Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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New Introduction by GLORIA STEINEM 

Parable of the Sower is the Butlerian odyssey of one woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doubly dehumanized. The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an 18-year-old black woman with the hereditary trait of "hyperempathy"—which causes her to feel others’ pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown.

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“Gripping... poignant... succeeds on multiple levels.”

“Literate... thoughtful. And a real gut-wrencher."”

“A powerful story of hope and faith in the midst of urban violence and decay... Excellent science fiction and a parable of modern society.”

“A prophetic odyssey.”

“Simple, direct, and deeply felt.”

“Artfully conceived and elegantly written.”

“There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader.”

blog — March 02

The President Who Already Made America Great Again



He’s irascible. He’s disingenuous. He’s a demagogue, a rabble-rouser and a hypocrite. He condemns hate crimes, but in such mild language that his condemnations stand as tacit approval. He has charisma and clear blue eyes. He wants to Make America Great Again. You all know who we’re talking about. It’s President . . . Jarret?

You may have heard that a prophetic dystopian novel from 1998 anticipated the Trump Presidency. It's been noted by Fusion, The Huffington Post, Bitch Media, Esquire, Book Riot, and even Business Insider. Well that novel, Octavia Butler’s magnificent The Parable of the Talents, is now back on the shelves, in a beautiful re-issue featuring cover art from Paul Lewin and a new introduction by Toshi Reagon. We’re also re-issuing the first book of the duology, The Parable of the Sower, with a new introduction from Gloria Steinem. And for your enjoyment, or horror, which ever seems more appropriate, here is a paragraph illustrating the Jarret/Trump parallels below:

“Jarret condemns the burnings, but does so in such mild language that his people are free to hear what they want to hear. As for the beatings, the tarring and feathering, and the destruction of “heathen houses of devil-worship,” he has a simple answer: “Join us! Our doors are open to every nationality, every race! Leave your sinful past behind, and become one of us. Help us to make America great again.” He’s had notable success with this carrot-and-stick approach. Join us and thrive, or whatever happens to you as a result of your own sinful stubbornness is your problem. His opponent Vice President Edward Jay Smith calls him a demagogue, a rabble-rouser, and a hypocrite. Smith is right, of course, but Smith is such a tired, gray shadow of a man. Jarret, on the other hand, is a big, handsome, black-haired man with deep, clear blue eyes that seduce people and hold them. He has a voice that’s a whole-body experience . . . .”—From Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Talents

PS: Both these books are 25% off list price when you buy them direct from our site!

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A writer who imagined the dark future we have chosen for ourselves in book after book, Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of late twentieth century fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Genius Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community’s top prizes, including the Nebula and Hugo Awards. Not merely a prophet of dystopia, Butler also wrote of the ways human beings might subvert their dismal destiny. “I write about people who do extraordinary things,” Butler has said, “it just turns out that it was called science fiction.” Her novels and stories have reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only prominent African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path. The Octavia E. Butler Scholarship was established in her memory in 2006, providing scholarships for young people of color to attend the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, where Butler herself began writing science fiction.