Butler, Octavia E. Oct. 1995. 144p. Four Walls Eight Windows, $17 (1-56858-055-X).
Referred to as "the grande dame" of science fiction, Butler graces new mansions of thought with her eloquent, distinguished, and poignant prose. This collection of novellas and stories is quirky only in its diversity of subject matter. From what she calls her "pregnant male title story" to a sympathetic tale of incest to a bleak futuristic world of violence and nonverbal communication, Butler's imagination is strong--and so is her awareness of how to work real issues subtly into the text of her fiction. A nice addition is the afterwords that follow each story or novella. Written by Butler, they contain firsthand analysis and discussion of the impetus and influence in her own work. Although this book is little in size, its ideas and aims are splendidly large.