Widely recognized as a science fiction writer, and one of a number of prominent black science fiction writers publishing in English, Octavia Butler's “work needs to be understood within the context of the traditions of the genre” of science fiction, a point Patricia Melzer makes in her book, Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought. Discussing Octavia Butler's fiction and its genre, however, means going beyond simply using the term science fiction to describe the many literary works she wrote over her prolific and decades-long career.

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