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Octavia's Words

Octavia E. Butler was given a typewriter as a gift when she was a child. She used a blue typewriter to write her books. Her actual typewriter is featured by the Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC, as part of their exhibit called Typewriter as Time Machine. Click on the typewriter to see some of Butler's most famous quotes.

Octavia Butler's words are famous. She is known for paying careful attention to the world around her, meticulously researching scientific ideas, and figuring out how to discern the ways in which people might behave in speculative situations. Butler created rich characters and brought different kinds of people into the world of science fiction who hadn't traditionally been represented, including women and people of color. 

Parable of the Sower is another of Butler's famous books, and it recently reached the New York Times Bestsellers list, which was one of her goals. The book takes place around Pasadena in a kind of dystopian future and  is viewed by some as predicting the future because a US presidential campaign used the slogan, "Make America Great Again."

Kindred is one of Butler's most famous books. It is about an African American woman who travels through time from the 1970s in Pasadena to the 1800s in Maryland. She is unable to control her time travel and ends up at the same plantation each time, a plantation that subjects people who look like her to slavery. 

Parable of the Talents is the sequel to Parable of the Sower and deepens the story of the world Butler created in the first book. A third book was planned for the series that would take the book to an imaginative future, but Butler passed on before finishing her story. 


Two of Butlers famous novels were adapted into graphic novel form by Damian Duffy and John Jennings.