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Book Traveling Thursdays: Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1) by Octavia E. Butler

Happy Thursday! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these, mostly because the group itself is on hiatus, but also because of my unofficial hiatus for most of the second half of last year. Because I’m traveling right now, I decided to do one of these this week instead of a more in-depth Diversity Spotlight post. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about one of my all-time favorite science fiction authors, Octavia E. Butler, and one of my favorites of all her award-winning novels. I honestly didn’t know there were so many different US covers for this book, or that the original cover portrayed Lilith as some random white lady! Shoutout to my amazing grandmother for getting me hype to Ms. Butler’s science fiction classics with the better covers than the one she initially read this story with.

As always, let me know in the comments what covers you like, which ones you didn’t like, and/or any I left out that deserve more love!


Original Cover & Cover From the United States

There are quite a number of differences between the original 1987 cover + the 1997 reissue. Namely, the cover indicating that Lilith is, in fact, a black woman. That it took 10 years to fix this glaring issue is a lesson in racism in publishing, and I’m glad that someone was finally like, “this is just shitty. Somebody fix this. For the love of God.”

Favorite Cover(s):

Covers from the 80’s and 90’s are always a little weird looking to me, but I thought the publishers for the UK, US reissue, and Czech releases really got it right with these incredible, ethereal looking images representing Octavia’s science fiction masterpiece.

Least Favorite Cover(s):

Unsurprisingly, my biggest issue with the ’88 US edition and the Finnish & Italian editions are the fact Lilith is heavily whitewashed. In addition to this, all of these covers are just uncomfortable to look at. I don’t like them at all and I’m sorry you have to see them, too.


What are your favorites from this lineup? Do you agree with my choices? Are there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

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