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Finding a Way HomeA Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley's Fiction$
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Owen E. Brady and Derek C. Maus

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604730883

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604730883.001.0001

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Shadows of an Imminent Future

Shadows of an Imminent Future

Walter Mosley’s Dystopia and Science Fiction

(p.133) Shadows of an Imminent Future
Finding a Way Home

Juan F. Elices

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Walter Mosley’s complete science fiction (SF) production as of 2007—Blue Light (1998), Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent Future (2001), and The Wave (2006)—as examples of how the novelist draws and builds upon the foundations of both SF and dystopian literature in order to allegorize the search for a symbolic home in which African American sociocultural traditions are preserved and empowered. It argues that Mosley’s SF works simultaneously serve two purposes, one fictional and one metafictional. On the fictional level, each work corresponds to many of the usual genre conventions in “representing the efforts of a character or a group of characters to transcend a dystopian—or at least highly marginalized—existence.” On the metafictional level, Mosley is writing SF explicitly to model how African American writers might engage in discourses from which they have been traditionally marginalized, thereby entering “an arena of debate and contestation where durable clichés associated with African Americans can be dismantled.”

Keywords:   Walter Mosley, African American literature, Blue Light, Futureland, The Wave, dystopian literature

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