Monday, February 27, 2006

Farewell, Octavia Butler

I was terribly saddened to hear that the writer Octavia Butler died unexpectedly this weekend. There were so many books I was looking forward to read, so many stories she had yet to spin. I've used her book Kindred for my composition courses many times; I used her Parable of the Sower for my speculative fiction course last spring.

The latter book rings particularly loudly in my mind at this minute: the young narrator, Lauren, creates her own religion based on the horrors of the world unfolding around her. She sums up the epiphanies in short verses that become her manifesto, "Earthseed." The first of these is perhaps the most direct:

All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
is Change.

Is Change.


Cranky Yankee said...

I saw this on bOING bOING this morning.
Bummer... :-(

C. Margery Kempe said...

It's very sad. I was glad to have a chance to see her at Readercon a few years back and she was so wonderfully kind and a reluctant, but thoughtfully articulate, speaker. Sigh.

I'm particularly sad to know that she didn't have a chance to finish Parable of the Trickster. I was so looking forward to it.

Unknown said...

Yes, it was really great to see that conversation with her. I want to read KINDRED as soon as a finish RIDDLEY WALKER!

Looks like some interesting info on Butler at the MIT Communications Forum, especially her discussion with Samuel Delany. Today's lunch-time reading!