Climate Change Dystopia
Set in California in the mid-2020s, Octavia Butler’s 1993 science fiction novel follows the story of 15-year old Lauren Olamina who must navigate, both physically and emotionally, a world riven by climate disasters and economic inequality: “sea levels keep rising with the warming climate, and there is the occasional earthquake… [the town] can’t protect itself from the encroaching sea, the crumbling earth, the crumbling economy, or the desperate refugees.” Butler described her journey as a writer: “I was a little “colored” girl in that era of conformity and segregation, the 1950s, and no matter how much I dreamed about becoming a writer, I couldn’t help seeing that my real future looked bleak… then when I was twelve, I discovered science fiction. It appealed to me more, even, than fantasy because it required more thought, more research into things that fascinated me…I’ve never lost that fascination.” In 1995, Butler was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. More recently, a mountain on Charon, Pluto’s moon, and an asteroid have been named in her honor.
Octavia E. Butler
Parable of the Sower
New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993
Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection
Charles L. Blockson Collection of African Americana and the African Diaspora
CO2 PPM in 1993: 355