Meritocracy Blues, Chimeras, and Analytic Monsters
Detective stories, science fiction, and the advocacy of social justice through revisionary mythopoeisis are different modes of exploring the anxieties and tensions embedded in future thinking, and of deciphering the strangeness of the present by plumbing the rationalities and the technologies of the present for their potentials of (rational) absurdity and (technological) self-destruction. In this chapter, these issues are explored in the work of three different novelists. Daren Goh's The HDB Murders updates Michael Young's satirical The Rise of the Meritocracy, and deals with the competitive and destructive metrics of auditing. Kevin Martens Wong's Altered Straits presents an alternative Singapore, both in terms of history and imagined futures. Nuraliah Norasid's The Gatekeeper provides a mythopoetic assay into the racial, class, and other inequalities generated by the meritocratic state, fusing together ancient Greek and Chinese myth, along with a feminist mode of writing the body.