As a child growing up in Southern California, Octavia Butler was a daydreamer who found comfort in the books she read. In “Star Child,” Ibi Zoboi explores the forces that drove Butler to pursue a challenging path as an author of science fiction. One early inspiration was a movie called “Devil Girl From Mars,” which she watched when she was 12 years old. She didn’t see the whole thing, though, because she realized, “Gee, I can write a better story than that,” and turned off the TV to do exactly that. Zoboi’s book includes many quotations from interviews with Butler, who died in 2006, alongside Zoboi’s poetry and prose descriptions of the era Butler grew up in and the worlds she created with her words. Butler was the first Black woman to win the Nebula Award, science fiction’s highest honor, and her stories reach an expanding group of readers every year.