“It’s tentacle monsters, not Terry McMillan.”

cute tentacle monsterOur friends at Clutch shouted out the Book Club – to somewhat hilarious ends.

I saw this comment and just about fell out with laughter.

sci-fi writer
JULY 1, 2011 AT 10:28 PM
I am happy to see so many women getting interested in the male-dominated sci-fi genre. Octavia Butler is a great writer and I have enjoyed her works myself. I would like to offer some warning, however. Before you read Octavia Butler believing it to be “Their Eyes Were Watching God” in space, you should know that Octavia Butler was a good -science fiction- writer. That means her works may have some really weird stuff in it. For example, one of her books describes humanity being assimilated by an alien race that must have 3-way sex with a tentacle monster in order to reproduce. The book was riveting and very well-written though. I just wanted to give the ladies a heads up. “The Parable of the Sower” did read like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” set in the year 2050 (I couldn’t get into it), but some of her works read like typical, fantasy, space opera, science fiction stories. Octavia Butler was an exceptional Black writer who blazed a trail for science fiction writers like myself to follow. If, however, you don’t like weird stuff, be wary.

Remember: It’s tentacle monsters, not Terry McMillan.

(Image Credit: Selling Out for Fun and Profit)

(Back story on the image: Okay, so I put in “tentacle monster” to see what popped up – and yes y’all, I know exactly what was gonna appear on my home computer – and this cute little thing came up. Since I was resigned to an image of something mildly pornified, imagine my delight to find this cute little thing. Then I checked to see what it is. It’s called Rape-kun. O_o. So then I’m trying to figure out what the hell that’s all about, and apparently it’s a gag in a webcomic called Errant Story and spin off series called Fun with Familiars. In the ES wiki, it’s described like this: “Rape-kun is Bani Igaaru’s familiar. He is a small, pink, “affectionate” micro-tentacle monster that enjoys sitting on Bani’s head. Despite the fact that Bani is a schoolgirl, Rape-kun does not, in fact, live up to his name. He was apparently protected by a password, which Bani did not know back during her days at Sashi Mu Academy of Thaumaturgy and Conjuration, that enables his “adult mode;” it hasn’t been revealed whether or not this state of affairs has changed since Bani’s graduation.” So I have no idea as to the appropriateness of using this image, but it’s gonna have to work at the moment.)

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  • http://OctaviaButler.net Ayana

    Amanda you raise a good point. You may want to have your antenna up for when things are starting to get bad and be ready to skip a paragraph or a page. Octavia’s books are all about power and gender. So there are definitely scenes of nonconsent.

  • Anonymous

    Aww, fuck.

    This is gonna be a tough one then. One of the themes that is present in Butler’s work is sex and consent. There are rape scenes. There are scenes that may or may not be rape depending on your ideas of consent. There is consent under duress that may or may not bloom into actual consent. It’s complicated as hell.

    So I’m going to need to think about this more, each novel so far has had a scene where consent and sex come up.

    • http://lovelettersinhell.blogspot.com/ Amanda

      What’s worse is how some of the questionable consent scenes end up with very stockholm syndromey conclusions.

      Also, I predict people flipping their shit over Fledgling.

    • Juan


      And when I recall all the works of her I’ve read those themes are mahors ones that come up, especially during scenes involving power dynamics. And it probably becomes even less clear cut to think about when you in non-human aliens that though they have control over humans in some fashion still rely on humans (even reproductively) for their own survival.

  • http://transitionsandtransgressions.wordpress.com Xeginy

    Well it’s good to know that that commenter was trying to protect the poor ladies from the very un-ladylike sex scenes.

    Seriously, though, Octavia Butler is a fantastic writer, and I love her books.

    • Lyonside

       Exactly, I’m kind of pissed at the opening statement. “I am happy to see so many women getting interested in the male-dominated
      sci-fi genre.”

      I have 2 X Chromosomes. I was raised on the original Twilight Zone, STOS, Star Wars, and V. I started reading Asimov and cLarke, but they were …. limited… when it came to female characters, so I found my way to McCafferty (Problematic, yeah, but better), and Butler, and Lackey, and MZB, and Hobb, and Kushner. And I’m SOOO not alone.

      If sci-fi/fantasy oriented boys didn’t notice us before, maybe it’s because we didn’t look so great in a gold mesh bikini and so were invisible… but only TO THEM.

  • Big Man

    The Parable of the Sower is one of my favorite books by Butler. I like her vision of how a post-apocalyptic California would look. I found it very interesting.