Wikipedia on Octavia Her page on Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America." />

Octavia Butler R.I.P.

This weekend Octavia Butler died.
Who, you might say: Wikipedia on Octavia
Her page on Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

What struck me most was her own biography:
“Who am I? I’m a 56-year-old writer who can remember being a 10-year-old writer and who expects someday to be an 80-year-old writer. I’m comfortably asocial — a hermit living in a large city — a pessimist if I’m not careful; a student, endlessly curious; a feminist; an African American; a former Baptist; and an oil and water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.”

The only thing I can say, go read those Octavia Butler books.
When I realized that Patternmaster was written in 1976, I almost fell of my chair!
Timeless and inspiring. Go read the Xenogenesis cycle – or Lilith’s brood.

For me, Butler really caputured complexity in her novels -> nuanced characters, unusual characters, morality, choice, cause and effect but not as straightforward, cruelty, empathy, from page one you are sucked into the universe she creates, not being overwhelmed by a techie aspect but by the humanity of it all.

It is a great pity – she plenty of books left in her… and they were relevant..
(and how many feminist black female scifi fantasy writers are there in the world..)
She brought inspiration for our scifi project Stitch and Split.

Thanks Cory, for letting me and the world know…

*Update* Some links also through boingboing with transcriptions of an interview with Butler, on how she works, a discussion with Samuel Delany…

One Comment

  • an

    Just reading the news.
    It makes me very sad.
    You’re right about the description of this specific ‘warmly human’ science-fiction. In the last edition of ‘Bloodchild and other stories’ she added the context in which each short story was made. It gives an idea of her modesty and it is a beautiful source for all future writers.

    I hoped to be able to hear/meet her one day. No chance.

    What .. a .. shame.

    I will remember her together with the other author who died too soon: Osvaldo Soriano (argentina). He left earth very suddenly, a few years after I discovered him. I felt exactly the same as now.
    (his literature is as human, in stead of science-fiction he has a delicious absurd sense of humour)