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RaceWIN! Native American Science Fiction
May 31, 2011 11:56 PM   Subscribe

RaceWIN? Native American-written dystopian/fantasy/science/ speculative fiction. I am looking for the name of the text and author of a contemporary Native American novel that is satirical and dystopian.

After coming off the high that is WisCon, I am searching for a novel that I read sometime between 1995 and 2005 that is written by an cisgender male English-speaking Native American/First Nations/indigenous North American author. That much I remember, so I know it was not Sherman Alexie, William Sanders, or Moondancer Drake.

This was a satirical dystopia that showed a breadth of characters from indigenous North American cultures and included a glossary in the back. I am not sure whether it was marketed as science fiction or just literature. With such a niche you would think it would be easy to reunite me with it, but that hasn't been the case.
posted by MidSouthern Mouth to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles by Gerald Vizenor. It's a 1990 revision of the original Darkness in Saint Louis Bearheart.

From the Wikipedia page describing the book:

The novel follows the adventures of Proude Cedarfair as he leads a group of mixedbloods on a pilgrimage across a postapocalyptic, postindustrial United States that has run out of gas. This novel demonstrates several of Vizenor's key concepts: his use of trickster figures; his use of mixedblood (or "crossblood") Indian characters in a non-tragic way; his version of magical realism—what he calls "mythic verism"; and his conception of "postindian" identity; and his use of parody, as in the way the novel parodies both Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis".
posted by amyms at 4:03 AM on June 1, 2011


Thanks for this cool candidate for my reading list, but no cigar!
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 7:33 AM on June 1, 2011


Long shot--but is it Sherman Alexie's Flight?
posted by PinkMoose at 10:34 AM on June 1, 2011


@PinkMoose see the above "so I know it was not Sherman Alexie, William Sanders, or Moondancer Drake. "
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 11:53 AM on June 1, 2011


Well, if you're up for some research, here's scifan's list of works by Native American writers. Sorted by year, 1995 is at the bottom of the linked page.
posted by likeso at 3:15 PM on June 1, 2011


Thomas King?? I wouldn't call his novels fantasy/sci fi/speculative fiction, so probably not. But he's awesome so I figured I'd post anyway.
posted by equivocator at 6:28 PM on June 1, 2011


Maybe something by Carter Revard? Some of his poems and stories have a dystopian/speculative/science fiction angle.

I've searched various combinations of keywords from your description, discarding results for the three authors you eliminated, and I can't find anything other than the Gerald Vizenor book mentioned in my first guess.

Could you give us more to go on (plot points, etc.)?
posted by amyms at 9:01 AM on June 2, 2011


There are multiple characters. From what I recall, the United States are no longer organized the same way politically. Thanks everyone for your help. I want to read this again so I can gain more this time around!
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 11:40 PM on June 2, 2011


William Sanders : Sanders, a former powwow dancer, is best known for his use of American Indian themes and his dry, often cynical sense of humor. His most-anthologized and perhaps best known work is "The Undiscovered", an alternate history in which Shakespeare is transported to Virginia and writes "Hamlet" for the Cherokee tribe. The story won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History in 1997. Sanders won a second Sidewise Award for his story "Empire" in 2002. Sanders has said that he considers his best story to be "Dry Bones."
posted by Francis7 at 1:30 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


@Francis7 Nope; see "so I know it was not Sherman Alexie, William Sanders, or Moondancer Drake. "
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 3:30 PM on June 3, 2011


I guess I stumped everyone! drats!
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 8:36 PM on June 8, 2011


I'm still wondering...
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 12:08 PM on July 3, 2011


EUREKA! I have found it thanks to WisCon/SF fen!! This awesome book is The Bird Has Gone by Stephen Graham Jones.
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 9:38 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


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