Octavia's Brood: The Blurbs

People said really beautiful things about this project. We wanted to share some of those loving words with y'all. 

'All social justice work is science fiction. We are imagining a world free of injustice, a world that doesn't yet exist.' The first time I heard adrienne maree brown provide that frame, I was changed. A longtime devotee to Octavia Butler, my ideas about love and community and family, and of course, the future have been shaped by her fiction. But brown offered a new and utterly useful prompt, a way to integrate all of my selves (for I'd long viewed my "activist" self as some separate person). In this provocative collection of fiction, Walida Imarisha and adrienne maree brown provide boundless space for their writers--changemakers, teachers, organizers and leaders--to untether from this realm their struggles for justice. Most of these stories are written by people who are new to fiction. Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal literally writes from behind walls. Yet he writes with abandon, giving us new, imaginative analyses of an American classic. Like Butler's fiction, this collection is cartography, a map to freedom. 

"Those concerned with justice and liberation must always persuade the mass of people that a better world is possible. Our job begins with speculative fictions that fire society's imagination and its desire for change. In adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha's visionary conception, and by its activist-artists' often stunning acts of creative inception, Octavia's Brood makes for great thinking and damn good reading. The rest will be up to us." 
Jeff ChangWho We Be: The Colorization of America
"Octavia once told me that two things worried her about the future of humanity:  The tendency to think hierarchically, and the tendency to place ourselves higher on the hierarchy than others. I think she would be humbled  beyond words that the fine, thoughtful writers in this volume have honored her with their hearts and minds.  And that in calling for us to consider that hierarchical structure, they are not walking in her shadow, nor standing on her shoulders, but marching at her side."
-- Steven Barnes, author of LION'S BLOOD 

Conventional exclamatory phrases don’t come close to capturing the essence of what we have here in Octavia’s Brood. One part sacred text, one part social movement manual, one part diary of our future selves telling us, “it’s going to be okay, keep working, keep loving”. Our radical imaginations are under siege and this text is the rescue mission. It is the new cornerstone of every class I teach on inequality, justice, and social change. It is my new reference for how to think across fabricated boundaries—organizers vs. artists, academy vs. community, real world vs. utopia, doing vs. envisioning. It should take pride of place on our nightstands, within reach any time we become weary with the world as it is. A portal, a gateway, a glimpse in to an alternate reality where the answer to the perennial question, What Do We Owe Each Other?, turns out to be “Everything, Everything…”. This is the text we’ve been waiting for.

--Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier


Never has one book so thouroghly realized the dream of its namesake. Octavia's Brood is the progeny of two lovers of Octavia Butler and their belief in her dream that science fiction is for everybody. In these pages we witness the power of sci-fi to map our visions of worlds we want, or don't, through the imaginations of some of our favorite activist and artists. We hope this is the first of many generations of Octavia's Brood, midwifed to life by such attentive editors. Butler could not wish for better evidence of her touch changing our literary and living landscapes. Play with these children, read these works and find the children in you waiting to take root under the stars!

-- Octavia E Butler Legacy Network