[Previous entry: "Vote Now! Locus and Hugo ballots online"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "News from the March 2006 Locus"]

02/26/2006 Entry: "Octavia Butler Dies"

A Business of Ferrets

I'm sorry to let people know that Octavia Butler died yesterday, as a result of a fall and/or stroke outside her Seattle home. Butler was author of at least 11 novels, winner of several Nebulas, a James Tiptree Award and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2000, she received the PEN Center West Lifetime Achievement Award. She described herself as "comfortably asocial -- a hermit in the middle of Seattle -- a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive." She was 58.
More info

Replies: 4 Comments

This is a shock, and very sad. 58 is way too young.

Posted by Jill @ 02/27/2006 12:02 AM ET

This is not only a shock but a great loss to the SF community. A great and passionate voice has been stilled forever.

Posted by Diana @ 02/28/2006 07:02 PM ET

I wept on hearing that one of the legends of s/f had passed. No more books of possibilities from my hero.

She was one of the first writers I ever read who put Blacks as major characters, in positive, powerful roles and expanded the possibilities for positive role models for Blacks. She allowed all peoples an opportunity to see others as three-dimensional beings.

I will miss Ms. Butler.

Posted by Pam @ 03/18/2006 01:19 PM ET

I was browsing this page and read that the woman who gave me courage to dream and to enjoy science fiction is dead. I feel as if I have a close and dear family member.

Ms. Butler's presence in science fiction allowed me to be brave and buy it when everyone around me teased that only "white" people read science fiction.

Ms. Butler's books allowed me to proudly say that a Black person wrote this book -- so there!!!

She was able to give me the courage to fight against stereotypes and to believe that I could become someone because if she could write in a field where others denied the existence of African Americans, I could brave the world and do more than what my family believed we could do.

I am weeping as I write this because having read her obitutary, I regret never being brave enough to write to her and tell her how she moved me, frightened me, comforted me and how much I loved her style.

In the midst of this great pain, I remember with great joy the excitement of reading Ms. Butler's books and how I grew from her reading the words that she wrote and was so empowered to question the values of today and my place in this world.

Good-Bye Octavia Butler. You will never truly be gone for anyone who has read you carries you forever within their heart, their soul and their mind. Thank you.

Posted by JO @ 03/27/2006 09:10 PM ET

Back to Top | About Us