To begin with, she wanted to "write out" her fear of her body being invaded by a parasitic insect, specifically the bot-fly. She also wanted to write about a human male becoming pregnant; about the risks to his body as well as what it would take for him to have maternal feelings towards his alien brood, and so she ended crafting a story about a symbiotic, loving relationship between two very different species.
This is why, she insists again and again, critics read "Bloodchild" wrongly when they argue it is about slavery.
Lastly, she wanted to write a story about "paying the rent"—of how a realistic depiction of human immigration into space would not just repeat the colonialist tropes of traditional science fiction but rather require some quid pro quo or "accommodation" from the part of humanity. Critic Jane Donawerth observes that " [i]n this short story Winner of the Science Fiction Chronicle Reader Award, and nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novelette,  The Evening and the Morning and the Night explores a world where a genetic disease has caused the appearance of a new social caste.
Having recently lost her mother, the girl confides in her uncle about the lack of relationship that she had with her mother. The girl's mother left her to be raised by her grandmother. The girl and her uncle talk around a family secret that the girl felt was the justification of her abandonment. She compares her looks and personality with that of her uncle, seeking confirmation that she was his child. With this knowledge, the girl finds understanding for her abandonment and neglect.
In her afterword, Butler explains that the influences for "Near of Kin" come from her Baptist background and incestuous Bible stories such as those of Lot's daughters, Abraham's sister-wife, and the sons of Adam having sex with the daughters of Eve. Published in Clarion With her constant fear of loneliness and death, she suffers from low self-esteem issues. During the 3 months that her boyfriend had been in jail she contemplated suicide many times but because of fear never went through with this plan.
As the story continues, her actions and behavior become more self-destructive, constantly visiting the liquor store and turning to alcohol to solve her life problems. She had been around drunks most of her life that she got used to this habit and the more she drank the less things would matter. Octavia Butler relates this story, written when she too was working in a factory, to her real life by stating that it was about her own fears of failing as a writer and not wanting to end up like this character.
In the afterword, Butler explains how the characters in "Crossover" were influenced by her old, dull jobs and the strange people she met while doing them. The strange people in the afterword represented the negative side of her conscious that was the main character in the story. She drank without giving herself time to taste or think or gag. Published in SciFi. In "Amnesty," Noah, the main character, meets with prospective human employees for the Communities, an alien species that has taken over Earth's desert areas.
Noah, who was abducted by the Communities when she was a child, attempts to convince the humans to overcome their fear of the aliens so they can prosper alongside them. During her pitch, Noah compares her experiences with both the Communities and the humans.
Despite being treated as a lab experiment by the aliens, Noah stated that she never once faced as much cruelty as she did once her own government captured her after being released by the Communities. In her afterword to "Amnesty," Butler explains that the story was inspired by Dr. Wen Ho Lee 's wrongful imprisonment for espionage by the US government.
One of the main themes of "Amnesty" is fear, mostly the fear the humans have of the alien Communities. Claire Curtis discusses this fear as a natural and rather overwhelming feeling. She states that humans do things simply out of fear, whether it's fear for others, fear for ourselves, fear of the unknown or, more importantly, fear of the known. It is because of fear that humans turn to destruction rather than collaboration. One of the most discussed themes in "Amnesty" is the use of violence by both the alien Communities and the U.
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However, the alien communities stopped using violence against humans once they learned more about them. Elisa Edwards points out the U. Noah, who was considered a traitor and a collaborator, had to endure physical and psychological torture in the hands of the U. In the story of "Amnesty" on the main theme is Trust. Noah's had many flashbacks, she was given an educational journey in which she learned, in quote that "it's not the aliens, who once abducted her, who want to harm her but that it is her own human government that inflict grief".
Edwards, Noah was kidnapped and experimented upon as a child by superior aliens. When she was released, the US government held her captive for several years, torturing her for information. Now she works for the aliens, recruiting humans to serve in their now-harmless experiments. Her personal goals was to calm the humans, is to convince her afraid and hostile. Butler often root for characters who didn't stand up for their rights because it would have gotten them killed but rather compromised out of necessity. An important theme that defines many aspects within the short story "Amnesty" is the human need for dominance.
Which Sarah Outterson describes as the main issue faced among the human race. There is never a concern for learning, or collaboration between the two species. Instead there is just the overwhelming fear for the "imminent destruction of the human race as they know it. God asks Martha to come up with a way to help humans become less destructive. However, Martha starts to create ways that she can help humanity. While she ponders different ideas, she also starts to visualize herself as God. Martha resolves to give people vivid, life-like dreams every night, for a more fulfilling life.
She later adds that once the people wake up from these dreams, they become aware of their potential. This is bittersweet for Martha because as a novelist, she knows that people will no longer read books for pleasure, since they will be seeking pleasure in their dreams.
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She is willing to risk her career, and the life that she has made for herself from writing novels, just so that everyone in the world can have some sort of fantasy that would make them better people. In the afterword to "The Book of Martha," Butler realizes that everyone has a different idea of perfection, making the task from God seemingly impossible.
Each person's utopia would be another person's hell due to the different wants and desires. Butler wrote "The Book of Martha" to express her belief that utopias can only exist in our individual dreams. Her story strongly focuses on religion and how it "polices the borders of social value and disvalue" by raising certain members of society above others. Butler's de-gendering of God throughout "The Book of Martha" is evidence of the inequality in the perception of God by society.
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Butler writes to encourage minorities to question society's approach to labeling groups by color, class, and gender. Positive Obsession though not the original title is one of the pieces Octavia Butler did not enjoy writing because it was about herself and her life. Her life was filled with reading and writing which to her is quite dull to write about. Her stories are the most interesting part of her life. When she started reading on her own at age 6 because of her mother making her, was when she started on her journey.
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At age 10, she found what she could do better than anyone else that of course is writing. She wrote down the stories she would read and when she would not have stories to read, she would write them down. She created a world however she wanted in her notebook because of her extreme shyness. Despite her aunt telling her being a writer is a nice hobby and not a job; her mother supported her passion by buying her a typewriter and bringing her books. Through tons of rejections, she pursued her writing. While trying to sell her stories she had many jobs that she would quit but she would find new ones.
Published in L. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, She thoroughly explains the process of what it take to becoming a writer and the difficulty behind the art of writing.
What you should do to improve and how important it is not to give up. Butler emphasizes how complicated the process of writing truly is; no matter how good or experienced you are. People will face many failures, and rejections throughout this process, which has led her to the belief that it is crucial to develop an obsession for writing.
It allows for them to continue through all the hardships, and rejection they may face. Overall, Butler relies on the idea of persistence. If someone wishes to write, then they will do so. As long as a person remain persistent, then anyone is capable of accomplishing much more than they could ever possibly imagine, just as she did. The Afterword to "Furor Scribendi" discusses the encouragement behind the essay; it for people who want to write.
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