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A Few Rules for Predicting the Future: An Essay (Hardcover)

A Few Rules for Predicting the Future: An Essay By Octavia E. Butler, Manzel Bowman (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Octavia E. Butler, Manzel Bowman (Illustrator)
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The wise words of science fiction icon Octavia E. Butler live on in this beautiful and giftable little volume.

“There’s no single answer that will solve all our future problems. There’s no magic bullet. Instead there are thousands of answers—at least. You can be one of them if you choose to be.”

Originally published in Essence magazine in the year 2000, Octavia E. Butler’s essay “A Few Rules for Predicting the Future” offers an honest look into the inspiration behind her science fiction novels and the importance of studying history and taking responsibility for our actions if we are to move forward. 

Organized into four main rules, this short essay reminds readers to learn from the past, respect the law of consequences, be aware of their perspectives, and count on the surprises. Citing the warning signs of fascism, the illusive effects of fear and wishful thinking, and the unpredictable nature of what is yet to come, Butler shares realistic but hopeful suggestions to shape our future into something good. An inspiring and motivational gift for students and recent graduates, fans of Butler's work, and anyone seeking a brighter day tomorrow, this exquisite gift book includes stunning Afrofuturist artwork by Manzel Bowman alongside the full text of the original essay.

LITERARY ICON: Octavia E. Butler was a pioneering science fiction writer whose novels, written decades ago, remain eerily relevant, reflecting on themes of racial injustice, women’s rights, environmental collapse, and political corruption. In 1995, she became the first science fiction author to win a MacArthur Genius grant, and her books are taught in over 200 colleges and universities nationwide. This book shares Butler's timely but lesser-known essay and is a must-read for fans of her classic sci-fi works.
CELEBRATE BLACK CREATORS: This book spotlights one of the greatest authors of Afrofuturism, a genre and philosophy that explores and reimagines Black culture, creativity, and liberation through fiction, art, music, film, and other media. Octavia E. Butler’s forward-thinking essay is paired with contemporary illustrations by Manzel Bowman, whose evocative images are also inspired by Afrofuturist visions.
INSPIRING GIFT: A unique gift for students, recent graduates, and anyone celebrating life milestones or looking forward in life, this beautifully designed hardcover book is sure to inspire. Octavia E. Butler’s essay is also an important, evergreen reminder for writers, creatives, dreamers, and activists who want to envision and work toward a brighter future.

Perfect for:
  • Fans of Octavia Butler and her novels, including Kindred and Parable of the Sower
  • People interested in nonfiction and essays by Black women writers
  • Afrofuturism lovers and social justice-minded sci-fi readers
  • Literary bibliophiles looking for a stunning new addition to their bookshelf
  • Gift-giving to graduating high school and college students
  • Activists and community leaders
  • Inspirational essay readers
  • Fans of Manzel Bowman and Afrofuturist art

About the Author

Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006) was a renowned African American author of several award-winning novels, including Parable of the Sower, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1993, and Parable of the Talents, winner of the Nebula Award for the best science fiction novel in 1995. She received a MacArthur Genius Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work and was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future.

Praise For…

“In her lifetime, Octavia E. Butler made clear that she was not clairvoyant: The chilling future visions unleashed in her books weren't prophecy, but warnings. In succinct, frank Butler style, her essay, A Few Rules for Predicting the Future vividly illuminates her philosophy. Considering the key roles of past and present, Butler shows us how we too might train our awareness, and why this attentiveness is essential for the future of humanity.” — Lynell George, author of A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler

Product Details
ISBN: 9781797229058
ISBN-10: 1797229052
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: June 18th, 2024
Pages: 56
Language: English