Worlds change with Native American Science Fiction

Science Fiction Proposal

As of lately Science Fiction has made many strides to become all around great for everyone, even with its Eurocentric culture many great writers have taken to light to write new narratives and views as to what a science fiction world looks like. Native Americans and indigenous people have also taken this mantel of writing science fiction stories, while Eurocentric ideals still follow science fiction many of these writers have begun to change the outcome science fiction written. These changes are not only many a change in the science fiction but as well as the readers who participate, these changes are opening a whole new world of possibility. Eventually Native American or indigenous science fiction won’t be a rarity and many people will eventually be able to enjoy it.

Alexandra Alter, a writer for the New York Times writes about a few writers who have changed the North American Science fiction and many other genres. The Reporter states, “[Cherie] Dimaline, along with Waubgeshig Rice, Rebecca Roanhorse, Darcie Little Badger and Stephen Graham Jones, who has been called “the Jordan Peele of horror literature,” are some of the Indigenous novelists reshaping North American science fiction, horror and fantasy — genres in which Native writers have long been overlooked.” Meaning that these authors/novelists have made the biggest impact in the modern world of Science Fiction, As well making these changes more likely to be noticed. The reporter makes a note to specifically state that Native Americans had always been writing or telling science fiction stories, however these tales and stories were never titled as such or taken into consideration until now when science fiction has taken the passage to greater change.1

Many of the Native American Science Fiction stories come from many of the Northern American historical events such as the Conquest, manifest Destiny, the trail of tears, and many more historical events where many Native Americans died, or they were taken advantage of. The aftereffects that took place as well, such as the force assimilation. Through these science fiction stories the authors express what the Native American world would look like if such things were to never have happened, as they turn away from Eurocentric views that the colonist brought with them.

Annotated Bibliographies and Sources

Beck, Abaki. “When One People’s Sci-Fi Is Another People’s Past.” Bitch Media, 5 Oct. 2017, www.bitchmedia.org/article/old-new-world-indigenous-futurisms.

            In this article the author explains why the Native American Science Fiction has not made a strongly debuted until recently, as well as the process that has to be made in order to make indigenous science fiction much common. The Author titles the sub-paragraphs based on the steps, first being the normalization of indigenous knowledge; this means the knowledge of how the indigenous people had religious views and the way they connected with the land and its inhabitants. As shown in several books written about indigenous religious views, as well as how they were affected by colonization and other effects brought along. Second step was Reclaiming history, not by saying that the history was as told but rather tell it as it was and maybe how certain changes could have changed it as a whole. Third step is described as imagining new communities, a world of new possibilities and different outcomes to the ones that happened. Essentially the author places these as the steps that take to make Indigenous science fiction and the effects that could change the genre, the possibilities that these changes made to make them realistic.

Johnson, Ross. “7 Books That Explore the Many Worlds of Indigenous Science Fiction & Fantasy.” The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 14 Oct. 2019, www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/7-books-that-explore-the-many-worlds-of-indigenous-sff/.

In this article there is a new term presented which is very similar to Afrofuturism, in this case being Indigenous Futurism. Many of the science fiction stories that the authors wrote of clue into other historical events that took place, for example, Trail of lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse, the title itself works on the Trail of Tears. Trail of Tears is a large movement of Natives as they were pushed westward away from their homes, as they moved west thousands lost their lives due to many inequalities that they had to face. As detailed by Johnson Ross the Trail of Lightning is a reverse of these events, this time there has been Global Climate apocalypse and the Navajo tribe has been spared from this demise, and in such there is world change of many new gods. As well as the search of a missing girl, and their adventure to find the girl in North America, the trail to many of their past locations. Johnson Ross takes the time to give summary to the many Science fiction and other genre novels that the indigenous writers have written and have cause a major change in the world, as well as how many awards these stories have obtained.

Ring Adams, James. “Native Authors Invade Sci-Fi: Indigenous Writers Are Reshaping Speculative Fiction.” NMAI Magazine, www.americanindianmagazine.org/story/native-authors-invade-scifi.

The author of this article lets the readers into a little hint of how the world of writer have gathered together to punish back against the indigenous writers and the many ideals that they have been pushing forwards, such as targeting voting to people would be against these ideals so that the writers would not get the recognition that they deserved. During these voting process they made their way to the public in which the indigenous writers would fail, and as such the unfairness that such writers have to face.

Shapiro, Ari. “’Black Sun’ Offers A Fantasy Set In Ancient Pre-Columbian Americas.” NPR, NPR, 16 Oct. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/10/16/924648210/black-sun-offers-a-fantasy-set-in-ancient-pre-columbian-americas.

In this interview with one of the most popular Indigenous Science Fiction writers Rebecca Roanhorse, Ari Shapiro takes the time to ask a few questions. The author Roanhorse reflects on how she wrote her book, and the connections between indigenous believes. As well as the generational trauma from the genocide that the Native Americans received, and this is what is written into the book with the main character. As well as being a vengeful being and how these many connections faced the authors live, as well as the effects that such events in real live made the writer get into the writing. The power divide and how the origins of the character connect with the writer in their past, as well as the inability to connect with how the current world treated indigenous people.

Writers, The Unbound. “Celebrating Native American Speculative Fiction: Some Favorites.” Fiction Unbound, Fiction Unbound, 15 Nov. 2019, www.fictionunbound.com/blog/celebrating-native-american-speculative-fiction.

In this article the author writes for the Native American Month, many series of book other than science fiction are shown. Further expanding the impact of indigenous futurism, and the spread of it out of science fiction, as well as the many side of views from what is known to the indigenous views. With these other novels the author contrasts how the indigenous believes behind certain animals are comparison to the current popular believes, as well as the heritage that these believe bring. The Past of knowledge shared with the indigenous people, and how this knowledge could further expand other writers’ format of writing. The author also writes about werewolves and their popular believes to them being like monsters, in comparison to how native believe is that the wolf is the person themselves and how they act in the world, “reveal itself— wolf, or not—wolf.”

Work Cited

1 Alter, Alexandra. “’We’ve Already Survived an Apocalypse’: Indigenous Writers Are Changing Sci-Fi.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Aug. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/books/indigenous-native-american-sci-fi-horror.html.

Beck, Abaki. “When One People’s Sci-Fi Is Another People’s Past.” Bitch Media, 5 Oct. 2017, www.bitchmedia.org/article/old-new-world-indigenous-futurisms.

Johnson, Ross. “7 Books That Explore the Many Worlds of Indigenous Science Fiction & Fantasy.” The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 14 Oct. 2019, www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/7-books-that-explore-the-many-worlds-of-indigenous-sff/.

Ring Adams, James. “Native Authors Invade Sci-Fi: Indigenous Writers Are Reshaping Speculative Fiction.” NMAI Magazine, www.americanindianmagazine.org/story/native-authors-invade-scifi.

Shapiro, Ari. “’Black Sun’ Offers A Fantasy Set In Ancient Pre-Columbian Americas.” NPR, NPR, 16 Oct. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/10/16/924648210/black-sun-offers-a-fantasy-set-in-ancient-pre-columbian-americas.

Writers, The Unbound. “Celebrating Native American Speculative Fiction: Some Favorites.” Fiction Unbound, Fiction Unbound, 15 Nov. 2019, www.fictionunbound.com/blog/celebrating-native-american-speculative-fiction.

1 thought on “Worlds change with Native American Science Fiction”

  1. I’d definitely focus on the fact that Indigenous Sci-fi Writers are a rare occurrence.
    Develop the idea of telling what History would be like from a lesser known standpoint, maybe make a relation to afro-futurism and it’s ideals, since it’s similar in a way.

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