Futuristic Worlds in Australian Aboriginal Fiction


Iva Polak. Futuristic Worlds in Australian Aboriginal Fiction. Oxford : Peter Lang, 2017.

The study focuses on the versatile theoretical corpus of the literature of the fantastic, on the one hand, and a vibrant corpus of Australian Aboriginal fiction that explores futurities, on the other. Primary interest is to discuss those Aboriginal works that boldly embark on constructing futuristic worlds and offer a distinctive contribution to the relatively recent field of native writers’ science fiction. This literary corpus has entered the critical domain in the twenty-first century, often under the heading of postcolonial science fiction. Analysed corpus includes: Sam Watson’s The Kadaitcha Sung (1990), Eric Willmot’s Below the Line (1991), Archie Weller’s Land of the Golden Clouds (1998), Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book (2013) and Ellen van Neerven’s novella “Water” published in Heat and Light collection (2014). This is the first book-length study in English that brings these works together under the prefix of contemporary SF.

Introduction: In Search of the Australian Fantastic
1.1 The Australian Non-Aboriginal Fantastic and Its Epitext: A Short Survey
1.2 The Aboriginal Novel and Its Epitextual Minefield
1.3 Spectres of the Aboriginal Fantastic and Its Epitext
Chapter 1 The Fantastic as a Terminological Trickster
Chapter 2 The Postcolonial Turn and the Fantastic
Chapter 3 Below the Line – An SF Novel of (Double) Invasion
Chapter 4 “Water” – The SF Alien as a Metaphor for Culture
Chapter 5 Land of the Golden Clouds – An Epic Space of Science Fantasy and Fantastika
Chapter 6 The Kadaitcha Sung – Towards Native Slipstream
Chapter 7 The Swan Book – Into Transrealist Fiction
Conclusion: The Future Arrives
Works Cited