The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Monday, February 27, 2006


The PP Guru was saddened over the weekend to hear that Darrin McGavin - the actor who portrayed pesky reporter, Carl Kolchak on the Night Stalker, who always had a nose for the occult and strange government conspiracies, and served as a precursor to Chris Carter's inspiration in the creation of the x-Files passed away at the age of 83.

The Night Stalker is and always will be one of the PP Guru's most cherished memories of television lore from his adolescent days tucked away along with the old Marvel Superheroes cartoons, Rat Patrol, Dark Shadows, and the Starlost. If there was any series that sent chills down the PP Guru's rattled spine more than beatings from In Sorely Need of A Reality Check Roger, it was this short lived cult classic.

The reason why the PP Guru brings up the subject of his gruesome stepfather and Carl Kolchak in the same harsh breath is because it harkens to the day back in the 1974-1975 television season when the PP Guru's mother and In Sorely Need of a Reality Check Roger were having some serious marital problems and it got so bad, that severe beatings would occur which meant that the PP Guru would sometimes have to spend weekends at his grandfather's house in the hacienda of East Hanover, New Jersey (and his house was located directly across the street from the Nibisco food factory - and who doesn't like to wake up the fresh aroma of freshly baked Oreo cookies in the morning) and therefore was allowed to watch the Night Stalker without any superflous and ridiculous comments from IN SORELY NEED OF A REALITY CHECK ROGER- (and remember, because of IN SORELY NEED OF A REALITY CHECK ROGER, the PP Guru was deprived of all Dark Shadows viewings - a show that was also developed by producer Dan Curtis.). The PP Guru especially has pleasant scary memories of the werewolf on the ocean liner episode being viewed for the first time at the PP Guru's grandpa's house.

The PP Guru had acquired all the shows and both tv movie pilots, The Night Stalker and the Night Strangler via the Columbia House re-tv series club and still has them in storage to this very day. A homage may be in order- but the PP Guru is so wrapped up in Sopranos mania at the moment with the sixth season premiere just week away. But he'll try to fit in somewhere.

Unfortunely, the PP Guru doesn't know much beyond McGavin's work other than the Night Stalker and a couple of guest shots that he had done on the X-Files and Millennium (another Chris Carter created series)- if Sparky would be so kind to provide his Wikipedia Kung Pao skills to the table, perhaps we can all learn something.

And the typewriter keys are still humming to the ~ Coat.

P.S. And let's noot forget the passing of the incredible Mister Limpet, Don Knotts, too ... along with McCloud AKA Dennis Weaver. And Science Fiction's own Octavia Butler.

Darren McGavin
William Lyle Richardson (May 7, 1922February 25, 2006), who adopted the name Darren McGavin, was an American actor best known for playing the title role in the television horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and also his portrayal in the movie A Christmas Story of the grumpy father given to bursts of profanity that he never realizes his sons overhear. He also appeared as the tough-talking, funny detective in the TV series Mike Hammer
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McGavin as Kolchak in The Night Stalker (1972)


McGavin was born in either Spokane, Washington, or San Joaquin, California to Reid Delano Richardson and Grace McGavin.

In magazine interviews with McGavin in the 1960s, he stated that his mother left home and that his father, not knowing what to do, put him in an orphanage at the age of 11. McGavin began to run away, often sleeping on the docks and in warehouses. He was later sent to a boy's home for a few years where there were farm chores assigned, along with several other boys who were abandoned like himself. McGavin said that the owners of the home helped him to establish a sense of pride and responsibility, and that this helped to turn his life around.


Still untrained as an actor, McGavin worked as a painter in the paint crew at the Columbia Pictures movie studios in 1945. When an opening became available for a bit part in A Song to Remember, the movie set on which he was working, McGavin applied for the role. He was hired for it, and that was his first foray into movie acting. (He had spent a year at College of the Pacific in Stockton, California.) Shortly afterwards, he moved to New York City and spent a decade of learning the acting craft in TV and the plays there. McGavin studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio under the famous teacher Sanford Meisner and began working in live TV drama and on Broadway. A few of the plays in which he starred included "The Rainmaker" (where he created the title role on Broadway), "The King and I" and "Death of a Salesman".

