Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chicanonautica: Quest for Ciencia Ficción

It was the early Eighties – just before cyberpunk exploded – I was wandering around Mexico with my sister, because my Spanish was better than hers and my parents figured I'd damned well better take care of her. We went to the UNAM campus to check out the murals, when among stacks of stuff that students were selling, I saw come magazines that would send me on a life-long quest.

They were emblazoned with the words CIENCIA FICCIÓN. Hoping they would be Mexican science fiction magazines, I handed over some pesos. They weren't, but in the long run they turned out to be something better, two special science fiction issues of Comunidad CONACyT. The articles that taught me the important lesson that the border is a distorted one-way glass, the outside world sees more of America than we see out – these Mexicans knew a lot about American science fiction. I also was introduced to René Rebetez with a story and an essay, and Paco Ignacio Tabio II with a tale of Mexico's future.

There was science fiction from Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. I kept my eye out for more.

Later in the town of Palenque, not far from the Mayan ruins of the same name, I came across a used comic book stall run by pre-adolescent boys. They had a lot of science fiction comics – including unauthorized translations of American Fifties stuff.

I've been trying to tell the America science fiction community ever since. Somehow it never worked out -- a combination of the subject not being considered of interest to “the audience” and my usual trouble with trying to squeeze too much mind-blowing material into dinky formats. Thank Tezcatlipoca for La Bloga!

I'm happy to report that Spanish-language science fiction – and fantasy – is alive and well and living on the Web! Through my Facebook contacts and a Google search, I've learned about a number of online science fiction magazine, and websites:

Imaginarios: Revisat Digital Trimestral de Género Fantastico, published by the Federación Española de Fantastica Epica.

Nuevomundo: La Nueva Literatura Fantastica Hispanoamericana, also know as NM.

Ciencia Ficción Perú, an informative blog.

Axxón: Ciencia Ficción en Bits, science fiction, fantasy and horror, “creada en Argentina.”, news and information about South American science fiction, “terror,” and fantasy.

Cuasar: Ciencia, Terror y Fantasía, informative website of an Argentine magazine.

Sci-FdI: Revista de Ciencia Ficción de la Facultad de Informática de la UCM, which is the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Cygnus: La Revista de Ciencia Ficción, the contents of five issues of a magazine produced by UBIK, the science fiction club of the Universidad Simón Bolivar.

Cosmocá Revista Columbiana de Ciencia-Ficción, that also has a print version.

CiFi: Portal de Ciencia Ficción, that is going to overload with us with stuff on this subject.

Ciencia Ficción Ecuador, that I just noticed has links to a lot of magazines, both celulosa y virtual, most of which I haven't heard of!

So my quest continues . . .

Hm. I wonder if those boys from Palenque now have websites?

Ernest Hogan's latest story – co-written with his wife,Emily – is “Plan 9 in Outer Space” in Space Horrors, edited by David Lee Summers.


msedano said...

that's exactly what i kept wondering, where are those boys today?


An expedition to Palenque may be in order.

Unknown said...

Hola, please check out this amazing latinamerican scifi movie: