Happy Halloween!!

Like my costume? My hall agreed on a Silent Hill theme this year…

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My Addiction…

I will be the first to admit it: I have an addiction. I’ve been addicted for several years now, since a young age.  So it came as no surprise that, after not being able to get my buzz for months, I was in a deep withdrawl. The world lacked flavor. Reality still-framed in shades of gray. I was a mindless creature of habit. The voices in my head were actually telling me to do logical things. I needed my fix… and bad…I needed… to get my hands on a good book and fast!

Thankfully, this past weekend, I was able to satiate my hunger. I did this by biting into an amazing novel by Octavia Butler:

Fledgling is a vampire novel, but not the kind you are thinking. Octavia Butler takes elements of what would be considered “standard” vampire, and launches them into a totally different direction. It is the story of Shori, a 53 year old Ina (a matriarchal vampire species) who looks like a 10 year old black girl. She is an genetic experiment. Her family spent centuries researching how to make Ina more adaptable to the real world (which includes being able to be alert during the day). Shori also happens to suffer from amnesia from the start of the book, giving her character innocence, and a sort of unreliability that drives the story. The reader follows her frustration as she attempts to rediscover who she is and what she will become, while fighting for survival against prejudiced assassination attempts on her, her family, and her friends. It is a book that one cannot easily put down. Butler’s themes include a clear stand against discrimination (based on race, sexuality, gender, religion, or social class) and embraces both the importance of diversity and the importance of community. I have the most profound respect for Octavia Butler and her work.

On a side note; in 1970, Octavia Butler attended Clarion (West) Science Fiction Writers Workshop, where she credits to have gotten her start. A scholarship is now established in her name to help other writers of color get into the field. The Clarion Workshop is a huge deal to me, and I already have a firm ambition (or would that be stubborn desire?) of attending. It has produced so many amazing writers (and teachers).

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