27 February 2006
Octavia E. Butler 1947-2006
I just received word today that Octavia Butler died. I have so many emotions about it that it is hard to separate and explain them all right now. I read Octavia's work when I was in high school and she really opened up the doors of possibility in my mind. Her work was challenging (for my teenage brain and emotions) but at the same time she made it possible for me to see myself in a genre that I never literally saw myself in as a major character. She definitely inspired me to do what I do now. I thank her for that. I feel lucky that I have even had the opportunity to tell her this, more than once. The first time she smirked and changed the subject. The second time she laughed. But the third time, very recently at an award ceremony in her honor in New York City, she responded that I made her feel old, if I read her work while I was in high school. We had a good laugh together that time. That is one of my fondest memories of the woman, a titan in the world of writing in general but SF writing in particular. There are those who have recognized her talent and her intelligence before she passed, but in my opinion not nearly enough. She was and forever will be truly one of the greatest.