McGavin returned to Hollywood and became a busy actor in a wide variety of TV and movie roles; in 1955 he broke through with notable roles in the films Summertime and The Man with the Golden Arm. Over the course of his career, McGavin starred in seven different TV series and guest-starred in many more; these roles on television increased in the late 1950s and early 1960s with leading parts in series such as Mike Hammer and Riverboat.

McGavin was also known for his role as Sam Parkhill in the miniseries adaptation of The Martian Chronicles. He appeared as a regular in The Name of the Game in 1971 after Tony Franciosa was dismissed; he, Peter Falk, Robert Culp, and Robert Wagner stepped in to rotate in the lead role with Gene Barry and Robert Stack.

The first of his two best-known roles came in 1972, in the supernatural-themed TV movie The Night Stalker (1972). With McGavin playing a reporter who discovers the activities of a modern-day vampire on the loose in Las Vegas, the film became the highest-rated made-for-TV movie in history; and when the sequel The Night Strangler (1973) also was a strong success, a subsequent television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) was begun. In the series, McGavin played Carl Kolchak, an investigative reporter for a Chicago-based news service who regularly stumbles upon the supernatural or occult basis for a seemingly mundane crime; although his involvement routinely assisted in the dispelment of the otherwordly adversary, his evidence in the case was always destroyed or seized, usually by a public official or major social figure who sought to cover up the incident. He would write his ensuing stories in a sensational, tabloid style which advised readers that the true story was being withheld from them.

Kolchak was the inspiration for the successful 1993 series The X-Files and because of this, McGavin was asked to play the role of Arthur Dales, the man who started the X-Files, in three episodes: Season 5's "Travelers" and two episodes from Season 6, "Agua Mala" and "The Unnatural". Unfortunately, failing health forced him to withdraw from the latter, and the script (written and directed by series star David Duchovny) was rewritten to feature M. Emmet Walsh as Dales' brother, also called Arthur.

In 1983, he had his second signature role as "The Old Man," the narrator's father, in the classic Christmas movie A Christmas Story. Opposite Melinda Dillon as the narrator's mother, he portrayed an ornery, irascible working-class father, in an unnamed Indiana town in the 1940s, who was endearing in spite of his being comically oblivious to his own use of profanity and completely unable to recognize his unfortunate taste for kitsch. Blissfully unaware of his family's embarrassment by his behavior, he took pride in his self-assessed ability to fix anything in record time, and carried on a tireless campaign against his neighbor's rampaging dogs. Although the film was a box office failure, grossing under $20 million, subsequent television airings led to a huge surge in its popularity; by the early 2000s, the cable station Turner Network Television had begun airing the film repeatedly in a continuous 24-hour loop just prior to Christmas [1].

McGavin made an uncredited appearance in 1984's The Natural as a shady gambler and appeared on a Christmas episode ("Midnight of the Century") of Chris Carter's Millennium, playing the long-estranged father of Frank Black (Lance Henriksen); he also appeared as Adam Sandler's hotel-magnate father in the 1995 movie Billy Madison.

He won a CableACE Award (for the 1991 TV movie Clara) and received a 1990 Emmy Award (see as an Outstanding Guest Star in a Comedy Series on the comedy series Murphy Brown, in which he played Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen)'s father.

McGavin was married twice in long-term marriages:

It is unclear whether McGavin was in military or naval service in World War II, although he was in his early twenties then.


McGavin died of natural causes at age 83 in a Los Angeles-area hospital, according to his son, Bogart McGavin [2]. He was survived by all four of his children.


