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I’m in grad school, a peculiar land where writers are referred to solely by their last names. However, referring to Ms. Butler as “Butler” seems wrong. To me, she is the matriarch, the woman of the science fiction house– and using just her last name doesn't honor her stature. At the same time, in US culture, fansites usually refer to the s\heroes by their first names, “Oprah” for example. However, I was raised to firstname someone only after one has explicit permission to do so. Even then, we do not firstname elders in public, and cyberspace counts as public. Nevertheless, perhaps soon I will begin to think of Octavia Butler as “Octavia”. But not yet.
I am in shock. I can’t believe that she’s gone. This morning I was procrastinating on writing a paper for one of my classes, so I picked up Parable of the Sower to get inspiration from Octavia Butler (via Olamina). Then, later, I was talking with my mom on the phone and she told me that Ms. Butler had passed.