Saturday, March 04, 2006

Octavia Butler RIP

I had not heard of Octavia Butler till today when I came across obituaries about her death. She was a West Coast U.S. science fiction writer, a woman and an Afro-American, which is probably why I hadn't heard of her.

The publishing business which dominates SF today moreso than ever in the past, has failed to publicize writers of colour as writers of colour. Thats because in the new world of mass SF and Fantasy publishing the only colour that counts is green.

While SF and the SF community can be progressive to a fault it can also be inbred and self ghettoized, but at least in the past being fan based one would hear of writers who were different or ground breaking. Such is not the case today with the truimph of commercialization the old SF Fan community has been replaced with the mass culture of SF and Fantasy consumers.

Though Octavia was not the first Black science fiction author, that was
Samuel R. (Chip) Delaney. Who was also the first gay SF author. Though again both these facts were officially overlooked, not mentioned, for much of the Sixties and Seventies when he was writing.

Nor was she the first woman writer, many of those who wrote in the Golden Age of SF in the forties, fifties and right through the sixties, had to hide their identities behind male psuedonyms in order to get published by sexist editors. So as usual Octavia like Delaney faced a dual discrimination.

She died far too young. And I will be checking out her books.

Octavia Butler, brilliant master of sci-fi, dies at 58

Octavia E. Butler: Home Page

Octavia Butler: The outsider who changed science fiction,

Voices from the Gaps: Octavia Estelle Butler;

Essay on Racism
A Science-Fiction Writer Shares her View of Intolerance

Octavia Butler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Octavia E. Butler

Octavia Butler

22 June 1947 - 25 February 2006

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1 comment:

Fred Cipriano said...

I sure miss Octavia Butler, I decided to make a video about her fantastic book kindred because I miss her so much :(
here it is