For years, I’ve had friends tell me that I should be reading Octavia Butler’s works, especially Kindred. I actually own a copy, and it’s been sitting on my shelves for years, waiting for me to pick it up. When it came to the point where I’d start writing about the 1970s, it was pretty clear that Butler would be one of the authors that I’d be covering, and I picked up the book as part of my research. She’s a powerful author, and I’m a little sad that I didn’t read the book earlier. Researching Butler’s life is fascinating, and it’s becoming clear to me that some of the genre’s most important works emerge from outside of it’s walls.

Go read Octavia E. Butler: Expanding Science Fiction’s Horizons over on Kirkus Reviews.

VIDEO: Celebrating Octavia E. Butler

Samuel R. Delany, Jane Yolen, Kate Elliott, Walter Mosley, Jonathan Lethem, N. K. Jemisin, and Gary K. Wolfe pay tribute to Octavia E. Butler and discuss her lasting legacy.

Read the rest of this entry

Here at The Completist I like to highlight books that may have been sitting for a while on the bookshelves; to ensure good books from a few years ago (and more) aren’t lost in the shuffle of everybody trying to read the HOT! NEW! RELEASES! all the cool kids are reading. (Not that good books aren’t being published now, mind.) It’s been quite a while since I read these books, but they remain important and are absolutely essential reading for so many reasons.

Most people who have been reading Science Fiction and Fantasy for a significant amount of time know of Octavia E. Butler and what is perhaps her most famous series, which has gone by a couple of different names: Xenogenesis or Lilith’s Brood. Butler is one of the most recognized writers in the genre, and probably the most recognizable black woman to write in the genre. She was championed by Harlan Ellison, she won both the Hugo and Nebula Award and in 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship. This series is a landmark in the alien first contact story and provides a very plausible biological thrust in the human/alien commingling.

Read the rest of this entry

Northwest Writers Honor Legacy of Octavia E. Butler

On Friday, April 12, at the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle, Washington, Pacific Northwest writers Vonda N. McIntyre, Nisi Shawl, Dennis Y. Ginoza, Erik Owomoyela, Caren Gussoff, and Rashida Smith will read work inspired by their relationships with Octavia Butler in celebration of her legacy.

See More info in the press release:
Read the rest of this entry

VIDEO: Women Writers on Science Fiction and Fantasy

In this video to help celebrate Women’s History Month, Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand, Patrica Wrede, and N.K. Jemisin (speaking about the late Octavia Butler), talk about being women writers, writing female characters, and the female role models they look up to.
Read the rest of this entry

In this video, N.K. Jemisin talks about the impact and significance of Octavia E. Butler’s classic science fiction novel Dawn, the first novel of the Xenogenesis trilogy (also known as Lilith’s Brood, which also is comprised of Adulthood Rites and Imago), which was first published 25 years ago.

In case you haven’t read it, here’s what it’s about:

Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.

The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.

…and here’s the video…
Read the rest of this entry

2010 SF Hall of Fame Inductees

The Science Fiction Museum and SF Hall of Fame announced that this year’s Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Octavia E. Butler
  • Roger Zelazny
  • Douglas Trumbull
  • Richard Matheson

Winners were selected by a jury cosnisting of

Robin Wayne Bailey, Gavin Grant, Leslie Howle, Therese Littleton, George R.R. Martin, Brooks Peck, Robert Silverberg, Frank Wu. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place June 26 at Seattle’s Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum as part of the Science Fiction Awards Weekend.

[via Small Beer Press and SciFi Wire]