Cover image for Take us to your chief : and other stories / Drew Hayden Taylor.
Title:
Take us to your chief : and other stories / Drew Hayden Taylor.
ISBN:
9781771621311
Publication Information:
Madeira Park, British Columbia : Douglas & McIntyre, 2016.

©2016
Physical Description:
ix, 149 pages ; 23 cm
Abstract:
"A forgotten Haudenosaunee social song beams into the cosmos like a homing beacon for interstellar visitors. A computer learns to feel sadness and grief from the history of atrocities committed against First Nations. A young Native man discovers the secret to time travel in ancient petroglyphs. Drawing inspiration from science fiction legends like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, Drew Hayden Taylor frames classic science-fiction tropes in an Aboriginal perspective. The nine stories in this collection span all traditional topics of science fiction--from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations. Yet Taylor's First Nations perspective draws fresh parallels, likening the cultural implications of alien contact to those of the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, or highlighting the impossibility of remaining a "good Native" in such an unnatural situation as a space mission. Infused with Native stories and variously mysterious, magical and humorous, Take Us to Your Chief is the perfect mesh of nostalgically 1950s-esque science fiction with modern First Nations discourse."-- Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

A forgotten Haudenosaunee social song beams into the cosmos like a homing beacon for interstellar visitors. A computer learns to feel sadness and grief from the history of atrocities committed against First Nations. A young Native man discovers the secret to time travel in ancient petroglyphs. Drawing inspiration from science fiction legends like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, Drew Hayden Taylor frames classic science-fiction tropes in an Aboriginal perspective.

The nine stories in this collection span all traditional topics of science fiction--from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations. Yet Taylor's First Nations perspective draws fresh parallels, likening the cultural implications of alien contact to those of the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, or highlighting the impossibility of remaining a "good Native" in such an unnatural situation as a space mission.

Infused with Native stories and variously mysterious, magical and humorous, Take Us to Your Chief is the perfect mesh of nostalgically 1950s-esque science fiction with modern First Nations discourse.


Author Notes

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, novelist, scriptwriter and journalist. He was born and raised on the Curve Lake First Nation in Central Ontario. Taylor has authored nearly thirty books, including The Night Wander: A Native Gothic Novel (Annick, 2007) about an Anishinaabe vampire. He also edited Me Funny, Me Sexy and Me Artsy (Douglas & McIntyre, 2006, 2008 and 2015), and has been nominated for two Governor General's Awards. He lives in Toronto.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This short story collection mixing sci-fi with First Nations myths and contemporary politics highlights prolific writer Taylor's formidable talents across genres. Taylor (The Night Wanderer) cleverly uses the tropes of science fiction-alien connections, government conspiracies, thinking machines, time travel-to frame colonial-indigenous relations in an off-kilter way. The funniest and most fully realized of the stories is "Dreams of Doom," in which First Nations people discover the government has been spying on them using specially adapted dream catchers. A more poignant story is "Lost in Space," in which Mitchell, a First Nations astronaut on a long mission, learns of his grandfather's death back on Earth. His vessel's artificial intelligence, known as Mac, is a wholly inadequate companion for grieving-until it tracks down some lost footage of Mitchell's grandfather. Exploring the complicated no-man's-land that looms large between modernity and tradition, this collection is an unromanticized attempt to make sense of the world we live in with all its problems and benefits. Although the collection is probably too retro to appeal to serious fans of speculative fiction, its intriguing combination of serious politics and good fun will appeal to a broad readership. Agent: Janine Cheeseman, Aurora Artists. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

A reservation radio station beaming an old Native American song attracts alien visitors. A First Nations astronaut learns of his grandfather's death back on Earth and ponders his relationship through lost footage brought up by his ship's artificial intelligence. Taylor's nine tales take such classic sf tropes as alien invasions and space travel, and reworks them with a contemporary indigenous North American outlook. New parallels between first alien contact and the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, magic, mystery, Armageddon, and humor are all found in this singular collection. VERDICT Taylor's writing (The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel) shows that social criticism and art can mix successfully, and that sf is an excellent genre to explore the Native experience in present-and future-worlds.-KC © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
A Culturally Inappropriate Armageddonp. 1
I Am... Am Ip. 24
Lost in Spacep. 46
Dreams of Doomp. 56
Mr. Gizmop. 77
Petropathsp. 92
Starsp. 111
Superdisappointedp. 120
Take Us to Your Chiefp. 136
Acknowledgementsp. 147
About the Authorp. 150

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