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Mind of My Mind

(Patternmaster #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  7,998 ratings  ·  590 reviews
From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author comes the stunning story of telepathically sensitive Mary and her fight to free herself and her people from an immortal being who uses them for their bodies.
In this stunning Book Two of the Patternist series, the human race is ready to break free and win their freedom. For 4,000 years, an immortal has spread the se
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1977)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  7,998 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-80s-sf, sci-fi
“Doro wanted an empire. He didn’t call it that, but that was what he meant. Maybe I was just one more tool he was using to get it. He needed tools, because an empire of ordinary people wasn’t quite what he had in mind. That, to him, would be like an ordinary person making himself emperor over a lot of cattle.”

I am reading the omnibus edition of Octavia Butler’s Patternist series, published as Seed to Harvest (Patternist #1-4 ). Mind of My Mind is volume 2 of the series but actually written and
In spite of myself, I've ended up discussing and recommending this book to a few people. There are really fascinating ideas here - Octavia Butler is a champ at slightly extrapolating and skewering present reality and transforming it into a plausible, not so removed future. Here she invents a world of intuits, psychics, telekenetics (?). She attributes much of the chaos and violence in the world to the inability of some psychics to hone their latent abilities. Sometimes this means these psychics ...more
Mind of My Mind: The rise of the first Pattermaster
Originally published at Fantasy Literature
Mind of My Mind (1977) was written second in Octavia Butler’s 4-book PATTERNIST series, and comes second in chronology. However, I think it is less polished than Wild Seed (1980), which comes earlier in chronology but was written later after she had more fully developed her ideas about psionic powers, power/control, and telepaths vs. mutes. It’s tough to decide whether readers should approach this series
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sffh, adult
I think I became too invested in the characters of Anyanwu (Emma) and Doro in Wild Seed to fully appreciate this book. Perhaps if I had read this first, in its order of publication, I would have enjoyed the book more. As it was, I found the constantly rotating narratives from such a wide variety of people (who weren't terribly distinct, all being Patternists) distracting and not at all sympathetic. Which is strange. If anything, I should sympathize with Mary, but I had come to know Doro so well. ...more
Paul Eckert
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wild Seed, the first book in the Patternist series, was a phenomenal book that made me infatuated with Octavia Butler’s ability to tell a story. Mind of My Mind, the second book in the series, made me realize that she is probably going to be one of my favorite authors ever.

Mind of My Mind picks up about a hundred or so years after the end of Wild Seed. Over the years Doro has created quite the extensive network of telepaths, many of them living in or around Forsyth, California. This story cente
This is very different from Wild Seed, which I preferred. The story is more contained and reading it feels like watching a debate. Sometimes things went faster than I could digest. Nothing wrong with those, it's just that I miss the emotions, the wrenching gut feeling I felt when reading the first book. Probably because I don't find any character in this book to be likable especially the main characters. Emma or Anyanwu was pretty much nonexistent despite her very memorable journey in the first ...more
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Speculative fiction concerning an alien's breeding program for telepathy in humans. Some of the same characters as Wild Seed (100 years later) but mostly new ones. I love Ms. Butler's bold ideas about genetics and heredity. ...more
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite author ever. She died just a couple years ago. I'm heartbroken because i wanted to meet her, shake her hand, tell her how much I identify with her work, how much she infuses me with a desire to write. i want to recollect all of her work and read it sequencially, I keep loaning it out. i didn't realize when I read it, that i was reading about polyamory. i didn't know the word yet. she writes about xenophobia and alternative morals amoung other things, the bleak future, warnign us to c ...more
Mind of My Mind is set roughly in the present (that is, the present of 1977 when it was first published) and is the story of Mary, the greatest success of Doro's program of breeding humans with psionic abilities. Through Mary, some of Doro's people gain unprecedented power.

What prevented me from finding Mind of My Mind actually fun -- the coldly unsympathetic nature of all of its characters -- is also something that makes it excellent speculative fiction.

Mind of My Mind is told entirely from the
Francesca Calarco
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great cerebral thriller in more ways than one, Octavia Butler adds a solid entry to the Patternist series with Mind of My Mind.

While this volume occurs sequentially after Wild Seed, yet was published several years earlier, I struggled with how to go about reading them. On the one hand, the writing for Wild Seed is objectively better (Butler only improved with time) so this earlier entry felt underdeveloped in comparison. However, by reading them in order of the Patternist timeline, I felt Min
This was a surprisingly short read, which I picked up as part of the Seed to Harvest series, but have read before Wild Seed.

I'm not sure what I ultimately expected, but what was there was a bit of a let down. There were many themes and issues raised, but none truly pursued. Most notably so was the issue of race. For the most part, characters physical appearances were only vaguely described. Most times, when we came to know someone was Black, it was because Mary was making a comparison or wishing
Dichotomy Girl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Captivating in a very creative and insidious narrative. Though the writer is black, the issue here is translated into race in another sense. This tale, written in 1977, covers the emergence of a race of telepaths led by a teenage girl, Mary, bred for her powers to bind other telepaths to her in a cult-like "Patternist" society. The groups secret takeover of LA suburbs involves harnessing ordinary humanity (the "mutes", or sometimes "pets" or "slaves"), a process sometimes as creepy as "Invasion ...more
MeiLin Miranda
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans
The follow-up to Wild Seed is not as strong, but few books are; Wild Seed was a tour de force. Mind of My Mind was also written first, and it shows. For instance, the character of Emma, so fully realized in Wild Seed, just somehow here. I don't know that Butler had her complete in her head yet--not surprising since she probably wasn't. Seeing her so complete in Patternist #1 and then so different in #2 felt strange.

