The Black President
November 27, 2008 2:20 PM   Subscribe

A 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel predicts a U.S. election determined by race and gender. O Presidente Negro envisions the 2228 U.S. presidential election. In that race, the white male incumbent, President Kerlog, finds himself running against Evelyn Astor, a white feminist, and James Roy Wilde, the cultivated and brilliant leader of the Black Association, "a man who is more than just a single man ... what we call a leader of the masses."
posted by Tom-B (10 comments total)
Black Association vs. the Homos? OMG it predicted prop 8 too.
posted by fleacircus at 2:36 PM on November 27, 2008

A random sci-fi novel predicts random events 200 years in the future? The article is almost 2 months old and, of course, implicit is some sort of connection to this election? This post should be shelved away somewhere, preferably taking the the phrase "palling around with terrorists" and the person Joe the Plumber with it.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:17 PM on November 27, 2008

Brazilian Futurists. Eugenics in Brazil, linked to the concept of 'whitening', which appears in the summary of the novel to have been an important reference point based on the restriction of races in the US in contrast to the ways Brazil handled race relations.

An excellent book on 'whitening' in Brazil is Diploma of Whiteness by Jerry Davila. A good book about the Brazilian Zeitgeist of the period is Culture Wars.
posted by winna at 3:53 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nice links winna, better than the fpp.

Now I can finally quit my job, I am halfway through Mentiras sujas, o billionare., by the same author, writen 6 months later.
posted by dirty lies at 4:06 PM on November 27, 2008

Is this the time to point out that Obama doesn't lead any black organizations, McCain wasn't the incumbent and Hillary Clinton barely qualifies as a feminist?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

Only 220 years off, too.
posted by DU at 4:43 PM on November 27, 2008

Tonight, over Thanksgiving diner, mom was telling me how, 20 years from now, president Kerlog will be acknowledged to have been a truly great president, someone who kept the country safe and secure these past 8 years. She then argued that James Roy Wilde will govern using economic policies just like Kerlog's. (Thanks for poisoning my mom's mind, 1926 Brazilian sci-fi Fox News.)
posted by Auden at 6:43 PM on November 27, 2008

So I take it your mom's not Evelyn Astor?
posted by JaredSeth at 9:03 PM on November 27, 2008

Yeah, winna has it right. SciFi is about today, not tomorrow - a future election in a faraway land lets the author say what he or she really means about what's going on at the corner store on a tuesday morning.

Derail a moment to bring up the best quote about science fiction, ever, from one of its worst practitioners, ever. I buy all his science fiction now, even though I can't get more than a dozen pages or so into it. The radio interviewer asked why such a prominent and respected author would stoop to mere genre:

"Literature has assigned the African American author a niche: I must address the nature of my chains. When I write science fiction, I can write about anything." - Walt Mosley

(I do love his Easy Rawlins novels, tho... I wish he could do a better job of translating his keen insight into humanity into something just as page-turning in the SF sphere. Do any of the resident authors want to team up with him, like Niven and Pournelle, or Gibson and Sterling? You'd be =guaranteed= a Hugo and a Nebula on the strength of his characters and dialog alone.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:29 PM on November 27, 2008

Let me clarify the last bit: Yes, a black man can write science fiction. Walt Mosley's trouble isn't that he's black, but that he's too grounded for space opera or fantasy, but he's not obsessive-compulsive enough to get all the details right for the harder SF styles where his characters and plots and themes can truly shine.

cstross - yell at your agent to make it happen.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:39 PM on November 27, 2008

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