Octavia E Butler Books in Order

The Octavia E Butler books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Octavia E Butler books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Earthseed Books

Parable of the Sower

Butler, Octavia E. 1993

This acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from an award-winning author "pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale" and includes a foreword by N. K. Jemisin (John Green, New York Times). When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day.

Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.

Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith .

. . and a startling vision of human destiny.

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Parable of the Talents

Butler, Octavia E. 1998

Originally published in 1998, this shockingly prescient novel's timely message of hope and resistance in the face of fanaticism is more relevant than ever.In 2032, Lauren Olamina has survived the destruction of her home and family, and realized her vision of a peaceful community in northern California based on her newly founded faith, Earthseed.

The fledgling community provides refuge for outcasts facing persecution after the election of an ultra-conservative president who vows to "make America great again." In an increasingly divided and dangerous nation, Lauren's subversive colony--a minority religious faction led by a young black woman--becomes a target for President Jarret's reign of terror and oppression.

Years later, Asha Vere reads the journals of a mother she never knew, Lauren Olamina. As she searches for answers about her own past, she also struggles to reconcile with the legacy of a mother caught between her duty to her chosen family and her calling to lead humankind into a better future.

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Publication Order of Patternmaster Books

Patternmaster

Butler, Octavia E. 1976

The Patternist is a telepathic race, commanded by the Patternmaster, whose thoughts can destroy, heal, rule. Coransee, son of the ruling Patternmaster, wants the throne and will stop at nothing to get it, including venture into the wild mutant-infested hills to destroy a young apprentice--his equal and his brother.

Previously out of print.

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Mind of My Mind

Butler, Octavia E. 1977

A young woman harnesses the power of a viral mutation and challenges the ruthless man who controls her, in this brilliantly provocative novel from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower.Mary is a treacherous experiment. Her creator, an immortal named Doro, has molded the human race for generations, seeking out those with unusual talents like telepathy and breeding them into a new subrace of humans who obey his every command.

The result is Mary: a young black woman living on the rough outskirts of Los Angeles in the 1970s, who has no idea how much power she will soon wield. Doro knows he must handle Mary carefully or risk her ending like his previous experiments: dead, either by her own hand or Doro's.

What he doesn't suspect is that Mary's maturing telepathic abilities may soon rival his own power. By linking telepaths with a viral pattern, she will create the potential to break free of his control once and for all-and shift the course of humanity.

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Survivor

Octavia E. Butler 1978
Survivor depicts the Clay's Ark disease ravaging the Earth, and Doro's telepathic descendants asserting control over what remains of humanity. One group of regular humans decides to escape Earth to a new planet, where they struggle to co-exist with the species that already lives there. Read More

Wild Seed

Butler, Octavia E. 1980

Doro is an entity who changes bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex -- or design. He fears no one -- until he meets Anyanwu. Anyanwu is a shapeshifter who can absorb bullets and heal with a kiss...and savage anyone who threatens those she loves.

She fears no one -- until she meets Doro. From African jungles to the colonies of America, Doro and Anyanwu weave together a pattern of destiny that not even immortals can imagine.

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Clay's Ark

Butler, Octavia E. 1984

A gripping tale of survival as an alien pandemic irrevocably changes humanity, from the critically acclaimed author of Parable of the Sower.In a violent near-future, Asa Elias Doyle and her companions encounter an alien life form so heinous and destructive, they exile themselves in the desert so as not to contaminate other humans.

Resisting the compulsion to infect others is mental agony, but succumbing would mean relinquishing their humanity and free will. Desperate, they kidnap a doctor and his two daughters as they cross the wasteland -- and, in doing so, endanger the world.

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Chronological Order of Patternmaster Books

Wild Seed

Butler, Octavia E. 1980

Doro is an entity who changes bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex -- or design. He fears no one -- until he meets Anyanwu. Anyanwu is a shapeshifter who can absorb bullets and heal with a kiss...and savage anyone who threatens those she loves.

She fears no one -- until she meets Doro. From African jungles to the colonies of America, Doro and Anyanwu weave together a pattern of destiny that not even immortals can imagine.

Read More

Mind of My Mind

Butler, Octavia E. 1977

A young woman harnesses the power of a viral mutation and challenges the ruthless man who controls her, in this brilliantly provocative novel from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower.Mary is a treacherous experiment. Her creator, an immortal named Doro, has molded the human race for generations, seeking out those with unusual talents like telepathy and breeding them into a new subrace of humans who obey his every command.

The result is Mary: a young black woman living on the rough outskirts of Los Angeles in the 1970s, who has no idea how much power she will soon wield. Doro knows he must handle Mary carefully or risk her ending like his previous experiments: dead, either by her own hand or Doro's.

What he doesn't suspect is that Mary's maturing telepathic abilities may soon rival his own power. By linking telepaths with a viral pattern, she will create the potential to break free of his control once and for all-and shift the course of humanity.

Read More

Clay's Ark

Butler, Octavia E. 1984

A gripping tale of survival as an alien pandemic irrevocably changes humanity, from the critically acclaimed author of Parable of the Sower.In a violent near-future, Asa Elias Doyle and her companions encounter an alien life form so heinous and destructive, they exile themselves in the desert so as not to contaminate other humans.

