Category Archives: Octavia Butler

Reading: Survivor, by Octavia Butler Part Three

200px-SurvivorButlerIt would be interesting to know what Butler meant by Survivor being her “Star Trek novel.” (Mostly because there are many Star Trek writers whose non-Star Trek work is really good.) Does it mean simplistic themes or worldbuilding? I can see traces of both in the story, in the way that Alanna has an almost suspicious ability to adapt to other communities and the way the Kohn are able to hide due to the natural camouflage of their fur. (This is followed by Alanna realizing that she is more comfortable with the Tehkohn than she had been among the Missionaries.) There’s also the white/black morality of the Missionaries versus Alanna’s more pragmatic feral upbringing. (And how it compares with the way the Tehkohn assimilate her into their community.) This juxtaposition of similar situations does have the feeling of a Star Trek type morality tale–too simple, too neat, and maybe too obvious.

This speculation is not meant to be a judgment on whether Butler was right to disown the book. This is just an example of one of the questions I’d like to ask her, if I could. Continue reading

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Reading: Survivor, by Octavia Butler Part Two

200px-SurvivorButlerOne thing I’ve noticed about Octavia Butler’s writing is that she tended to write protagonists who end up with a self-imposed mission of saving people who might not actually want to be saved. Lilith from the Xenogenesis series is one such character, the protagonist of Parable of the Sower is another.

Alanna’s self-appointed mission is to free the Missionaries from Garkohn influence, though it might be better said that she wants to free her foster parents from Garkohn influence. It’s pretty clear that Alanna has very little attachment to the other Missionaries. Her primary focus is for her foster parents who “civilized” her and treated her with compassion. Continue reading

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Reading: Survivor by Octavia Butler Part One

survivor-smallSurvivor is technically a part of Butler’s Patternist sequence, except Butler disowned it. She also referred to it as her “Star Trek novel” for reasons which may soon become clear. I acquired Survivor via slightly sneaky means, in this case a pdf. file that I downloaded. The copy has a lot of typos and in general is kind of cruddy but still readable. Continue reading

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Book Review: Fledgling, by Octavia Butler

Seven Stories Press

316 pp.

Fledgling is another one of those books that took me a while to get around to reading. I was not entirely sure what to think when I first heard that Octavia Butler was going to write a vampire novel. (Let’s just say there was some metaphorical pearl-clutching and leave it at that.) I do not really like vampire novels all that much, even though I always seem to end up reading them. (Most urban fantasy novels have vamps in them. There is no escape.) Continue reading

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Outline of Xenogenesis (Lilith’s Brood) Trilogy by Octavia Butler

Based off of the incredibly brilliant “Movie in 15 minutes” by Cleolinda

This is an Outline, not a serious review, meant for parody and humor purposes only.
Originally posted in another journal, Apr. 10th, 2006 at 2:24 PM

Other Outlines can be found here

Lilith's BroodTheXenogenesis/Lilith’s Brood trilogy took me a while to really get into. I thinkthe main reason was that the cover art of the first edition of Dawn has poorLilith looking like a white woman instead of a black woman. I also didn’tentirely agree with the gender dynamics as presented by the author.  Another problem was that Butler tried veryhard to keep from having the setting be a specific time period, so there wereabsolutely no pop/cultural indicators (in other words, no one is making sf geekjokes about BEMs, no one missed certain favorite fast food franchises, moviesor books). The trilogy grew on me as I read more of Butler’s other books, untilthey became my favorites. (It helps that post-apocalyptic novels have alwaysbeen a favorite of mine.)  

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