[SFRA-L] Octavia Butler and Zombies

Joan Slonczewski slonczewski at kenyon.edu
Fri Mar 18 17:38:41 EDT 2011

I was interested to read the thoughtful articles in Extrapolation on 
Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis, by Jessie Stickgold-Sarah, and on the 
Zombie Narrative, by Gerry Canavan. Both pieces aimed to explain what's 
going on in these narratives of estrangement and salvation/annihilation. 
In fact, together they show intriguing parallels; in each case, a 
detestable race of "other" inexorably "erases" the familiar human; 
through superior intellect (the Oankali) or despite zero intellect (the 
zombie). Both themes tap fears deep within our fast-changing society.

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