We know that we came from primates (well, most of know, anyway)….but what will we become next as a species? Clearly, we are not the end all, be all—-and furthermore, apparently human evolution is speeding up. Some believe we’re moving toward a non-physical state; some are convinced we’re destined to merge with machines. Others claim we’re headed toward Armageddon, so it won’t matter anyway.
Well, when sci-fi site io9.com recently looked to 20 essential books for answers, guess whose work was #3 on the list? The late, great science fiction author, Ms. Octavia Butler. Of course, this topic is part of the DNA of Butler’s work, but she explored it spectacularly in her visionary Lillith’s Brood trilogy and Patternist series of novels.
A lot of the work on io9’s list looks intriguing, but if you haven’t checked out Octavia Butler yet, it is a must do if you love sci-fi (or even if you don’t). Her perspective remains fresh: she was a science fiction writer looking toward the future with a uniquely informed and absolutely compelling view of the social, the political and the speculative.
The brilliance of Butler is that she was never on an anti-racism, anti-sexism rant; her work emerged organically from the experience of a highly intelligent and extremely thoughtful writer who was also a black woman….no need to rant. In exploring the complexities of the human experience and the possibilities of non-human experience, Butler let her brilliant work speak from her very underrepresented perspective, and in the process, she created some of the most imaginative and interesting American science fiction in existence.