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Futuristic worlds in Australian Aboriginal fiction

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This is the first study that brings together the theory of the fantastic with the vibrant corpus of Australian Aboriginal fiction on futurities. Selected works by Ellen van Neerven, Sam Watson, Archie Weller, Eric Willmot and Alexis Wright are analysed as fictional prose texts that construct alternative future worlds. They offer a distinctive contribution to the relatively new field of non-mainstream science fiction that has entered the critical domain of late, often under the title of postcolonial science fiction. The structures of these alternative worlds reveal a relationship – sometimes straightforward, sometimes more complex – with the established paradigms of the genre. The novelty of their stories comes from the authors’ cultural memory and experience of having survived the «end of the world» brought about by colonisation. Their answers to our futurity contain different novums that debunk the myth of progress in order to raise the issue of a future without a human face.

Iva Polak is Assistant Professor in English Literature at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has lectured on Australian Aboriginal literature in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Australia and Japan and has published widely in the field, including a monograph on the development of Australian Aboriginal fiction (2011). She has received two Endeavour Research Fellowships (Curtin University, WA, 2006; University of Adelaide, SA, 2014). Her current interests include new developments in the fantastic and humour studies.

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