Octavia E. Butler books in order
Octavia Estelle Butler, popularly known as Octavia E. Butler, was a celebrated multiple award-winning African American author of science fiction novels.
Born in Pasadena, California, Butler attended John Muir High School.
Upon graduating, she worked during the day and attended Pasadena City College (PCC) at night, where she graduated with an associate of arts degree with a focus in history.
While at the institution, Butler earned her first income from writing ($15), after winning a college-wide short-story contest.
Her books focused on volatile themes such as Black injustice, global warming, women’s rights and political disparity, highly dystopian outlooks which saw her struggle for decades before the MacArthur Grant made things smoother.
While still a struggling writer, Butler worked as a telemarketer, potato chip inspector, and dishwasher, just to mention a few.
Her book Parable of the Sower (1993), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, while Parable of the Talents (1995) won the Nebula Award for the best science fiction novel published that year.
Butler died on February 24, 2006, at the age of 56.
Her work is today taught in more than 200 colleges and universities across the nation.
Genre: Fantasy / SF
- Kindred (1979)
- Fledgling (2005)
- Nebula Awards 20 (1985)
- Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year 14 (1985)
- The Norton Book of Science Fiction (1993)
- Omni Visions One (1993)
- Invaders! (1993)
- Visions of Fear (1994)
- Women of Wonder (1995)
- New Eves (1995)
- The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women (1995)
- Future on Ice (1998)
- The Evening and the Morning And the Night (1991)
- Bloodchild (1995)
- Unexpected Stories (2014)
- Parable of the Sower (1993)
- Parable of the Talents (1998)
- Conversations with Octavia Butler (2009)
- Kindred / Fledgling / Collected Stories (2021)
- Wild Seed (1980)
- Mind of My Mind (1977)
- Clay's Ark (1984)
- Survivor (1978)
- Patternmaster (1976)
- Dawn (1987)
- Adulthood Rites (1988)
- Imago (1989)
Detailed book overview
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
This is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.
This fourteenth annual "Best of the Year" collection includes John Varley's "Press Enter," Octavia E. Butler's "Bloodchild," Pamela Sargent's "Fears," Connie Willis's "Blue Moon," and Michael Swanwick's "Trojan Horse"
It is Book 14 of the Best Science Fiction of the Year Series.
Successfully used at over one hundred schools nationwide, these sixty-seven stories offer compelling evidence that science fiction is a source of the most thoughtful, imaginative-indeed, literary-fiction being written today.
Readers will be introduced to some rarely anthologized gems from well-known authors-Poul Anderson, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Joanna Russ, Theodore Sturgeon, James Tiptree, Jr., Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazny-as well as starling work by today's rising stars. Students and teachers alike will appreciate the sophisticated range of voices exploring the nature of reality and the condition of the human spirit.
The first book in the Omni Visions Series, with tales edited by Ellen Datlow.
This small but varied assortment of ten stories will be welcomed by SF fans who haven't already read nine of them in Omni magazine. Joyce Carol Oates contributes the collection's first-run tale about a woman who is disturbed by nightmares of sexual attacks until she realizes that she is not entirely helpless.
Octavia E. Butler portrays two people, both afflicted with a terrifying disease that makes its victims self-destructive, who just might find in each other and in their unique gifts ''reasons for staying alive.'' In Harvey Jacobs's quirky love story, artist Herman Horman, whose passion is painting skyscapes, thinks he has found the woman of his dreams--lovely, lonely, wealthy and the owner of a fabulous observatory--until he discovers that her unusual eating plan threatens his favored pastime. J. R. Dunn follows a reporter who, in the near future, views a deserted Air Force base and tries to assimilate his tour guide's outrageous claim that people on earth once launched satellites and missiles.
Howard Waldrop skips back to 1929 to imagine what things would have been like if J. Edgar Hoover's turf had been a Federal Radio Agency instead of the FBI. Datlow is Omni 's fiction editor.
Fantasy has come to mean different things to different people - for some it is a descent into the unconscious, an expression of repressed fears or desires; for others it is an exploration of new territories, frightening and fertile landscapes inhabited by playful and provocative beings who draw the reader into a fascinating web of morality and myth. In her challenging Introduction, Joanna Russ describes Fantasy as 'the most realistic of all the arts, expressing as it does the contents of human souls directly'. This anthology aims to show that Fantasy has also been an important vehicle for women, who have used it to express their creative diversity, without having to be boxed in and categorized by a male-dominated literary establishment.
An anthology of stories edited by Richard Glyn Jones and A Susan Williams.
A widely varied, immensely enjoyable, and historically important anthology, Future On Ice is a showcase for the hottest stories by the coolest SF writers of the 1980s. Complete with a preface, introduction, and story notes by Card himself, here are early stories from eighteen incredibly talented authors who have since shattered the face of science fiction.
Stories edited by Orson Scott Card.
