Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

This was a great read. I read it for a class on Race, Gender, and Science Fiction as part of my degrees in Queer Ethnic Studies and Racial Resistance.

Afro-futurism is a super interesting literary space with very different perspectives from mainstream science fiction.

This story was also adapted into a graphic novel. I read both.

The story follows a character who lives in a very Snow-Crash-style walled suburb amid a vast dystopian landscape. The streets outside the enclave are a lawless chaos of resource conflict and drug addiction where violent drug-fueled mobs murder people on sight to steal any resources they have.

Water and food are scarce and most people go hungry or die of thirst or contamination.

The arc of the main character is the development of her philosophy of building secure and remote communities which can grow food, manage their resources, and protect themselves from the outside world while focusing on building an internal education system to focus on rebuilding some kind of society at least locally.

I see these ideas as very closely aligned with the evolution of my own personal philosophy of futurism over the last few years. We are not far from a future like this. Unless we act now to start planning to survive it, we won’t.