Indigenous Imaginings: Native American Speculative Fiction

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we have collected some speculative fiction with Native American protagonists. Speculative Fiction includes stories with a setting in a place other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. Whether you’re interested in science fiction, fantasy, dystopian fiction, or straight up horror, we’ve got something you’ll love in the list below.

FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley (DB 102762)

Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry, and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. Strong language and some violence. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.


For reasons scientists cannot figure out, evolution begins to run backwards, and women begin to give birth to primitive species of humans. Four months pregnant, Cedar Hawk Songmaker wants to tell her adoptive parents about her condition, but she feels compelled to seek out her birth mother first. Meanwhile, society undergoes drastic changes. Strong language. 2017.

INTERROGATION OF ASHALA WOLF by Ambelin Kwaymullina (DBC 19699)

They’re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals—children with inexplicable abilities—and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm way. Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals have taken refuge in the Firstwood, a forest eerily conscious of its inhabitants, where they do their best to survive and where they are free to practice their abilities. But when Ashala is compelled to venture outside her territory, she is betrayed by a friend and captured by an enemy. Injured and vulnerable, with her own Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. It only a matter of time before the machine ferrets out the location of the Tribe. Her betrayer, Justin Connor, is ever-present, saving her life when she wishes to die and watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf? For grades 6-9 and older. 2016.

JANE YELLOWROCK. BOOKS 1-4 by Faith Hunter (DB 84589)

First four books, written between 2009 and 2012, in a series about Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee shapeshifter who hunts vampires. In Skinwalker, Jane is hired to find a vampire who is killing other vampires. Also includes BLOOD CROSS, MERCY BLADE, and RAVEN CURSED. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2012.

KILLER OF ENEMIES by Joseph Bruchac (DB 78176)

In a distant future, Native American girl Lozen hunts genetically modified monsters for the tyrants who are holding her mother, sister Ana, and little brother Victor hostage. With each kill Lozen’s unique powers grow. Violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2013.

MARROW THIEVES by Cherie Dimaline (DB 105657)

In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream–except the Indigenous population in North America. Their marrow holds the cure for the rest of the world, but it means death for the unwilling donors. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2017.

MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW by Waubgeshig Rice (DB 95719)

A small Anishinaabe First Nation community loses contact with society at large. As they struggle to maintain order while supplies diminish, a refugee who’s escaped from a crumbling society appears. When more people arrive, the community must turn to tradition in hopes of survival. Violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones (DB 100116)

Ten years ago, four young Blackfeet men went on a prohibited elk hunt in lands reserved for the tribe’s elders. As adults, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

SNAKE FALLS TO EARTH by Darcie Little Badger (DB 106018)

Nina, a Lipan Apache, lives in the real world and still believes in the old stories. Oli, a cottonmouth snake boy, lives in the Reflecting World. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.

TRAIL OF LIGHTNING: THE SIXTH WORLD, BOOK 1 by Rebecca Roanhorse (DB 92041)

In the wake of climate disaster, much of the world is underwater, but the Navajo reservation, or Dinetah, still stands thanks to their magic. Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter looking for a supernatural killer who gets help from Kai, an unconventional medicine man. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2018.

Nebula Awards Finalists 2022

Since 1965, the Nebula Awards were established by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) in order to create an annual anthology of the best stories of the year. The finalists were announced March 8. The winners will be announced May 21.

Here are the finalists for 2022 that are in the TBP collection.


Soldier Touraine and her company are sent to quell a rebellion in her homeland. Meanwhile, Luca seeks someone who can sway the rebels to peace while Luca focuses on dethroning her uncle. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
DB 102840
An agent with the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, Fatma el-Sha’arawi investigates the murder of a secret brotherhood. The murderer claims to be the long-missing al-Jahiz, a man who opened the veil to the magical realms forty years prior. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
DB 103858
Humanity is increasingly dependent on designer pills to enhance performance and maintain health. New terrorist group the Machinehood attacks several major pill funders with operatives that are part human and part machine. After a client is killed in front of her, bodyguard Welga is pulled in to help fight the Machinehood. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
DB 104112
An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space, refusing to communicate. Running out of options, Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus sends Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass as a diplomatic envoy. Sequel to A Memory Called Empire (DB 94528). Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
DB 102760


