Who was Octavia E. Butler?
Octavia E. Butler was a science fiction author who had a very close connection to the Los Angeles Public Library and made an impact on our organization, community, and the world that will last forever. This month we are celebrating her birthday on June 22nd and the first anniversary of the Octavia Lab at Central Library.
During her career Octavia published 12 novels and a book of short stories. She won many science fiction writing awards, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards, as well as a MacArthur Fellowship. Her work in speculative fiction made a profound impact on the genre and will continue to influence authors of diverse backgrounds into the future.
The library was an important part of Octavia’s life and in return, she was and continues to be an important part of our organization. She did a great deal of research for her writing at Central Library and volunteered as a reading tutor for our adult literacy program that still thrives today. In June of 2019, the makerspace in Central Library opened and it was named the Octavia Lab in her honor.
What is the Octavia Lab?
The Octavia Lab is a do-it-yourself studio space. Inside the lab there are many different tools people can use to work on their own projects, including a laser cutter, sewing machines, 3-D printer, green screen and more!
In the first year that the Octavia Lab has been open we have registered over 1,200 users. We have kept over 1,200 appointments and our lab members have completed roughly 900 projects.
During the COVID-19 crisis the library and the Octavia Lab were closed to the public. However, the ingenuity of people can never be stopped. The lab staff have used the equipment to create medical personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals.
Below is a list of all of Octavia’s works; if you have never read one of her books, now is a perfect time. Keep a lookout all this month for blogs that celebrate Octavia Butler’s legacy in the science fiction genre as we explore authors she has influenced, her younger years, and great science fiction books for adults, teens, and children!
Works by Octavia E. Butler
Parable or Earthseed Series
Description: A gifted woman tries to find family and community in post-apocalyptic California.
Description: A young woman struggles to avoid the mind control of the immortal Doro, who is attempting to create a new race with powers like his own.
Xenogenesis or Lilith’s Brood Series
Description: After a nuclear holocaust the human race has become infertile. The Oankali, an alien race, offer to save them by creating a new type of being with their shared genetic material.