“I’m a 48-year-old writer who can remember being a 10-year-old writer and who expects someday to be an 80-year-old writer.”

To call Octavia Butler a mere science fiction writer, does not do her justice. A legend, Butler transformed the genre using it merely as a way to shape and frame the very real conflicts and conversations of our day.

The Pasedena native wrote about the end of this world and allowed readers to explore new ones she created herself. But throughout she opened a free dialogue about sexual identity, race and many other often-polarizing social topics. She pushed the boundaries of a genre that had before her been associated with reclusive white male, receiveing a MacArthur

Fellowship, commonly referred to as the “genius grant” in 1995. Those within her genre recognized her talent as well and she received the 2000 Nebula Award, science fictions highest prize for her novel “Parable of the Talents.”

With her anthology of work, Butler still remains relevant today. Which is why we are thrilled to hear Letoya Peterson of Racialicous is introducing the Octavia Butler Book Club kicking off today.

Peterson writes:

The late author is a cult icon, being a boundary breaking black woman in Science Fiction who infused her writing with rich societal commentary on race, gender, dominance, and much much more….As just a casual reader before, I was suddenly confronted with the magnitude of exactly what went with Octavia Butler when she departed from this earth. So I decided the best tribute would be to read, share, and enjoy her work.
Readers, welcome to the book club.

Each month, Racialicous will be reading one book from Butler. The schedule is as follows:

  • July – Wild Seed
  • August – Mind of My Mind
  • September – Clay’s Ark
  • October – Patternmaster
  • November – Kindred
  • December – Survivor?; If Not, Bloodchild
  • January – Dawn (Xenogenesis/Lillith’s Brood)
  • February – Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis/Lillith’s Brood)
  • March – Imago (Xenogenesis/Lillith’s Brood)
  • April – Parable of the Sower
May – Parable of the Talents
  • June – Fledgling
  • July – Conversations with Octavia Butler

While I have read Dawn, I am admittedly less familiar with the full collection of Butler’s work so it will be an adventure learning more. We’re hoping that following Butler’s work through the upcoming year will give us the opportunity to learn more about her and the future she envisioned.


What do you think of Racialicous’ Octavia Butler Book Club? Are you familiar with Butler’s works? Will you be joining in? Share your thoughts with us Clutchettes!

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