Octavia E. Butler
(1947-2006)

Previous page | Octavia Butler has written numerous novels and has won the two most reputable prizes in science fiction writing, the Hugo and the Nebula. Additionally, she was a 1995 recipient of a $295,000 "genius grant," a MacArthur Foundation fellowship for her unique synthesis of science fiction, mysticism, mythology, and African-American spiritualism. She won the grant the same year as the late African-American children's author Virginia Hamilton, who wrote the science-fiction children's books that compose the Justice trilogy.

Aside from numerous short stories, Octavia Butler has produced two classic collections. The five-volume Patternist series tells of a society that is run by a specially-bred group of telepaths. Her Xenogenesis trilogy deals with the destruction of mankind by nuclear war and gene-swapping extraterrestrials. Another book, Kindred, relocates a present-day black woman on a pre-Civil War plantation through time travel. Her most recent novels of Earthseed, Parable of the Sower (a Nebula award nominee), and Parable of the Talents (a Nebula award winner), form a diptych of a dystopian near-future America, seen through the eyes of a remarkable black woman, Lauren Olamina, and her daughter Larkin. Fledgling, Butler's twelfth novel, reworked the vampire genre and took it into a new direction. Six months after its publication, Butler died suddenly on February 25, 2006.

Butler's unique brand of storytelling was powered by her keen understanding of the human experience and her acute sense of observation, resulting in an intellectual blend of African-American history and the evolution of future societies.
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List of Works

Kindred (1979)
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Bloodchild (Collection, 1995)
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Fledgling (2005)
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Earthseed
Parable of the Sower (1995)
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Parable of the Talents (1998, Winner of the Nebula award, Best Novel)
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Xenogenesis Series
Dawn (1987)
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Adulthood Rites (1988)
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Imago (1989)
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Lilith's Brood (Omnibus, 2000)
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Patternist Series
Patternmaster (1976)
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Mind of My Mind (1977)
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Survivor (1978)
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Wild Seed (1980)
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Clay's Ark (1984)
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Short Stories
Crossover (1971)
Near of Kin (1979)
Speech Sounds (Winner of the Hugo Award, 1983)
Bloodchild (Winner of the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Locus awards, 1984)
The Evening and the Morning and the Night (1987)

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Links

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