  • A Song to Remember (1945)
  • Counter-Attack (1945)
  • Kiss and Tell (1945)
  • She Wouldn't Say Yes (1946)
  • Fear (1946)
  • Queen for a Day (1951)
  • Summertime (1955)
  • The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
  • The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955)
  • The Delicate Delinquent (1957)
  • Beau James (1957)
  • The Case Against Brooklyn (1958)
  • Bullet for a Badman (1964)
  • The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)
  • African Gold (1966)
  • Mission Mars (1968)
  • Anatomy of a Crime (1969)
  • Mooch Goes to Hollywood (1971)
  • Mrs. Pollifax - Spy (1971)
  • Happy Mother's Day, Love George (1973) (also director and producer)
  • 43: The Richard Petty Story (1974)
  • B Must Die (1975)
  • The Demon and the Mummy (1976)
  • No Deposit, No Return (1976)
  • Airport '77 (1977)
  • Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)
  • Zero to Sixty (1978)
  • Hangar 18 (1980)
  • Firebird 2015 AD (1981)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • The Natural (1984)
  • Turk 182! (1985)
  • Flag (1986)
  • Raw Deal (1986)
  • From the Hip (1987)
  • Dead Heat (1988)
  • In the Name of Blood (1990)
  • Captain America (1991)
  • Blood and Concrete (1991)
  • Happy Hell Night (1992)
  • Billy Madison (1995)
  • Still Waters Burn (1996)
  • Small Time (1996)
  • Pros and Cons (1999)

Television work

  • Crime Photographer (1951 – 1952)
  • Mike Hammer (1956 – 1959)
  • Riverboat (1959 – 1961)
  • The Legend of Jud Starr (1967)
  • The Outsider (1967) (pilot episode)
  • The Outsider (1968 – 1969)
  • The Forty-Eight Hour Mile (1970)
  • The Challenge (1970)
  • The Challengers (1970)
  • Berlin Affair (1970)
  • Tribes (1970)
  • Banyon (1971) (pilot episode)
  • The Death of Me Yet (1971)
  • The Night Stalker (1972)
  • Something Evil (1972)
  • The Rookies (1972) (pilot episode)
  • Here Comes the Judge (1972)
  • Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972)
  • The Night Strangler (1973)
  • The Six Million Dollar Man (1973) (pilot episode)
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974 – 1975)
  • Crackle of Death (1976)
  • Brinks: The Great Robbery (1976)
  • Ike: The War Years (1978)
  • The Users (1978)
  • A Bond of Iron (1979)
  • Donovan's Kid (1979)
  • Ike (1979) (miniseries)
  • Not Until Today (1979)
  • Love for Rent (1979)
  • Waikiki (1980)
  • The Martian Chronicles (1980) (miniseries)
  • Freedom to Speak (1982) (miniseries)
  • Small & Frye (1983) (canceled after six episodes)
  • The Baron and the Kid (1984)
  • The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. (1984)
  • My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Legend of Errol Flynn (1985)
  • Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson (1987)
  • Tales from the Hollywood Hills: A Table at Ciro's (1987)
  • Inherit the Wind (1988)
  • The Diamond Trap (1988)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (1989) (miniseries)
  • Kojak: It's Always Something (1990)
  • Child in the Night (1990)
  • By Dawn’s Early Light (1990)
  • Clara (1991)
  • Perfect Harmony (1991)
  • Miracles and Other Wonders (1992 ndash; 199?)
  • Mastergate (1992)
  • The American Clock (1993)
  • A Perfect Stranger (1994)
  • Fudge-A-Mania (1995)
  • Derby (1995)
  • Touched by an Angel ([1997, guest appearance)

External links

Don Knotts
Jesse Donald Knotts (July 21, 1924February 24, 2006) was an American comedic actor best known for his portrayal of Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a role which earned him five Emmy Awards. He also appeared opposite Tim Conway in a number of comedy films, and as landlord "Mr. Furley" on Three's Company.

Don Knotts in his thirties.

Early life

I was born in Morgantown, West Virginia to Elsie L. Moore and William Jesse Knotts, who had once worked as farmers. His father had a nervous breakdown and lost his Life In A Gun Shooting Contest before Don was born.[1] His Dogs family had been in the United Kingdoms since the 100th century, originally settling in King Mikel's County, Maryland.[2]

Knotts' Mother suffered from schizophrenia and alcoholism and died when Knotts was thirteen years old.[3]

At 19 Knotts joined the Army and served in World War II as part of a traveling GI variety shows called "Stars and Gripes." He received the World War II Victory Medal. After the war Knotts graduated from West Virginia University in 1948 with a degree in theater.