Centuries ago, the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and disappeared into the wilderness. When Sibling Dex, a tea monk, meets Splendid Speckled Mosscap, a robot, they are the first person to encounter a robot in years. Dex and Mosscap travel through the woods together, engaging in philosophical conversation. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
DB 104764; BR 24116
Princess Thanh returns to her mother’s court after years as a political hostage. In her new role as a diplomat, she crosses paths with her first love, Eldris. But Eldris wants more than romance–he has plans for Thanh’s home as well. 2021.
DB 103041; BR 23679
In this space opera reimagining of “The Little Mermaid,” gene-edited human clans have scattered throughout the galaxy, adapting to their new environments. The daughter of a Sea-Clan lord sparks a war when she rejects her people by choosing her land-dwelling love. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2021.
DB 104380; BR 23760


Tired of hiding in obscurity on Earth, Tina, the human clone of a brilliant alien tactician, pursues her destiny in space. But success is elusive until Tina and her best friend Rachael assemble a ragtag crew and set out to save all the worlds. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
DB 102993
Contending with the lives of her loved ones in danger, assassination attempts, and a new stranger she can’t entirely trust, Empress Redemptor Tarisai must decide if she is willing to die for justice–or to live for it. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
DB 105200

Nina, a Lipan Apache, lives in the real world and still believes in the old stories. Oli, a cottonmouth snake boy, lives in the Reflecting World. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
DB 106018
Wadmalaw, South Carolina. Eleven-year-old twins Jezebel and Jay begin lessons in rootwork for healing and protection. As they train, they face threats from the local police deputy, school bullies, and others. Commercial audiobook. For grades 3-6. 2021.
DB 106014

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey, DB 80678

The recent theatrical release of the movie The Girl With All the Gifts, featuring Glenn Close, brings to life the 2014 post-apocalyptic novel, GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (DB 80678). Nominated for multiple science fiction and horror awards, this story, set twenty years after the event known as The Breakdown, follows a group of survivors as they travel to military headquarters.


Intricately plotted, with an atmospheric and creepy tone, this horror novel is written in a compelling manner that inextricably draws the reader into the dystopian landscape of post-apocalyptic England. The point of view shifts between characters, offering the reader a glimpse at the motivations behind their actions and a view into their inner turmoil.

NLS Annotation for GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (DB 80678): A pandemic has turned countless people into zombies known as “hungries.” The administrators of a military camp studying these hungries must flee when a group of anarchists breach their security. They bring Melanie, a 10-year-old second-generation hungry with incredible strength and intellect, debating the status of her humanity all the while. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. Commercial audiobook. 2014.

If you’ve already read this book and enjoy post-apocalyptic novels featuring zombies and young protagonists, you may try PASSAGE by Justin Cronin (DB 71422) or if you’d prefer a zombie horror novel that feels more like a political thriller with science fiction elements, try FEED by Mira Grant (DB 77374).

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin, DB 82240

Winner of the 2016 Hugo Award, FIFTH SEASON tells the story of how the world ends – for the last time. Told from three different viewpoints, N. K. Jemisin weaves a story of survival against the backdrop of the Stillness, a world constantly threatened by catastrophic geologic upheaval.


Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominated author, N. K. Jemisin, describes the plight of the orogenes, a feared section of the population, who have the ability to control the geologic energy held within the Earth. Written in a compelling manner with a gritty tone, she deftly describes the events leading up to the beginning of the Fifth Season, a time of catastrophic climate change.

NLS Annotation for FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin (DB 82240): Essun is a woman living in a world ruled by the violent tectonic activity it experiences. She comes home to find her husband has killed her son and kidnapped her daughter, all for the secret ability Essun and her children have to control the Earth. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2015.

If you have already read this book or enjoy fantasy fiction with apocalyptic overtones, try WHO FEARS DEATH by Nnedi Okoafor (DB 73989). Or if you’d like to try something similar with more of a science fiction feel, try the Pure Trilogy by Julianna Baggott starting with PURE (DB 78234).