It's funny to me that despite the fact that I don't usually read books of short stories, half of the books (ok, so it's only 2 books, but still) on my summer reading list this season are -- you guessed it-- compilations of short stories. In my defense there was no way I could have passed them up. The first was written by Neil Gaiman -- do I even have to say anything else, really, it's Neil Gaiman-- and the second book was the lovely book I'm reviewing today, Octavia's Brood.
This lovely ode to Octavia Butler was created and curated by Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown. This a book of stories from the minds of artists and activists alike had my name written all over it. First of all, anyone who even kinda knows me, knows about my deep, unwavering love and adoration of Octavia Butler and anything her creative genius touched. She is hands down my favorite writer, and I read at least 2 of her books every year (though which 2 varies). Second of all, I LOVE science fiction!
Butler's books are so much more than great stories -- though make no mistake, they are epic tales-- they are also insights into the human experience and commentaries on our potential as a race. The stories in Octavia's Brood were able to capture the spirit of Butler in each story in a way that I didn't realize was possible.
I could have read more of every single story in this collection, and, in many instances, was sorely disappointed when I unexpectedly reached the last page. I had the recurring desire to reach out to each of the writers on social media and beg them to fill me in on where the characters had come from and where they headed once the story on the page was done.
Reading this book made me surprisingly hopeful as well. Seeing the worlds these amazing writers dreamed up -- world's where the fight for equality is tantamount to life and where solutions to centuries old problems are being hashed out -- are world I want to live in. If we can think it, we can create it, can't we?
Please read this book. Everyone should. And then if you feel so inspired as I certainly did, sit down and write your own story, and maybe one day all of our stories will come to life and form a better world.