January 26th, 2009



For today's Australia Day, I am reading a copy of Octavia Butler's third novel, Survivor. I was a little confused earlier when I said Wild Seed was her first book; turns out it is the fifth, but is the first in her series that is linked to the Patternist books, and so when I started reading the collected work, I was out of publication order (the final book, The Patternist, is her first novel).

At any rate, Survivor is the novel that Butler never wanted reprinted and actively disliked. Wikipedia has a quote from on her on the subject, where she says, "When I was young, a lot of people wrote about going to another world and finding either little green men or little brown men, and they were always less in some way. They were a little sly, or a little like "the natives" in a very bad, old movie. And I thought, "No way. Apart from all these human beings populating the galaxy, this is really offensive garbage." People ask me why I don't like Survivor, my third novel. And it's because it feels a little bit like that. Some humans go up to another world, and immediately begin mating with the aliens and having children with them. I think of it as my Star Trek novel."

Honestly, I'm not disagreeing.

I'm not sure this is the part in which I should be reading it, either, to be honest. I'm trying to read everything in sequence, for the project I'm working on, but the novel has no real connection to the rest of the series and may need to be shuffled round. Or perhaps not.

Either way, it's making for an interesting piece. I'm not sure what it's going to look like at the end; it could be complete shit, or it could be complete love, but it's got a nice solid base in my head, and that's usually a good sign. Still, it's not complete yet, and things only count when they're complete, and I think they're worth trying to get published after that.