After a childhood spent taking refuge in libraries and writing original fiction from age 12 onwards, Butler attended the 1970 Clarion Science Fiction Workshop. Her debut novel, 1976’s Patternmaster, was the first in a series that ultimately allowed her the financial security to write full-time. This was instrumental when drafting her 1979 novel Kindred, which follows a Black writer living in modern L.A who is transported back to the pre-Civil War south. Kindred was followed by her four-book Xenogenesis/Lilith’s Brood series in the 1980s.
1993 saw the release of Parable of the Sower, the first book in her Earthseed series. Its sequel, Parable of the Talents, won Butler her first Nebula Award, and in 1995 she also took home the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
Butler’s final novel, 2005’s Fledgling, is centered around a vampire who resembles a 10-year-old Black girl. Soon after its publication, on February 24, 2006, Butler died suddenly outside her home. But her legacy has only grown after her death.
Butler’s work has proved eerily prescient, and has influenced modern social and political movements and led to numerous adaptations. She landed on the New York Times bestseller list in 2021, and NASA has even named a Mars Rover touchdown site after the author.
Explore the fiction of Octavia E. Butler today, and come away empowered to face any challenges the future holds alongside your community.
"The Destiny of Earthseed is to take root among the stars."
Guests will include N.K. Jemisin, Walter Mosley, Imani Perry, and other renowned writers and performers.
This moving episode explores the "new ways of seeing" that are Butler's legacy.
How are these subgenres defined, and what is their history?
And get a sneak peek now from Throughline co-host Ramtin Arablouei!
Please be aware this giveaways is now closed.
Butler's beloved book continues to resonate after nearly 30 years.
By Kara Brand
These incredible worlds can't be contained in a single book.
Activist and author adrienne maree brown on harnessing Butler's wisdom for the 2020 election, and beyond.
Hard science is great, but we also have a soft spot for soft sci-fi.
The achievement fulfills one of the late author's dreams.
These collections prove short stories can have the biggest impact.
These timely reads will ready you for Change.
These Locus-recognized books deserve a spot in your home library.
"The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are.'"
These stories articulate what a better America might look like.
By Keith Rice
Parables launches June 22nd and is hosted by Toshi Reagon and Adrienne Maree Brown.
The authors talked capitalism, creating new worlds, and the new Octavia's Parables podcast.
Octavia Butler's long-time editor Betsy Mitchell shares the story of their memorable first meeting.