postimage

"You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. It's just so easy to give up!" 

"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery."

"The norm is white, apparently, in the view of people who see things in that way. For them, the only reason you would introduce a black character is to introduce this kind of abnormality. Usually, it’s because you’re telling a story about racism or at least race."


octavia butler facts family
    camera-icon
  • Detail of photograph of Butler (center) with her aunts Irma (Guy) Harris (left) and Hazel Ruth (Guy) Walker (right), photographer unknown, undated.

    Photo Credit: Octavia E. Butler papers. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

"He showed me his fantastic library first, and that helped me warm to him a little. A guy with a room like that in his house couldn’t be all bad."

"All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you.
 The only lasting truth
 is Change. God 
Is Change."

"Intelligence does enable you to deny facts you dislike. But your denial doesn’t matter. A cancer growing in someone’s body will go on growing in spite of denial. And a complex combination of genes that work together to make you intelligent as well as hierarchical will still handicap you whether you acknowledge it or not."

"Embrace difference."

"Civilization is to groups what intelligence is to individuals. It is a means of combining the intelligence of many to achieve ongoing group adaptation."


octavia butler facts traveler machu picchu
    camera-icon
  • Butler in Machu Picchu in 1985 conducting research for the Xenogenesis trilogy. Photographer unknown.

    Photo Credit: Octavia E. Butler papers. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

"When your rage is choking you, it is best to say nothing."

"There are no real walls around science fiction. We can build them, but they’re not there naturally."


octavia butler facts parable of the talents
    camera-icon
  • Notes written by Octavia E. Butler for her novel Parable of the Talents, ca. 1996

    Photo Credit: Octavia E. Butler papers. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens