Garden City & New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. / St. Martin's Press, 1976-1984. First Editions. Sharp set of this cornerstone work by by Butler (1947-2006), hailed by many as the "Mother of Afrofuturism." Butler began crafting the Patternist narrative when she first began writing science-fiction at the age of 12; it evolved into a sweeping, intricately-crafted five book series spanning generations, which "establish structures and themes that loom large across her oeuvre - the pliability of the human body, the cruelty of the mind, the endurance of the soul - while highlighting her trademark fascination with power: its seductivity, and its misuse...the Patternists first arose as the unintended consequence of a millennia-long breeding project administered by Doro, an immortal East African vampire, with the periodic assistance of his companion and lover, the shapeshifter Anyanwu (later called Emma). Here, Tate's observation about an African diasporic subject "bred to be superhuman" is rendered disturbingly literal. In the Patternist books a secret competitor to white hegemony is revealed to exist alongside modernity's actually existing history of intergenerational slavery and forced reproduction, an alternate history that is both a deviation from and a nightmarish replication of white supremacy. But despite its status as a competitor, the results of Doro's experiments liberate neither humanity in general nor black pepople in particular; instead, they culminate in an even more totalizing domination by an even more untouchably powerful elite, a state of affairs to which any resistance seems utterly impossible" (Canavan, Gerry. "Bred to Be Superhuman: Comic Books and Afrofuturism in Octavia Butler's Patternist Series." Paradoxa, Vol.25 (2013), p.253-254). An extremely influential series which has become exceedingly difficult to complete; for a variety of reasons, Butler disavowed her third novel, Survivor, and did not allow it to be reprinted since 1981. Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4-102-104. Item #4822
First Printings. Five octavo volumes (21.5cm); original boards, with titles stamped on spines; dustjackets; [vi],186; xviii,168,; [vi],185,; [viii],248; [vi],201,pp. Patternmaster: A review copy, with the publisher's typed slip laid in. Trivial wear to spine ends, else Fine in a very Near Fine dustjacket, price-clipped, with some pinpoint wear to spine ends and two corners. Mind of My Mind: A review copy, with the publisher's typed slip laid in. Fine in a Fine, unclipped dustjacket (priced $6.95). Survivor: A review copy, with the publisher's typed slip laid in. Fine in a Fine, unclipped dustjacket (priced $6.95). Wild Seed: Inscribed by the author on the title page. Base of spine gently nudged, else Fine in a Fine, unclipped dustjacket (priced $10.00). Clay's Ark: A review copy, with the publisher's 8.5" x 14" publicity sheet folded and laid in. Signed by the author on the title page. Fine in a Very Good+ dustjacket, unclipped (priced $12.95), with some pinpoint wear, and a small, triangular chip to lower edge of rear panel.