|Height||Around 3 meters long|
|Behind the Scenes|
The Tlics are the dominant race in an Alien World created by Octavia E. Butler in her novelette, Bloodchild. They are sapient parasitic species that rely on Terrans (or humans) as hosts.
The Tlic race has at some point struggled for its survival. The dilemma Tlics faced was finding appropriate hosts for their eggs. The particular animal species that they usually opt to be their Tlic eggs' host has evolved a way to kill most of their eggs immediately after implantation. The Tlics have re-stabilized their race upon the arrival of more appropriate hosts, the Terrans.
Life Cycle and PhysiologyEdit
The life cycle of a Tlic starts with an egg. These eggs mature through absorbing nutrients from their hosts, on whom they are planted. Upon hatching, the eggs continue life as grubs.
The grubs are the worm-like flesh- and blood-eating phase of the Tlic. They are limbless and boneless. They are also blind. Male grubs are around 15 cm long and 2 cm thick. They are more vigorous and develop faster than female grubs. Female grubs, on the other hand, are less aggressive, smaller and paler. Grubs are plucked from the innards of Terrans and transferred to a dead animal in order to feed until ready to emerge.
As adults, grubs metamorphose into Tlics. Tlics have ribs, long spine, skull, four sets of limb bones per segment, and an ovipositor for reproduction. T'Gatoi, the Tlic from Bloodchild, is around 3 meters long. She has 6 to 7 limbs.
Tlics are described as moving in a fluid manner as if they were boneless and aquatic species. They make clicking sounds when walking on bare floor. Also, their saliva is said to have a chemical that slows bleeding.
Tlics reproduce by planting their eggs through their ovipositor. The impregnation of their host feels like a narcotic sting. It is usually painless as the Tlic also releases sedative chemicals in the process. They used to plant their eggs in animals; however, they opted for Terrans as more appropriate hosts. Grubs from Terran bodies are always larger and more numerous.
In giving birth of grubs, the host is cut open in the area where the eggs were planted. The mother Tlic licks the cut area to slow the bleeding. The grubs emerge and the mother Tlic transfers the grub to a dead animal and wait for it to mature.
Tlics and TerransEdit
The relationship of Tlics and Terrans started as antagonistic and even violent. The Terrans left their homeworld, Earth, in order to flee from their own oppressive race who want to kill or enslave them. The Tlics eventually realized that Terrans are appropriate hosts for their eggs. The Terrans were then moved to the Preserve, a place where they are bred for hosting. Terrans responded to this violently and at some point started shooting at Tlics and N'tlics. These Terrans, however, were eventually wiped out.
Tlics have treated Terrans more kindly since. They now teach Terrans the process of their reproduction. From birth, Terrans are taught and adjusted to the societal order. Gan, the Terran protagonist of the story, even sees and treats T'Gatoi as a family friend. He was also given the decision to push through with being a host for T'Gatoi's eggs or not.
- Octavia Butler, "Bloodchild", in The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy, eds. Charles Brown and Jonathan Strahan, (New York: HarperCollins Publisher Inc., 2004), 199-217.