Truth-Out Interview with Walidah Imarisha

'Before we began working on Octavia's Brood, adrienne [maree brown] was doing Octavia Butler emergent strategy sessions (you can read the very early strategic reader she and our Octavia's Brood contributor Alexis Pauline Gumbs created here). The idea behind the sessions was to collectively read one of Butler's books and then pull lessons that can help current movements for social change. At the same time, I was doing work around visionary fiction - the idea of fantastical fiction that can help us challenge existing power dynamics, and build new just worlds (I edited a special issue of Left Turn Magazine).

When adrienne and I got together, we realized that the principles of visionary fiction - centering those who have been marginalized; operating and imagining within a history of resistance; seeing identity and especially intersecting identities; highlighting change from the bottom up not the top down; exploring change that is collective, decentralized - were embodied so powerfully in Butler's books, and is in fact the first place in science fiction many of us saw these principles in practice. So we named the collection in honor of her, as we feel by having an anthology of sci-fi and speculative fiction written by organizers, activists and change-makers, we are continuing the lineage of visionary change of which Octavia is very much a part.'