Octavia Butler, RIP
I just want to pause for a moment to note the passing of Octavia Butler. She was a great writer, and a great Presence. I was lucky enough to share the stage with her at one of her last appearances, at the Miami book fair. It was Ms. Butler's crowd, no question. They were eager for me to say my stuff so she could speak. But we all enjoyed a church experience, and affection and humor ruled the day. I'll never forget something she said: "When I read deeply in science fiction, I learned there were no black people in the future." The audience, 90% African American, laughed out loud. I looked at her and said, "You know--there aren't any Mexicans there either!" We agreed that the future was awfully exclusive. She was kind and welcoming, and her bearing was regal. Her audience loved her so hard that you could feel it coming out of that room like lightning--women brought their girl scout troops so they could see true greatness. I barely knew her, but I will miss her. I feel that a great light has dimmed out Seattle way. I hope you will buy one of her books and remember her as one who gave her best back to this world.

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