Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

About Octavia, Pt. 1

Last year, I started a blog called Angi + Octavia all about me and my adventures with my (then) new bike. I've decided to fold that other blog and just write everything here from this point forward. But I did want to share this post wrote last year from the old blog with you, which is all about how Octavia got her name.

Science fiction literature fans might know who Octavia Butler is, but others may not so I thought I'd write a bit about this woman who inspires me so much, and who I decided to name my bike after in honor and remembrance of her great spirit.

Butler was born in 1947 in Pasadena, CA, an only child named after her mother. At age 7 her father passed away, so Octavia was mostly raised by her mother and grandmother. According to her, Octavia always felt awkward. She was tall for her age, was extremely shy, and was bullied constantly in school. This led her to spend large amounts of time in her local library, reading and writing.

As her skills with writing began to grow, Octavia found SFF a natural match for her exploration of ideas on remaking society for the better. Her stories often featured diverse communities and characters, and centered Black female protagonists as the ones who led society's massive shifts towards a better world. She was the winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, and she was the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur Fellowship.

I find a lot of inspiration in Butler's work, particularly when thinking about the way she saw special potential in Black women as leaders, and her insight on how nature and sustainability are inextricably entwined with human longevity. She was a visionary, and I'm so pleased to see her work finally receive the mainstream accolades that it deserve. I got to meet Butler back in 1999/2000 or so, and she was lovely - with a deep voice and gentle, shy, kind spirit.

If you've never read any of her work and are curious to learn more about Butler, this is a great primer on where to start.