Unexpected Stories

Unexpected Stories Two never before published stories from the archives of one of science fiction s all time mastersThe novella A Necessary Being showcases Octavia E Butler s ability to create alien yet fully believable

  • Title: Unexpected Stories
  • Author: Octavia E. Butler
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Two never before published stories from the archives of one of science fiction s all time mastersThe novella A Necessary Being showcases Octavia E Butler s ability to create alien yet fully believable others Tahneh s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern WhenTwo never before published stories from the archives of one of science fiction s all time mastersThe novella A Necessary Being showcases Octavia E Butler s ability to create alien yet fully believable others Tahneh s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer and living the rest of her life alone.The second story in this volume, Childminder, was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary and never published anthology The Last Dangerous Visions A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price.

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      254 Octavia E. Butler
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      Posted by:Octavia E. Butler
      Published :2019-02-03T18:10:54+00:00

    One thought on “Unexpected Stories

    1. Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

      I'm a HUGE Octavia Butler fan. In fact, her books were my first intro to queer lit of any kind and really defined my expectations for sci-fi. I think she was an unparallelled thinker, and I was devastated when I learned that she has passed years before I started reading her stuff. The idea that I would never get a new book from her was maddening. When I saw that a new collection of her stories was coming out, I almost cried I was so happy. A Necessary Being- 4.5 starsThis story reminds me of eve [...]

    2. Nnedi

      It's Octavia Butler sounding very Octavia Butler-esque. That in itself warrants five stars. That said, in my opinion, these aren't Octavia at her best. I found the first story, "A Necessary Being", was fascinating and thought-provoking. Again, Octavia explores ideas of hierarchy, communication and relationships, something I've always loved about herbut when you have characters with blue skin, I couldn't help thinking of the Navi and Krishna. That's not a bad thing by definition but for this stor [...]

    3. Althea Ann

      Just two stories but one is a novella. And, as the title indicates, these stories were indeed 'unexpected,' after Butler tragically passed away in 2006. I was more than delighted to have the opportunity to read anything else from her pen'A Necessary Being'The title phrase is one often used in philosophical arguments for the existence of a god (Aquinas' 'Argument of Necessity.') However, here the being in question is a tribal leader. The people we're introduced to here have a social hierarchy bas [...]

    4. Megan Baxter

      A large part of the reason I picked up a particular Humble Bundle was because it included several Octavia Butler books, including the two Parables, one of which I'd read, and one of which I hadn't. I wasn't sure what Unexpected Stories would be, but my general theory is that if it's Butler, I'm in.Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbo [...]

    5. Wendy

      American novelist Walter Mosley opens this short story collection by expressing exactly how I feel about the loss of Octavia E. Butler and how it feels to find these stories so long after that loss. She was a woman who defied convention on every level to give us incredible, award winning stories; all of which feature prominently on my bookshelf. That isn't to say that I blindly love all of her work. But I do love the mind behind them. My introduction to her work was Lilith's Brood: Contains the [...]

    6. Karl

      What a joy to find this small collection from an author untimely ripped from us. Octavia Butler wrote brave, beautiful stories and thought-provoking novels. I miss her.The biographical notes and photos are a nice addition here.

    7. Melissa

      Two little short stories that were found in the authors paperwork after her passing. I enjoyed both and wish there were more.

    8. Melanti

      I don't always enjoy reading Butler's work - actually, I usually DON'T like her books - but I love the way they make me think and challenge me to look at things in a new way, and I never feel like I've wasted my time.Unfortunately, these two stories aren't nearly as meaty or uncomfortable, and they didn't challenge me at the same level that her novels do. I'm not sure if this is because they're from early on in her career or because they're short form, (Shame on me, I haven't read Bloodchild yet [...]

    9. ambyr

      Fascinating glimpses into Butler's evolution as an author. Themes she would later use with more subtlety--biological imperatives, assimilation versus separatism, the cycle of violence--are laid bare here.(It makes me want to reread Survivor, which I last read probably 15 years ago, to trace the path between it and its proto-prequel, included here.)

    10. Sarah

      This woman was a genius - you'll want to have read Survivor and Mind of My Mind to appreciate this one.

    11. Mike

      The late Octavia Butler wrote brilliant, challenging science fiction along more or less the same lines as Ursula Le Guin: the speculations are often anthropological, and she's fascinated by how people interact. I read one of her Xenogenesis novels years ago, and have to admit that I haven't read anything else by her since (up until this volume), because I found it the kind of powerful, disturbing book that I can only read occasionally. I was excited to hear, though, that a couple of her unpublis [...]

