Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Octavia’s Brood

edited by Adrienne Maree Brown & Walidah Imarisha


This collection is titled in honor of Black science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, whose work (as explained in the Introduction) “explored the intersections of identity and imagination, the gray areas of race, class, gender, sexuality, love, militarism, inequality, oppression, resistance, and – most important – hope”. What follows is twenty short stories that enlarge upon and are inspired by Butler’s ‘visionary fiction’, stories that explore the connection between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. An essay at the end of the book gives an overview of Butler’s writing. I haven’t read any of Butler’s writings, but after having read this collection, which I picked up in a library sale, I surely will.

Story and Author

Tags/Hub Areas

Therapeutic Tags

Personal Rating

Revolution Shuffle by Boa Phi

Zombie apocalypse, anti-arab anti-asian racism, government control, Octavia, Spartacus, slaves

Political consciousness, fighting oppression


The Token Superhero by David F Walker

Superheroes, chosen children, toy franchises, Octavia

Overcoming racism, inner strength, support, people power


The river by adrienne maree brown

Gentrification, Detroit, water spirit, magical realism, Octavia

Natural justice, equality, cooperative living


Evidence by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

The internet, post collapse society, archaeology, Octavia, capitalism critique, epistolatory

Survival, equality, communal ownership, support, shared community


Black Angel by Walidah Imarisha

Refugees, avenging angel, superhero, outcasts, Octavia, reluctant do-gooder

Fighting exploitation, oppression, racism, justice


The Long Memory by Morrigan Phillips

Fantasy, archipelagos, factional struggle, politics, torture, Octavia, inprisonment, hunger strike, Earthsea, ancestry memory magic, geneaology

Defiance, ancestor respect, pacifism


Small and Bright by Autumn Brown

Going underground, post apocalypse society, Octavia, THX1138, communal society, banishment, exile, skin pigment erasure

Escape, survival, tenacity, communal society


In Spite of Darkness by Alixa Garcia, with illustrations

Human invasion, pollution catastrophe, alien tribal culture, sun harvesters, war, exo-myths, new wave writing, outer planets, Kuiper belt, Octavia

Resistance, family, determination


Hollow by Mia Mingus

Disability exiles, teleportation, genocide, extermination, exodus, Octavia

Disabled rights, solidarity, resilience


Lalibela by Gabriel Toedros

Time travel, Ethiopia, Africa, lost utopia, messiah, dragons, beekeepers, Octavia



Little Brown Mouse by Tunde Olaniran

Alternate realities, mental breakdown, autism?, car crash tragedy, Octavia

Illumination, guilt, coping with reality


Sanford and Sun by Dawolu Jabari Anderson

TV sitcom, Sun Ra, music and mysticism, spiritual space journey, Octavia

Liberation, equal rights, civil rights movement, self determination, discrimination, funky, spiritual practice, humour, puns


Runway Blackout by Tara Betts

Therianthropes, shapeshifters, runway models on strike, racism, fashion magazine industry, Octavia

Solidarity, black rights, BLM, tolerance, strike for rights, reactionary?


Kafka’s Last Laugh by Vagabond

Repressive state violence, protest, prisoners as slave labour, flaws in the system, surveillance drugs, Kafka, Octavai

The power of laughter, liberation, anti-capitalism, resistance


22XX: One-Shot by Jelani Wilson

Phobos, Mars, terraformed dome life, juveniles, academy, YA, escape, bio-weapons, military scifi, Ender, Octavia

Rebellion, anti-authoritarian, outwitting authority


Manhunters by Kalamu ya Salaam

Matriarchal tribal societies, infertility, Octavia, attempted escape, zero population growth, trial, pregnancy, amazonian, men as chattel

Forgiveness, steadfastness, respect


Aftermath (excerpt) by LeVar Burton

Scientists, Parkinson’s Disease, cancer cure, slaves, skin, organ harvesting, conspiracy, Octavia

Greed, contempt, brutality, empathy


Fire On the Mountain (excerpt) by Terry Bisson

Alternate history, war of independence 2, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, William Douglas, Mars, Socialist revolution, New Africa, civil war, Octavia

Socialism, equality, civil rights


Homing Instinct by Dani McClain

Global warming, population displacement, government control, Octavia

Human rights, freedom, resistance


Children Who Fly by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Nuclear war, aftermath, rape, Octavia, cooperative economics, weakened ozone shield, transformative justice healing circles, the spirit plane

Liberation, metamorphosis, survival