Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) was a bestselling and award-winning author, considered one of the best science fiction writers of her generation. She received both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and in 1995 became the first author of science fiction to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded the prestigious PEN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Her first novel, Patternmaster (1976), was praised both for its imaginative vision and for Butler’s powerful prose, and spawned four prequels, beginning with Mind of My Mind (1977) and finishing with Clay’s Ark (1984).
Although the Patternist series established Butler among the science fiction elite, it was Kindred (1979), a story of a black woman who travels back in time to the antebellum South, that brought her mainstream success. In 1985, Butler won Nebula and Hugo awards for the novella Bloodchild, and in 1987 she published Dawn, the first novel of the Xenogenesis trilogy, about a race of aliens who visit earth to save humanity from itself. Fledgling (2005) was Butler’s final novel. She died at her home in 2006.
New, from Open Road Media, Unexpected Stories contains two never-before-published stories from Octavia E. Butler.
The novella “A Necessary Being” showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable “others.” Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer—and living the rest of her life alone.
The second story in this volume, “Childfinder,” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions™. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price. (Open Road Media, 6/24/2014)
Six remarkable stories from a master of modern science fiction
Octavia E. Butler’s classic Bloodchild (Open Road Publishing, 7/24/2012), winner of both the Nebula and Hugo awards, anchors this collection of incomparable stories and essays. Bloodchild is set on a distant planet where human children spend their lives preparing to become hosts for the offspring of the alien Tlic. Sometimes the procedure is harmless, but often it is not. Also included is the Hugo Award–winning “Speech Sounds,” about a near future in which humans must adapt after an apocalyptic event robs them of their ability to speak.
In these pages, Butler shows us life on Earth and amongst the stars, telling her tales with characteristic imagination and clarity.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.
“…her long-term agent Merrilee Heifetz has announced that she has discovered two previously unpublished works by Butler with the help of the archivists at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, where Butler’s papers are housed, and that the stories will be published in June by digital press Open Road Integrated Media.” —Article by Alison Flood, theguardian.com, April 30, 2014
“…Unexpected Stories offers a much-appreciated glimpse into Butler’s rich writing style and her genre sensibilities as they formed. It’s a must read, not just for Butler fans but for all lovers of speculative fiction. —Review by K. Tempest Bradford, NPR, July 10, 2014
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