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Wild Seed [Hardcover]

Octavia E. Butler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1980
Back in print after five years, this is award-winning Octavia Butler's thrilling paternist novel about a reincarnate and a healer who travel together through exotic lands and centuries of time. Advertising in Locus, Science Fiction Chronicle and Amazing. Reissue.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Octavia E. Butler was the first black woman to come to international prominence as a science fiction writer. Incorporating powerful, spare language and rich, well-developed characters, her work tackled race, gender, religion, poverty, power, politics, and science in a way that touched readers of all backgrounds. Butler was a towering figure in life and in her art and the world noticed; highly acclaimed by reviewers, she received numerous awards, including a MacArthur "genius" grant, both the Hugo and Nebula awards, the Langston Hughes Medal, as well as a PEN Lifetime Achievement award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great introduction to an amazing author... April 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a thoroughly enjoyable stand-alone novel with well-developed characters and a frightening premise: two immortals with roots in Africa go to America to build communities of people with superhuman powers. The more manipulative of the immortals is named Doro, and his immortality is based on death and destruction (he must possess and kill the bodies of others in order to sustain his deathless life). The other immortal, Anyanwu, is diametrically opposed to this kind of behavior, as her powers are based on an innate understanding of life (she is able to understand and manipulate each of her tissues and bacteria living within her body, and so she is able to halt aging and even shape change). Anyanwu is thus also able to sustain the lives of others since she is so in-tune with biological organisms that she can create cures for those without her special abilities. Thus, she bases her life in raising tribes of moral people around her, who she can help and protect, while Doro raises people as if they are livestock, to feed his hunger for the souls of others. Yet, Doro and Anyanwu do have one irresistible bond: they both know that their loved ones will inevitably die, but they will be doomed to live forever. Wild Seed is therefore essentially a character study of the relationship between these two very strange, yet strangely familiar, characters who hate and love each other at the same time for very good reasons.
This was the first Octavia Butler book I ever read. Now that I have read several of her other novels, I can easily say that this one is my favorite so far, but some of her others come close. If you enjoy this book, read her Lilith's Brood series; it is similarly based on genetics and biology as a background to incredible happenings.
Butler certainly rivals the likes of Orson Scott Card and others in creating believable, sympathetic, flawed characters; highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different ways to be a mutant April 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good book; several layers of reference, including gender dynamics, the Old Testament, and even a touch of the conflict between vampires and werewolves.
This particular edition has an irritating frequency of editorial errors (duplicated lines, wrong words, wrong letters), which I found distracting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Now a O. Butler fan Feb. 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wild Seed was the first of her books read. After reading WS I was HOOKED. I ran out and bought the Xenogenesis series. The follow ups to WS and the only Parable book they had. I also found Kindred on EBay and bought that one as well.
This was one of the best Sci-Fi books I've ever read. It left me wanting more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!!! Jan. 30 2004
By smayo
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is probably one of my favorite books of all time! I've re-read it at least 3 times now and everytime that I do, I just get lost in the world that Octavia Butler created. Each time that I get to the end of the book, I feel a sense of loss (how will I find a new book that can so capitivate my imagination????).
I definetely recommend that you read this book - you won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest SF Novels Ever Written Nov. 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wild Seed is nothing short of outstanding. I've read it several times over the past decade, and find it more compelling each time. Butler deals with issues and ideas that are more complex than most other SF novelists ever attempt, and she pulls it off with brilliant aplomb and flourish. Her whole "Pattern" series is terrific, but Wild Seed stands apart as one of the finest SF novels ever written.
(It is true what another reviewer says, however. The ending does seem a little forced and abrupt. But it satisfies nonetheless.)
I've read everything I could find by Octavia Butler, and I've enjoyed it all immensely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy at its best... Nov. 17 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is always a delight, when reading science fiction, to come across a writer who can actually WRITE. As soon as you begin Wild Seed, you know that you are in the hands of someone who knows what she is doing. I was turned onto Octavia Butler by reading Orson Scott Card - who cites her in his book on Writing Science Fiction. The book is, in the best sense, literary.
The story reads like a version of the X-Men set in the past. Imagine Dr. X forced to marry Magneto. Doro and Anyanwu are both immortals. Anyanwu can die, but she goes on living indefinitely. Doro dies quite frequently - merely inhabiting a new body the moment he does. Therefore Doro cannot die. He finds the shape-shifting woman Anyanwu in Africa in the seventeenth century and brings her to one of his "seed villages" in America. There, he has gathered other mutants with special abilities for the purposes of breeding them in the hope that he may, one day, produce another mortal like himself.
Butler avoids many of the clichés which science fiction and fantasy are prone to. The resultant novel is a thoroughly enjoyable read with memorable characters. Things are not resolved by a tidy little shoot-out at the end.
My problem with the mass-market paperback is that, in several places, there are glaring errors: lines are repeated, etc. Wild Seed deserves a better edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ...wow. Aug. 20 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is something I don't say often...but I loved this book. Unabashedly loved it. There's nothing I didn't like about it. The writing was amazing. That wonderful type of writing that disappears as you read it and leaves nothing but the picture inside the words. The two main characters -- Doro and Anyanwu -- were fully realized and unbelievably sympathetic. I really cared about them. Few authors can manage it to the extent Butler has.
This was the first book I've ever read by her, but it won't be the last. If she had only written this one book, I could easily call her one of my favorite writers.
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