Two newly-discovered Octavia Butler stories are coming out this summer! “A Necessary Being” and “Childfinder” will be compiled in a single volume titled Unexpected Stories. The ebook will be released by Open Road Media on June 24, and will feature an introduction from Walter Mosley, who previously praised the author’s novel Kindred as “everything the literature of science fiction can be.”
ABC News, quoting Open Road Media, reports:
“A Necessary Being” tells of how the leaders of two ancient tribes “must broker a delicate peace to ensure that their peoples are to survive.” In “Childfinder,” a young woman “locates children with budding psionic powers and teaches them to protect themselves from society.”
The stories, which were written in the early 1970s, were discovered by Butler’s agent, Merrilee Heifetz, among the author’s papers at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.
Butler, who passed away in 2006 at age 58, won multiple Nebula and Hugo awards over the course of her career. In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” and was posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2010. These stories, coming so early in her career, should offer a fascinating window into her growth as an artist—as Walter Mosley says in his introduction: “like looking at a photograph of a child who you only knew as an adult.” We can’t wait to read them!