Two of my favorite works of speculative fiction, Kindred
and Wild Seed
, were written by Octavia Butler
, who died yesterday at the age of 59. Butler was one of those writers whose stories contained huge ideas but never lost track of the human lives and emotions at their core. Her writing was clear and crisp and frequently luminous. In person (I only met her for a nanosecond years ago and stumbled over trying to tell her how much I admired her work) she was rather shy. I read anything of hers I could, just to see what she was thinking and writing; I read her latest book,Fledgling
, a few months ago. I hoped would be the start of a new cycle of books, and was looking forward to so much more of her writing.