Resisting the compulsion to infect others is mental agony, but succumbing would mean relinquishing their humanity and free will. Desperate, they kidnap a doctor and his two daughters as they cross the wasteland -- and, in doing so, endanger the world.

Read More

Survivor

Octavia E. Butler 1978
Survivor depicts the Clay's Ark disease ravaging the Earth, and Doro's telepathic descendants asserting control over what remains of humanity. One group of regular humans decides to escape Earth to a new planet, where they struggle to co-exist with the species that already lives there. Read More

Patternmaster

Butler, Octavia E. 1976

The Patternist is a telepathic race, commanded by the Patternmaster, whose thoughts can destroy, heal, rule. Coransee, son of the ruling Patternmaster, wants the throne and will stop at nothing to get it, including venture into the wild mutant-infested hills to destroy a young apprentice--his equal and his brother.

Previously out of print.

Read More

Publication Order of Xenogenesis Books

Dawn

Butler, Octavia E. 1987

One woman is called upon to rebuild the future of humankind after a nuclear war, in this revelatory post-apocalyptic tale from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower. When Lilith lyapo wakes from a centuries-long sleep, she finds herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali.

She discovers that the Oankali—a seemingly benevolent alien race—intervened in the fate of the humanity hundreds of years ago, saving everyone who survived a nuclear war from a dying, ruined Earth and then putting them into a deep sleep. After learning all they could about Earth and its beings, the Oankali healed the planet, cured cancer, increased human strength, and they now want Lilith to lead her people back to Earth—but salvation comes at a price.

Hopeful and thought-provoking, this post-apocalyptic narrative deftly explores gender and race through the eyes of characters struggling to adapt during a pivotal time of crisis and change.

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Adulthood Rites

Butler, Octavia E. 1988

From the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower:After the near-extinction of the human race, one young man with extraordinary gifts will reveal whether the human race can learn from its past and rebuild their future . . . or is doomed to self-destruction.

In the future, nuclear war has destroyed nearly all humankind. An alien race intervenes, saving the small group of survivors from certain death. But their salvation comes at a cost. The Oankali are able to read and mutate genetic code, and they use these skills for their own survival, interbreeding with new species to constantly adapt and evolve.

They value the intelligence they see in humankind but also know that the species-rigidly bound to destructive social hierarchies-is destined for failure. They are determined that the only way forward is for the two races to produce a new hybrid species - and they will not tolerate rebellion.

Akin looks like an ordinary human child. But as the first true human-alien hybrid, he is born understanding language, then starts to form sentences at two months old. He can see at a molecular level and kill with a touch. More powerful than any human or Oankali, he will be the architect of both races' future.

But before he can carry this new species into the stars, Akin must reconcile with his own heritage in a world already torn in two.

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Imago

Butler, Octavia E. 1989
The futures of both humans and Oankali rest in one young being's successful metamorphosis into adulthood. Read More

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Kindred

Octavia E. Butler 1979

The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South.

Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

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Fledgling

Bulter, Octavia E. 2005

"A master storyteller, Butler casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty, and ignorance and lets the reader see the terror and beauty of human nature." -- The Washington Post This is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire.

Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.

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Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Bloodchild and Other Stories

Butler, Octavia E. 1995

A perfect introduction for new readers and a must-have for avid fans, this New York Times Notable Book includes "Bloodchild," winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and "Speech Sounds," winner of the Hugo Award. Appearing in print for the first time, "Amnesty" is a story of a woman named Noah who works to negotiate the tense and co-dependent relationship between humans and a species of invaders.

Also new to this collection is "The Book of Martha" which asks: What would you do if God granted you the ability—and responsibility—to save humanity from itself?Like all of Octavia Butler’s best writing, these works of the imagination are parables of the contemporary world.

She proves constant in her vigil, an unblinking pessimist hoping to be proven wrong, and one of contemporary literature’s strongest voices.

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Unexpected Stories

Octavia E. Butler 2014

This exciting collection presents two previously unpublished stories by SF legend Octavia E. Butler. A Necessary Being precedes the events of Survivor, Butler's third (famously disowned) installment in her Patternist series, and includes characters from it, focusing exclusively on the Kohn, aliens who build their social hierarchies on the blueness of their fur.

In Childfinder, a black woman with the gift of identifying children with latent psychic ability refuses to share her skill with an organization of white telepaths.

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Publication Order of Anthologies

Crucified Dreams

Lansdale, Joe R 2011

A naïve young woman witnesses a brutal murder and discovers the soul-deadening price of being a New Yorker. The family man quits smoking with the sinister assistance of a family-friendly corporation. A truck driver takes a simple shortcut and lands in a living hell and a battle to the death.

An aging Hollywood screenwriter’s career is on the wane until he reinvents himself as a less principled man.Crucified Dreams reaches down through the gutters into the shadowy depths of the imagination. These are the savage tales that unite noir with horror and the ordinary with the unfathomable.

Combing the urban, the paranormal, and the downright terrifying, these award-winning stories go where your deepest fears—and inner demons—are already realized.

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And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Octavia E Butler books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

Happy reading!


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