Indigenous Futurism: Imagining the Future through Native American Science Fiction #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #NAHM #AmericanIndianandAlaskaNativeHeritageMonth 

If it’s getting difficult to imagine a future, and a lot of culture seems to take refuge in apocalyptic fantasies, it may be time to turn to other sources for considering how we might thrive in the future. Indigenous Futurism can be one of those sources. Here’s more from a Strange Horizons round table on Indigenous Futurism with Science Fiction authors Rebecca Roanhorse, Elizabeth LaPensee, Johnnie Jae, and Darcie Little Badger:

Darcie Little Badger:  In order to explain what Indigenous Futurism means to me as a writer, I need to discuss my past as a young reader.  Between kindergarten and twelfth grade, I devoured every YA-marketed science fiction and fantasy book in every library in every town I lived (my family moved often). Something began to bother me. My favorite books were missing a crucial element: people like me. The Native American characters I encountered were often stereotypical, like reflections in a fun house mirror. I felt frustrated. Invisible. Eventually, I stopped reading science fiction. It’s hard to enjoy a future where you no longer exist.

A book changed my life. Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time is a 2016 anthology of LGBT and two-spirit sci-fi/fantasy by Indigenous authors. It includes my story “Né łe” (the one about forty chihuahuas in space), so I received a review copy before the summer release date. I read the entire book in one sitting; the experience renewed a passion for speculative fiction that I thought I’d lost. It just takes one powerful work of art to combat a lifetime of disappointment and erasure. I was not alone. Publicly and privately, Indigenous readers reached out to me to share the joy that Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time brought them. Indigenous Futurisms speaks to our experiences, our souls. It is a celebration that we were, we are, and we will be. I certainly hope that my art contributes to such an important, empowering body of work.

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