Recently I've been reading a lot of YA speculative fiction because that's where much of the energy seems to be in the genre right now. There's some good stuff out there too. Then I recently reread Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed and shortly after that picked up Lilith's Brood as part of my reading more Octavia Butler in 2010 intention. Oh revelation. Like sitting down with a really great bottle of wine after a couple of years of drinking fruit juice.
This is what science fiction for grownups looks like. Intellectually and emotionally challenging explorations of the really big questions. What does it mean to be human? Is being human even something worth holding onto?
I also just love Butler's prose. Its like a clear pane of glass between me and her ideas. Its never up in my face saying oh look at how clever I am with my pretty similes and metaphors. Instead it lets me pretend I am just hearing and seeing the story in my own mind's eye courtesy of an almost invisible narrator. I've tried to write a thing or two, I know just how difficult it is to get out of your reader's way, and she makes it seem effortless. Beautiful work.