So Octavia Butler passed away last weekend, it came as a shock to me and many others.

She, along with Sheri S. Tepper, were probably two of the biggest reasons why I stick with writing speculative/genre fiction despite my husband never reading anything I write, despite comments from my family that they don’t get what I write.

Butler and Tepper wrote books that made me think. I saw that sci fi could be used to write about social justice, racism, love, and sexism in new ways.

(following links through Chavala)As Yonmei says in a livejournal entry:

“Listen. What a science-fiction writer does, a good one, is blow your mind right out of your skull and leave you looking at the world from an angle you’d never have thought of.Good science-fiction writers do this at their best: Butler did it from four different directions, and I do believe she’d have done it again.”

Now I know that I will never write as well as Butler or Tepper, but when I do write, it is with the same purpose as these fore-mothers, to challenge assumptions, to open up possibilities, to reflect our culture back in new ways.

Rest in Peace.