Monday, February 27, 2006

Octavia Butler

I was just a reader. I couldn’t tell you where, when, or which of Octavia Butler’s books I read first. It was some time in the mid-1980s. I read Wild Seed, Dawn, Xenogenesis, Adulthood Rites. I may have gotten them from the library. Books were hard to get and when I read a book by an author I liked I wanted to read all of their books. For years I had a list of the ones I was missing. I had no idea she was black. I really liked the sound of her name. I was young and the books were sometimes a struggle. I liked that, too.

When Parable of the Sower came out I was in heaven. Later on I worked at a bookshop and got to stock and handsell all those little Warner paperback reprints. Parable of the Talents came out, and a collection of her stories, Bloodchild, most of which I hadn’t read, and I was pretty happy.

By some counts Butner wrote a lot, by some a little. I’m glad she wrote. There are some books back there I still haven’t read, so I’m glad for that. I still haven’t read Fledgling. Don’t know if I will. Uninformed as I am, the one thing about it that I like about it is that in the one time I met her, she was happy to be writing a vampire book because it had gotten her past some block in her writing. I met at Clarion West in Seattle, and I told her I loved her books. Then I tried not to be goofy and to respect her privacy. She was quiet and smart and funny. She was a great writer.


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5:54 PM  
Blogger paddybon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:05 AM  
Blogger paddybon said...

Fledgling--her last novel--is actually quite good. Disturbingly honest portraits of power relationships in families/communities. I was a reader & a fan. She killed me.

10:06 AM  
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9:12 PM  
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5:05 PM  

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