Octavia Butler, the Outsider Who Changed Science Fiction

Here is my Slate.com piece from today.  Excerpt:

…her work went far beyond simply mourning the victim. She showed us why repulsion cannot be avoided, why we often resemble what we hate, and why it is sometimes our best qualities that prevent us from accepting the differences of others. Her ability to both understand the outsider perspective better than others and then to invert it, places Butler above her science-fiction-writing peers. She is a disturbing and important writer who transcends the usual genre categories.


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