Octavia Butler Portrait It’s really very sad when a voice that you love – a voice that you depend on to challenge and inspire – suddenly goes silent. Science Fiction writer Octavia Butler died unexpectedly on Friday. She was only 58 years old and had just published her first book in eight years. I feel such sadness at losing the words she still had to write.

Octavia Butler wrote with intensity about issues of gender, race, sexuality, and humanity, challenging her readers with her unflinching exploration of what is means to be human. Her stories never shied from sadness or gave easy answers. I still can’t believe we won’t know what happens next.

Thank you Octavia. Thank you and good-bye.

“I’m comfortably asocial ? a hermit in the middle of a large city, 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.”

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