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The Incredible Life of Octavia E. Butler «Adafruit Industries – Makers, Hackers, Artists, Designers & Engineers!

New York Magazine’s Vulture has published a detailed and fascinating profile of acclaimed science fiction writer Octavia Butler, who died in 2006. Butler was hardworking, prolific, and creative. It sculpted the general conventions of science fiction to illustrate and challenge hierarchies of race, gender, and class.

She found refuge at the Pasadena Public Library, where she jumped into science fiction. She especially loved Theodore Sturgeon, Ursula K. Loggin, Dionne Frank Herbert, and Xena Henderson, whose book “Pilgrimage” she would buy for friends to read. She was a comic book geek: first DC, then Marvel. As a 12-year-old, she watched Devil Girl From Mars, a British black-and-white science fiction film about a female alien commander named Nyah with mind control, a vaporizing ray gun, and a skin-tight costume with an earth-touching cloak. Butler thought she could come up with a better story than that, so she began writing her own: temporary escape gateways from a life of “boredom, calluses, humiliation, and not enough money,” as she saw it. “I needed my fantasies to protect me from the world.”

In the past few years, there has been a surge of interest in Butler’s work, with several TV and film adaptations of her work coming our way. What this profile talks about bestIt is, in my opinion, those early years that Butler was trying Write itself in it, and negotiating her firm commitment to becoming a successful science fiction writer with many real-life challenges (poverty, sexism, racism). Early in her career, Butler wrote every morning at 2 a.m. before heading out for a full day of manual labour. Time and time again, she stood up for herself and her work, and she continued to write.

Read the full piece here.

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