Wednesday, March 15, 2006
It's Only Right...
I know this is supposed to be a blog about Star Wars but I felt that as a person of African descent, it was important that we paid homage to Octavia Butler. Personally, it is a tremendous loss for me. I really admired her work. It was top notch. But other folks had better things to say about her than I did. I decided to post them here.
But Dream Hampton (remember her?), wrote a nice piece on her in the Village Voice. I particularly love this part:
Like most science fiction, hers was primarily concerned with the master-slave relationship. She hated the idea that her Xenogenesis trilogy, the story of generations of Earth's refugees who "pay the rent" with their reproductive systems, could be read as an allegory of the psychosexual torment of plantation life. The Patternist series, which culminates in the 1980 magnum opus Wild Seed, features one of literature's most terrifying villains, the body-snatching Doro. He tracks Anyanwu, a shape-shifter and healer hundreds of years old, to 18th-century Africa. There he forces her to spawn his progeny. She becomes his great love and the only protection her generations of children have from his merciless appetite for fresh flesh. Anyanwu, most at home in her early-twenties body, is beyond fierce: Imagine a Pam Grier who makes the middle passage both as a slave and a dolphin.
NPR has an interview clip of her from 2004. It's real dope. check it aqui...
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu stated about Butler: Octavia’s fiction contained a lot of firsts for me: Black people and people of color featured at the forefront of stories set in well imagined strange worlds and situations. Stories where race and gender were thoughtfully factored and woven into the type of fiction that I’ve loved since I could read. The most memorable characters I’ve ever read.
On Amardeep Singh's site, she quotes: What good is any form of literature to Black people? What good is science fiction's thinking about the present, the future, and the past? What good is its tendency to warn or to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing? What good is its examination of the possible effects of science and technology, or social organization and political direction? At its best, science fiction stimulates imagination and creativity. It gets reader and writer off the beaten track, off the narrow, narrow footpath of what "everyone" is saying, doing, thinking--whoever "everyone" happens to be this year. And what good is all this to Black people? ("Positive Obsession" 134-35)
The seattle Times wrote a nice piece on her. they interviewed the right folks and just really showed her genius.
Keep Shinin', sister.