Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler was an acclaimed American science fiction writer, known for her works that explore themes of race, gender, and social issues. She was the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Kindred

    "Kindred" is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that follows the life of Dana, a young African American woman living in the 1970s. Suddenly, she finds herself inexplicably transported back in time to the early 19th century, where she becomes entangled in the lives of her ancestors, who are enslaved on a plantation. As Dana navigates the brutal realities of slavery, she grapples with her own identity, the complexities of race, and the enduring legacy of the past. With its powerful storytelling and exploration of the connections between past and present, "Kindred" is a profound examination of history, race, and the enduring resilience of the human spirit.

    The 464th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Parable Of The Sower

    In a dystopian future where society has collapsed due to environmental and economic crises, a young woman named Lauren Olamina possesses a unique ability to feel the pain and pleasure of others. As she witnesses her community being torn apart by violence and religious fanaticism, Lauren embarks on a perilous journey to find a new safe haven and establish her own religion based on empathy and survival. Through her thought-provoking narrative, the book explores themes of resilience, spirituality, and the power of human connection in the face of adversity.

    The 1405th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Bloodchild

    "Bloodchild" is a provocative science fiction tale that explores complex themes of symbiosis, love, and power dynamics through the lens of an interdependent relationship between humans and an alien species known as the Tlic. The story is set on a distant planet where humans live as a preserved minority, and the Tlic, who are large insect-like creatures, require human hosts to incubate their young. The narrative follows a young human boy who is chosen to carry the offspring of a Tlic female, leading to a harrowing and intimate bond that challenges his understanding of autonomy, sacrifice, and connection. The novella delves into the intricate and often unsettling negotiations of personal agency and survival in a world where two very different beings are inextricably linked.

    The 2879th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Parable of the Talents

    Set in a dystopian future America ravaged by climate change and societal collapse, the novel follows the journey of a young woman who, despite facing slavery, violence, and the rise of a dangerous religious zealot, strives to build a community based on her own new belief system, Earthseed. Her vision is to create a society that can adapt and thrive amidst chaos, with the ultimate goal of taking humanity to the stars. Throughout her struggle, she documents her experiences and philosophies in the hope that they will guide future generations towards a more hopeful, resilient future.

    The 3002nd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Dawn

    "Dawn" is a thought-provoking science fiction novel that explores themes of identity, power, and humanity's capacity for change. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows Lilith Iyapo, a woman who wakes up after centuries of being in suspended animation to find herself among an alien race called the Oankali. The Oankali offer to help humanity rebuild, but their assistance comes at a cost: interbreeding with them to create a new hybrid species. As Lilith navigates the complex dynamics of her new reality, she must confront her own fears and prejudices while grappling with the moral implications of the choices she faces.

    The 3686th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Wild Seed

    The novel follows the epic, centuries-spanning tale of two immortal beings, Doro and Anyanwu, who possess extraordinary powers. Doro, a male spirit who survives through the ages by transferring his consciousness into other bodies, seeks to breed a new race of superhumans. Anyanwu, a shape-shifting woman with the ability to heal herself and others, becomes both Doro's partner and adversary. Their complex relationship, marked by both collaboration and conflict, explores themes of power, control, and the evolution of humanity as they travel from the ancient African continent to the plantations of the New World, all while grappling with their own natures and the moral implications of their actions.

    The 6714th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Fledgling

    "Fledgling" is a novel that blends science fiction with vampire lore, telling the story of a young amnesiac girl who discovers she is actually a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. As she slowly regains her memories, she learns about her unique vampire family, their complex societal structures, and the symbiotic relationships they maintain with humans. The narrative delves into themes of identity, race, sexuality, and consent, challenging traditional vampire myths while exploring the implications of power dynamics and prejudice within a reimagined society where vampires and humans coexist in a tenuous balance.

    The 7916th Greatest Book of All Time