BONUS: Throughline — Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction‬ : Short Wave To round out our celebration of Black History Month, we're bringing you a special episode featuring acclaimed science fiction writer Octavia Butler from our friends at NPR's history podcast Throughline.

Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. Butler was also fascinated by the cyclical nature of history, and often looked to the past when writing about the future. Along with her warnings is her message of hope — a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perished in her books, came a story of rebuilding, of repair.

Read Throughline's article about Octavia Butler.
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BONUS: Throughline — Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction‬

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BONUS: Throughline — Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction‬

BONUS: Throughline — Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction‬

BONUS: Throughline — Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction‬

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/969479739/969626644" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Artistic rendering of Octavia Butler. Joelle Avelino hide caption

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Joelle Avelino

Artistic rendering of Octavia Butler.

Joelle Avelino

Today, we present a special episode from our colleagues at NPR's history podcast Throughline, hosted by Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei.

Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. Butler was also fascinated by the cyclical nature of history, and often looked to the past when writing about the future. Along with her warnings is her message of hope — a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perished in her books, came a story of rebuilding, of repair.

Read Throughline's article about Octavia Butler.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

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Contributors: Rund Abdelfatah, Julie Caine, Jamie York, Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Lawrence Wu, Parth Shah, Victor Yvellez