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Life on America's Indian reservations, for Native and non-Native residents alike, embodies two of the major themes in speculative fiction. On a daily basis, people on the Rez encounter situations that explore the concept of The Other, and they grapple with the idea of what it means to Be Human.
We put a call out to the reservation communities of North America, asking for science fiction and fantasy stories inspired by life there. This book is the result.
Some of the stories are sweet, because life on the Rez, like life anywhere, can be sweet. Some of these stories are rough. And raw. And disturbing. Because life, particularly life on the Rez, can be rough. And raw and disturbing.
If you live or have lived on the reservation, I hope you'll recognize your friends and neighbors and perhaps even yourself among these 13 stories by emerging writers. And if you haven't lived there, I hope you'll realize that these are tales about people who could have been your friends and neighbors if your world were just a little bit different. If you lived... a life on the Rez.
Meet the authors
R. Cheeksunkun: A young Mohican writer from Wisconsin, Cheeksunkun's story is, "derived from personal experience and from the experiences of those I know. It began as something deliberate but took on a life of its own."
Darla Clement: Originally from the Flathead Indian Reservation of Northwest Montana, Clement is now a resident of Texarkana. Of her story in Life on the Rez, she says, "I enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and it's the story I've been waiting to write for a long time."
Brianna Frentzko: Frentzko taught for three years on the Navajo Nation and describes herself as "a young white woman who knew little about native culture and a great deal about British and American literature." Of her contribution to Life on the Rez, she says, "Abigail’s story, then, doesn’t belong merely to me; the many tales embedded within are versions of the uncountable number of stories shared with me orally during my sojourn in the desert. My students, my colleagues, and my friends all share in the telling."
Louise Herring-Jones: An accomplished author with stories in nearly a dozen anthologies, Herring-Jones' contribution to Life on the Rez is drawn from her time as counsel to a ANCSA native corporation in Klawock, Alaska. She is also a popular name on the genre convention circuit.
L.L. Hill: Hill is an occasional writer, poet, illustrator and photographer. A resident for over two years near Morley, Alberta, Hill notes that "Badger's Antlers" is inspired by fermented crab apples, area badgers, and mule deer antlers. For more information, visit http://www.lauraleehill.com/
Arnold Isbister: "I am a First Nations author from Saskatchewan and used to live in Shelby, Montana. Through my experiences and inside knowledge of our Reserve and politics, I often wondered why and when would we ever be blessed with a Leader who is above reproach, shares our dismay and is willing to right the wrongs of our politicians. What if such a person was born or "made" and he or she ventured forth on such a noble journey?"
Michelle Mix: Mix draws on indigenous folklore of her home near Pyramid Lake, Nevada, for her story in our anthology. More of her work, such as "The Long Way to Reno," "How To Be Something That You Miss," and "Words in the Night," can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Mix/e/B00XNYCWQA
Molly Race: The author lived and taught on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for a year and a half. She taught language arts and speech to her high school kids, as well as helping out with the rodeo team and the odd church potluck. During her time there, she was adopted by her neighbor’s family. They fed her, towed her car, and called on her for the occasional last-minute babysitting duties. They taught her to drive a truck, cook, and play bingo. Her adoptive family did not, however, have robots. The author seeks to fix this grievous error.
Ariel Rodman: An educator and historian, Rodman is the author of "Perchance to Sleep," a short science-fiction story that appeared as the cover story for the inaugural issue of the genre web-magazine, Nth Danger Spec.
Naomi Brett Rourke: The author of "Balance" teaches Native American Oral and Written Literature. She has been published in London's Morpheus Tales, and has had works accepted for the Brewed Awakenings 2 anthology and the magazine The Mature Years.
Raymond K. Rugg: Rugg grew up on the Flathead Indian Reservation of Northwest Montana and serves as the curator for this anthology. More information on his work is available at RaymondKRugg.com.
Marian Saastamoinen: Saastamoinen notes that Pumpkin is her Taos Pueblo NDN name and that she was raised Catholic by her mother, but NDN by her tribe, father and grandparents on Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. She now resides near Kent State, Ohio, and is a wife and mother of two.
Clinton R. Siegle: Siegle currently lives in La Paz, Bolivia, but grew up in Lame Deer, Montana, on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. Most of the tales included in his story were heard while living there.