Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), who won a MacArthur Genius Grant as well as Hugo and Nebula awards, was a pioneer and one of the nation's most beloved standard bearers in the realm of social science fiction.
Her novels, which include Patternmaster
and Parable of the Sower
, are well-researched and deeply thoughtful meditations on power dynamics and community building between colliding populations of humans, mentally enhanced humans, and alien species. Her strong, complex heroines have resonated with readers for decades.