NASA announced they would informally redesignate the Mars rover’s landing site inside Jezero Crater on Friday (March 5), during the same press conference where the agency revealed Perseverance made its first drive on Mars.
Butler was the first African American woman to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards that honor great science fiction, and the first science fiction writer overall who received a MacArthur Fellowship. Her notable work includes the stories “Kindred,” “Bloodchild,” “Speech Sounds,” “Parable of the Sower,” “Parable of the Talents,” and the “Patternist” series. She died in 2006.
A practical aunt counselled her that “Negroes” couldn’t be writers. Yet although Butler had “never read a printed word that I knew to have been written by a Black person,” she was undeterred. “Positive obsession is about not being able to stop just because you’re afraid and full of doubts,” she wrote in a 1989 essay for Essence. “Positive obsession is dangerous. It’s about not being able to stop at all.”
She was a library-dweller, a writer of affirmations, an aficionada of self-hypnosis, and a diligent apprentice at her craft. After she’d earned an associate’s degree at Pasadena City College, she enrolled in workshops that competed for time with gigs like telephone solicitor and potato-chip inspector. (Sometimes she woke up at 2 a.m. to write before work.) Her career has been as inspiring as her books for the writers who consider themselves—to crib the title of adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha’s 2015 anthology—“Octavia’s Brood.”
The first story Butler sold,“Childfinder,” was written for a workshop led by Harlan Ellison, in 1971. A vignette about a racial schism in a clandestine organization of telepaths, it looked ahead to the series of novels that inaugurated her literary career, though five difficult years passed before her first book, “Patternmaster,” was published. A down-and-out L.A. haunts the periphery of her fiction: factory workers with abusive lovers, fights on city buses, killings in a city whose inhabitants suddenly lose the ability to speak. The volatile bonds of desperate people living and working in close quarters seem to have provided a model for telepathy in her fiction, an ability that tortures its adepts with the mental noise of others’ pain. Empathy, in her work, is often less a virtue than a vulnerability or a weapon.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.