One thing I’ve been curious about while reading these two books.
What does putting a date on them do to the narrative?
Many sci-fi/speculative fiction set their stories in the unspecified future. Maybe you can guess where it is, but it’s not specifically stated. Others do state it (a lot of mind 1900s sci-fi films set things in the 2000s because it was the nigh on impossible to imagine future.)
So Butler sets these books in the not too distant future (shout out to my fellow MST3K fans). So not too distant, that in the first book, it starts three years from now (but twenty years ahead of her).
What does that do to/for the book? Does it feel closer when she’s writing it (or if you read it when it came out). Does it impart a sense of urgency that an unspecified future imparts?
I don’t read a ton of sci-fi so I don’t really draw from a lot of examples.