|Happy Women's History Month|
I DEFINITELY wasn't going to go this month without mentioning the queen of sci-fi. My hero, Octavia Butler. Not only did she write some very prophetic stories (read The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents and go ahead and have your heart attack), but she wrote some fierce, black women at every single turn. From my introduction to her work in Dawn, to her Patternmaster series, she wrote raw, gut-wrenching narratives that would often than not devastate me to the core. And sadly, as I may have mentioned before, she died of cancer the year before I discovered her work. I would've loved to see what else she would have written, especially in these past 17 years. Or she may have just said, "I told y'all."
But anyway, as you all may remember, my favorite book of hers was her last book, Fledgling.
This book was created on the most interesting premise of vampires not as the Nosferatu or Dracula variety, but the origin of the lore in which those stories were created. Their race, known as Ina, were a territorial society, where the women lived in one community and the men in another. When we begin with the main character, she is awakening in the midst of what appears to be a rebirth of sorts, and a painful one at that. Her skin is burnt, her skull is broken, and the world around her is destroyed. Very strong imagery. Come to find out a little later, her name is Shori, and her mothers genetically engineered her to be a dark-skinned Ina, so she could live in the sun. Some of the other Ina were not pleased with this, so to speak, and destroyed the community. By the end of the book, Shori finds her people and her mothers' killers, and typing this up, I want to read the book a third time. I loved it so much.
You may also know that I wrote a fan fiction based on the book in 2015. Every now and then, I find a comment in my inbox, and it brings me joy to see other Butler fans and hear that they love my little "sequel."
There is also a really cool organization called The Octavia Butler Project that mixes the arts with STEM, and they have two summer programs for young preteens and teenagers and events all through the year. If you haven't heard of them, be sure to check them out and donate if you can!
Next week, I'll close out the week with a shameless plug, so be on the look out! :)