It’s here! Just in time for the holidays!
Ayana Jamieson and I labored for two years to get this special issue out and we are so glad that it is finally here! Please enjoy!
Award winning author Octavia E. Butler crafted a life as unique as any of her stories. Regarded as the grand dame of Afrofuturism, Butler is also the first science fiction writer to be awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant for her fiction and nonfiction writing. Born in 1947, in Pasadena, CA, June 22, 2017 would be have been her 70th birthday. As one of the first recognizable Black feminist science fiction writers to date, Butler had an illustrious career despite lackluster grades in primary school. She set her intention to become a writer at an early age and worked diligently to propel herself forward. She developed a process that she called “positive obsession” and wrote every day to advance her craft. She wrote at least sixteen novels (including a few have never been published), short stories and essays, and is heralded as one of the most influential Black speculative fiction writers in the world. This special issue of the journal Palimpsest celebrates her life and legacy by introducing and bringing to the fore scholarly work that is inspired by her science fiction.
Palimpsest was the obvious choice for this special issue as the palimpsest is an implicit theme in Butler’s work. Palimpsest describes the traces of previously erased or overwritten writing that show through in the newest versions of the work. We see this practice in Butler’s writing with historical texts, concepts, and conventions bleeding through to the present and into the future through time travel, genetic ancestry, and muscle memory.
Read the special issue here!