When I read her newest novel, "Fledgling," I was excited to begin what was sure to become a fascinating new series. Unfortunately, we'll never see the next installment. Butler passed away on Feb. 24, 2006, after a fall at her home in Seattle. She was 58.
January 5, 2006
In this vampire tale, there's a lot to drink in
By Lylah M. Alphonse, Globe Staff
Octavia E. Butler, the first successful female African-American science-fiction writer and a winner of a MacArthur Foundation ''genius" grant, is skilled at persuading her readers to reconsider social norms while immersing them in the alternate reality she's created. The settings are usually familiar (Los Angeles a few years from now, for example), and her main characters seem fairly ordinary -- at least, at first. Bit by bit, she reveals the unusual -- an extraterrestrial parasite searching for hosts, an evolutionary freak of nature that can morph from human to animal, a woman who can slip through time -- and, by then, the reader is hooked. ... [More]