On National Science Fiction Day, We Salute Octavia Butler

Octavia E. Butler (Photo by Malcolm Ali/WireImage)

Today is National Science Fiction Day, and ESSENCE is paying tribute to one of the greatest sci-fi novelists of all time, Octavia Estelle Butler.

Named after her mother Octavia Margaret Guy and her grandmother Estella, Butler grew up extremely shy and turned to books and reading for comfort.

Butler would go on to become a prolific writer and the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur genius grant on top of being the first Black published science fiction writer and the first Black woman to be awarded the Hugo and Nebula Awards from the World Science Fiction Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America respectively. 

Many consider Butler, who passed away in 2006, to be the mother of Afrofuturism, which NPR defines as, “an open-ended genre combining science fiction, fantasy and history to imagine a liberated future through a Black lens.”

In celebrating Butler’s extraordinary legacy, ESSENCE looked to Butler’s own words to commemorate National Science Fiction Day. Here are some of our favorite Butler quotes.

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