Written by Octavia Butler

Book One of the "Xenogensis Trilogy" (aka Lilith's Brood)

Status: In Development for Television


“Dawn” tells the story of humanity’s last survivors, from the point of view of a strong female protagonist, Lilith. Saved by an ancient alien race right before the destruction of Earth the survivors’ lives come with a price: they must choose between mating with the aliens to create a new mixed species or holding onto their humanity, sterile,  and perishing as the last humans.

Although it is set in space and involves aliens, the story told in “Dawn” is a metaphor for post-slavery America and the difficult choices facing multi-cultural society. The question is whether to fully assimilate to survive, or to hold on to ancient cultural identity.  

Dawn - Octavia Butler


Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) often referred to as the "grand dame of science fiction," was an American science fiction writer. A multiple-recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, Butler was one of the best-known women in the field. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship which is nicknamed the "Genius Grant".

With the publication of "Kindred" in 1979, Butler was able to support herself writing full time.

Octavia E. Butler was the first black woman to come to international prominence as a science fiction writer. Incorporating powerful, spare language and rich, well-developed characters, her work tackled race, gender, religion, poverty, power, politics, and science in a way that touched readers of all backgrounds. Butler was a towering figure in life and in her art and the world noticed; highly acclaimed by reviewers.

Charlie Rose interviewed Octavia Butler in 2000 soon after the award of MacArthur Fellowship. The highlights are probing questions that arise out of Butler's personal life narrative and her interest in becoming not only a writer, but a writer of science fiction. Rose asked, "What then is central to what you want to say about race?" Butler's response was, "Do I want to say something central about race? Aside from, 'Hey we're here!'?" This points to an essential claim for Butler that the world of science fiction is a world of possibilities, and although race is an innate element, it is embedded in the narrative, not forced upon it.

“[Her] evocative, often troubling, novels explore far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human.”   - New York Times

“Butler’s books are exceptional. . . . She is a realist, writing the most detailed social criticism and creating some of the most fascinating female characters in the genre . . . real women caught in impossible situations.” - Dorothy Allison, Village Voice