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sad weekend
February 26, 2006 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Added to the rolls of those that passed away this weekend. Octavia E. Butler Sci Fi writer, MacArthur Genius grant winner... And as she wrote. "I'm a 53-year-old writer who can remember being a 10-year-old writer and who expects someday to be an 80-year-old writer. I'm also comfortably asocial -- a hermit in the middle of Seattle -- a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive."
posted by edgeways (64 comments total)

 
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Oh, and great quote!
posted by JHarris at 2:52 PM on February 26, 2006


June 22, 1947-February 25, 2006
posted by edgeways at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2006


Metafilter: an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.
It had to be done
posted by spock at 2:56 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by nickyskye at 3:00 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by jokeefe at 3:00 PM on February 26, 2006


Wow.

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posted by oflinkey at 3:13 PM on February 26, 2006


The world is colder and sadder, now. This one hit me hard.

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posted by kalimac at 3:14 PM on February 26, 2006


Wow. Sometime over a decade ago I read Adulhood Rites. I didn't really get it and thought I was missing out on some backstory. I was.

Oh, and: .
posted by sourwookie at 3:15 PM on February 26, 2006


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I was just rereading "Parable of the Talents" this morning. I've always considered her one of the better contemporary science fiction writers. It's truly saddening to realize we won't see any more books by her.
posted by ubersturm at 3:16 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:16 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by amberglow at 3:25 PM on February 26, 2006


Agreed -- this is such a sad loss (at only 58!). Here is an interview (dated 2003) where Butler talks about Kindred.

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posted by sophieblue at 3:25 PM on February 26, 2006


Devastating loss and I've been struggling to get my shit together today.
posted by ed at 3:25 PM on February 26, 2006


What a horrible shock. Peace, Octavia.

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posted by youarenothere at 3:29 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by drezdn at 3:44 PM on February 26, 2006


What a magnificent writer. Bloodchild and Other Stories is highly recommended, not only for the stories but for the essays on writing. The title story was reproduced by the Washington Post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:46 PM on February 26, 2006


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I just can't believe this. I wonder: did she have enough time to enjoy the recent success? God, I hope so.
posted by Bryan Behrenshausen at 3:48 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by farishta at 3:48 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by adamgreenfield at 3:52 PM on February 26, 2006


Ah, what a loss! I so love her work!
posted by Space Kitty at 3:58 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by cows of industry at 4:01 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by bitmage at 4:06 PM on February 26, 2006


Just started reading Kindred this week in order to teach it in a few months. I'm all the gladder now that I decided to teach it.
posted by etc. at 4:13 PM on February 26, 2006


I really had expected to be reading her stuff for the next 30 years-- she just felt like that kind of author who would continue growing and developing her body of work.

And now she won't. A big loss.
posted by gregvr at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2006


She came to my university for a writer-in-residence program right when Parable Of The Talents was released. I was one of the assistants for the program, and spent a few hours talking to her about various things over the span of the week.

She was a clever, inspired, and wonderful lady.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:44 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by mwhybark at 4:49 PM on February 26, 2006


I haven't read her in 10 years — but she always stuck out in my mind as a talented writer.

What a bummer.
posted by teece at 4:51 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by SmileyChewtrain at 4:57 PM on February 26, 2006


oh, god, no.

i have dreams of one day becoming a black sci fi/fantasy writer myself, and, prior to this evening, those dreams included one day meeting and receiving a benediction from butler, leguin, and gene wolfe. with her passing, a part of my dream passes as well.

what a loss. i commend her to whatever gods she may have venerated.

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posted by lord_wolf at 4:59 PM on February 26, 2006


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I have been wanting to read more Butler for some time - I seem to have the bad luck of always finding only the second of her trilogies and not the first. I, too, read Adulthood Rites years ago, and was fascinated but confused. Recently, I borrowed The Parable of the Talents from the library (I knew of the series), only to find I had not the first (which the library system doesn't have), but again the second. But I think I will read it anyways.
posted by jb at 5:21 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:31 PM on February 26, 2006


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This is just horrible news.
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:05 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:12 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by subatomiczoo at 6:22 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by Astro Zombie at 6:25 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by josephtate at 6:29 PM on February 26, 2006


Yesterday my wife was talking about her, it was in the afternoon..then todays news..very surreal, and very sad.

