Can an Immortal Remain Human? Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Kate says… A shape-shifting healer, a 300 year old woman, cares for her kin and children. An immortal ten times older kills without remorse as he breeds humans like cattle. Will they destroy each other, or are they the only ones who can save each other?

This story is an alternative-history fantasy, and not a gee-whiz magical romp. I was fascinated by the often-grim world of European Imperialism that spans the Africa-to-America slave trade. The healer’s powers are hard won, and the deep dive into what she must risk and learn to achieve her magic is enthralling. The older immortal has never understood how his abilities work, and doesn’t question the frequent, causal murder that preserves his life. Maybe it’s his need to kill to survive that has wrung humanity out of him.

The woman who sacrifices for others battles the cold-blooded man who plays god. She becomes crucial to his attempts to interbreed people with a touch of supernatural ability, “people possessed or mad or just a little strange,” to create a race as powerful as himself.

Warning: You’ll find adult content, including adult sexual content. There is death, rape, suicide, and slavery, though none of it presented in extremely gory or graphic prose. These main characters are near-gods after all. Pause for a moment to consider tales of ancient Greek and Roman gods.

Afrofuture art – Serengeti Cyborg, por Fanuel Leul by Solen Feyissa

Despite this book’s setting in the past (though the series continues into the future) it is considered part of Afrofuturism, a cultural movement in books, movies, and art.

It is the philosophy of science fiction and history that traverses across African Diaspora culture with technology. Its purpose is to explore the African American experience, specifically slavery… a way of looking at the subject position of black people which covers themes of alienation and aspirations for a utopic future. Wikipedia

While the term in new to me, the concept is not. Think of the wildly popular movie Black Panther.

Find Wild Seed and the rest of the Petternist series on Amazon at

You can rent or buy the Black Panther movie at Amazon too:

Click an Amazon link on our site, then buy a product there, and we earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Help Amazon share their profits with us by clicking one of our links, then do your shopping. To quote the words Amazon specifically suggests: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tags: Afrofuturism, alternative history science fiction, fantasy, immortals, slavery, dystopian