As part of the renaissance in interest in the glorious science fiction novels of afrofuturist pioneer Octavia Butler (previously), Seven Stories press has just released a two-volume, slipcased set of Butler’s fantastic post-apocalyptic adventure novels The Parable of the Sower (with an introduction by Gloria Steinem) and The Parable of the Talents (with an introduction by Toshi Reagon).
The set is $35 (a remarkably low sum of money, considering the quality of the editions).
The Parables novels were my introduction to Butler’s work. I had associated her with “serious” political literature, and while her work is unashamedly, gloriously political, her gift is melding fast-paced adventure with her serious themes, making her a kind of woke Heinlein.
The Parables box-set is just for starters: there’s also a Folio Society edition of “Kindred” (also available in a recent, outstanding graphic novel edition) and a paperback edition of Parable of the Sower with an introduction by NK Jemisin.
All of Butler’s canon is brilliant, but the Parables novels are a particularly great way to fall in love with her work, and while they deal with very intense adult themes, they star an adolescent protagonist and make for great YA reading by even young teens.