In the spirit of Tupac, Octavia Butler will soon release new works from the grave, aptly titled Unexpected Stories. With plans to release the title in digital formats only, Walter Mosley pens the introduction for this 2-story book. Read on for more:
The novella “A Necessary Being” showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable “others.” Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer—and living the rest of her life alone.
The second story in this volume, “Childminder,” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous VisionsTM. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price.
Last summer I had an opportunity to devour Kindred and definitely plan to eventually read more books from Butler’s collection of writings. Happy reading, y’all.