Sci-fi Author Butler Passes - Mania.com



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Sci-fi Author Butler Passes

By News Editor     March 03, 2006
Source: Film Fodder


Octavia Butler
© N/A
Last week sci-fi author Octavia Butler passed away. She was one of very few African-American women in the field.

Butler was born in Pasadena, California. Her father, a shoeshiner, died when she was young; her mother, also named Octavia, raised her in a struggling, racially mixed neighborhood, working as a maid to support the family.

Her first book KINDRED catapulted her to sci-fi writing fame. She described the book as a "grim fantasy" about an African-American woman who is thrown from 1976 to the antebellum South, where she is forced to deal with life in a culture based on slavery. It remains one of her most popular books, with a quarter of a million copies currently in print.

She won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, received an award for lifetime achievement in writing from the PEN American Center, and was the first science fiction writer ever receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant."

Her other works include Bloodchild and Other Stories, Survivor , and Parable of the Trickster.

Thanks to Jaleel for the note.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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lofteelee1 3/3/2006 2:48:38 AM
Damn, I didn't know there were African-American women sci-fi writers. I never heard of her until today. What a way to learn something.
manjisan 3/3/2006 7:16:44 AM
Harlan Ellison considered her one of the most thought-provoking writers of her time. There is an interview with her on NPR's website. My father and I were devastated by the loss. RIP, Octavia.
muchdrama1 3/3/2006 2:13:17 PM
Yeah, it surprised me as well that there was an African-American sci-fi writer out there...and a woman to boot! I'll have to look up her novel "Kindred" and see what all the hubbub is about.
phillyking 3/3/2006 4:14:43 PM
I feel really good now! I sent the note about her passing and this is just the effect I hoped for. I will miss her and I still will continue to enjoy her great works. I hope more come to discover what they have been missing out. Thanks Cinescape for such a fast response to getting the news about her passing out. Jaleel
coldhardtruth 3/3/2006 9:04:23 PM
Why wouldn't there be a black woman sci-fi writer?
blksgn420 3/4/2006 9:50:57 AM
Right. I'm black and love sci-fi. I just found out about her today, on the radio. I'm gettin' all her material.
manjisan 3/6/2006 7:15:48 AM
Batlad, in an ideal world, skin color/creed/gender shouldn't matter, but the point remains that OB entered a field that is dominated by white men. This is not a racist statement it is just the simple truth. What makes her writing that much more powerful are the themes behind her writing and how she was able to transcend the normal sci-fi formulas/paradigms. She is the only sci-fi writer ever to be awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant; that alone should be reason for her works to be given more of a platform than ever before. It is just sad that an author/artist must die before their work is truly noticed. Only 250,000 copies of "Kindred" sold? That is a travesty.
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