“Earthseed is all that spreads Earthlife to new earths. The universe is Godseed. Only we are Earthseed. And the destiny of Earthseed is to take root among the stars.” Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower is an excellent fright of a book. Butler is such a skilled writer that her fictional worlds don’t just seem possible, they seem actual. They await us. She also dispenses hope, in part through a belief in human goodness and potential. Parable of the Sower takes stage on the US West Coast, which makes it all the more startling for those of us who live here. The walls of civilization tumble down just like the gated community where Lauren Olamina, the character we follow through the ruins, lives. Communities collapse from the accumulated outcome of deep poverty and scarcity of resources; it is a world of fear, loss, and sadness. There is no protection left, only passage. And it’s the idea of passage that Butler gives us, the chance of there being a way out of what humans have wreaked. Lauren Olamina is unusually sensitive, able to interpret and feel the emotions of others through nothing more than proximity. Lauren Olamina’s ability to emotionally understand people allows the readers to view and contemplate the breadth and depth of the destruction and what has been wrought, in exquisite and horrible detail.
“Science Fiction Writer Octavia Butler on Race, Global Warming and Religion.” Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio
“I’m black. I’m solitary. I’ve always been an outsider.” Interview with Octavia Butler, In Motion Magazine, Joshunda Sanders
“A Science Fiction Writer Shares her View of Intolerance.” NPR
The Parable of the Sower, Martin Luther. Faith Community