Call for Contributions: Special Issue on Indigenous Speculative Fiction
Posted by Sascha Pöhlmann on 2023-10-05

The various genres under the umbrella of speculative fiction – including but not limited to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and alternate history – have long been popular across diverse reading audiences. More importantly, authors have used these genres to provide thoughtful commentary about and insightful criticism of our contemporary world. And this has been especially the case for writers from historically marginalized communities. One such cluster of communities – Indigenous writers from across North America – have often employed various kinds of speculative fiction to comment on the history and ongoing operations of settler colonialism and the varied ways it has impacted these communities. 

Orbit: A Journal of American Fiction now seeks contributions for a special issue on these authors and their works, with a particular emphasis on US (Native American, including but not limited to Alaska Native and Pacific Island Native) and Canadian (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) authors and works. We encourage the use of any theoretical approach or thematic focus that can shed light on the variety of ways such authors employ, challenge, or otherwise write themselves into the various genres of speculative fiction. We also welcome proposals that recognize the diversity that is “speculative fiction” and the various kinds of fiction that can be included under that umbrella: canonical as well as popular, text-based as well as graphic narratives, print media as well as internet-based texts. Similarly, noting that the history of settler-colonialism is an all-encompassing systemic oppression of peoples  including personal as well as national identities  we encourage the use of intersectional as well as interdisciplinary approaches. Authors are likewise encouraged to situate themselves personally in their analyses, in ways that both enlighten the reading audience as well as demonstrate the variety of kinds of intellectual inquiry from diverse cultural traditions.

We invite scholars from across all fields and disciplinary backgrounds to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words by e-mail to the editors, James J. Donahue ( and Sascha Pöhlmann (, by November 30, 2023. Acceptance of abstract will be signalled by December 15, 2023, and final submissions will be due by April 30, 2024. Final acceptance will be subject to a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Accepted articles will be published online in Orbit’s open-access format, funded and underwritten by the Open Library of Humanities.


Indigenous literature   special issue   speculative fiction