Octavia E. Butler – a Writer’s Inspiration

wild seed by octavia e butler

Today the Google doodle honors Octavia E. Butler – a truly great fantasy writer. If there was ever a writer’s inspiration it is/was her.

The Perfect Villain

I read Wild Seed when I was a teen, and the villian, Doro was a truly terrifying figure – one I will never, ever forget. He rose above all the movie and television villains with his otherworldly telepathic, parasitic power and his utter lack of humanity and cold indifference to the suffering he caused to those around him. He barely had to say a word to command absolute obedience to those who were part of his private eugenics agenda. His mere presence made his companions – and victims intensely uneasy, as if they were being sized up by a predator they could not escape no matter how hard they tried.

Octavia’s detailed descriptions, from the jungles of Africa to the New World, are rich and vibrant. The heroine, Anyanwu, is captured by Doro and forced to travel to the New World (America) during the height of slavery where his plan is to breed her with other telepaths and “strange” children who will create his own “people”. These people – and this is the part that always creeped me the hell out – were psychics and telepaths whose rich talents made them the best sort of “food” for him when hunting the “prey” that would keep him alive. Anyanwu is the only one of his “children” with even a ghost of a chance in Hades to run away from Doro and perhaps, actually survive.

Thank you, Octavia

I want to thanks Octavia E. Butler from the bottom of my heart for being a writer’s inspiration and in creating the perfect villain in the character of Doro. Wild Seed is part of the “Patternist” series, which explores the pure evil that is the creature Doro, into our present time and the future, when the descendants of his experiments reach out among the stars. I highly recommend reading the series as it is not only hugely entertaining but a valuable tool for the aspiring writer who wants to improve their craft through the example of other, brilliant writers.

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