Decades after the introduction of a cancer cure, the children of its users develop "Duryea-Gode Disease" (DGD), a genetic disease whose symptoms include dissociative states, obsessive self-mutilation, and violent psychosis. DGD patients can delay the onset of symptoms by means of rigid dietary restrictions. However, the intense social isolation they face, as well as the knowledge that the eventual onset of symptoms is inevitable, makes some of the second-generation patients wonder whether these efforts are worth it.
Lynn, the female protagonist, is a double DGD (she has the disease from both her parents), and learns how to deal with the disease and the oppression that she felt since she was growing up. She witnesses what DGDs are capable of when she visits Dilg, a retreat center where the out-of-control DGDs are placed. At Dilg the patients are not restrained, but instead are improving themselves by being artistically creative.
In an afterword to the story, Butler described constructing DGD from the symptoms of three other genetic diseases: Huntington's disease, phenylketonuria, and Lesch-Nyhan disease, to which she added reactivity to pheromones and the delusion of being trapped in one's own flesh.
A perfect introduction for new readers and a must-have for avid fans, this New York Times Notable Book includes "Bloodchild," winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and "Speech Sounds," winner of the Hugo Award. Appearing in print for the first time, "Amnesty" is a story of a woman named Noah who works to negotiate the tense and co-dependent relationship between humans and a species of invaders. Also new to this collection is "The Book of Martha" which asks: What would you do if God granted you the ability—and responsibility—to save humanity from itself?
Like all of Octavia Butler’s best writing, these works of the imagination are parables of the contemporary world. She proves constant in her vigil, an unblinking pessimist hoping to be proven wrong, and one of contemporary literature’s strongest voices.
The novella “A Necessary Being” showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable “others.” Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer—and living the rest of her life alone.
The second story in this volume, “Childfinder,” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions™. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price.
The award-winning author of science fiction classics Parable of the Sower and Kindred bestows these compelling, long lost gems “like the miraculous discovery that the beloved book you’ve read a dozen times has an extra chapter” (Los Angeles Review of Books).
Harlan Ellison and Dangerous Visions are registered trademarks of the Kilimanjaro Corporation. All rights reserved.
When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.
Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.
In 2032, Lauren Olamina has survived the destruction of her home and family, and realized her vision of a peaceful community in northern California based on her newly founded faith, Earthseed.
The fledgling community provides refuge for outcasts facing persecution after the election of an ultra-conservative president who vows to "make America great again." In an increasingly divided and dangerous nation, Lauren's subversive colony--a minority religious faction led by a young black woman--becomes a target for President Jarret's reign of terror and oppression.
Years later, Asha Vere reads the journals of a mother she never knew, Lauren Olamina. As she searches for answers about her own past, she also struggles to reconcile with the legacy of a mother caught between her duty to her chosen family and her calling to lead humankind into a better future.
Octavia Butler (1947-2006) spent the majority of her prolific career as the only major black female author of science fiction. Winner of both the Nebula and Hugo Awards as well as a MacArthur "genius" grant, the first for a science fiction writer, Butler created worlds that challenged notions of race, sex, gender, and humanity. Whether in the postapocalyptic future of the Parable stories, in the human inability to assimilate change and difference in the Xenogenesis books, or in the destructive sense of superiority in the Patternist series, Butler held up a mirror, reflecting what is beautiful, corrupt, worthwhile, and damning about the world we inhabit.
In interviews ranging from 1980 until just before her sudden death in 2006, Conversations with Octavia Butler reveals a writer very much aware of herself as the "rare bird" of science fiction even as she shows frustration with the constant question, "How does it feel to be the only one?" Whether discussing humanity's biological imperatives or the difference between science fiction and fantasy or the plight of the working poor in America, Butler emerges in these interviews as funny, intelligent, complicated, and intensely original.
An original and eerily prophetic writer, Octavia E. Butler used the conventions of science fiction to explore the dangerous legacy of racism in America in harrowingly personal terms. She broke new ground with books that featured complex Black female protagonists—“I wrote myself in,” she would later recall—establishing herself as one of thepioneers of the Afrofuturist aesthetic.
In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, in recognition of her achievement in creating new aspirations for the genre and for American literature.
This ﬁrst volume in the Library of America edition of Butler’s collected works opens with her masterpiece, Kindred, one of the landmark American novels of the last half century. Its heroine, Dana, a Black woman, is pulled back and forth between the present and the pre–Civil War past, where she ﬁnds herself enslaved on the plantation of a white ancestor whose life she must save to preserve her own.
In Fledgling, an amnesiac discovers that she is a vampire, with a difference: she is a new, experimental birth with brown skin, giving her the fearful ability to go out in sunlight.
Rounding out the volume are eight short stories and ﬁve essays—including two never before collected, plus a newly researched chronology of Butler’s life and career and helpful explanatory notes prepared by scholar Gerry Canavan. Butler’s friend, the writer and editor Nisi Shawl, provides an introduction.
