‘Killer of Enemies’ Brings Apache Warrior Lozen to Life
Q: What prompted you to do a book set in the future?
Ever since I was in 5th grade I’ve been a sci-fi fan. I continue to read a lot of science fiction, but I've often been dissatisfied by the way Native people are portrayed or just plain overlooked in future worlds. True, there have been some exceptions—R.A. Lafferty, Roger Zelazny both created believable Native characters—but not that many. I also like writing about the future because it can serve as a reflection backwards on where we are now. For example, if the divide between the super-rich and the rest of us keeps growing as it is now, we might end up in a world ruled by characters like the Ones in Killer of Enemies.
Q: You say you believe that Natives and the old ways will be a part of survival after a world-changing event like this. Describe why you think that is.
There are a number of reasons why I believe that Native people and our old ways (however you define that term) will survive into the future and could, perhaps better than most, last through a cataclysm such as the one in Killer of Enemies. First there is the tenacity that we have shown to still be around in the 21st century—after the popular belief at the start of the 20th century that all us Indians was as doomed as doomed could be. Native people have the ability, as my old friend Chad Smith of the Cherokee Nation often put it, “to not just survive, but thrive.”
Survival skills are not usually developed by those who are comfortable, complacent, and believe themselves to be in control. Secondly, I have great respect for the old ways—which to me are as much of the mind and the spirit as they are of material culture. The lessons that stories teach us are timeless. The lived beliefs that we must share to survive and that one can both be an individual and a functioning part of a community and a family, those beliefs are powerful.
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