Author Octavia Butler Passes OnOctavia Butler passed away over the weekend at the age of 58. I became very fascinated with Ms. Butler, 6 years ago, when I first heard an interview with her on National Public Radio. I was living in Boston at the time and didn't have a television, so the radio, together with the Internet, was my only source of news and entertainment. I'm so glad that it was, otherwise I would never have heard that wonderfully engaging interview.
I had read about Octavia Butler before then, when she won the MacArthur Genius Grant. However, what really made me remember her was her genre of writing. She wrote science fiction, but not the typical "Beam me up, Scotty" sci-fi stuff. Her books dealt with issues of race and gender (with particular emphasis on being black and female). She posed a lot of "what if?" questions in her books.
I bought two of her books, which are still on my 'To Be Read' queue, so I cannot yet share my own opinions of her work. However, the favourable reviews and respect that she earned during her career for her body of work speak volumes of the type of inspiring writer she was.
Edited to Add: Author, Tayari Jones, has a great collection of tributes to Octavia Butler on her blog.