Andean Science Fiction: An Introduction
The notion of “Andean science fiction” has generated countless conversations between writers, academic symposiums on the genre, and bohemian gatherings from 2000 to the present. It is always gaining more fans and, unequivocally, almost no detractors. This is a happy sign of union between a genre still forming its own boundaries and an evident regionalism, and it indicates the exponential increase in new works that shuffle the notion of territoriality along with that of fantastic textuality. These texts put pressure on space, language, and genre, hybridized with identity itself that is worthy of greater attention from fans, drawn in by the attraction of the English-speaking pole, and from academics, journalists, and educators, always in search of “local color” before authenticity.
Spanish-speaking critics and thinkers (Belevan, Barrenechea, and Roas, to name a few) have emphasized—all in their own way, with markedly different theoretical styles—that non-realist literature written in Latin America must seek out a new nomenclature, getting past the endlessly repeated slogans of Todorov, Callois, and Vax, who were still in shock after witnessing, live and in person, the bestial mating of romanticism and naturalism. And so, what for us would be constant democratic chaos, daily irritating delirium, and horror in business hours meant, for the Europeans, digging through the abhorrent depths of their most vulnerable ontology. For us, that which is unbearable for the First World is no more than everyday survival.
For this reason, science fiction can wait no longer to take action on this prickly theoretical matter, and this is why we have convened three renowned writers from the Andes to elucidate this attempt at naming a genre—Marcelo Novoa (editor and author) of Chile, Daniel Salvo (writer and educator) of Peru, and Iván Rodrigo Mendizábal (academic and researcher) of Ecuador—who lend their original visions the same territory, which has yet to be mapped. Here we can read a discourse of the future (Novoa), a necessary clarification of the present (Salvo), and a critical panorama of the recent past (Mendizábal). Enjoy this overture of Andean Science Fiction!
Translated by Arthur Dixon
Marcelo Novoa (Viña del Mar, Chile, 1964) is a poet, publisher, and literary critic. He is also an academic at the Pontificial Catholic University of Valparaiso. He is the founder of Editorial Trombo Azul of Valparaíso, where he published LP (1987) and Minorías (1988), and later Arte Cortante (1966), his ongoing verse collection, which continues in 2003. He has also published Álbum de Flora y Fauna (2002) and Años Luz: Mapa Estelar de la Ciencia Ficción en Chile (2006). He directs a webpage dedicated to fantastic literature which has become an obligatory reference point for the Latin American literary scene. He has published more than fifty novels and short story collections by Chilean authors of fantastic literature.
Michael Redzich is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He earned degrees in Spanish and Letters, and intends to pursue a legal education upon graduation. Michael came to OU in 2013 from Jackson, Wyoming, where he grew up with his parents and one brother. He spent the past two years living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and looks forward to seeing more of Latin America: the places, the people, the literature, and more.
The seventh issue of Latin American Literature Today highlights indigenous voices with dossiers dedicated to three Wayuu writers from Colombia and Zapotec poetry and prose. We also pay homage to renowned Venezuelan poet Eugenio Montejo with a special dossier, as well as returning to the strange worlds of Latin American science fiction and opening a new space for Brazilian literature in Portuguese and English.
Table of Contents
- ESSAY: "Eugenio Montejo: An Introduction" by Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza
- ESSAY: "Eugenio Montejo: A Living Presence Ten Years After His Passing" by Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza
- ESSAY: "Eugenio Montejo and the Poetics of the Essay" by Miguel Gomes
- ESSAY: "The Joyous Excess of Eugenio Montejo’s Heteronymy" by Nicholas Roberts
- ESSAY: "So the Song Remains: Cosmic Orientation and Landscape in the Poetry of Eugenio Montejo" by Luis Enrique Belmonte
- POETRY: Five Poems by Eugenio Montejo
- ESSAY: "The White Workshop" by Eugenio Montejo
- POETRY: "Final sin fin" by Eugenio Montejo
- INTERVIEW: "A Choral Interview with Eugenio Montejo" by Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza, Julio Bolívar, Edmundo Bracho, Marina Gasparini, and José Pulido
- ESSAY: "Three Wayuu Writers Bring Winds of Renewal from the Desert" by Ana María Ferreira
- ESSAY: "Estercilia Simanca: A Writer who Makes the Desert Blossom" by Ana María Ferreira
- ESSAY: "Vito Apüshana: from Woumain to Wallmapu and from there to Rockies" by Juan Guillermo Sánchez
- ESSAY: "Pulowi of Uuchimüin" by Estercilia Simanca
- FICTION: "I Never Heard the Birds Again" by Vicenta Siosi
- POETRY: Five Poems by Vito Apüshana
- "Andean Science Fiction: An Introduction" by Marcelo Novoa
- "Andean Science Fiction: If Everything Unites Us… Does Nothingness Separate Us?" by Marcelo Novoa
- "Andean Dystopias: When the Future Clashes with Desire" by Iván Rodrigo Mendizábal
- "Andean Science Fiction: Pitfalls and Possibilities" by Daniel Salvo
- Teoría y práctica de La Habana by Rubén Gallo
- Paisajes en movimiento by Gustavo Guerrero
- Ya nadie llora por mí by Sergio Ramírez
- Huracán by Sofía Segovia
- Casa transparente by María Luque
- La casa devastada by Carlos Cociña
- The Hours by Juan Carlos Villavicencio
- El asesinato de Laura Olivo by Jorge Eduardo Benavides
- Los terneros by Rodrigo Blanco Calderón
- Baroni: A Journey by Sergio Chejfec