“Sanchez-Taylor provides a delectable sampling of alternative futures created by authors of color while examining the roots of race and ethnicity in science fiction. Real food for thought.” —Isiah Lavender III, author of Afrofuturism Rising: The Literary Prehistory of a Movement
“Sanchez-Taylor’s Diverse Futures is a love song to contemporary science fiction writers of color, exploring how their varied and multitudinous redeployments of such familiar tropes as alien invasion, mutation and genetic engineering, and apocalypse can help us take the future back from white supremacy.” —Gerry Canavan, Marquette University
Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color examines the contributions of late-twentieth- and twenty-first-century US and Canadian science fiction authors of color. By looking at the intersections among science fiction authors of multiple races and ethnicities, Joy Sanchez-Taylor seeks to explain how these authors of color are juxtaposing tropes of science fiction with specific cultural references to comment on issues of inclusiveness in Eurowestern cultures. The central argument of this work is that these authors are challenging science fiction’s history of Eurocentric representation through the depiction of communities of color in fantastic or futuristic settings, specifically by using cognitive estrangement and the inclusion of non-Eurowestern cultural beliefs and practices to comment on the alienation of racially dominated groups. By exploring science fiction tropes—such as first contact, genetic modification, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and advanced technologies in the works of Octavia E. Butler, Ted Chiang, Sabrina Vourvoulias, and many others—Sanchez-Taylor demonstrates how authors of various races and ethnicities write science fiction that pays homage to the genre while also creating a more diverse and inclusive portrait of the future.
Joy Sanchez-Taylor is Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College.
(Photo credit: Sam Taylor)
Introduction “An Image of Tomorrow”
Chapter 1 Space Travel and First Contact Narratives
Chapter 2 Race, Genetics, and Science Fiction
Chapter 3 The Apocalypse Has Already Come: Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes
Chapter 4 “Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive”: Indigenous and Eurowestern Science
Conclusion “How Long ’Til Black Future Month?”