Octavia Butler (previously), the brilliant Afrofuturist, McArthur Genius Grant-winning science fiction writer, died far, far too soon, leaving behind a corpus of incredible, voraciously readable novels, and a community of writers who were inspired by her example.
Recent years have seen new editions of Butler's work, including a graphic novel of Kindred, her novel of slavery, time-travel, race and identity.
Now, the Folio Society (previously) has announced their own edition of Kindred, which will be characteristic of the Folio Society's gorgeous books, slipcased, illustrated, with an introduction by Tananarive Due, who uses interviews with Butler to explore the themes of the novel.
The book is $60, and ships this autumn.
Update: Thanks to numbertwopencil for pointing out that there's a slipcased edition of Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents coming in October. Those books are like woke, postapocalyptic Heinlein juvies. So. So. SO. GOOOOOOD.
While at college, Butler reportedly overhead another African–American student angrily criticising previous generations of black men and women for being subservient to the whites who claimed to own them. This became the seed of an idea that would lead to Kindred – an attempt to understand the unthinkable, to place supposed subservience in the context of desperate survival.
Butler takes care to immerse the reader in the details of the past until pre-Civil War Maryland feels more vivid and real than the potentially more familiar Los Angeles of the late 1970s. But this is much more than an immersive historical novel. With each snap back to the present Dana barely has time to breathe, let alone heal, and neither does the reader. Kindred is at its heart a gripping time-travel thriller, one that uses the uniquely agonising dilemmas of Dana’s situation to ask the bigger questions: how much history do we carry with us into the future? What do we owe the past? And what are the consequences of the worst acts of human barbarity? With elegant prose and an unflinching lack of sentimentality, Butler peels back the borders of science fiction to reveal new, uncomfortable horizons.
Kindred [Octavia Butler/The Folio Society]
(via The Mary Sue)
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