Octavia E. Butler Best Books 📚

Renowned author Octavia E. Butler is one of the earliest African-American female writers in the science fiction category and the first ever in same genre to have won the prestigious MacArthur award, and this goes to show the influence her books have on the entire body of literature.

Octavia E. Butler

American science-fiction writer

Kindred’ is by far the most populous book ever written by Octavia E. Butler. Still, there are several other great books readers may not know are crafted from the pen of the great author herself, and those books – their successes and failures – will be briefly analyzed here.


Kindred by Octavia Estelle Butler Digital Art
Kindred Digital Art

Released in 1976 in the English language by Doubleday publishers, ‘Kindred’ has been praised as one of the best works of a prolific writer, Octavia E. Butler. The book lived up to the hype in the early days of its publication, stealing the spotlight and winning a Rochester New York award, and due to its popularity – went on to be a recommended text for middle schools and universities across the United States.

In ‘Kindred’, Octavia E. Butler tells the story of a young Black writer called Dana Franklin. Dana has just moved to Altadena, California, with her husband Kelvin, a White Man. In the couple’s present reality of 1976, marrying Black-on-White marriages are still viewed as odd and largely unacceptable by society, but the couple couldn’t care less as they genuinely love each other.

Dana’s time traveling experience starts in her new apartment – and while she and Kelvin are unpacking, she feels weak and dizzy and finds herself by the river where a little White boy is drowning by a river. She saves him and will later realize he’s her direct ancestor and that she’s constantly being summoned to the past to save him any time he’s in grave danger. ‘Kindred’ proves to be a daring and captivating book for readers to date.


Fledgling’ is the final book written by Octavia E. Butler and is a science fiction thriller having a cute ‘vampirey’ plot twist. ‘Fledgling’ came off the pen of Butler following a seven years hiatus and narrates the life of a seemingly young girl, Shori, who’s had insomnia and forgotten about significant portions of her life.

However, following a series of extreme and inexplicable abilities, not to mention an uncontrollable desire for human blood, she soon realizes that in reality, she has been lab-modified into a vampire in her fifty-something years of age. She has a new mission to find out everything she can about her past life, her loved ones, and those she cares about – who are now in potential danger from her enemies.


Bloodchild‘ and other stories is one of Octavia E. Butler’s most decorated story collections written in the speculative fiction category. The collection has seven novelettes which include ‘Bloodchild,’ ‘Speech Sound’, among others.

Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Bloodchild’ is a Hugo and Nebular awards winner and has ‘Amnesty’ as one of its captivating frontline stories, but there are other interesting ones as well. ‘Amnesty’ is a story of Noah, a human lady who is on a mission to broker a better coexistent relationship between humans and aliens.

There’s also ‘The Book of Martha’, which follows a short story that leaves readers with the question of what they would do if the creator of the universe gave them the ability to salvage humanity from self-destructing.

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower’ is a phenomenal dystopia by Octavia E. Butler and comes as the maiden novella of a series of stories that included the ‘Parable of the Talent.’ The book has won several awards, one of which is the New York Times book award.

The book pays attention to social instabilities, inequalities, and climate change. Butler utilizes yet again a young female protagonist by the name of Lauren Olamina, giving her a super ability to empathize with the pains of others. Displaced from her home due to social instability, Lauren starts a movement called Earthseed and has many followers who are just like her, displaced. They have one objective; to raid planets and possess them at any cost.


Dawn’ follows the trilogy of ‘Lilith’s Brood’. In ‘Dawn’, a fairly young woman by the name of Lilith Iyapo is fortunate to be one of the few who survives a global nuclear war. The planet is almost completely destroyed, all thanks to self-destructing humanity.

After 250 years of the event, the planet is starting to be reshaped again thanks to an alien race that’s decided to help the few survivors and rebuild the place. Lilith has a new mission from the alien, and it is to lead her people back to their planet.


What book is considered most popular by Octavia E. Butler?

Kindred’ is a trademark book used to remember the literary mark made by Octavia E. Butler, and so is perhaps her most famed book.

How many books did Octavia E. Butler write?

During her lifetime, the prolific Octavia E. Butler published at least fifteen novels – including short stories and essays.

Is ‘Kindred’ a historical book or science fiction?

Butler’s book ‘Kindred’ is categorized under science fiction, although the book appears to utilize several standalone subjects – including slave history, ethnicity, and society.

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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