Authors > Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler was a renowned African American author who received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. Born in Pasadena in 1947, she was raised by her mother and her grandmother.

She was the author of several award-winning novels including PARABLE OF THE SOWER (1993), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and PARABLE OF THE TALENTS (1995) winner of the Nebula Award for the best science fiction novel published that year.

She was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future.

Featured Titles:


Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Year: 1979     Genre: HistoricalScience FictionTime Travel

Wild Seed

As the acclaimed Patternist science fiction series begins, two immortals meet in the long-ago past—and mankind’s destiny is changed forever.

Year: 1980     Genre: Genetic EngineeringScience Fiction

Parable of the Sower

When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.

Year: 1993     Genre: Near FuturePost ApocalypseScience Fiction

Parable of the Talents

Asha Vere reads the journals of a mother she never knew, Lauren Olamina. As she searches for answers about her own past, she also struggles to reconcile with the legacy of a mother caught between her duty to her chosen family and her calling to lead humankind into a better future.

Year: 1998     Genre: DystopianNear FutureScience Fiction

Lilith's Brood

The acclaimed trilogy that comprises Lilith's Brood is Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler at her best. Presented for the first time in one volume with an introduction by Joan Slonczewski, Ph.D., Lilith's Brood is a profoundly evocative, sensual -- and disturbing -- epic of human transformation.

Year: 2000     Genre: Alien ContactScience Fiction

Jun 22, 1947 -- Feb 24, 2006

My Library


Series & Characters

Primary Genres & Topics

External Links

See Also: Authors



Want ItGot ItRead ItYearTitle

1976PatternmasterDark Fantasy, Telepathy, Patternist
1977Mind of My MindGenetic Engineering, Telepathy, Patternist, Los Angeles
1979KindredHistorical, Science Fiction, Time Travel
1980Wild SeedScience Fiction, Genetic Engineering, Patternist
1984Clay's ArkScience Fiction, Patternist
1993Parable of the SowerNear Future, Post Apocalypse, Science Fiction, Earthseed, Los Angeles
1995Bloodchild and Other StoriesDark Fantasy, Science Fiction, Short Stories
1998Parable of the TalentsDystopian, Near Future, Science Fiction, Earthseed
2000Lilith's BroodAlien Contact, Science Fiction
2005FledglingVampires, Genetic Engineering




Vintage Library at is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores.