Sunday, February 3, 2019

Octavia Butler, the Patternist Series, and Black Book History

Octavia Butler's Patternist series, though she was not fond of her book Survivor 

Octavia Butler (1947 - 2006) wasn't our first science fiction writer, but she's arguably our most famous. She published her first novel during the late 1970s, and by the late 1990s, she had quickly become a widely referenced author, especially in relation to African American science fiction. In the early 2000s, as people first began paying attention to Afrofuturism, Butler too was a writer frequently mentioned.

Butler began her career by publishing the Patternist series: Patternmaster (1976), Mind of My Mind (1977), Survivor (1978), Wild Seed (1980), and Clay's Ark (1984). She did not like Survivor, so she chose not to have that book reprinted. Later, a compilation Seed to Harvest (2007) was published, which included all the books in the series except Survivor.

Butler's Patternist series is one of the few series by a major African American author. You can pick up copies of the books and read them individually. Or, you can read the works together as a complete series. The different editions and publication arrangements of the Patternist Series give those works a special place in Black Book History.

Black Book History, February 2019
A notebook on Octavia Butler

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