Shore Leave is the non-Trek culture arm of the Deep Space Spines website, posted every other Tuesday and made possible by donations to the site’s Patreon.

Not much to report this week, except that I’m finally getting around to digging further into the work of an author I’ve been meaning to check out more of.

Image result for octavia butler parable of the sowerI was turned on to Octavia Butler during one of my final semesters of college when I took a class on interracial romance in literature. We read Kindred in that class, and in retrospect I’d say it was by far my favorite book I read in that class (not that the others were bad, or even boring). But when I scratched the surface on some light research of Butler, I realized that book represented only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how crazy her stuff could get.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and for my birthday my mom picked up something I’d long ago added to a wish list and forgotten about: Parable of the Sower, the first of two books in the Earthseed duology. I’m a little less than halfway through it, but man. This book is incredible. It takes place not too long from now, in a world ravaged by climate change and widening class gaps, and there is something on just about every page that will ring true about either the way things are now or the way they’re headed and leave this little hard knot in your stomach. The main character, Lauren Olamina, is a teenager with hyperempathy—the ability to feel the pain of those she can see suffering it—whose immediate world falls apart around her and forces her to strike out on her own to get people to follow her new philosophy, called Earthseed, which posits that man is meant to get out into space and get away from their dying world and onto new, vibrant, livelier ones. I get chills off practically every other page. I will definitely move on to Parable of the Talents ASAP when I finish this, and on to her other work from there.

And briefly, here is a note to say that there won’t be a Shore Leave on November 6, because that’s the day before I start my 8-week review of Star Trek: Judgment Rites, and so I’ll post a foreword to the series on that day instead. I’ll post about one chapter of the game each Wednesday through the end of the year starting November 7. That said, it would probably be a good idea to get out in front of that and start replaying Judgment Rites soon (or at the very least, watching a longplay).

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