All posts by Laura Major


To be honest, I had never heard of Octavia Butler before signing up for this class. To be really honest, I had never even read much science fiction. “Science fiction? That sounds cool. Sign me up!” was my thought process. I did not know what to expect, so I didn’t really expect anything specific. I am not sure what I hoped for in regards to the material; I just hoped as usual that the class would be an open environment for discussion and exploration of whatever material we encountered. As for questions, my only real question was “Who is Octavia Butler?” Continue reading Reflections

“Self-Reliance” and Parable of the Talents

You all know how I feel about Lauren’s quest to start a new religion and gain followers. But, I am not so stubborn as to overlook and appreciate the philosophical intellect she offers. This particular segment stands out to me:

“I don’t know how to do it. That scares me to death sometimes – always feeling driven to do something I don’t know how to do. But I’m learning as I go along. And I’ve learned that I have to be careful how I talk about all this, even to Acorn. Bankole isn’t the only one of us who doesn’t see the possibility of doing anything he hasn’t seen done by others.”

Right away I connected this idea to one presented in an essay by the brilliant Ralph Waldo Emerson. In the first paragraph, he states: Continue reading “Self-Reliance” and Parable of the Talents

Connection Between Lauren Olamina and MSNBC

Upon turning on the TV tonight, I came across the live news coverage of the current situation in Baltimore, MD. As I’m sure many of you know, there have been riots and protests there following the unjust death of Freddie Gray which was a result of brutal police actions. On the news, one of the captions on the bottom of the screen read: ” ‘Criminals’ started fire outside of library.”  Continue reading Connection Between Lauren Olamina and MSNBC

A Fatal Opportunity

A thought occurred to me this week during class discussion. The conversation was centering around the what-if scenario of the ability of humans to move to another planet. We were also talking about the way humans treat the earth now as if it is just a bottomless pit of “resources” rather than a planet and an actual home to other creatures. As Dr. McCoy put it, we are strip-mining the planet. Continue reading A Fatal Opportunity


As we have now read multiple stories by Octavia Butler, it is strongly evident that much of the same themes reoccur throughout her works. Now, it is obvious that Butler wants to challenge her readers, but I personally have reached a point where I have become nearly blinded by my own judgment of the characters. Not only the characters themselves, but their way of life. It seems that their lives revolve (especially in the Seed to Harvest novels) around breeding, mating, and reproducing (and oftentimes this is either ordered or forced). There appears to be little to no actual enjoyment of life and of pursuing endeavors that are of the individual’s own will. Continue reading Repellent

Height in Fledgling

Throughout Fledgling, one of the prominent points (although the purpose of which remains unclear) is that Shori is short, or small. In the first chapter it is revealed that she possesses the body of what looks like a ten or eleven year old. This small body is contrasting to her vivacious and bold character. Her strength exceeds that of most adults; her bravery appears to be everlasting. And it brings an interesting (if not baffling) twist into the mix when it is revealed that Shori is a fifty-three year old woman. Continue reading Height in Fledgling

The “Scentsy” Sex

During last week’s class discussion regarding the question of what brings people together, many interesting thoughts and ideas were presented. Common interests, proximity, power, and even chance were amongst the several suggestions. But perhaps even more baffling than what brings large groups of people together is what brings two individual people – often out of a diverse group full of countless pairing possibilities – together for what (as Dr. McCoy so eloquently put it) “the sexy sex?” Continue reading The “Scentsy” Sex