Kwapi Vengesayi is the Manager of Community Engagement at MoPOP, and a fan and student of all things Motown, Afrofuturism, and Star Trek.
POP+ Write Out of This World: How Octavia E. Butler Discovered Science Fiction
The Museum of Pop Culture's Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame honors science fiction and fantasy’s leading creators and most impactful creations. To align with our annual Write Out of This World short story and comic competition, and to coincide with our next Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame class, we are sharing conversations we’ve had with some of our most celebrated inductees.
Octavia E. Butler is widely considered the godmother of Afrofuturism—a movement in literature, music, and film featuring fantasy and science fiction themes rooted in Black history and cultural aesthetic. Her writing incorporates themes related to race, the environment, gender and sexuality, and deftly blends fantastical world-building with social commentary. Among her contributions to science fiction and fantasy literature, she is cited by authors like N.K. Jemisin and Nalo Hopkinson as a source of inspiration, and Butler’s influence has transcended the boundaries of literature, from the futuristic pop of Janelle Monae to the visually striking films of Ava DuVernay.
Why did Octavia E. Butler choose science fiction as her medium? We sat down with her in 2003 and she answered that very question.
Recommended Octavia E. Butler Works:
- Wild Seed (1980) - Currently being adapted as a TV series by Viola Davis in partnership with Amazon Prime Video
- Dawn (1987) - Currently being adapted as a TV series by Ava DuVernay in partnership with Amazon Studios
- Parable of the Sower (1993)
Learn more about MoPOP's 'Write Out of This World: Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story and Comic Contest' + for contests, the latest news, and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to follow MoPOP on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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