Clay’s Ark - Octavia Butler - 1984 BCE St. Martin’s Press Hardback - Lee Wade Cover

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Cover art: Lee Wade

Blurb: “Over the past few years, Octavia E. Butler has come to be recognized as one of the most gifted science fiction writers of the decade. She has been called "One of the genre's important new talents" by Publisher's Weekly, and her novels have been praised by the Washington Post as

"Spare and sure ... even in moments of great tension she never loses control over her pacing or her sense of story." The San Francisco Chronicle says, "Butler's strength is her ability to create complete and believable characters."

In Clay's Ark Ms. Butler has created a horrifyingly believable world in the not-too-distant future, a time when the bonds of civilization have all but disappeared, when violence and vigilante justice are the rule rather than the exception. In such a world, the kidnapping of a doctor and his two daughters traveling across the California desert is hardly excep-tional. But the small band of emaciated strangers who capture them is. They do not speak of ransom. Although sometimes their eyes glint with almost animal cunning, their bodies are wracked and wasted-the consequence of drugs or disease. Paradoxically, they possess almost superhuman strength.

Led by Asa Elias Doyle, the sole survivor of the ill-fated starship Clay's Ark, the desperate people have become innocent victims of a "close encounter" with an alien life-form one so sinister and ultimately destructive of humankind that it has forced them into exile in a remote corner of a desolate wasteland, the better to resist a compulsion to spread the infection. To resist is to ensure mental agony, but to surrender is to relinquish one's humanity and free will-to be ruled by physical drives that know no morality or restraint.

Chilling, exciting, and suspenseful,

Clay's Ark is a thought-provoking story of what it really means to be "human." Octavia E. Butler's tale is unique and hauntingly original.“