I remember being on one of my searches for some interesting books to read several years ago when I ran across an author I had never heard of. The book cover caught my attention, I found it haunting, so I picked it up and read the back cover. Octavia Butler‘s Kindred is a science fiction story about a black woman, Dana Franklin, being pulled back in time to the days of slavery.
Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
Even though this is a story of fiction, it’s written in such a way that it kept me enthralled. I was pulled in by the characters and couldn’t help putting myself in Dana’s shoes. It’s a frightening story, at times, for reasons other than the obvious. When I started reading it, I could barely put it down. I read it in a day. Crazy as it may sound, before her, I never gave much thought to African-American writers in science fiction. After her, I became pretty ravenous for more black authors in science fiction. Octavia Butler was a great introduction and remains one of my favorites.
- Octavia Butler, Wild Seed (palaverers.wordpress.com)
- Blood Child and Other Stories by Octavia Butler (aworldofmots.wordpress.com)
- Top Ten Time Travel Books (chutneybynancy.org)