Monday, June 29, 2015
The great Octavia R. Butler - SciFi writer and one of the inspirations for my writing race into Scifi and paranormal romance
This lady's work didn't get, nor does it get, HALF the notice or praise of mediocre people writing in her genre now. And you all know who you are. Yes, I said it and the truth shall set you free! She has been an inspiration for me because she dared to insert BLACK people into Scifi writing. Not just as a writer but with her characters. The world of publishing. Ah! That colorblind (more like blind period), benevolent, happy place that was/is still chugging along, content in depicting a future without folk of darker hue in the books they buy and market. And in the ones they produce that do have POC? Big ole face palm. Decent depictions are still far and few in between.
Anyhoo, Ms. Butler wrote of people of color in her Scifi writing. Her Kindred, Parable of the Sower, Bloodchild, etc. Masterpieces all. Wow! What a concept! POC in the the future. And we were just as spectacular or regular as any Caucasian character in a Scifi book.
You gave me courage to pen a Black heroine who carries the paranormal series I created. You gave me the courage to place her front and center and make no apologies for it. She's not a sidekick. She's not the magic Negro voice of reason. She's not the oddly-hued placeholder for a member of a mock POC race. She is a Black, human female. Flawed as hell and human as hell while being it.
My talent is nowhere near Ms. Butler's but what I have created is mine and she gave me the power to do so.
The sole current Scifi writer I can think of who is fit to wear her crown? N. K. Jemisin hands down. So, Octavia Butler may be gone but she lives on in all the Black female writers of Scifi. And maybe of paranormal.
Hey, Hollywood adapt some of her stuff.
info courtesy of Black America web
photo credit; http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/portals/0/NotableAlumni/octaviabutler.jpg