Since its publication in 1979, Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred remains her most popular book. This story of a black woman who goes back and forth in time between the antebellum south and Los Angeles in the late 1970s is not only compelling but representative of what the science fiction genre can accomplish in the hands of a knowledgeable and talented author.
Fortunately, this isn’t Butler’s only title; her body of work is full of innovative, thought-provoking, and unique stories that transcend the science fiction genre.
Books to Read If You Loved Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
The first book of the Earthseed trilogy, Parable of the Sower tells the story of Lauren Oya Olamina, who lives in a post-apocalyptic society, brought about by corporate greed, climate change, and wealth inequality. Lauren is a teenager living in a gated community in Los Angeles, and she has the ability to feel other people's pain—a type of 'hyper-empathy.' Pushed by the tragedy that becomes her life, Lauren begins to develop a new way of thinking called Earthseed. The novel tells Lauren's story of discovery, growth, and resistance in a chaotic and scarce Earth.
The continuation of Lauren's story, Parable of the Talents is the second book of the Earthseed trilogy. Four years after the end of the previous book, Lauren has founded her own religion and is convinced that her community must colonize the stars, so they start preparing. However, the collapse of society and the rise of religious fanaticism result in the kidnapping of Lauren's daughter and the enslavement of her followers. Now Lauren must fight for the freedom of her people.
Seed to Harvest is actually four books in one. It includes the books described above, Wild Seed, and the rest of the Patternmaster series, Mind of My Mind, Clay's Ark, and Patternmaster. This tome continues the adventure of female shapeshifter and demigoddess Anyanwu and the powerfully destructive male entity Doro. Their love story results in the birth of a race of visionaries, psychics, and madmen who hide in the dark corners of civilizations for thousands of years, until the end of the world comes about by an alien invasion. Now, Anyanwu and Doro's unique race will have to fight for Earth domination.
Octavia E. Butler, often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” was the author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant and numerous literary awards, she has been acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future. She passed away on February 24, 2006.