Friday, January 27, 2006

Octavia Butler

I haven't read (m)any science fiction type books, but I hear L.A. born author Octavia Butler's books are a treat that I should not miss. Any of you read her?

I was talking with a writer friend of mine last night, who said that I would especially like her work since she explores issues like racism, classism, sexism... and the social hierarchies humans have created... but that she explores them in "other worlds" she has created.

If you've read any of her novels -- among them Kindred, Parable of the Sower, Fledgling -- or heard her speak, tell me/us about her and what you think about the work of Octavia Butler. My friend says Kindred is a must-read... and I think I have it at home.

Octavia Butler website.
L.A. Times feature on Octavia Butler.
Octavia Butler NPR interview.
L.A. Times review of Butler's Fledgling.
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11 comments:

Marz said...

I'm currently reading her book, Kindred, and I'm loving it. I also have her Parable of the Sower book, because Clay said it was good. I like her writing.


Kindred makes me want to go learn a lot about my African American history. Because there are so many things I don't know, that you don't care about until you read. For instance how freedom papers were written, and what they looked like.


I think I'm going to finish it today.
-Marz

Berry said...

Not a sci-fi person but I read Kindred in college and it continues to haunt me. It is one of my favorites. It was such an original story when she first wrote it...now I am noticing other others putting a new spin on the story but Kindred is the original.

Ibarionex R. Perello said...

Yeah, Fred. You've got to pick up her work. I'd recommend Parable of the Sower. She used to live in Pasadena, but moved to Oregon a couple of years ago. She is a wonderful writer and a wonderful woman, very approachable. I just picked up her latest novel and am looking forward to cracking it. Don't be put off by the "sci-fi" label. As you said, she approaches issue of race and sexuality in futuristic, fantastic settings, but the work is is not typical of the genre.

Anonymous said...

She is fantastic. Though science fiction doesn't usually do it for me, Butler has the knack for the black voice that can easily be explored in the form of science fiction, or what one would consider a "mythical or fake" world.

Anonymous said...

Read them all Especially
Kindred
Parable of the Talents
Parable of the Sower
Wildseed (my personal favorite)

Liza Palmer said...

Parable of the Sower changed the way I read books.

And she was the first writer I ever saw speak.

So, yes...I'm quite the Octavia fan.

Rashid @ Old Gold Soul said...

You'll like it, Fred.

Clay said...

I LOVE Butler she is amazing ... Parable of the Talents/Sower is excellent -- there are a few gay characters too. Some of what is going on now in this post 9/11 world is similar to those two books. also, i read Kindred and Dawn ... i loved Kindred but really disliked Dawn ... she is a gifted writer

MadProfessah said...

Yes, Octavia Butler is amazing. I have read everything but her latest book. Kindred is a masterpiece which should be (and is) taught in schools. Her pure genre sci-fi is also distinctive and spooky (inter-species sex! racial metaphors! empaths! telepaths! post-apocalyptic!). Very good stuff.

Just found your blog today...check out mine... The Mad Professah Lectures

thelastnoel said...

I've read the Parable novels--wonderful!

hood2big said...

I've read every one of her novels and stories, she is definately one of my favs. Also thanks for the link