Now that I've finished the entire series, I think I might read it no
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book (both in publishing as in chronological order) was my favourite of the Patternmaster series. The creation of a new society based on humans with paranormal abilities reminded me of Theodore Sturgeon's mindblowing "More Than Human", which I dearly love.

This book explains how one half of the society in "Patternmaster" (the 4th book of the series) did develop. It was fascinating to read with the knowledge of the end in mind. Like a somewhat hazy image getting more focus.

This book is
The Patternmaster series is interesting because the books were written out of order. After to Wild Seed this is my favorite books in this series.
I can relate to Mary in many real ways though our lives are nothing alike.
I remember stumbling into Butler in my late teens. This was probably the 5th book I read by her.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
3.5 stars

I liked Wild Seed better.

But I did like the complexity of the moral ambiguity here - Mary is fighting Doro, but she’s essentially the same as him. The Patternists turn people into slaves - how can I cheer for her???
C.E. G
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fact
5 down, 9 to go in my goal of reading every book Octavia Butler's written. It would be interesting to compare Mary and Olamina's approaches to leadership. ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Telepathic mutants unite to create The Pattern and fulfill a centuries old vision.

Favorite Passages:

He existed apparently as a result of a mutation millennia past. His people existed as a result of less wildly divergent mutations and as a result of nearly four thousand years of controlled breeding.

Always some books. If I didn't have anything to read, I'd really go crazy.

He seemed to see her arms reaching out, her hands grasping him, though her body did not move. Suddenly suspiciou

3 stars

The purpose-bred descendant of an immortal sociopath develops an unusual ability that brings her people together.

I expected this book to continue the story of the first, but Butler clearly had in mind a much grander scheme for the series. The immortal Doro plays an important part, but his sometime companion Anyanwu is left almost entirely in the background. Instead, the story is told mainly from the point of view of Mary, one of their many descendants.

The second book in the Patternist Series---straight jawdropper!

In this installment Butler uses Biblical imagery and sources from popular stories more heavily. The story of Doro and Anyawu delves deep into the results of the dismantlement of a free people. The loss of freedom and autonomy is really shown through Anyawu’s violently won submission to Doro. Although Doro and Anyawu play significant roles in the novel, a new interesting character emerges and throws the power dynamic into new light.

Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this whole book on the same day I saw the total eclipse, and the two experiences echoed each other in a way, a glimpse into a completely unexpected way of seeing things...with a dragging sense of dread at the end of the world.
An enjoyable sequel to "Wild Seed". The story is thought-provoking with an unexpected end, so typical of the writing of Octavia E. Butler. ...more
I struggled through this one. Wild Seed had a lot more going on than this one did. It seemed a few things only happened in this. One thing I really don’t like about this series is how everyone changes their mind with who they love and hate. There is no consistency of emotion with any of these Patternists.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting and very satisfying sequel to _Wild Seed_. Strongly recommended.
Mind of My Mind picks up the Patternist series about 100 years after the events of Wild Seed. The immortal Doro, with Emma's help, has been at his breeding project for thousands of years. Among his latest creations are individuals with significant telepathic abilities, though not all are able to survive "transition," a traumatic time when a child's abilities awaken fully. One who has the potential to survive transition is Doro's daughter Mary, a young black woman who has grown up in a troubled h ...more
Just go read it. Seriously.

As I mentioned in Wild Seed, I am glad I read that novel first - the background it provides for Doro, and Emma, is devastatingly important. Of course you could read this first - publication order - and then have the background filled in... but this order definitely worked for me.

This book is very focussed on Doro and the people he manipulates people to his own ends. Even when other characters - Emma (Anwanyu), and especially Mary - get to tell their own story, it's a
Justin Pickett
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
“I recall warning you about underestimating young women” (p. 397).

Telepathy, psychokinesis, psychometry, oh my!! Mind of My Mind is extraordinary. It picks about 150 years after Wild Seed in California, with Doro taking a young girl, Mary, to Anyanwu (now Emma) for safekeeping. We follow Mary as she transitions into an adult active with telepathic powers and then emerges into a leadership position in Doro’s budding empire. Anytime Mary is on scene it's spellbinding. She is such a strong charact
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I joined Goodreads sometime in 2008, and right away discovered that I could make a list of all of the books I'd been meaning to read. Octavia Butler's Patternmaster series was first on the list, so this is the book I've had on my TBR the longest. I re-read the first book in the series, Wild Seed, earlier this year and wasn't crazy about it upon re-read, but had to keep going to finish all of the works of my favorite author.

I am so glad that I finally read this book. It continues the story of Do
Thistle & Verse
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mutants, scifi
Wild Seed is my favorite of the Patternist series, but this is a close 2nd. I thought the Pattern was a really interesting idea and liked the questions it raised about community, free will, and 'at what cost.' The conflict between Doro and Mary is great and had a surprising and satisfying resolution. Butler has a talent for making characters that I don't like but still find compelling. I don't think I cared for many of the characters in this book, but I got their motivations and was invested in ...more
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Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.

After her father died, Butler was raised by her widowed mother. Extremely shy as a child, Octavia found an outlet at the li

Other books in the series

Patternmaster (4 books)
  • Wild Seed (Patternmaster, #1)
  • Clay's Ark (Patternmaster, #3)
  • Patternmaster (Patternmaster, #4)

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