June 22 (UPI) — Google celebrated science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler with a new Doodle Friday, on what would have been her 71st birthday.
Butler, born in Pasadena, Calif., in 1947, suffered from social anxiety at a young age due to her shyness, tall build and mild dyslexia. The anxiety led to Butler spending a lot of time at the library, where she discovered her love for science fiction.
Butler’s mother gave her a typewriter at the age of 10, which help fostered her love of writing.
The African-American author created characters she and millions identified with in a genre consisting of mostly white male protagonists. Butler challenged herself to release work that was accessible to her central audience, which she felt consisted of black readers, feminists and fans of science fiction.
“Stories including Bloodchild (1984) and the Parable series (1993-1998) resonated so strongly with readers of all backgrounds that Butler was the recipient of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, a prize which invests in those with ‘extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits,’” Google said about Butler’s career.
She was also known for penning the Patternist series, the Xenogenesis series, and standalone works Kindred and Fledgling.
Google also thanked Butler’s family for help in creating the Doodle.
“Her spirit of generosity and compassion compelled her to support the disenfranchised. She sought to speak truth to power, challenge prevailing notions and stereotypes, and empower people striving for better lives. Although we miss her, we celebrate the rich life she led and its magnitude in meaning,” her family said.
Google’s homepage features artwork depicting Butler’s likeness alongside an open book that contains the Google logo and a number of faceless silhouettes from outer space.
Butler died in 2006 at the age of 58 after a fall in her Seattle home.