Science Fiction Event Features Octavia Butler

On Campus, April 1, 2002 Vol. 26, No.6

Attention science fiction fans: First College will present "Envisioning the Future: Utopia, Dystopia and Beyond," featuring several appearances by renowned science fiction writers Octavia Butler, on Wednesday and Thursday, April 10 and 11. All events are free and open to the public.

The highlight of the week is a public lecture by Butler on April 11 at 7 p.m. in Mather Mansion. Space is limited; to reserve your seat, call 687-4659.

In addition, numerous book discussions, multimedia events, films, and other events leading up to Butler's appearance are being held at libraries, bookstores, and community spaces throughout Greater Cleveland.

"Envisioning the Future" is co-sponsored by Femspec, CSU students through student fees, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Creative Writing Program, and the Office of Minority Affairs and Community Relations.

Science Fiction investigates various kinds of crossroads at which humanity finds itself in this moment in history. What are the implications of being able to control our own nature and evolution, of integrating electronic networks into human organizations, of the ever more efficient extraction of the natural resources of our planet, and of the confrontations between different cultures?

"Envisioning the Future: Utopia, Dystopia and Beyond" will present some of these themes as they are embodied in various artistic genres. Participants will be able to see the sights and hear the sounds of possible futures. Emphasis will be placed upon how our thinking about the past and present and our visions of the future shape our lives, creative work and actions of the present.

For information of a complete schedule of events, call 687-4659. Selected events include:

• Discussion of Parable of the Sower, Chester Building 258, Wednesday, April 3, noon.

• Film Screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tuesday, April 9, 7:30 p.m., Music and Communication 107

• Book signing by Octavia Butler, Joseph Beth Booksellers, Shaker Square, Wednesday, April 10, 7 p.m.

• Public lecture by Octavia Butler, Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m., Mather Mansion, call 687-4659 for reservations.

• Open Classes with Octavia Butler, CSU's Studio Theater, Thursday, April 11, 10 a.m.-noon, "The Amazon Archetype in Women's Science Fiction" and 1-3 p.m. discussion and videotaped interview with Butler on African American naming in her fiction.

`7thCurefortheImperfectParallel, a futuristic play, Friday, April 12, 8 p.m., Factory Theater.

We Who We Are About, Saturday, April 18, 8 p.m., Factory Theater. A creative collaboration between Cleveland experimental electronic and traditional musicians.

[Small insert within this article featuring a picture of Octavia Butler and the following]

Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler is a 53-year old African American woman whose writing has garnered her top science fiction honors, including several Hugo and Nebula Awards given by fellow science fiction writers.

Since 1976, she has published 11 novels, an award-winning book of short stories, and numerous other short stories and essays. In 1995 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship; in 1999, Parable of the Sower won The New York Times "Notable Book of the Year" and in 2000, she received a "Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing" from PEN, along with the Nebula Award for best novel of 2000.

The compelling nature of her work has encouraged academics to launch critical studies central to her subject matter and has earned her huge support among readers of science fiction, women's studies and black studies, and popular fiction. She credits her success to the Clarion Science Fiction Writer's Workshop.