African-American Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Studies
University of Illinois
Springfield, Illinois

Of Gods and Tricksters: The Making
and Killing of Gods in Octavia Butler’s
Patternmaster Series

Future Blacks will be gods in Butler’s Patternmaster series. Her Afrofuturism enables them with creative and destructive power, messages of resistance and resilience. She explores ethics of power and abuse; weaves love stories with great loss and tragedy. Patternmaster series uses ex-slave narratives’, tricksterism, resistance, suffering and complicity, ultimately delineating costs of survival. Her bold use of the motif is a labyrinth of emotional, psychological, and physical bondage in a shell of psionic power. She both makes and kills gods.

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