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posted by Mr Bluesky at 6:54 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by bibliowench at 6:56 PM on February 26, 2006


A wonderful person and an inspiring writer, what a terrible loss.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:07 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:31 PM on February 26, 2006


NOOOOOOOOOO000000ooooooooooo.............
posted by Lynsey at 8:48 PM on February 26, 2006


I am so sad to learn this. I've been hungry for more of her work.




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posted by pointilist at 8:51 PM on February 26, 2006


It had to happen sometime. I hope it was as painless as possible. Thank you, Octavia.
posted by Kwanzaar at 9:01 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by anansi at 9:05 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by ottereroticist at 9:31 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by scottymac at 9:34 PM on February 26, 2006


It has been one of those weekends. A friend (not a close friend, but still a friend) passed away yesterday, it was expected (brain cancer) and seemed to be relatively painless, added to that the passing of some pretty high profile people, as well as Ms Butler. *sigh* This week better be better than this weekend.
posted by edgeways at 9:50 PM on February 26, 2006


I know I'm a selfish bastard for saying so, but I hope there are at least a hundred pages of Parable of the Trickster lying around the house or hard drive waiting to published, no matter how unpolished and preliminary they are.
posted by mistersix at 9:55 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by ooga_booga at 11:15 PM on February 26, 2006


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posted by Faint of Butt at 3:36 AM on February 27, 2006


No! I can't believe it, so young! I was expecting to be thrilled by her new books for years to come.
posted by OmieWise at 6:30 AM on February 27, 2006


Damn.

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posted by Sharktattoo at 6:39 AM on February 27, 2006


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posted by voltairemodern at 7:21 AM on February 27, 2006


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posted by Pallas Athena at 7:24 AM on February 27, 2006


I share the same ambition as lord_wolf. Damn.

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posted by black8 at 7:30 AM on February 27, 2006


No death is pleasant. Then one was particularly sad. I always enjoyed Ms. Butler's work, and looked forward to more of it.
posted by bshock at 8:06 AM on February 27, 2006


Her work is original, thoughtful, well-written. What a loss.
posted by theora55 at 9:51 AM on February 27, 2006


"Where is this?" she asked, not really wanting to know, not wanting to be dead when she was only forty-three. "Where am I?"

"Here with me," God said.

"Really here?" she asked. "Not at home in bed dreaming? Not locked up in a mental institution? Not … not lying dead in a morgue?"

"Here," God said softly. "With me."

After a moment, Martha was able to take her hands from her face and look again at the grayness around her and at God. "This can't be heaven," she said. "There's nothing here, no one here but you."

"Is that all you see?" God asked.

This confused her even more. "Don't you know what I see?" she demanded and then quickly softened her voice. "Don't you know everything?"

God smiled. "No, I outgrew that trick long ago. You can't imagine how boring it was." [link]

(rest in peace)

posted by basicchannel at 11:48 AM on February 27, 2006


I've wandered away from the science fiction that I read so much of in my youth, but Butler was one of the fewer than 10 writers that I still read. I am saddened by the fact that she is not with us anymore.
posted by matildaben at 3:15 PM on February 27, 2006


i have dreams of one day becoming a black sci fi/fantasy writer myself, and, prior to this evening, those dreams included one day meeting and receiving a benediction from butler, leguin, and gene wolfe. with her passing, a part of my dream passes as well.

Then start making with the submissions, LW: LeGuin and Wolfe are no spring chickens...
posted by Amanojaku at 4:55 PM on February 27, 2006


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Kindred is one of my favorite books, one that I've never hesitated to reccomend sooner or later... I'm a bit shocked, really... one of those small links in a life of reading, gone when you least expect it, and you never realize how important it was in its small necessity.
posted by goodglovin77 at 8:33 PM on February 27, 2006


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Octavia's books changed my life!
posted by atlatl at 9:46 AM on March 1, 2006


A rememberance (not mine).

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posted by me3dia at 1:39 PM on March 1, 2006


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posted by jlbartosa at 12:09 PM on March 2, 2006


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