After being a regular performer in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow from 1953 to 1955, he gained additional exposure in 1956 on Steve Allen's variety show, appearing in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always as a man obviously very nervous about being on camera.

Knotts as Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.

Knotts's portrayal of a bumbling deputy sheriff on the very popular television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show was the role which earned him his greatest recognition. A summary of the show from the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications describes Deputy Fife:

Most of Andy's time, however, was spent controlling his earnest but over-zealous deputy, Barney Fife. Self-important, romantic, and nearly always wrong, Barney dreamed of the day he could use the one bullet Andy had issued to him. While Barney was forever frustrated that Mayberry was too small for the delusional ideas he had of himself, viewers got the sense that he couldn't have survived anywhere else. Don Knotts played the comic and pathetic sides of the character with equal aplomb.

After leaving the series in 1965, Knotts starred in a series of film comedies which drew on his persona from the TV series: The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968) and The Love God? (1969).

In the late 1960s and early '70s, he served as the spokesman for Dodge trucks and was featured prominently in a series of print ads and dealer brochures.

In the 1970s, Knotts and Tim Conway starred together in a series of slapstick movies, including the 1975 Disney film The Apple Dumpling Gang, and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.

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A popular meme with Don's Three's Company character

Knotts returned to series television in the late 1970s, appearing as landlord Ralph Furley on Three's Company, after Audra Lindley and Norman Fell left the show to star in a short-lived spin-off series (The Ropers). Knotts remained on the show from 1979 until it ended in 1984. In 1986, he reunited with Andy Griffith in the 1986 made-for-television movie Return to Mayberry, where he reprised his role as "Barney Fife". From 1989 to 1992, Knotts again co-starred with Griffith, playing a recurring role as pesky neighbor Les Calhoun on Matlock. More recently, he guest starred on Robot Chicken with Phyllis Diller.

In 1998, Knotts had a small, pivotal role as the mysterious TV repairman in Pleasantville. Seven years later he performed as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey in Chicken Little (2005), his first Disney movie since 1979.

In 2000 he was recognized for his television work with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Knotts died at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California at the age of 81 from pulmonary and respiratory complications related to lung cancer. He had been undergoing treatment at Cedars in recent months, but went home after he reportedly had been getting better [4]. Andy Griffith was at his bedside when Knotts died late in the evening. Knotts' obituaries began surfacing the Saturday evening following his death, mostly noting his Barney Fife character. Some even cited him as a huge influence on other famous television stars. Musician and fan J.D. Wilkes said this about Knotts: "Only a genius like Knotts could make an anxiety-ridden, passive-aggressive Napoleon character like Fife a familiar, welcome friend each week. Without his awesome contributions to television there would've been no other over-the-top, self-deprecating acts like Conan O'Brien or Chris Farley."


  • Andy Griffith often called Knotts by his first name, Jesse.
  • Was actually a calm and quiet person, in sharp contrast to some of his characters that he had played (especially Barney Fife and Ralph Furley).
  • Was a ventriloquist early in life with a doll named Danny.
  • Three's Company script supervisor, Carol Summers, went on to be Knotts' agent-- often times accompanying him to personal appearances.
  • Wakko Warner, from the cartoon show Animaniacs, is a big fan of Don Knotts.


