Google honors Seattle sci-fi author Octavia Butler

Octavia E. Butler
Seattle science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler gets a star turn in today’s Google Doodle graphic.

Seattle science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler passed away in 2006, but she’s getting timely good wishes today on what would have been her 71st birthday in the form of a Google Doodle tribute.

The black writer’s work broke the “white guys with lasers” mold for science fiction by telling stories that reflected the future-day diversity she wanted to see in present-day society. Not in a preachy way, but in the form of more than a dozen thought-provoking, award-winning novels and shorter works.

In 1995, she was the first science-fiction writer to win a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” and four years later she moved from her native California to Seattle. She died unexpectedly at the age of 58 after falling and striking her head on a walkway outside her home.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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