Octavia Butler

27 Feb 2006

Octavia Butler has died. This is a great loss. Butler was not widely read or hugely popular, but she had a truly original voice and I admire her work greatly. Sadly, she seemed to be in the middle of a very creative period in which she was writing the best work of her career.

I have read a couple of her novels, but I have been most impressed with her short stories, which show enormous virtuosity, vitality, and boldness that reminds me of James Tiptree Junior.

Butler was a black woman, a lesbian, and recipient of a MacArthur Foundationn “genius” award. It was well-deserved. If you are new to Butler consider reading “Bloodchild and Other Stories.” Savor this amazing work and take a moment to consider what this woman, who was only fifty-eight, and who seemed to be just reaching her creative peak, has already written and might yet have written.

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