Octavia Butler

by Megan Frampton on February 27, 2006


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,

Megan
PS: Oh, and Powell’s sold another one. 32 in all.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Suisan February 28, 2006 at 12:19 am

ooh, yes, darling. Make them suffer. We are such sadists when it comes to romance heroes and heroines. (Although if you could do all this torture without having to have the heroine be kidnapped, that would be great. If she demands upon being kidnapped, then I’ll understand and promise to forgive you. Not that there’s any pressure to conform to my expectations, or anything.)

And Octavia Butler was a really cool author. Thanks for honoring her.

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sandy l February 28, 2006 at 2:53 pm

Megan,
Here is a link to a very nice article in today’s Washington Post on Octavia Butler.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/27/AR2006022701585.html

Sandy L
PS I hope it works.

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Megan Frampton February 28, 2006 at 6:08 pm

Suisan:

No kidnappings in this one–I had a kidnapping in my last book, and i hated myself for doing that.

Sandy:
You’re right, a fabulous article. Thanks for the link.

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CW March 1, 2006 at 4:19 pm

I loved WILD SEED, and I agree–THE SPARROW was huge (its sequel, COG, not so much).

Sigh.

If you liked the trilogy, I rec. the followup collection, DREAMS MADE FLESH. Unless you already have. :)

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Megan Frampton March 1, 2006 at 6:48 pm

CW:

I was wondering about Dreams Made Flesh, hoping it wasn’t just outtakes. And I have Wild Seed, haven’t read it, so that’ll be the one I grab.

And I agree with you about Children of God–good, but not as awe-inspiring as the Sparrow.

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