Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Octavia Butler, 1947-2006

So I dropped by Making Light and saw the link in the sidebar: "Octavia Butler, 1947-2006." What does that mean, I thought. It doesn't mean that she's dead. She's not dead. She can't be dead. It must mean something else.

I have to admit that I haven't read as much of her work as I should have. It's heavy stuff. Heady stuff. A little of it goes a long way, like strong drink. Compressed and concentrated, like coal turning into diamonds, like a white dwarf turning into a black hole.

But I find that I'm still grieving. Why is she gone, when all of these stupid people are still permitted to be walking around?

A couple weeks ago, I was pleased to learn that the man who invented LSD had his 100th birthday, and his physical and mental states are as good as can be expected from someone that age. Butler was only 58. I can't quite wish that we could have traded his lifespan for hers. But I almost can.

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