Encouraged by Harlan Ellison, Octavia E. Butler began her
writing career in 1970, and made her genre debut with
"Crossover" (1971), the first of many works which weaves
together African American history, futuristic societies, and an
intellectual exploration of alien perspectives. Today, along
with Samuel Delany, she is one of the top two African American
writers in science fiction.
Butler has published eleven novels. Her first,
Patternmaster (1976), was the beginning of the
five-volume Patternist series. The others in the
series are Mind of My Mind (1977); Survivor
(1978); Wild Seed (1980), which won the James Tiptree
Award; and Clay's Ark (1984). These were followed by
her Xenogenesis trilogy: Dawn: Xenogenesis
(1987), Adulthood Rites (1988), and Imago (1989).
The Parable of the Sower (1993) was a finalist for the
Nebula and New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Its
sequel, Parable of the Talents, won the Nebula in
Besides these novels (and Kindred (1979)), she has
also had short stories published in many anthologies and
magazines. Butler's short story, "Speech Sounds," won a
Hugo in 1984. Her novelette, "Bloodchild" (1984), won
several awards, including the Hugo and the Nebula.
In 1995, Butler was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship by the
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2000, she
received the PEN Center West Lifetime Achievement Award.