Octavia Estelle Butler (1947-2006) was an American science fiction writer, and the first black woman in her field. She was born and raised in Pasadena, California by her mother, Octavia Margaret Butler. A shy, only child, Octavia began writing at 10, and turned to science fiction by 12. Octavia pursued creative writing courses at Pasadena City College, where she graduated with an Associate's degree. She went on to California State University, Los Angeles, where she studied a variety of subjects, but never completed a degree. In 1976, Doubleday published Octavia's first novel, Patternmaster. Her best-known work, Kindred, appeared in 1979. In 1995, Octavia became the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur "Genius" grant. In all, Octavia published 12 novels and one volume of short works. She passed away suddenly after a fall outside her home in 2006, at the age of 58. – Adapted from: Biographical Note in Finding Aid, Octavia E. Butler Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
"When I was in my teens […] someone would always ask, ‘If you could do anything you wanted to do, no holds barred, what would you do?’ I’d answer that I wanted to live forever and breed people—which didn’t go over all that well with my friends." – Butler, Octavia E., Larry McCaffery, and Jim McMenamin. Across the Wounded Galaxy: Interviews with Contemporary American Science Fiction Writers.