Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Story of Doro and Anyanwu

I'm reading Wild Seed by Octavia Butler. I've never heard of Ms. Butler, but then I see this book on a Pixel of Ink special deal listing. I have to confess, it sounds intriguing.

From the Book Description on Amazon:

When two immortals meet in the long-ago past, the destiny of mankind is changed forever

For a thousand years, Doro has cultivated a small African village, carefully breeding its people in search of seemingly unattainable perfection. He survives through the centuries by stealing the bodies of others, a technique he has so thoroughly mastered that nothing on Earth can kill him. But when a gang of New World slavers destroys his village, ruining his grand experiment, Doro is forced to go west and begin anew.

He meets Anyanwu, a centuries-old woman whose means of immortality are as kind as his are cruel. She is a shapeshifter, capable of healing with a kiss, and she recognizes Doro as a tyrant. Though many humans have tried to kill them, these two demi-gods have never before met a rival. Now they begin a struggle that will last centuries and permanently alter the nature of humanity.

I read the first two chapters and it's not exactly what I'm expecting , but it's interesting, so I want to keep reading. I have no idea that Octavia E. Butler has often been referred to the "grand dame of science fiction." I guess she and Ursula K. Le Guin were groundbreakers. I wonder if they knew each other. Ms. Le Guin was eighteen years older than Ms. Butler, but it's hard to imagine that they didn't cross paths once or twice. Two incredible women.

I think what fascinates me about the book description is the contrast between the characters: kind and cruel; and their immortality. It will be interesting to see how Ms. Butler portrays these character qualities in her story.

I tell you, I love to discover new authors, even when they are only new to me. The lovely thing about digital books is the ease with which readers can discover writers like Ms. Butler.