Octavia E. Butler, considered the first black woman to gain national prominence as a science fiction writer, died after falling and striking her head on the cobbled walkway outside her home, a close friend said. She was 58.
A friend and colleague, Leslie Howle, noted that Bulter’s work explored issues like race, poverty, politics, and religion. “She stands alone for what she did,” Howle said.
One of Butler’s many awards was from the MacArthur Foundation (the “genius” award); she was the first science fiction writer to be granted the honor.