Octavia Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) is a legend.

The image on the left is the original cover art for the first novel of the Xenogenesis series, published in 1987.

The image on the right is the cover art from the reprinting ten years later.

Here is a picture of Octavia Butler:

Lilith Iyapo, the protagonist and the character depicted on the cover, is a Black woman.

Whitewashing covers in science fiction and fantasy genres is an appallingly common practice, and is NOT limited to “the past” (if 1987 counts as “the past” for you; I am old as balls).

You should read every book by Octavia Butler, if you are looking for something TRULY representative, and truly challenging to the status quo, in the true spirit of the entire science fiction genre. If you are sick and tired of a hypothetical future painted only in white. If you want literature that skewers whiteness and holds deeply buried cultural assumptions up to the light.

Here are the covers of the rest of the Xenogenesis series: