NASA/JPL Named Two Sites on Mars After an Author and an Engineer. Here’s Why You Should Know Them, Too

Lisa Yaszek

Posted April 10, 2021

External Article: USA Today

Lisa Yaszek, Regents Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, was quoted in the article "NASA/JPL Named Two Sites on Mars After an Author and an Engineer. Here’s Why You Should Know Them, Too," published April 10, 2021 in USA Today

The article explores the decision of a team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to name the landing site of the Perseverance Mars rover after Octavia Butler, a groundbreaking science fiction author. Yaszek, one of the nation's leading science fiction scholars, spoke to Butler's stature in the field.

Excerpt:

Science fiction aficionados — readers, college professors and publishers — hold Butler in high regard.

"She's important because she's a pioneer and the first Black female science fiction author," says Lisa Yaszek, Regents professor of science fiction studies in the School of Literature, Media and Communication at Georgia Tech.

Butler rose to prominence in the traditionally white bastion of science fiction. She was the first to write about prominent Black characters in science fiction settings, using dystopias, time travel and other tropes. 

"She was literally one of the first, if not the first, Black women to publish in modern science fiction magazines under her own name," Yaszek says.

Full article.