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Octavia Butler Stories

Born June 22nd, 1947 in Pasadena, California, Octavia E. Butler grew into a speculative fiction writer whose books offer readers a radical new way of approaching the world. 

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. 

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Mars Rover Touchdown Site Named 'Octavia E. Butler Landing' by NASA

"The Destiny of Earthseed is to take root among the stars." 

Join Symphony Space's Virtual Celebration of Octavia E. Butler!

Guests will include N.K. Jemisin, Walter Mosley, Imani Perry, and other renowned writers and performers. 

Listen to the Full NPR Throughline Episode on Octavia Butler Now!

This moving episode explores the "new ways of seeing" that are Butler's legacy. 

Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and Writing Black Futures

How are these subgenres defined, and what is their history?

Tune Into an NPR Throughline Episode on Octavia Butler, This Thursday the 18th

And get a sneak peek now from Throughline co-host Ramtin Arablouei!

8 Mind-Bending Biopunk Books

These compelling reads form the DNA of this sci-fi subgenre. 

Read an Excerpt From Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler's Transformative Novel

Butler's beloved book continues to resonate after nearly 30 years. 

In This Era of Change, We Must Manifest Octavia Butler's Earthseed

Activist and author adrienne maree brown on harnessing Butler's wisdom for the 2020 election, and beyond.

10 Great Soft Sci-Fi Books That Prove the Genre's Power

Hard science is great, but we also have a soft spot for soft sci-fi.

20 Short Story Collections and Anthologies Every Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fan Should Read

These collections prove short stories can have the biggest impact.

10 Locus Award Winners and Nominees That Were Instant Classics

These Locus-recognized books deserve a spot in your home library.

10 Unforgettable Books Like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

"The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are.'"

9 SFF Books With a Hopeful Vision for the American Future

These stories articulate what a better America might look like.

Listen to the First Episode of Octavia's Parables, a New Podcast Dedicated to Octavia Butler

Parables launches June 22nd and is hosted by Toshi Reagon and Adrienne Maree Brown.

The 5th ‘Octavia Tried’ Webinar Focused On Pleasure Activism and a New Parables Podcast

The authors talked capitalism, creating new worlds, and the new Octavia's Parables podcast.

She Tried to Wake Me: My Humbling First Meeting With Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler's long-time editor Betsy Mitchell shares the story of their memorable first meeting.