Octavia Butler was a science fiction writer and the first African American to win the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. Oactavia was a true brainiac who created a number of fictional short stories and novels. Her works include: Patternmaster, Mind of my Mind, Survivor, Kindred, Wild Seed, Clay's Ark, Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago, and Parable of the Sower, as well as a collection of her shorter work, entitled Bloodchild.
She's also had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. One, "Speech Sounds," won a Hugo Award as best short story of 1984. Another, "Bloodchild," won both the 1985 Hugo and the 1984 Nebula awards as best novelette. Themes of both racial and sexual ambiguity are apparent throughout her work.
Octavia Butler passed away from a stroke on February 24, 2006 in her home in Lake Forest Park, Washington at the tender age of 58. The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship was established in Butler's memory in 2006 by the Carl Brandon Society. Its goal is to provide an annual scholarship to enable writers of color to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops where Butler got her start. The first scholarships were awarded in 2007.