The Role of Nature in the Works of Octavia Butler

The Role of Nature in the Works of Octavia Butler

by Robin Rockensüß

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Overview

Examination Thesis from the year 2008 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Dortmund, 67 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The science fiction (SF) writer Octavia Estelle Butler (1947-2006) was a pioneer in many ways. She won several Hugo and Nebula awards and was critically acclaimed as the most successful and most gifted female African-American author in a genre that is still mostly dominated by white males. Butler had been publishing stories since the early 1970s, imaginatively addressing issues such as slavery, race and gender in a science fiction environment - including elements of time traveling as in Kindred (1979) and telepathy and extraterrestrials in the Patternist series (1976-1984), which is made up of five novels and was republished in 2007 as the compilation Seed to Harvest. The Patternist stories already contain references to biological alterations of bodies and somatic mutations. 1987 marks the publication of Dawn, the first volume of the Xenogenesis triology which was also republished after Butler's death in the compilation Lilith's Brood. The series advances the idea of biological engineering to modern genetics in the same year when a committee of the National Academy of Sciences stated that organisms altered or created by the combination of genes between species pose no hazards to the natural environment and are 'virtually risk free or have risk-to-benefit ratios well within acceptable bounds' (Schmeck 1987). Within the next two years, Dawn was followed by the sequels Adulthood Rites (1988) and Imago (1989). The two novels continued the scenario of a post-apocalyptic civilization and a world controlled by peaceful, yet intrusive extraterrestrial hybrids. In the trilogy Butler considered the overall consequences for nature, humanity and civilization by extrapolating from actual scientific and social developments. This approach can also be detected in the near-future dystopia of the Parable series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783640228645
Publisher: GRIN Verlag GmbH
Publication date: 01/01/2008
Sold by: CIANDO
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 60
File size: 180 KB

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