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EerieCon IV Guests

Octavia Butler

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 1999.

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.