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The Monster She Wrote Podcast

Apr 21, 2020

Octavia E. Butler published science fiction from the 1970s until her death in 2006. She studied at the Screenwriter’s Guild Open Door Program and the Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop, where she met other science fiction writers, like Harlan Ellison, and began publishing her stories, the first of which was 1971’s “Crossover.” She influenced numerous women of color currently writing science fiction and fantasy such as Jewelle Gomez, N. K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Nisi Shawl, and Nalo Hopkinson, to name a few. She was the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, one among many awards and honors she received, including multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards and a Locus Award. She is probably best known for her 1979 novel Kindred and her 1985 novella “Bloodchild,” both of which are often taught in literature classrooms. Her novels Parable of the Sower (1993) and Parable of the Talents (1998) are eerily prescient explorations of post-apocalyptic dystopia. Her final novel Fledgling (2005) was her take on vampires and the topic of today’s discussion.