Octavia Butler Quotes

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Octavia E. Butler

Butler signs a copy of Fledgling in October 2005.
Born Octavia Estelle Butler
(1947-06-22)June 22, 1947
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Died February 24, 2006(2006-02-24) (aged 58)
Lake Forest Park, Washington, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 1970–2006[1]
Genre Science fiction

The thing about science fiction is that it's totally wide open. But it's wide open in a conditional way.
Octavia Butler
But my problem with fantasy, and horror, and related genres, is that sometimes the problems are illogical.
Octavia Butler
No one was going to stop me from writing and no one had to really guide me towards science fiction. It was natural, really, that I would take that interest.
Octavia Butler
Science fiction let me do both. It let me look into science and stick my nose in everywhere.
Octavia Butler
I wasn't trying to work out my own ancestry. I was trying to get people to feel slavery. I was trying to get across the kind of emotional and psychological stones that slavery threw at people.
Octavia Butler
I talked to members of my family, and did some personal research that didn't really have anything to do with the time and place I was writing about, but that gave me a feeling of the experience of being black in a time and place where it was very difficult to be black.
Octavia Butler
No… a novel is a long business. I'm a slow writer, even when I'm doing very well I write slowly.
Octavia Butler
I have a huge and savage conscience that won't let me get away with things.
Octavia Butler
What I'm working on now – I'm back to fantasy, although considering that it's me, I'm turning it into a kind of science fantasy. It's a vampire story – but my vampires are biological vampires. They didn't become vampires because someone bit them; they were born that way.
Octavia Butler
I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and started writing science fiction around the same time.
Octavia Butler
You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
Octavia Butler
A workshop is a way of renting an audience, and making sure you're communicating what you think you're communicating. It's so easy as a young writer to think you're been very clear when in fact you haven't.
Octavia Butler
Well, writing was what I wanted to do, it was always what I wanted to do. I had novels to write so I wrote them.
Octavia Butler
Here I was into astronomy, and here into anthropology, and there I go into geology. It was much more fun to be able to research and write about whatever I wanted to.
Octavia Butler
People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn't bother me. It's other people doing the calling that bothers me.
Octavia Butler
I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.
Octavia Butler
I recognize we will pay more attention when we have different leadership.
Most of us don't have to worry about being shot if we poke our noses outside. So we are comfortable, but the people I'm writing about are definitely not comfortable, and being shot while they're still inside is a good possibility.
Octavia Butler
On the other hand, I was very much interested in the way people behaved, the human dance, how they seemed to move around each other. I wanted to play around with that.
Octavia Butler
And I have this little litany of things they can do. And the first one, of course, is to write – every day, no excuses. It's so easy to make excuses. Even professional writers have days when they'd rather clean the toilet than do the writing.
Octavia Butler
So fantasy was fine early on, and when I discovered science fiction, I was very happy with it, because my first interest in science fiction came with an interest in astronomy.
Octavia Butler
Third, for people who aren't doing it already, take classes – they're worthwhile. Workshops or classes – a workshop is where you do actually get feedback on your work, not just something where you go and sit for a day.
Octavia Butler
Fantasy is totally wide open; all you really have to do is follow the rules you've set. But if you're writing about science, you have to first learn what you're writing about.
Octavia Butler
While Fledging is a different type of book, The Parable series serve as cautionary tales. I wrote the Parable books because of the direction of the country. You can call it save the world fiction, but it clearly doesn't save anything.
Octavia Butler
I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.
And by the way, I wanted to point out that Kindred is not science fiction. You'll note there's no science in it. It's a kind of grim fantasy.
Octavia Butler
Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.
Octavia Butler
I would never have been a good scientist – my attention span was too short for that.
Octavia Butler
No, I think the future of humanity will be like the past, we'll do what we've always done and there will still be human beings. Granted, there will always be people doing something different and there are a lot of possibilities.
Octavia Butler
I was raised Baptist, and I like the fact that I got my conscience installed early.
Octavia Butler
Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
Octavia Butler
Religion kept some of my relatives alive, because it was all they had. If they hadn't had some hope of heaven, some companionship in Jesus, they probably would have committed suicide, their lives were so hellish.
Octavia Butler
Once you grow past Mommy and Daddy coming running when you're hurt, you're really on your own. You're alone, and there's no one to help you.
Octavia Butler