Octavia Butler died over the weekend. She was a truly amazing writer–her Parable of the Sower is just breathtaking, and I’ve been glomming her ever since. She was 58 years old.
I’ve always liked reading “outsider” books, which is probably why I don’t like reading about beautiful, outgoing debutantes who are incipient spies as much as I do the bluestocking, unattractive woman, shameful past, painfully shy, etc. As an African-American woman, Butler would’ve been an outsider in almost any literary circle; that she wrote science fiction is even more astounding.
Along with Mary Doria Russell‘s The Sparrow, which is mind-blowing (really. totally screws with your head.), Butler’s Parable series is a world that could have been, or could be.
I’ve just started Anne Bishop‘s Queen of the Darkness, the last book in the Dark Jewels trilogy; I think I might pick up one of my unread Butlers after that.
And, of course, I am going to start writing my own book again. OF COURSE! After I make some chai, and check bloglines, and see if Amazon has shipped my stuff (Pride & Prejudice DVD? So there!), and have lunch and do all the other things I chafe against when I have to do them rather than writing. Feh to my mind. I’ve realized that even though I’ve been torturing my characters, I’m not torturing them enough. It’s taken a re-read of Mary Balogh‘s The Secret Pearl to make me see that. So I have to figure out how to make them suffer even more.
So–reading, writing, chai-drinking. Mourning the loss of a great writer.
Thanks for stopping,
PS: Oh, and Powell’s sold another one. 32 in all.