, the brilliant science fiction writer, reportedly died on Saturday following a fall that was followed by fatal bleeding in her skull
gave her a fatal concussion
. Butler was the incredible writer who was the first genre author to win the MacArthur Foundation's "Genius" grant. She was the first prominent African-American woman in the field, and her novels and short stories were an inspiration to a generation of writers of all backgrounds and both sexes (I was ready to give up writing after a five-year bout of writers' block in my mid-twenties when I read the introduction to her short story collection in which she recounted her own block and decided to keep trying). I recently reviewed
her wonderful novel Fledgling here, a vampire book that, like all of Butler's work, was a disturbing, light-touch allegory about race and sex politics skinned with a fast-moving, heart-wrenching storyline.
Butler was only 58 when she died on Saturday. Her oeuvre is too modest, but will never be forgotten. She had many amazing books left in her. I only met her once, very briefly, and I was tongue-tied in her presence, but she was gracious and friendly. The field and the world has lost someone wonderful this weekend.
Several people have confirmed this now, though nothing authoritative has been published. I'll update this post if something firmer emerges.
(Thanks, Bill, Jeff and Steve!)
Update: Here's the Seattle Post Intelligencer obit, and here's the Chicago Tribune -- thanks, Robn.
(Photo from NikolasCo/Flickr)
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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