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February 26th, 2006

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09:25 pm - Change is. (Damn it.)
Octavia Butler died yesterday.

Just yesterday while I was waiting for them to appraise my books at Half Price, I was looking at her section of the SF shelf and wondering what she was working on, when we would see it, etc. Fledgling was worth the wait, and I wanted more.

I met her briefly at the Foolscap when she was GOH, and saw her read several times, and was always awed by her. She is part of what drew me to Clarion West - her involvement with the program, and the opportunity to listen to her and learn from her even when she wasn't formally teaching.

Her characters are earthy and real, they are always dealing with the messy side of life in addition to whatever extraordinary things are happening to them. Life where the laundry still has to be done, and not by someone conveniently off stage.

Assimilation and survival was a big theme of hers, or assimilation vs. survival - as in, if you assimilate, how much of you survives? My favorite SF theme is dealing with what exactly constitutes 'human' - what defines people as "people" - so her work was always fascinating to me.

But mostly I'm just sitting here crying and mourning one of my strongest inspirations to actually go ahead and put the stories in my head on paper, and then also to have the courage to show them to people.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 27th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
Well, I didn't know her, but regrets nevertheless.
[User Picture]
Date:March 1st, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)

Steven Barnes writes

Steven Barnes writes about Octavia Butler on his blog, http://darkush.blogspot.com/. I enjoyed reading it, but of course it made me tear up again.

Paul says the PI obituary was page 1 above the fold.

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