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Books

Kindred (Beacon Press, hardcover, 2/2009)

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Kindred (Beacon Press, paperback, 2/2004)

A World Book Night USA 2012 Selection

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Fledgling (Seven Stories Press, hardcover, 9/2005)

Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s last novel, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted—and still wants—to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.

Lilith’s Brood (Grand Central Publishing, paperback 6/2000)

The acclaimed trilogy that comprises Lilith’s Brood is multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler at her best. Presented for the first time in one volume, with an introduction by Joan Slonczewski, Ph.D., Lilith’s Brood is a profoundly evocative, sensual — and disturbing — epic of human transformation.

Fledgling (Grand Central Publishing, paperback, 1/2007)

Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s first new novel in seven years, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted—and still wants—to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.

Xenogenesis Series

Lilith’s Brood (Grand Central Publishing, paperback 6/2000)

The acclaimed trilogy that comprises Lilith’s Brood is multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler at her best. Presented for the first time in one volume, with an introduction by Joan Slonczewski, Ph.D., Lilith’s Brood is a profoundly evocative, sensual — and disturbing — epic of human transformation.

Imago (Grand Central Publishing, mass market paperback, 4/1997)

The futures of both humans and Oankali rest in one young being’s successful metamorphosis into adulthood.

Dawn (Aspect, mass market paperback, 4/1997)

Lilith lyapo awoke from a centuries-long sleep to find herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. Creatures covered in writhing tentacles, the Oankali had saved every surviving human from a dying, ruined Earth. They healed the planet, cured cancer, increased strength, and were now ready to help Lilith lead her people back to Earth—but for a price.

Adulthood Rites (Grand Central Publishing, mass market paperback, 4/1997)

Told in the haunting voice of Lilith, the heroine of Dawn, this book is the story of Lilith’s only son, Akin. Though he resembles a normal human, Akin is the first “construct”–part man/part alien.

Parable Series

Parable of the Sower (Grand Central Publishing, paperback, 1/2000)

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

Parable of the Talents (Grand Central Publishing, paperback, 1/2000)

Lauren Olamina’s love is divided among her young daughter, her community, and the revelation that led Lauren to found a new faith that teaches “God Is Change”. But in the wake of environmental and economic chaos, the U.S. government turns a blind eye to violent bigots who consider the mere existence of a black female leader a threat. And soon Lauren must either sacrifice her child and her followers—or forsake the religion that can transform human destiny.

Patternist Series

Mind of My Mind (Grand Central Publishing, mass market paperback, 8/1994)

For four thousand years, an immortal has spread the seeds of an evolutionary master race, using the downtrodden of the underclass as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found the way to awaken—and rule—her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle from L.A. mansions to South Central slums, as she challenges her creator for the right to free her people. … And enslave the Earth.

Patternmaster (Aspect, mass market paperback, 5/1995)

The combined mind-force of a telepathic race, Patternist thoughts can destroy, heal, rule. For the strongest mind commands the entire Pattern and all within it. Now the son of the Patternmaster craves this ultimate power. He has murdered or enslaved every threat to his ambition—except one. In the wild, mutant-infested hills, a young apprentice must be hunted down and destroyed because he is the tyrant’s equal . . . and the Patternmaster’s other son.

Survivor (Signet, paperback, 5/1979)

They fled from an Earth ravaged by plague and violence, seeking to fulfill their holy mission—to discover a new home for humanity. But instead of landing in a peace-filled paradise, Earth’s Missionaries find themselves caught between two warring civilizations—the Garkohn and the Tehkohn. And only one of the people from Earth, a young girl and “converted” Missionary named Alanna, has the proper survival training to see through the lies of their Garkohn “hosts,” who extend the hand of friendship to the humans only to enslave them. Alanna alone can understand the necessity of becoming one with the Tehkohn “enemy.” And, perhaps, she can find a way to release the Missionaries from the deadly bondage into which they have complacently fallen. Yet even if she succeeds, will Alanna merely be saving them for a still more inescapable doom . . . ?

Wild Seed (Grand Central Publishing, paperback, 4/2001)

Doro is an entity who changes bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex — or design. He fears no one — until he meets Anyanwu. Anyanwu is a shapeshifter who can absorb bullets and heal with a kiss…and savage anyone who threatens those she loves. She fears no one — until she meets Doro. From African jungles to the colonies of America, Doro and Anyanwu weave together a pattern of destiny that not even immortals can imagine.

Clay’s Ark (Aspect, mass market paperback, 12/1996)

Asa Elias Doyle and her companions encounter an alien life form so destructive that they exile themselves to the desert to avoid contaminating others, but their compulsion to infect others is overwhelming and, in a desperate plea for help, kidnap a doctor and his two daughters.

Seed to Harvest (Grand Central Publishing, paperback, 1/2007)

In her classic Patternist series, multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler established the themes of identity and transformation that echo throughout her distinguished career. Now collected for the first time in one volume, these four novels take readers on a wondrous odyssey from a mythic, primordial past to a fantastic far future. In ancient Africa, a female demigod of nurture and fertility mates with a powerful, destructive male entity. Together they birth a race of madmen, visionaries, and psychics who cling to civilization’s margins and back alleys for millennia, coming together in a telepathic Pattern just as Earth is consumed by a cosmic invasion. Now these new beings—no longer merely human—will battle to rule the transfigured world…

Story Collections

Bloodchild and Other Stories (Seven Stories Press, paperback, 1/2003)

A perfect introduction for new readers and a must-have for avid fans, this New York Times Notable Book includes “Bloodchild,” winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and “Speech Sounds,” winner of the Hugo Award. Appearing in print for the first time, “Amnesty” is a story of a woman aptly named Noah who works to negotiate the tense and co-dependent relationship between humans and a species of invaders. Also new to this collection is “The Book of Martha” which asks: What would you do if God granted you the ability—and responsibility—to save humanity from itself? Like all of Octavia Butler’s best writing, these works of the imagination are parables of the contemporary world. She proves constant in her vigil, an unblinking pessimist hoping to be proven wrong, and one of contemporary literature’s strongest voices.

Audiobooks

Kindred (Recorded Books, audio, 9/2007)

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life.

Wild Seed (Audible Frontiers, audio, 1/2009)

Narrated by Dion Graham

Parable of the Sower (Recorded Books, audio, 1/2009)

God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman’s diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs – and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy. Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.

Fledgling (BBC Audiobooks America, audio, 1/2007)

Narrated by Tracey Leigh
Fledgling, the late Octavia E. Butler’s final novel, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified,… More

Parable of the Talents (Recorded Books, audio, 1/2001)

Narrated by Patricia R. Floyd, Peter Jay Fernandez, and Sisi Aisha Johnson
Environmental devastation and economic chaos have turned America into a land of horrifying depravity. Assault, theft, sexual abuse, slavery, and murder are commonplace. Taking advantage of the situation,… More