The definitive edition of the complete works of the "grand dame" of American science fiction begins with this volume gathering two novels and the complete stories
Library of America extends its celebration of the best, most groundbreaking works of science fiction with a definitive new edition of the complete works of Octavia Butler. Eerily perceptive and still remarkably fresh, Butler's distinctive approach to the genre has been extraordinarily influential, inspiring current practicioners like N. K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor. This first volume opens with Butler's best-known novel, the harrowing and incisive Kindred, joined by the vampire novel Fledgling as well as her complete short stories.
In Kindred, a black woman married to a white man is pulled back and forth between her twentieth century present and a pre-Civil War past in which she finds herself enslaved on the plantation of her white ancestor, with repercussions both for her view of herself and her relationship with her husband. This landmark novel forever changed the way we think about what science fiction can do.
In Fledgling, a woman wakes up, covered in burns, in a mountainside cave with no knowledge of who she is or what happened to her. She discovers that she is a vampire, and that there are others like her--but among the long-lived Ina, who live in symbiosis with their human blood sources, she is something new: an experimental birth, containing African American human DNA that gives her dark skin, and therefore the feared and fearful ability to go out in sunlight. Ancient racial prejudice breaks out among the vampires as she seeks justice.
Also included are all nine of Butler's published short stories, together in one volume for the first time, plus two essays from the Butler archive, a newly-researched chronology of her life and career, and helpful explanatory notes.
About the Author
Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) was one of the foremost science fiction writers of her generation, the winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards for a body of work that includes such landmark novels as Kindred and The Parable of the Sower. In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.
Gerry Canavan is an associate professor in the English Department at Marquette University. An editor at Extrapolation and Science Fiction Film and Television, he has also co-edited The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction (2015) and The Cambridge History of Science Fiction (2019). His first monograph, Octavia E. Butler, appeared in 2016 in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series at University of Illinois Press.
Nisi Shawl is a science fiction writer, editor, and journalist. Her debut novel Everfair was a 2016 Nebula finalist. A friend of Octavia Butler, she edited Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars (2013) and co-edited Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler (2013).