I am in shock. I just heard from a friend (and fellow fan) that Octavia Butler, one of my favorite writers, has just died. She fell outside her home and suffered a fatal concussion, possibly during a stroke.
This is too much. I am breathing, just trying to take it in, letting myself weep. I just saw her read a few months ago at Marcus Books in Oakland. She was promoting her new book, Fledgling, about a genetically engineered Black female vampire. It's her first book in seven years, her first book since the highly acclaimed and successful 'Parable' series.
I had only discovered her work a couple years ago, on the suggestion of many people who are much bigger sci-fi/fantasy fans than I am. I can't believe she's gone. She was only 58 years old.
For any rumor-hounds out there who think this may be a hoax (I thought it might be one, too, a cruel one) one of the writers from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America called the King County coroner's office to confirm the unofficial report. It's true. One of the greatest science fiction writers of all time is gone.
If anyone who reads this has any news of a memorial for Octavia in the Bay Area, please post a comment and let me know. I'm sure I won't be alone in wanting to honor this amazing woman.
Rest in peace and power, ancestor Octavia. We will miss you dearly.
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund reading Friday June 30
30 minutes ago