Tag Archive: Octavia Butler

Imagine a World Without Prisons: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superheroes, and Prison Abolition

octaviaFrom The Abolitionist / By Walidah Imarisha

“And then the orcs stage an uprising and seize the means of production, since they are not only the soldiers, they are also the exploited labor of Middle Earth. If they rise up, Mordor grinds to a halt!”

This unlikely strategy came out of a workshop called “Imaginative Fiction and Social Change,” at the Allied Media Conference, an annual gathering in Detroit of radical activists, artists and media makers. The facilitator (and Octavia’s Brood contributor), Morrigan Phillips, broke participants into small groups and each one got a fictional land: Oz, the Death Star, Hogwarts, Springfield (of Simpsons fame). Participants then analyzed the conflict and came up with direct action tactics to move their cause for justice forward.

“A successful direct action is like creating a good fantasy story. It’s like a quest,” Phillips said excitedly in the introduction. “There is a conflict, compelling characters, a good plan, build up, twists and turns, adversity, the climax, and then the win where everyone goes home satisfied. If you do it right.”

As Phillips demonstrated, many of the lessons to be taken from science fiction (or speculative fiction/fantasy/horror/take your pick) are incredibly useful when building community-based systems of accountability and abolishing the prison system. (more…)

Huge Book Donation From World Book Night

We are absolutely giddy to announce that World Book Night has just donated hundreds of copies of some of our favorite books. The titles include The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Kindred by Octavia Butler, and The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie among many others. We are so excited to send these out far and wide and wanted to share the excitement with all of y’all. So, join your nerdy comrades at the Prison Books Collective on Sundays to help us stay on top of our backlog. We’re down to two months behind!