet, they have also brought death to it, of which Lizzie O’Brien repents when she thinks that she will die. Ultimately, it is still unclear whether she had survived. However, there are indications that she did. There are many questions that are left open ended, however, there is a hope that the civilization she discovered and communicated with will survive. That iswhat makes this story effective.