The world as we know it, is CHANGING … right before our eyes — just like Sci-Fi writers have predicted for at least a century — but in ways many of us never anticipated.
Why? First of all, because it needs to happen–RIGHT NOW. Secondly, because the human race can never evolve or reach its potential without change. And thirdly, because if we do NOT meet this historic moment by embracing essential truths about race, humanity will not survive.
racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities
and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of one race over another.
Let’s face it: Indigenous Peoples — including Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans and more — don’t show up very often in mainstream Science Fiction without being plagued by racial stereotypes. In a genre known for its creativity, Sci-Fi often lets its readers down.
Well … a new wave of Science Fiction writers are fighting to CHANGE all that.
After the 1960’s, there was an explosion of new literature created by Native American writers. It is often characterized by themes — like sacred landscapes, and the conflict of being torn between Two Worlds: one defined by Ancient Mythology, the other by Modern Society. A new genre within speculative fiction, Indigenous Futurism, seeks to challenge racist ways of thinking about our future. It draws on native knowledge, culture, stories, language and traditions — to reimagine our world.
This wave includes writers like Cherie Dimaline, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Nnedi Okorafor.
Cherie Dimaline is a Canadian Ojibwe/Métis author known for — The Marrow Thieves — a dystopian science fiction novel. It depicts a world where people can no longer dream. Only the indigenous peoples of North America still have the ability to dream. They are hunted for their very marrow that can cure the dreamless.
Rebecca Roanhorse is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. Her debut novel — Trail of Lightning — follows a Native American woman living in Dinétah, the traditional homeland of the Navajo tribe. Isolated from the rest of the chaotic world, it is protected by a series of vast, magical walls that roughly encompass parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Ancient gods walk the earth and some individuals manifest special abilities known as clan powers.
Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction best known for — The Binti Series — about a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to undertake an interstellar journey and attend the prestigious Oomza University. But when it is attacked, Binti ends up alone on a ship full of beings who murdered her crew. It will take all of her wits to survive the voyage.
Diversity has come at last to Science Fiction. It is the key to fighting racism. All of these writers have endured praise and criticism. Our world is CHANGING forever. As a species, to reach our potential, humanity must evolve. We must open our minds and our hearts to essential truths — now coming to us from Indigenous Voices.
Why? Because the world to come is bigger, more complex, and more diverse than most of us can ever imagine. We will all need a new kind of Science Fiction — with a very different view of humanity’s future — to help us embrace it.