Octavia Butler is one of the two top African American science fiction writers; the other being Samuel Delany. She began her writing career in 1970 and made her genre debut with Crossover (1971), the first of many works in which she weaves together African-American history, future soceties and a highly intellectual exploration of the alien perspective.
Born Octavia Estelle Butler on June 22, 1947, in Pasadena, California. She earned an Associates degree at Pasadena City College (A.A., 1968), and attended California State University, and the University of California at Los Angeles, the Open Door Program of the Screen Writers' Guild of America and the Clarion SF Writers' Workshop. In 1995 Butler was awarded a $295,000 so-called "genius grant," a MacArthur Foundation fellowship for her unique synthesis of science fiction, mysticism, mythology, and African-American spiritualism.
In Kindred (1979) a contemporary black woman is sent back in time to a pre-Civil War plantation, becomes a slave, and rescues her white, slave-owning ancestor. Butler's short story Bloodchild (1984) (in the collection Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995)) about human male slaves who incubate their alien masters' eggs, won several awards, including the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award.
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