From a press release:
SFWA Announces Honorees of the 2012 Solstice Awards
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are pleased to announce Octavia Butler and John Clute as the recipients of the Solstice Awards for 2012. The Solstice Awards are granted to up to three persons, living or dead, who have consistently had a positive, transformative influence on the genre of science fiction and fantasy.
Octavia Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006 ) was a giant in the field of science fiction and fantasy; her work was awarded Nebula and Hugo awards, and she was the first science fiction writer to be granted the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. Butler’s fiction delved into sociological, political and religious issues, explored gender, sexuality and cultural identity. She looked for the problems in the world, and tried to find answers and solutions. Butler’s works include the Nebula Award winning novel Parable of the Talents, Fledgling, Kindred, the Patternist series, the Lilith’s Brood series and numerous short stories.
Butler passed away in 2006. SFWA is proud to posthumously award her the Solstice Award for her influence in science fiction and fantasy.
“My first encounter with Butler’s work came when her Lilith’s Brood series was pressed on me by a friend, who wouldn’t let me read anything else until I read the books. As time goes on I find that this is how so much of Butler’s work was discovered — by word of mouth from someone who found their lives changed by Butler’s ideas and prose. Butler left us far too early, but her influence remains, grows and deepens with every year. I’m proud to have SFWA honor her and her legacy with the Solstice.”~John Scalzi, SFWA President
“When Octavia won the MacArthur she told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “People may call these ‘genius grants,’ but nobody made me take an IQ test before I got mine. I know I’m no genius.” That’s true. She was something better. She was a woman who looked for the most difficult and important task she could possibly do, and then did it.
I’ll miss that deep, beautiful woodwind-like voice of hers. I’ll miss her tall, imposing presence. I’ll miss her sense of humor, her kindness, her courage, her strength.
Most of all, I’ll miss the books she never got the time to write.”~Michael Swanwick, Memorial to Octavia Butler, Philadelphia Enquirer