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One woman is called upon to rebuild the future of humankind after a nuclear war, in this revelatory post-apocalyptic tale from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower.

When Lilith lyapo wakes from a centuries-long sleep, she finds herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. She discovers that the Oankali – a seemingly benevolent alien race — intervened in the fate of the humanity hundreds of years ago, saving everyone who survived a nuclear war from a dying, ruined Earth and then putting them into a deep sleep. After learning all they could about Earth and its beings, the Oankali healed the planet, cured cancer, increased human strength, and they now want Lilith to lead her people back to Earth — but salvation comes at a price.

Hopeful and thought-provoking, this post-apocalyptic narrative deftly explores gender and race through the eyes of characters struggling to adapt during a pivotal time of crisis and change.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Brilliant, endlessly rich...pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale."—John Green, New York Times (on Parable of the Sower)
"Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life . . . It is as epic, as game-changing, as moving and brilliant as any science fiction novel ever written."—Viola Davis
"If we're talking must-read authors like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, the one-and-only Octavia Butler needs be a part of the conversation. The groundbreaking sci-fi and speculative fiction author was a master of spinning imaginative tales that introduced you to both the possibilities -- and dangers -- of the human race, all while offering lessons on tribalism, race, gender, and sexuality."
O, The Oprah Magazine
"A revolutionary voice in her lifetime, Butler has only become more popular and influential . . . A generation of younger writers cite her as an influence, from Jemisin and Tochi Onyebuchi to Marlon James and Nnedi Okarafor . . .She is now praised as a visionary who anticipated many of the issues in the news today, from the coronavirus to climate change to the election of President Donald Trump."
Associated Press
"An internationally acclaimed science fiction writer whose evocative, often troubling, novels explore far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human."
New York Times
"More than any novel I've ever read, Octavia Butler's Wild Seed examines power, what it means to wield it responsibly and what it means to resist it when it is wielded capriciously."—Rion Amilcar Scott, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of Insurrections
"Butler is one of the finest voices in fiction-period . . . A master storyteller with a voice that cradles and captivates, Butler casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty and ignorance, and lets the reader see the terror and beauty of human nature."
Washington Post Book World
"In the ongoing contest over which dystopian classic is most applicable to our time, Octavia Butler's 'Parable' books may be unmatched."
New Yorker
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