Walking the Clouds

Walking the Clouds

An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction

Book - 2012
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In this first-ever anthology of Indigenous science fiction Grace Dillon collects some of the finest examples of the craft with contributions by Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal Australian, and New Zealand Maori authors. The collection includes seminal authors such as Gerald Vizenor, historically important contributions often categorized as "magical realism" by authors like Leslie Marmon Silko and Sherman Alexie, and authors more recognizable to science fiction fans like William Sanders and Stephen Graham Jones. Dillon's engaging introduction situates the pieces in the larger context of science fiction and its conventions.

Organized by sub-genre, the book starts with Native slipstream, stories infused with time travel, alternate realities and alternative history like Vizenor's "Custer on the Slipstream." Next up are stories about contact with other beings featuring, among others, an excerpt from Gerry William's The Black Ship . Dillon includes stories that highlight Indigenous science like a piece from Archie Weller's Land of the Golden Clouds , asserting that one of the roles of Native science fiction is to disentangle that science from notions of "primitive" knowledge and myth. The fourth section calls out stories of apocalypse like William Sanders' "When This World Is All on Fire" and a piece from Zainab Amadahy's The Moons of Palmares . The anthology closes with examples of biskaabiiyang, or "returning to ourselves," bringing together stories like Eden Robinson's "Terminal Avenue" and a piece from Robert Sullivan's Star Waka .

An essential book for readers and students of both Native literature and science fiction, Walking the Clouds is an invaluable collection. It brings together not only great examples of Native science fiction from an internationally-known cast of authors, but Dillon's insightful scholarship sheds new light on the traditions of imagining an Indigenous future.

Publisher: Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9780816529827
Characteristics: viii, 260 pages ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Dillon, Grace L.


From Library Staff

[Read an anthology of short stories by multiple authors] I just found out about this book, which came out 5+ years ago! A collection of speculative stories by indigenous authors sounds AWESOME. I'm looking forward to getting to know several new authors and learning about native mythology simulta... Read More »

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Nov 24, 2018

I was so excited when I checked out this book, and there are some fine stories in here. My disappointment was that most of the book is excerpts from books, which made me wonder whether it wouldn't have been better to either find more stories or wait until more were available. The introductions before the stories are definitely aimed at an academic, rather than a general, audience.


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