Midnight Robber is a novel set apart from most other works of science fiction in its use of a non-Anglo-Saxon culture as the predominant society of its world. Science Fiction often deals with issues of individuals set apart from the rest of society or set in unfamiliar surroundings, trying to find their way, and so it is somewhat surprising that there are so few examples of Science fiction works written through the lenses of cultures outside of the western/American norm. Nalo Hopkinson presents a future in which Carribean culture and influence dominates, built through her use of Creole narration and mythologies that depart from westernized norms.
The most conspicuous representation of the novel's Carribian viewpoint is the use of Creole Language by characters and the Narrative. The very intro of the book begins with some text describing the main character that, at first glance, might be confused for improper grammar, or just seem incomprehensible for a long while: "The only thing soft about Tan-Tan is she big, molasses-brown eyes that could look on you, and your heart would start to beat time boopaloops with every flutter of she long eyelashes. One look in she eyes, and you fall for she already," (1-2). Once a reader comes to understanding the grammar structures and wording methodologies a bit better, though, the text becomes almost as easy to read as regular English prose, but gives the added cultural element to keep the reader immersed in the story. The character dialogues are similarly presented in Creole, keeping the image that the entire world, not just our main character, is based upon Carribean culture rather than western societal constructs. One exchange goes as follows: " 'I not leaving you!' 'She not going anywhere with you, you pissant wretch!' 'Go, Melonhead, or it just go be worse!' 'You sure?' 'Yes! I go come talk to you later,' " (166). As previously mentioned, this at first glance appears to be bad grammar, but gives an authenticity otherwise completely lost by correcting the speech patterns of Creole pidgin.
Hopkinson further involves Creole by using mythologies based in the realm of the novel and its Carribean roots. The majority of tales involve trickery, or "anansi story" as it is called in the introduction, referring to an African legend of Anansi the Spider, a great being who greatly helped out mankind but also was a trickster. In the tale of Tan-Tan and Dry Bone, the entire plot is centered around the two characters trying to out-trick each other to get their way; In Dry Bone's case to be perpetually cared for by Tan-Tan, and Tan-Tan trying to get rid of him. Tan-Tan finally wins out by tricking Dry Bones to going out onto her porch by weaving an image of a veranda suited for a king, playing to his ego to bring about his downfall at the hands of Master Johncrow, who takes Dry Bone away into the sky (211). While Western myths deal with trickery, the Carribean and African influenced myths present in the story seem almost entirely comprised of subterfuge as a means to all ends.
Midnight Robber's basis in Carribean and African culture allow for a more immersive reading experience, and help to create a realm that is, sadly, more alien than most standard works of science fiction which are based on western culture. By taking readers into this other culture, she can create a fictitious world with so many real world elements, yet still have it be alien and unique.