Octavia E. Butler Collection

English | ePUB | 39.43 MB | Books: 19

Octavia E. Butler collection

Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) was an American science fiction writer. A multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, in 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship.

Octavia Estelle Butler was born on June 22, 1947, in Pasadena, California, the only child of Octavia Margaret Guy, a housemaid, and Laurice James Butler, a shoeshine man. Butler’s father died when she was seven, so Octavia was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother in what she would later recall as a strict Baptist environment.

Growing up in the racially integrated community of Pasadena allowed Butler to experience cultural and ethnic diversity in the midst of racial segregation. She accompanied her mother to her cleaning work and where the two entered white people’s houses through back doors. Her mother was treated poorly by her employers.

From an early age, an almost paralyzing shyness made it difficult for Butler to socialize with other children. Her awkwardness, paired with a slight dyslexia that made schoolwork a torment, led her to believe that she was “ugly and stupid, clumsy, and socially hopeless,” becoming an easy target for bullies. As a result, she frequently passed the time reading at the Pasadena Central Library and writing reams and reams of pages in her “big pink notebook”. Hooked at first on fairy tales and horse stories, she quickly became interested in science fiction magazines such as Amazing Stories, Galaxy Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and began reading stories by John Brunner, Zenna Henderson, and Theodore Sturgeon.

At age 10, she begged her mother to buy her a Remington typewriter on which she “pecked her stories two fingered”. At 12, watching the televised version of the film Devil Girl from Mars (1954) convinced her she could write a better story, so she drafted what would later become the basis for her Patternist novels. Happily ignorant of the obstacles that a black female writer could encounter, she became unsure of herself for the first time at the age of 13, when her well-intentioned aunt Hazel conveyed the realities of segregation in five words: “Honey … Negroes can’t be writers.” Nevertheless, Butler persevered in her desire to publish a story, even asking her junior high school science teacher, Mr. Pfaff, to type the first manuscript she submitted to a science fiction magazine.

After graduating from John Muir High School in 1965, Butler worked during the day and attended Pasadena City College (PCC) at night. As a freshman at PCC, she won a college-wide short story contest, earning her first income ($15) as a writer. She also got the “germ of the idea” for what would become her novel Kindred, when a young African-American classmate involved in the Black Power Movement loudly criticized previous generations of African Americans for being subservient to whites. As she explained in later interviews, the young man’s remarks instigated her to respond with a story that would give historical context to that shameful subservience so that it could be understood as silent but courageous survival. In 1968, Butler graduated from PCC with an associate of arts degree with a focus in History.


Parable of the Sower
Parable of the Talents


Mind of My Mind
Wild Seed
Clay’s Ark


Adulthood Rites


Bloodchildren: And Other Stories
Speech Sounds
The Book of Martha
The Evening and the Morning and the Night
Unexpected Stories