Octavia Butler, 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)
Hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Reuters reports. Security experts blame an advanced cyber-espionage hacker group known as DarkHotel. A senior agency official says the WHO has been facing a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Additional $15M will go to third parties and nonprofits
The death toll in Italy’s coronavirus outbreak today passed 1,000. Schools throughout Italy are completely shut down, which is reportedly driving a surge in internet traffic as bored kids forced to stay indoors turn to online games.
Even if you don’t miss much else about the office right now, there’s a good chance your home laptop is making you nostalgic for the added efficiency of that pair of monitors on your desk at work to spread out your workflow. There’s no telling how long the new normal may continue to be the […]
If you’re looking to become a software engineer or it’s an idea you’ve tossed around half-seriously, there may be no better time than now to take the leap. It’s one of the fastest-growing, most in-demand roles already. And in the midst of the pandemic, between the extra hours you likely have in your day, and […]
Whether you’re looking to create perfect portraits or amazing artwork, if your medium is digital, you know you absolutely must have Photoshop to do your best making. So if you’ve been putting off really mastering the various techniques, tools, and styles it offers for your craft, now is a great time to make it happen. […]