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Futuristic Worlds in Australian Aboriginal Fiction


Iva Polak

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.
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Chapter 1: The Fantastic as a Terminological Trickster


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The Fantastic as a Terminological Trickster

In the opening pages of The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1973), Todorov evokes the image of a tiger to draw a parallel between changes in the biological and literary “species”:

Being familiar with the species tiger, we can deduce from it the properties of each individual tiger; the birth of a new tiger does not modify the species in its definition. […]

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