PARABLE of the SOWER BY: Octavia E. Butler 296 pp New York Aspect. $5.99 Paper ($6 who are they fooling?) $17.96 Hard Cover ($18) By: Joe Katz for ICS firstname.lastname@example.org
There is more to _Parable_ than just a good story. Octavia Butler is one of the Best Authors I've read. Every book she writes leaves you thinking about humanity. I know the genera "science fiction" turns many people off, but as Octavia Butler says, "I write stories about people; if they want to call it science fiction, they can." For _Parable_, she has won the McCarthy Genius award. This prize grants the recipient an undisclosed amount of money so the "genius" will be able to do whatever they want for three years. As far as I know, no one who has read this book has hated it. As for me, I've read it 5 times now and I'm still moved by it.
All that you touch You Change.
All that you Change Changes you.
The only lasting truth Is Change.
God Is Change
EARTHSEED: The book of the living
These passages are from the opening of _Parable_, a story of a Journey of spirit and foot. Lauren Olamina is a young African-American girl growing up in a walled-in cul-de-sac in the suburbs of Los Angeles. This cul-de-sac is your average lower middle class walled-in neighborhood. Steel gates and laser-wire, topped with broken glass. Outside the wall, starving people want in. Behind these walls, Lauren is growing up. Her father is a Baptist minister and Lauren, well, she doesn't know what she is. Outside, people are starving and they use a drug that makes burning things better than an orgasm. People are burning the cities down. LA hasn't seen rain in six years; when they finally do, it comes in a hurricane. The only people killed in the Hurricane were the poor, who had no warning and no way to get out of the city to safety. Lauren wonders how in god's eyes is it a sin to be poor. The rich have food and water. The Rich have guards against intruders. But she is not rich. Every day someone else loses a job in their neighborhood. Every year, it is harder and harder to pay the property taxes. One day, they too will be on the streets. And if that day does not come, the people outside will break in and burn their home down. Her parents, on the other hand, do not see this. They have the wall, they have guns, they have some jobs. And this is why, when the walls did break and the Pyro-freaks burned down their homes, almost no one was prepared. Lauren with the first idea of Earthseed: she begins her second journey, the first being EARTHSEED. The second journey covers the highways of California in quest of a place with jobs, in search of a place where water is not as expensive as gasoline. And on this journey she will pick up the first few members of the Church or EARTHSEED. For Lauren, the god or EARTHSEED is change. Why change? Change is an idea, not a god, right? Maybe, but with change as a god you can shape it, nay, you have a duty to shape it. Lauren was prepared to face the outside world and she shapes it to suit her. Follow Lauren on her journey of discovery, through the highways of California, through the thoughts of her mind. Find out where she goes in this brilliant paperback gem (look for a gleam on the rack).
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