Octavia Butler Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Octavia Butler

Birthday :

June 22, 1947

Died On :

February 24, 2006

Birth Place :

Pasadena, California, United States of America

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Octavia Butler was born on June 22, 1947. She was an American writer. She is popularly known as ‘The Grand Dame of Science Fiction.’ Octavia Butler was the first science fiction writer to receive the Mac Arthur Fellowship. Some of her popular books include ‘Parable of the Talents,’ ‘Kindred,’ ‘Parable of the Sower’ and ‘The Lilith’s Brood’ among others.

Early Life

Octavia Butler was born on June 22, 1947, in Pasadena, California. She was born to Laurice and Octavia M. Butler. She, however, lost her father while she was still a baby. Octavia Butler was raised by her mother and grandmother. Her mother worked as a maid to support the family financially. She loved reading while she was still young. Her reading led to her developing an interest in science fiction classics. In 1968, she graduated with an Associate’s Degree from the Pasadena City College. In 1969, she attended The Open Door Workshop sponsored by The Screenwriters Guild of America. At the workshop, she met science fiction writer, Harlan Ellison. The following year, she attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop where she met writer, Samuel R. Delany.



In 1971, her story ‘Crossover’ was published in the Clarion Workshop anthology. In 1976, her first science fiction novel ‘Pattermaster’ was published. The novel became her first book in the ‘Patternist Series.’ In 1977 and 198, she revealed the ‘Patternist series’ of novels which were titled ‘Mind of My Mind’ and ‘Survivor.’ In 1979, she published the novel ‘Kindred.’ The following year she published her fourth novel ‘Wild Seed’ which was a success and was praised by New York Times reviewer, Gerald Jonas. In 1984, she published the novel ‘Clay’s Ark’ which was a part of the ‘Patternist series.’ In 1987, she published her ‘Lilith’s Brood’ science fiction trilogy which included ‘Dawn,’ ‘Imago’ and ‘Adulthood Rites’ as three volumes.

In 1993, Octavia Butler published the book ‘Parable of the Sower’ which was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 195, she published her collection of science fiction and horror short stories ‘Bloodchild and Other Stories’. In 1998, she published a second volume of the ‘Parable Series’ titled ‘Parable of the Talents.’ In 2005, her novel ‘Fledgling’ was published by the Seven Stories Press.


Awards And Achievements

In 1984, Octavia Butler was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Short Story for ‘Speech Sounds.’ In the same year, she won the Nebula Award for Best Novelette for ‘Bloodchild.’ In 1985, she received the Science Fiction Chronicle Award for Best Novelette for ‘Bloodchild.’ In the same year, Octavia Butler was awarded the Locus Award and the Hugo Award for Best Novelette for ‘Bloodchild.’ In 1995, she received the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. In 1999, she was awarded the Nebula Award for Best Novel for ‘Parable of the Talents.’ The following year she was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award in writing by the PEN American Centre.


Personal Life

Octavia Butler had dyslexia. She died on February 24, 2006, in Lake Forest Park in Washington. The cause of her death remains unknown. She died at the age of fifty eight. In 2006, The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship was founded in her memory and honor by the Carl Brandon Society.

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