A History of the Future: Time-Travel, Technology, Dystopia, and Postcolonial Anxiety in Vandana Singh’s “Delhi”
Keywords:Indian Science Fiction, Postcolonialism, Delhi, time travel, Dystopia, Appropriation
The paper examines postcolonial concerns arising in and through the science fiction, “Delhi,” by Vandana Singh as the author consciously deviates from generic conventions of the structures of Western science fiction. We argue that the protagonist in “Delhi” could be viewed as a postcolonial subject experiencing alienation and powerlessness. The character‟s postcolonial subjectivity is traced through Singh‟s manipulations of western science fiction tropes vis-à-vis time-travel, technology, dystopia, and narrative techniques. Using „abrogation‟ and „appropriation‟ (Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin, 1989), and Ricoeur‟s Time and Narrative (1988), the paper analyses how postcolonial elements are foregrounded. It also examines the larger implications of engaging in a postcolonial reading of a science fiction text produced from a technologically developing Indian context.
Banerjee, S. (2010). Other tomorrows: Postcoloniality, Science Fiction and India. Dissertation. Retrieved from LSU Digital Commons, (3181).
Bhabha, H. K. (2006). The location of culture. New York: Routledge. Hills, M. (2015). Time, possible worlds, and counterfactuals. In Bould, M., Butler, A., Roberts, A., & Vint, S., (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, (pp. 432-433). London: Routledge.
Hopkinson, N., & Mehan, U. (Eds.). (2004). So long been dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.
Kerslake, P. (2007). Science fiction and empire. Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Latham, R. (2014). The Oxford handbook of Science Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press.
McHale, B. (1987). Postmodernist fiction. London:Metheun.
Reid, M. (2015). Postcolonialism. In Bould, M., Butler, A., Roberts, A., & Vint, S., (Eds.), The Routledge companion to science fiction, (pp. 256-267). London: Routledge.
Reider, J. (2008). Colonialism and the emergence of Science Fiction. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
Ricoeur, P. (1988). Time and narrative (Vol. 1). (K. McLaughlin & D. Pellauer, Trans.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1984).
Sawyer, A. (2015). Future history. In Bould, M., Butler, A., Roberts, A., & Vint, S., (Eds.), The Routledge companion to science fiction, (pp. 489-494). London: Routledge.
Shippey, T. (1981). History in Science Fiction. In J. Clute & P. Nicholls (Eds.), The encyclopedia of science fiction, (pp. 26). London: Orbit.
Singh, V. (2004). Delhi. Lightspeed: Science Fiction and Fantasy. Retrieved from www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/delhi.