A New York Times Book of the Year · Nebula Award nominee · Featuring an introduction by Gloria Steinem
From the pioneering New York Times bestselling science fiction author of Kindred.
The radically speculative odyssey of a young Black woman in a post-apocalyptic America and the community she cultivates despite the horrors of climate change and social inequality
The time is 2025. The place is California, where small, walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder.
When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an 18-year-old Black woman with the hereditary train of "hyperempathy"—which causes her to feel others’ pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown.
About the Author
A writer who darkly imagined the future we have destined for ourselves in book after book, and also one who has shown us the way toward improving on that dismal fate, OCTAVIA E. BUTLER (1947–2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of contemporary fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community’s top prizes, the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path.
"Gripping ... poignant ... succeeds on multiple levels." —The New York Times Book Review
"Literate ... thoughtful. And a real gut-wrencher." —Washington Post Book World
"A powerful story of hope and faith in the midst of urban violence and decay ... Excellent science fiction and a parable of modern society." —Denver Post
"A prophetic odyssey." —Essence
"Simple, direct, and deeply felt." —Library Journal
"Artfully conceived and elegantly written." —Cleveland Plain Dealer
"There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader." —San Jose Mercury News