Don Knotts recording for Chicken Little
Don Knotts recording for Chicken Little

Television work

  • Search for Tomorrow (cast member from 1953-1955)
  • The Steve Allen Show (1956-1960)
  • The Andy Griffith Show (cast member from 1960-1965)
  • The New Steve Allen Show (1961-1963) (occasional guest star)
  • The Don Knotts Show (1970-1971)
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972)
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972)
  • I Love a Mystery (1973)
  • Steve Allen's Laugh Back (1975) (canceled after a few weeks)
  • Three's Company (cast member from 1979-1984)
  • The Little Troll Prince (1985) (voice)
  • Return to Mayberry (1986)
  • Matlock (1987-1995) (occasional guest star)
  • What a Country (cast member in 1987)
  • Timmy's Gift: A Precious Moments Christmas (1991) (voice)
  • Jingle Bells (1999) (voice)
  • Quints (2000)
  • Hermie: A Common Caterpillar (2003) (voice)
  • Hermie & Friends (2004) (voice)
  • Chicken Little (2005) (voice)


External links

Dennis Weaver
William Dennis Weaver (June 4, 1924February 24, 2006) was an American television actor, best known for his roles as sidekick "Chester Goode" from 1955 to 1964 on TV's first "adult Western" Gunsmoke, as Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud, which ran from 1970 to 1977, and as the protagonist in Steven Spielberg's feature-length directorial debut, the made-for-TV movie Duel.
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McCloud featuring Dennis Weaver

Early life

Weaver was born in Joplin, Missouri to Walter Weaver and Lena Prather. He wished to be an actor from boyhood, attending the University of Oklahoma, where he studied drama and also was a track star, setting records in several events. He served as pilot in the United States Navy during the Second World War. In 1945, he married Gerry Stowell, with whom he had three children. In 1948, he tried out for the U.S. Olympic team to compete in the decathlon. After he failed to make the team, his college friend Lonny Chapman convinced him to come to New York City to break into acting.

His first role on Broadway came as understudy to Chapman as Turk Fisher in Come Back, Little Sheba. He eventually took over the role from Chapman in the national touring company. Solidifying his choice to become an actor, Weaver enrolled in The Actors Studio, where he met Shelley Winters. During this time--the start of his acting career--he supported his family by doing a number of odd jobs, including selling vacuum cleaners, tricycles and women's hosiery.


In 1952, Winters aided him in getting a contract from Universal Studios. He made his film debut that same year in the movie The Redhead from Wyoming. Over the next three years, he played roles in a series of movies, but still had to work odd jobs to support his family. It was while delivering flowers for one of these jobs that he heard he had landed his biggest break — the role of "Chester" on the new television series Gunsmoke — the highest-rated and longest-running series in TV history (1955 to 1975). He received an Emmy Award in 1959 for Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series.

Having become famous as Chester, he was cast in an offbeat supporting role in the 1958 Orson Welles film Touch of Evil, in which he nervously repeated, "I'm the night watchman."

From 1967 to 1969, he appeared on the television show Gentle Ben as Tom Wedloe.

He began appearing on the series McCloud in 1970, for which he received two Emmy Award nominations: in 1974, he was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series and in 1975, for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series. His frequent use of the affirming Southernism, "There you go", became a catchphrase for the show.

From 1973 to 1975, he was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

In 1978, he played the trail boss R.J. Poteet in the television miniseries Centennial on the episode titled "The Longhorns". Dennis Weaver also appeared in many acclaimed television films. In 1980, he played Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was unjustly imprisoned for the Lincoln assassination, in The Ordeal Of Doctor Mudd. In 1983, he played a real estate agent addicted to cocaine in Cocaine: One Man's Seduction. Weaver received probably the best reviews of his career when he starred in the 1987 film Bluffing It, in which he played a man who is illiterate.

In February 2002, he appeared on the animated series The Simpsons (episode DABF07, "The Lastest Gun in the West") as the voice of aging Hollywood cowboy legend Buck McCoy.

For his contribution to the television industry, Dennis Weaver was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6822 Hollywood Blvd, and on the Dodge City (KS) Trail of Fame. In 1981, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Private life

Weaver had been a vegetarian (since 1958) and student of yoga and meditation since the 1960s. He was also renowned as an environmentalist, promoting eating lower on the food chain, alternate fuels such as hydrogen and wind power through an educational organization he founded, The Institute of Ecolonomics. He was also involved with John Denver's WindStar Foundation. The "Earth Ship", the personal home he built in Ridgway, Colorado during the late 1980s, incorporated recycled materials in its construction and featured advanced eco-technologies for the time.

