After that, I re-read Dawn by Octavia Butler - I'm re-reading the whole Xenogenesis trilogy for a panel at WisCon, one which I proposed. I'm hoping there might be a similar panel at Readercon. First, this is renewing the pain of knowing she is dead and grieving for what else she might have done in her life. Second, I was reminded of how much Butler was a hard science fiction writer, with her relentless exploration of ideas, but also skilled in the "sociological" investigation of human relations and how they're affected by established culture - still "hard" in my opinion, but showing a deep understanding of people that many hard sf writers never reached (from their place atop the social hierarchy, I wonder?).
BTW, I discovered when buying the books for Kindle (so I could highlight/quote more easily for my panel notes) that Lilith's Brood: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago (Xenogenesis Trilogy) costs $9.99, but if you buy the books individually, they cost $9.99 each. And they are not long books, they are old-school sf, from the slender mass market paperback days. I do not understand.
Currently, I'm maintaining my fan-community cred by reading Captive Prince: Volume One by S.U. Pacat. I'm not very far into it yet, but am enjoying the skillful exploration of a familiar fanfictional AU situation. (Though this story began as original fiction, it's not based on anything in particular). Character one, dark-haired and olive skinned, very muscular, a fighter, is a prince; he's betrayed by his brother and sent to their enemies to be a sex slave. Character two is also a prince, slim, blond, and gorgeous; character one killed his brother. Conflict ensues! Two has a regent whom I am sure is evil or at least not entirely good! One and two hate each other! So far.