Native Voices in SciFi and Horror

In recent years, more Native American writers have been published in the scifi, fantasy, and horror fiction genres. This goes way beyond the atypical genre of Native American writing, which either focuses on traditional tribal storytelling or contemporary fiction based on reservation life or urban life. Not only a part of the modern world, many of our contemporary Native writers have taken bold, creative strides into the realm of speculative fiction.

Man Made Monsters, book cover

Man Made Monsters by Andrea Rogers

Making her YA debut, Cherokee writer Andrea L. Rogers takes her place as one of the most striking voices of the horror renaissance that has swept the last decade.

Horror fans will get their thrills in this collection – from werewolves to vampires to zombies – all the time-worn horror baddies are there. But so are predators of a distinctly American variety – the horrors of empire, of intimate partner violence, of dispossession. And so too the monsters of Rogers’ imagination, that draw upon long-told Cherokee stories – of Deer Woman, fantastical sea creatures, and more.

Following one extended Cherokee family across the centuries, from the tribe’s homelands in Georgia in the 1830s to World War I, the Vietnam War, our own present, and well into the future, each story delivers a slice of a particular time period that will leave readers longing for more. - from Amazon

The Only Good Indians, book cover

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

Tread of Angels, book cover

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Celeste, a card sharp with a need for justice, takes on the role of advocatus diaboli, to defend her sister, Mariel, accused of murdering a Virtue, a member of the ruling class of this mining town, in a new world of dark fantasy from the New York Times best-selling author of Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse.

The year is 1883, and the mining town of Goetia is booming as prospectors from near and far come to mine the powerful new element Divinity from the high mountains of Colorado with the help of the pariahs of society known as the Fallen. The Fallen are the descendants of demonkind living among the Virtues, the winners in an ancient war, with the descendants of both sides choosing to live alongside Abaddon’s mountain in this tale of the mythological West from the best-selling mastermind Rebecca Roanhorse. - from Amazon.

 Hunting by Stars, book cover

Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline

French has been captured by the Recruiters, confined to one of the infamous residential schools, where the government extracts the marrow of Indigenous people in order to steal the ability to dream, and where the captured are programmed to betray others of their kind, something which he discovers has been done to his brother; meanwhile the other survivors, his found family, are hunting for him, determined to rescue him--and French has to decide just how much, and whom, he is willing to sacrifice to survive and be reunited with Rose and the others.

For Further Reading

Walking the Clouds, book cover
Robopocalypse, book cover
Future Home of the Living God, book cover
Moon of the Crusted Snow, book cover
Strangers, book cover
Son of a Trickster, book cover
Empire of Wild, book cover
 Feral Nights, book cover
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, book cover
Love After the End, book cover
Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories, book cover
Trail of Lightning, book cover
My Heart Is a Chainsaw, book cover

Native Representation in the SciFi and Horror Genres Onscreen: The newest installment of the Predator series, Prey, was released in August of 2021. This film featured many Native cast members and was filmed near the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in Alberta, Canada. Much of the dialogue is in the Comanche language.

Michael Greyeyes, an actor from the Nehiyaw (Cree) Nation, has had a long career in movies and television. He has acted in Fear the Walking Dead, V-Wars, American Gods, Blood Quantum (a Native themed Zombie film), and the most recent version of Firestarter.

In Memoriam: Filmmaker and director Jeff Barnaby (Mi"kmaq) recently passed away. His contributions to film include the aforementioned horror movie Blood Quantum and Rhymes for Young Ghouls (a film about the Canadian Residential School system and familial and systemic abuse).

Blood Quantum, book cover

Blood Quantum

The residents of an isolated Mi'kmaq community discover they're immune to a zombie plague but people in surrounding areas begin to flee to their reserve.