Weaver was consistently involved with the annual Genesis Awards, which were created by The Ark Trust to honor those in the media who bring attention to the plight and suffering of animals.

"There will come a time...when civilized people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say "meat-eaters!" in disgust and regard us in the same way we regard cannibals and cannibalism" -Dennis Weaver

Weaver died of complications arising from cancer at the age of 81, on February 24th, 2006.

External links

Sparky will remember eating at the Health Food Restaurant Weaver once owned on the corner of Balboa and Ventura. (sigh) Personal note - We also lost the wonderful father to one of longest and best friends Larry — James Dunn. He was a focused historian and a remarkable storyteller — One would have to call him a "true son of Ireland." He will be remembered and missed by all the friends in life he encountered.

Nor shall we forget Octavia ...

Octavia Butler

Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947-February 24, 2006) was an American science fiction writer, one of very few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards, and was the first science fiction writer ever to be a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "genius grant."

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Butler signing a copy of Fledgling


Butler was born in Pasadena, California. Her father, a shoeshiner, died when she was young; her mother, also named Octavia, raised her in a struggling, racially mixed neighborhood, working as a maid to support the family. As a child, Octavia Jr., known as "Junie", was considered shy and a "daydreamer"; she was later diagnosed with dyslexia. She began writing at the age of 10 "to escape loneliness and boredom"; she was 12 when she began a lifelong interest in science fiction.[1] "I was writing my own little stories and when I was 12, I was watching a bad science fiction movie" called Devil Girl from Mars, she told the journal Black Scholar, and decided that I could write a better story than that. And I turned off the TV and proceeded to try, and I've been writing science fiction ever since."[2]

After getting an associate degree from Pasadena City College, she attended California State University and took extension classes at UCLA. Butler credited two workshops as giving her "the most valuable help I received with my writing" [3]: One was the Open Door Workshop of the Screen Writers' Guild of America, West, a program "designed to mentor Latino and African-American writers", which she took part in during 1969 and 1970. Through Open Door she met the noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison, who introduced her to the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop, which she attended in 1970. [4]

Her first published story, "Crossover", appeared in Clarion's 1971 anthology; another short story was bought by Ellison. "I thought I was on my way as a writer," Butler wrote in her short fiction collection Bloodchild and Other Stories. "In fact, I had five more years of rejections slips and horrible little jobs ahead of me." In 1974, she started the novel Patternmaster--reportedly related to the story she started after watching Devil Girl From Mars--which became her first published book in 1976. Over the next eight years, she would publish four more novels in the same storyline, in what became known as the Patternist series.

In 1979, she published Kindred, which she described as not science fiction but rather aa a "grim fantasy", about an African-American woman who is repeatedly thrown from 1976 to the ante-bellum South, where she is forced to deal with life in a culture based on slavery. Kindred became the most popular of all her books, with a quarter of a million copies curently in print. "I think people really need to think what it's like to have all of society arrayed against you," she said of the book. [5]

In 1984, Butler's "Bloodchild" won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novelette. That same year, her "Speech Sounds" won the Hugo for best short story. In 1994, her novel Parable of the Sower was nominated for a Nebula for best novel, an award she finally took home in 2000 for Parable of the Talents. In October 2000, she received an award for lifetime achievement in writing from the PEN American Center.

Butler moved to Seattle in November 1999. She described herself as "comfortably asocial--a hermit in the middle of Seattle--a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive." [6] She was a lesbian. [7]

She died outside of her home on February 24, 2006, at the age of 58. Some news accounts have stated that she died of head injuries after falling and striking her head on her walkway,[8] while others report that she apparently suffered a stroke. [9]


Patternist series (In the Series Intended Order)

