New York: Seven Stories Press, 1998. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's black paper-covered boards, spine stamped in silver, original illustrated dust jacket.
"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery." First edition of the second installment of African-American feminist sci-fi writer Butler's two-volume Parable series, inscribed by her on the title-page. The novel, a near-prophetic work on the dangers of political extremism and religious fundamentalism, is set against the backdrop of a dystopian US, under the grip of a Christian fundamentalist sect called "Christian America," led by President Andrew Steele Jarret. An alternative religious community known as Earthseed – a group that believes humankind's destiny is to travel beyond Earth and live on other planets, forcing humankind into its adulthood – is attacked and enslaved by Christian American "crusaders," under the pretext of being "reformed." "We have, it seems, a few people who think Jarret may be just what the country needs – apart from his religious nonsense. The thing is, you can’t separate Jarret from the 'religious nonsense.' You take Jarret and you get beatings, burnings, tarrings and featherings. They're a package. And there may be even nastier things in that package. Jarret's supporters are more than a little seduced by Jarret's talk of making America great again." Winner of the 1999 Nebula Award for Best Novel, Parable of the Talents is preceded by Parable of the Sower (1993). Inscribed by the author: "To Hal and Helene / Best wishes / Octavia E. Butler." First printing with complete number row to copyright page. Small dent to bottom edge of upper board, else fine in unclipped dust jacket. Item #1942