Doro knows no higher authority than himself. An ancient spirit with boundless powers, he possesses humans, killing without remorse as he jumps from body to body to sustain his own life. With a lonely eternity ahead of him, Doro breeds supernaturally gifted humans into empires that obey his every desire. He fears no one -- until he meets Anyanwu.
Anyanwu is an entity like Doro and yet different. She can heal with a bite and transform her own body, mending injuries and reversing aging. She uses her powers to cure her neighbors and birth entire tribes, surrounding herself with kindred who both fear and respect her. No one poses a true threat to Anyanwu -- until she meets Doro.
The moment Doro meets Anyanwu, he covets her; and from the villages of 17th-century Nigeria to 19th-century United States, their courtship becomes a power struggle that echoes through generations, irrevocably changing what it means to be human.
Mary is a treacherous experiment. Her creator, an immortal named Doro, has molded the human race for generations, seeking out those with unusual talents like telepathy and breeding them into a new subrace of humans who obey his every command. The result is Mary: a young black woman living on the rough outskirts of Los Angeles in the 1970s, who has no idea how much power she will soon wield.
Doro knows he must handle Mary carefully or risk her ending like his previous experiments: dead, either by her own hand or Doro's. What he doesn't suspect is that Mary's maturing telepathic abilities may soon rival his own power. By linking telepaths with a viral pattern, she will create the potential to break free of his control once and for all-and shift the course of humanity.
In an alternate America marked by volatile class warfare, Blake Maslin is traveling with his teenage twin daughters when their car is ambushed. Their attackers appear sickly yet possess inhuman strength, and they transport Blake's family to an isolated compound. There, the three captives discover that the compound's residents have a highly contagious alien disease that has mutated their DNA to make them powerful, dangerous, and compelled to infect others. If Blake and his daughters do not escape, they will be infected with a virus that will either kill them outright or transform them into outcasts whose very existence is a threat to the world around them.
In the following hours, Blake and his daughters each must make a vital choice: risk everything to escape and warn the rest of the world, or accept their new reality -- as well as the uncertain fate of the human race.
Survivor depicts the Clay's Ark disease ravaging the Earth, and Doro's telepathic descendants asserting control over what remains of humanity. One group of regular humans decides to escape Earth to a new planet, where they struggle to co-exist with the species that already lives there.
In the far future, the human race is divided into two groups striving for power. The Patternmaster rules over all, the leader of the telepathic Patternist race whose thoughts can destroy or heal at his whim. The only threat to his power are the Clayarks, mutant humans created by an alien pandemic, who now live either enslaved by the Patternists or in the wild.
Coransee, son of the ruling Patternmaster, wants the throne and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means venturing into the wild mutant-infested hills to destroy a young apprentice -- his equal and his brother.
When Lilith lyapo wakes from a centuries-long sleep, she finds herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. She discovers that the Oankali—a seemingly benevolent alien race—intervened in the fate of the humanity hundreds of years ago, saving everyone who survived a nuclear war from a dying, ruined Earth and then putting them into a deep sleep.
After learning all they could about Earth and its beings, the Oankali healed the planet, cured cancer, increased human strength, and they now want Lilith to lead her people back to Earth—but salvation comes at a price.
Hopeful and thought-provoking, this post-apocalyptic narrative deftly explores gender and race through the eyes of characters struggling to adapt during a pivotal time of crisis and change.
In the future, nuclear war has destroyed nearly all humankind. An alien race intervenes, saving the small group of survivors from certain death. But their salvation comes at a cost.
The Oankali are able to read and mutate genetic code, and they use these skills for their own survival, interbreeding with new species to constantly adapt and evolve. They value the intelligence they see in humankind but also know that the species—rigidly bound to destructive social hierarchies—is destined for failure. They are determined that the only way forward is for the two races to produce a new hybrid species—and they will not tolerate rebellion.
Akin looks like an ordinary human child. But as the first true human-alien hybrid, he is born understanding language, then starts to form sentences at two months old. He can see at a molecular level and kill with a touch. More powerful than any human or Oankali, he will be the architect of both races' future. But before he can carry this new species into the stars, Akin must reconcile with his own heritage in a world already torn in two.
Since a nuclear war decimated the human population, the remaining humans began to rebuild their future by interbreeding with an alien race -- the Oankali -- who saved them from near-certain extinction. The Oankalis' greatest skill lies in the species' ability to constantly adapt and evolve, a process that is guided by their third sex, the ooloi, who are able to read and mutate genetic code.
Now, for the first time in the humans' relationship with the Oankali, a human mother has given birth to an ooloi child: Jodahs. Throughout his childhood, Jodahs seemed to be a male human-alien hybrid. But when he reaches adolescence, Jodahs develops the ooloi abilities to shapeshift, manipulate DNA, cure and create disease, and more. Frightened and isolated, Jodahs must either come to terms with this new identity, learn to control new powers, and unite what's left of humankind -- or become the biggest threat to their survival.