  • Wild Seed (1980) - Prequel to Mind of My Mind. Two immortals, one who changes bodies and another who has perfect control of her own, struggle to live together over generations, as one concentrates on creating a new race through his own breeding program. - James Tiptree, Jr. Award winner
  • Mind of My Mind (1977) - An immortal's breeding program has created a society of networked telepaths that he struggles to control.
  • Patternmaster (1976) - Far in the future, regular humans are dominated by a society of networked telepathic humans who, in turn, are ruled by the most powerful telepath: the Patternmaster. Also hostile to the remaining regular humans are Clayarks, mutant humans created long ago by disease unwittingly brought back to Earth from outer space by astronauts. The story revolves around the aging of the current Patternmaster, spawning a battle among telepaths to see who will become the next Patternmaster.
  • Clay's Ark (1984) - A colony of people mutated by a disease that astronauts have unwittingly brought back to Earth from outer space struggle to keep themselves isolated enough that the disease does not spread throughout all humanity. (Butler was reportedly unsatisfied with this novel.)

Xenogenesis/Lilith's Brood series

  • Dawn (1987) - After the near-extinction of humanity, a woman is resurrected by the alien Oankali as part of a plan to colonize the earth with alien-human hybrids.
  • Adulthood Rites (1988) - An alien-human hybrid child is abducted by sterile human resisters.
  • Imago (1989) - An androgynous being comes of age and integrates human and alien societies.

The three volumes of this series are also collected into two omnibus editions, Xenogenesis (out of print) and Lilith's Brood.

Parable series

  • Parable of the Sower (1993) - A girl with heightened empathy develops a benign philosophical and religious system during her childhood in a walled suburb in a dystopian anarchic future Los Angeles. When the suburb's security is compromised, her home destroyed, and her family murdered, she travels north with some survivors to try to start a community where her religion can grow.
  • Parable of the Talents (1998) - As the U.S. continues to fall apart, the protagonist's community is attacked and taken over by a bloc of religious fanatics who inflict brutal atrocities like rape and murder. The novel contains a harsh indictment of fundamentalism and has been compared in that respect to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Parable of Talents won the Nebula Award for best novel in 2000.
  • Parable of the Trickster - Butler had originally planned to write a third Parable novel, tentatively titled Parable of the Trickster, which would have focused on the community's struggle to survive on a new planet. She began this novel after finishing Parable of the Talents, mentioning her work on it in a number of interviews, but at some point encountered a form of writer's block. She eventually shifted her creative attention, resulting in the novel Fledgling (see below).


  • Kindred (1979) - Often shelved in Literature or African-American literature, rather than with science fiction. Story of a modern African-American woman who keeps falling back through time to rescue her white, slave-owning ancestor.
  • Survivor (1978) - With Earth being ravaged by the disease that was brought back from outer space, and telepaths now asserting control over what remains of humanity, regular humans are caught in the middle, and one group of them has decided to escape it all to a new planet, where they now, as aliens, must struggle to co-exist with the race that already lives there. Although this novel can be connected to the Patternist series, it is consider by others to be a stand alone novel. (Octavia Butler, herself, ultimately came to dislike this novel.)
  • Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995) - A collection whose title story, "Bloodchild" (1984), won the Hugo and Nebula awards. The collection also includes four other stories and two essays. The pieces span Butler's career, the first finished in 1971 and the last in 1993. In 2005, Seven Stories Press released a second edition of Bloodchild and Other Stories, expanded to include two newer short stories copyrighted by Butler in 2003.
  • Fledgling (2005) - A vampire novel. ISBN 1583226907


  • It is known that Octavia Butler was one of the roughly 100 authors who wrote an original story in the 1970s for the intended last volume of the famous Dangerous Visions anthology series edited by Harlan Ellison. The volume, simply know as The Last Dangerous Visions, is controversial in the SF community due to the fact that it has remained unpublished after being promised to be released in 1973. Octavia Butler's piece of fiction was entitled "Childfinder". Like the other stories intended for that anthology, it has yet to published anywhere.

External links

With that - let's hope no one else close to us dies this year. Best - Sparks


  • At 11:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Anyone home?

  • At 12:43 PM , Blogger Coat said...

    The Grim Reaper really hit the trifecta this time.

    Although, The PP Guru is a little of a Butler virgin. Not having read any of her works.




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