Today on Google’s home page in the United States is a special Google Doodle, logo, for Octavia E. Butler, the American science fiction writer. She was born 71 years ago today on June 22, 1947in Pasadena, California and passed at the young age of 58 on February 24, 2006 in Lake Forest Park, Washington.
Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer who won the Hugo and Nebula awards both in 1995 and she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She has won dozens of awards over her lifetime.
Her father died when she was only seven, she was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother. Google wrote:
Born in Pasadena in 1947, her extreme shyness, tall build, and mild dyslexia all contributed to young Butler’s social anxiety, which led to her spending a significant amount of time in the local library. There, she discovered her love for science fiction. When her mother bought her a typewriter at the age of ten, Butler also discovered her passion and talent for writing.
In a genre historically populated by only white male protagonists, Butler created characters that she, and millions of others, could identify with. She considered herself to have three central audiences — black readers, feminists, and fans of science fiction — and challenged herself to create a body of work that was accessible to all of them. While Butler faced institutional racism and segregation throughout her life, these experiences influenced her writing and thus shone a light on critical social issues
Stories including Bloodchild (1984) and the Parable series (1993-1998) resonated so strongly with readers of all backgrounds that Butler was the recipient of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, a prize which invests in those with “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.”
Today’s Doodle honors the author’s immense contribution to the genre of science fiction, including the diverse worlds and characters she brought to life.
Happy 71st birthday, Octavia!
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