The Sword and Laser discussion

184 views
Octavia Butler recommendation?

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Phillip (new)

Phillip D | 6 comments Hey crew!
I'd really like to give Octavia Butler a try and I'm wondering if any one can recommend one of her books (or series) to try.
Thanks


message 2: by Dharmakirti (last edited Jun 07, 2012 11:13AM) (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments The only books by Octavia Butler I have read are Kindred and The Parable of the Sower. I liked them both.


message 3: by Kevin (new)


message 4: by P. Aaron (new)

P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments I second Parable of the Sower. Not my cup of tea, but plenty of my students liked it...some moreso than either Snow Crash or The Hobbit. I think her writing's appeal may depend a lot on how closely you can identify with her protagonists.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) I would second Dawn (from the Xenogenesis series) as a good series.

I also liked the Patternmaster series, starting with Wild Seed.


message 6: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 07, 2012 12:21PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6350 comments I liked Dawn. There's a Kindred audiodrama linked on Sffaudio somewhere.


message 7: by Molly (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) | 134 comments I really liked the Parable of the Sower. It was the first one of her's I read. Haven't gotten to Dawn or Kindred yet, but I'll have to check them out.


message 8: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Betts-Green (dr_b-g) I worship at the temple of Octavia Butler. The first book of hers I read was Wild Seed, but really you could start with anything. She was brilliant.


message 9: by Lepton (last edited Jun 07, 2012 06:10PM) (new)

Lepton | 176 comments I stopped reading the Parable of the Sower fairly early as I found the book depressing and thought that the female protagonist lacked any agency in the narrative which I found strangely anti-feminist, in addition to the suffering foisted upon the character through empathy, which I consider an essential and positive social good. I also found the concept of the Earthseed religion strangely anti-environmental.


message 10: by kvon (new)

kvon | 562 comments I started with Wild Seed, it is a complete story in itself.

Re Parable of the Sower--I loved the religion she set up, which was based on humanism rather than divinity. One of the more hopeful dystopias from that era. I only wish she'd been able to finish book three.


message 11: by Phillip (new)

Phillip D | 6 comments Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I don't really know much about her style of story telling but I've always meant to give her a try.


message 12: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6350 comments I remember hearing an adaption of her short story 'Bloodchild' on Harlan Ellison's 2000x audiodrama show. Creepy but memorable.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I loved Parable of the Sower and the following book... The most uplifting post-apocalyptic book I've ever read!


message 14: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6350 comments Jenny wrote: "I loved Parable of the Sower and the following book... The most uplifting post-apocalyptic book I've ever read!"

Not a total downer then?


message 15: by Phillip (new)

Phillip D | 6 comments My wife has Wild Seed and Parable of the Sowers. Since I was contemplating Wild Seed and Dawn I've picked Wild Seed.


message 16: by Terry (new)

Terry Grignon (tgrignon) | 7 comments I love everything that she's written but the Xenogenesis series stands out most in my memory. So Dawn, the first book of that, would be an excellent starter.


message 17: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Phillip wrote: "My wife has Wild Seed and Parable of the Sowers. Since I was contemplating Wild Seed and Dawn I've picked Wild Seed."

Wild Seed for sure. It’s so great.


message 18: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2480 comments


message 19: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments It’s 2020, time means nothing any more.


message 20: by Seth (new)

Seth | 388 comments Trike wrote: "It’s 2020, time means nothing any more."

And at least it's relevant to the current month's pick, so that counts for something.

Also, it's nice to see people from this old thread still commenting on stuff today. To all you people who have been commenting here for 10 years and are still around, thanks for making this an easy community to break into and a pleasant place to be.


message 21: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Seth wrote: "To all you people who have been commenting here for 10 years and are still around, thanks for making this an easy community to break into and a pleasant place to be."

If there’s one thing people say about us, it’s that we’re easy.


message 22: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1592 comments Trike wrote: "If there’s one thing people say about us, it’s that we’re easy."

No, no, they really don't. ;-)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments Seth wrote: "Also, it's nice to see people from this old thread still commenting on stuff today. To all you people who have been commenting here for 10 years and are still around, thanks for making this an easy community to break into and a pleasant place to be."

I'm not sure I'd believe old me who called this an "uplifting" novel. I'm early on in my reread so I'll suspend my judgment against me from the beforetimes.


message 24: by Tamahome (last edited Dec 17, 2020 01:15PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6350 comments My favorite thing is still the weird Bloodchild short story. Maybe it made a strong impression, because Harlan Ellison's 2000x radio show adapted it as an audiodrama. I remember playing it on casette tape. For some reason I thought it might in one of the Dangerous Visions books, but it's not. It's that type of edgy story though.


message 25: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Dec 17, 2020 02:22PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I'm not sure I'd believe old me who called this an "uplifting" novel. I'm early on in my reread so I'll suspend my judgment against me from the beforetimes."

I don't think you were wrong. I've read both books in the Earthseed series this month and yes they are hard to read in places, brutally hard at times, but there were many uplifting parts throughout both books.

I'm sad that the proposed 3rd book "Parable of the Trickster" was never written, it would have been much different from the first 2 books

You can't really spoil a book that doesn't exist, but there are MAJOR Book 2 spoilers here as well
(view spoiler)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I would have liked to see that third book! I wonder if someone could take up the charge and write it like Brandon Sanderson did for Wheel of Time.


message 27: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I would have liked to see that third book! I wonder if someone could take up the charge and write it like Brandon Sanderson did for Wheel of Time."

NK Jemisin?


message 28: by Tamahome (last edited Dec 17, 2020 05:19PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6350 comments Not Brandon Sanderson? He could introduce a hard magic system. The end could have a Sanderson avalanche.


message 29: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4185 comments The group ended up reading Dawn at some point after this original thread. I definitely recommend that one.


message 30: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Tamahome wrote: "Not Brandon Sanderson? He could introduce a hard magic system. The end could have a Sanderson avalanche."

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, 299 pages.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, 365 pages.
Parable of the Trickster by Brandon Sanderson based on notes by Octavia Butler, 1737 pages.


message 31: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6350 comments Don't worry. Daniel Greene will make a summary for it on youtube.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I know this is an old question but I like to recommend Kindred... it is more time-travel horror than any other science fiction or fantasy subgenre, about a Black woman who travels back in time, always in the presence of her white ancestor without being able to control it. As you can imagine, violence and racism are major themes.

But not the only themes! This was published in 1979 and the way she is able to show the nuance of a multiracial marriage and how the white husband can never fully "get" her experience, both in their present day and in the past. It also is very feminist in its exploration of marriage, and I dare say there is some intentional parallel writing in there that also explores marriage-as-slavery in a way that you have to know it's there to see it. The subterfuge!


back to top