Tag Archives: science fiction

He took his hands back. “Well, I did know you were a manipulative bitch,” he said.

Zahra smothered a laugh. I was surprised. I’d never heard him use the word before. I heard it now as a sound of frustration. He wasn’t going to leave. He was a last bit of home that I didn’t have to give up yet. How did he feel about that? Was he angry with me for almost breaking up the group? He had reason to be, I suppose.

“I don’t understand how you could have been like this all the time,” he said. “how could you hide your sharing from everyone?”

“My father taught me to hide it,” I told him.” He was right. In this world, there isn’t any room for housebound, frightened squeamish people, and that’s what I might have become if everyone had known about me–all the other kids for instance. Little kids are vicious. Haven’t you noticed?”

“But your brothers must have known.”

“My father put the fear of God into them about it. He could do that. As far as I know, they never told anyone. Keith used to play ‘funny’ tricks on me though.”

“So … you faked everyone out. You must be a hell of an actor.”

“I *had* to learn to pretend to be normal. My father kept trying to convince me that I was normal. He was wrong about that, but I’m glad he taught me the way he did.”

“Maybe you are normal. I mean if the pain isn’t real, then maybe—”

“Maybe this sharing thing is all in my head? Of course it is! and I can’t get it out. Believe me, I’d love to.”

— Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, p. 194. (Grand Central Publishing, 2007 edition.) 


Mei Ju startled when she saw it, but I like them. They remind me of my family, not the most refined, perhaps, but getting along. The crow flew up off the ground and away over the rooftops, calling out his hoarse squawk, not a proper song the way birds are supposed to. “We’re okay here,” is what it seemed to say, then repeated it, “Okay here. Okay right here.” Then off it flapped, big black wings pointed and divided at the ends like fingers.

Jo Walton, “Turnover,” Lightspeed Magazine

I’ve never felt that I was making any of this up–not the name, Earthseed, not any of it. I mean, I’ve never felt this was anything other than real: discovery rather than invention, exploration rather than creation. I Wish I could believe it was all supernatural, and that I’m getting messages from God. But then, I don’t believe in that kind of God. All I do is observe and take notes, trying to put things down in ways that are as powerful, as simple, as direct as I feel them.

— Lauren in Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. (Posted because it’s interesting. Don’t assume agreement or disagreement.)