    12. Eve

      I read this with such bittersweet feelings. On the one hand, so excited that stories by perhaps my favorite science fiction author had been discovered posthumously; on the other hand, so sad because (a) there are only two stories and (b) this is really it - no more from this source ever. sigh. But, I so enjoyed them, especially the first story. Completely unique, as you would expect from Butler. The second story felt more familiar, as it was concerned with the issue of psi abilities, something s [...]

    13. Beverly

      As I am not a big fan of short forms of fiction - so of course I wanted more. :)But I am thankful to be able to read these stories.While reading them I could see Ms. Butler's mind - and could see how these stories flushed out in her novels. When you are done reading you will want to re-read all of your favorite Octavia Butler books.This book and a glass of wine was a wonderful treat on a stormy humid night.

    14. Chris

      Before Octavia Butler’s unfortunate and unexpected death in 2007, her single short story collection, Bloodchild and Other Stories, had already been augmented in 2003, adding two new stories and a series of afterwords by the author about each story. You can read my review elsewhere. In 2012, Butler's executor was going through her papers in search of one more story. Butler has mentioned in several interviews that the first two stories she sold were “Crossover,” in 1971, to Robert Scott Wils [...]

    15. Colleen826

      The first of the two stories is my favorite, purely because of its length. Set on another planet with a terrain similar to the Earth’s, “A Necessary Being” is about a vulnerable group of people, the Kohn, who have splintered into warring tribes. At the head of each tribe is a bright blue Hao, a semi-deity with unparalleled fighting skills and acumen (Avatar inspiration, anyone?). The head of the Rohkohn tribe is Tahneh, a middle-aged female who has been unable to provide her people with a [...]

    16. Kelly Kuwabara

      This is a novella, "A Necessary Being," and a short story, "Childfinder." It's good strong classic science fiction and classic Octavia Butler as well. They are early works and not as developed as some of her other work - I thought that the last fifth or so of "A Necessary Being" slowed a bit, rather than building, and was also just a little pat. But I love Octavia Butler's work in general, and it's very recognizable in this novella - her knack for creating well-drawn alien races and for imaginin [...]

    17. Taneka

      I wish there were more of Childminder. I liked the concept. It reminded me of The Darkest Minds, which I loved. I was very happy to read the prequel to Survivor in A Necessary Being. I hope they find more "lost" story by Butler. She was brilliant in her work.

    18. Antonio Urias

      This review and others are available on my blog. Octavia E. Butler was a Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of a number of series including Patternist, Xenogenesis, and Parable, as well as a many other stand alone novels and short stories. Unexpected Stories is a posthumous collection of two previously unpublished novellas—"A Necessary Being" and "Childfinder.""A Necessary Being" is the longer of the two works and creates a strange, yet recognizable, alien world after the fall of a great civ [...]

    19. Juushika

      These are two of Butler's early works, written in the 1970s (before her published work) but only published posthumously. As a result, Butler's writing--which is frequently workmanlike--is especially stiff here, most obviously in the action sequences. But these stories are a fascinating insight into the themes Butler would return to throughout her work, and her first efforts to balance speculative worldbuilding, power dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and plot. The effort is occasionally une [...]

    20. Victoria Law

      In much the same way that I loved Butler's written explanation about "Speech Sounds" as much as I loved "Speech Sounds," I loved the afterword by Butler's agent Merrilee Heifetz, in which she described finding Butler's long-lost story, almost as much as I loved both stories. Butler, according to Heifetz, was a "pack rat" and, when she donated her papers to the Huntington Library, archiving was a tremendous and time-consuming task. Heifetz describes visiting the library where Natalie Russell, the [...]

    21. LindaJ^

      What a treat to read these two recently discovered works by Octavia Butler, one of my favorite sci fi authors. They were not as polished as her published work but did show the uniqueness of a Butler work. The first is novella length, while the second is a short story. I enjoyed the novella but it is the short story that has stayed with me. I had just finished The Whole Man by John Bruner and the contrast in how Butler handled the telepathy angle was stark. If you are a Butler fan, these works ar [...]

    22. Janet

      These stories make it clear that from her earliest days Octavia Butler had a gift for creating new types of characters -- some human, some not -- who were very alien but still approachable. As a novella and short story, these works don't have the richness of her novels, but they are still well worth reading.

    23. Kim Wong

      I had never read any stories by Octavia E. Butler before, and now I feel like I've missed an entire branch of science fiction. Butler creates expansive worlds with very little text, and she's able to drop us into science fiction allegories with ease.

    24. Michele

      Octavia Butler was such a genius. "A Necessary Being" is just a great novella. Several contemporary fantasy books came to mind as I reading it, but Butler's story is better.

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