“I’m trying to write the truth.”

Octavia Butler said that when she was a child her elders chastised her that black girls could not be writers. And at the time, that was true, there were not any prominent black women writing science fiction; certainly there were not black women writing genderqueer speculative fiction about non-binary gendered alien colonists or racially iconoclastic vampires, like she did. In Butler’s stories it is the outcasts and the radicals who define the frontiers of personhood, while authoritarian hierarchies are exposed as parasitic constructs.