Saturday, January 25, 2014

A latino's chance in hell of getting published?

Last week I posted a list of La Bloga's Latino Speculative Literature Directory. Updated below with contributions from La Bloga readers, it is still not complete. Following a chart, I'll describe limitations to the list, some self-imposed. If there are other lists out there, I'm not aware of them and welcome being notified.

The novels and collections of speculative literature cover the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, magic(al) realism and fabulist fiction. I charted the information I had by year. That is followed by my interpretation of what the data might mean.

# yrs
14 yrs
2 yrs
3 yrs
4 yrs
1 yr
3 yrs
1 yr
2 yrs
2 yrs
3 yrs
1 yr
1 yr



asterisk (*) = co-authors of one book

Some interpretations of this data:

• In 16 years from 1976-91, 2 latino novelists were published.

In the last 2 years (2012-2013), 11 latino spec authors were published, equal to the 11 published in the prior 16 years (1995-2011).

In 33 years (from 1976-2008), 2 latinAs were published. In the last 5 years (2009-2013), 6 latinas were involved in published books, triple the number in approx. 1/5 of the time.

• The overall numbers are not great. 26 latinos first-published in the U.S. market.

• The trend in the last 2 years, compared to the previous 33 years, is Bien Suave!

Some limitations of this chart and the list below:
• Only novels and collections are included; anthologies need to be added.
• In most cases, only an author's first printed novel is listed; they may have published other spec books, as Mario Acevedo has.
• No children's books are listed; only 2(?) Young adult (YA) books, so far.
• Authors who publish novels with non-latino plots and don't consider themselves latino, are not listed. Example: Diana Gabaldon, who has clearly stated such.
• Books printed in Spanish by U.S. latino authors have not been included, yet.
• Self-published books are not included at this point. This may change.
• Graphic novels are not yet included.
• Much info in the list below is lacking--websites and story synopses, for instance.
• La Bloga recognizes that the chart and list information is incomplete in other respects. The next stage will include all authors' spec books.

I believe the best thing to be drawn from this list is that 2014 and beyond may indeed continue la gran entrada of U.S. latinos into the U.S. spec market, as Chicano author Ernest Hogan predicted a couple of years ago. This could be a great time to polish up that discarded spec manuscript you thought wasn't publishable. Or the month to begin writing or completing that idea for a spec novel.

Anglo fantasy sci-fi dominates U.S. fiction markets, as well as television and movie industries. But Latinos are the new face in spec lit. And the proliferation of sci-fi fantasy in Hollywood and on the tube means it is caliente and we are in a position to add the picoso.

Please continue helping La Bloga to develop this information. I can be reached at RudyPuntoCHPuntoGarciaALAgmailPuntoCom

La Bloga Spec Lit Directory 1/25/13
[Self-described: Chicano, Hispanic, Mexicano, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Sudamericano, American y más, expanded as needed. Publisher in parens.]

1st latino spec?
1922 Campos de Fuego - breve narración de una expedición a la región volcánia de "El Pinacate", Sonora Gumersindo Esquer [M]. "A Mexican Jules Verne." This came out after the Border got put up, but we could claim Esquer as a precursor.
1969 Afro-6, Hank Lopez. [MA?] (Dell Publishing) According to his NYTimes obit, Lopez was "born in Denver of parents who had emigrated from Mexico." A futuristic thriller about a Black, armed take-over of Manhattan. [Copyright includes Harry Baron, not listed as co-author.]
1976 Victuum, Isabella Rios. (Diana-Etna Inc.) Where psychic development epitomizes with the encounter of an outer-planetary being. O.O.P.
1990 Cortez on Jupiter, Ernest Hogan [Ch] (Tor Books) A Ben Bova Presents publication. "Protagonist Pablo Cortez uses freefall grafitti art--splatterpainting--to communicate with Jupiter's gaseous forms of life."
1992 High AzteCH, Ernest Hogan [Ch] (Tor Books) Renegade Chicano cartoonist Zapata creates a virus capable of infecting human minds with religion.
1992 Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, Kathleen Alcalá [Ch] (Calyx Books)
1995 The Fabulous Sinkhole, Jesus Treviño [Ch] (Arte Público Press) "Stories into magic realism: spunky teen Yoli Mendez performs quadratic equations in her head." Film/TV Director/Writer of Prison Break, Resurrection Blvd. Star Trek Voyager, Babylon Five, Deep Space Nine.
1997 Chupacabras and Other Mysteries, Scott Corrales (H) (w/M. Davenport) (Greenleaf Publications)
2000 Places left unfinished at the time of creation, John Phillip Santos [Ch] (Penguin Books) "A girl sees a dying soul leave its body; dream fragments, family remembrances and Chicano mythology reach back into time and place; a rich, magical view of Mexican-American culture."
2000 Soulsaver, James Stevens-Arce [PR] (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
2001 Smoking Mirror Blues, Ernest Hogan [Ch] (Wordcraft of Oregon) Tezcatlipoca, the Mirror that Smokes warrior/wizard god of the Aztecs--Western Civilization thought it wiped him out centuries ago. He's back.
2004 Devil Talk: Stories, Daniel A. Olivas [Ch] (Bilingual Press) These twenty-six stories bring us to a place once inhabited by Rod Serling . . . only the accents have changed; Latino fiction at its edgy, fantastical best.
2004 Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys, Xavier Garza (Piñata Books)
2005 The Skyscraper that Flew, Jesus Treviño (Arte Público Press). An enormous crystal skyscraper mysteriously appears in the Arroyo Grande's baseball field. Then the stories begin.
2006 The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, Mario Acevedo [Ch] (Rayo Harper Collins)
2006 Gil's All Fright Diner, A. Lee Martinez [A] (Tor) Born in El Paso, he has other books, but may not consider his books or himself anything latino.
2007 Firebird, R. Garcia y Robertson [A] (Tor)
2007 Abecedarium, Carlos Hernandez [??] [w/D. Schneiderman] (Chiasmus Press)
2009 Lunar Braceros, Rosaura Sanchez, Beatrice Pita & Mario A. Chacon. (Calaca Press)
2012 Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall [Ch] (Tu Books) Pura Belpré Award winner; Andre Norton Award nominated.
2012 The Closet of Discarded Dreams, Rudy Ch. Garcia [Ch]. (Damnation Books) A Chicano alternate-world fantasy. Honorable Mention, SF/F category, 2012-13 International Latino Book Awards.
2012 Joe Vampire, Steven Luna (Booktrope Editions) [??]
2012 Roachkiller and Other Stories, R. Narvaez [PR] (Beyond the Page Publishing) Winner of 2013 Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology/Short Story Collection and 2013 International Latino Book Award for Best eBook/Fiction.
2012 Salsa Nocturna, Daniel José Older [??] (Crossed Genres Publications)
2012 Dancing With the Devil and Other Tales From Beyond, René Saldaña Jr. [MA] (Pinata Books)
2012 Ink, Sabrina Vourvoulias [L] (Crossed Genres Publications)
2013 The Miniature Wife & Other Stories, Manuel Gonzales [??] (Riverhead Books)
2013 Spirits of the Jungle, Shirley Jones & Jacquelyn Yznaga [H?] (Casa de Snapdragon) Kindle version, 2012.
2013 Infinity Ring: Curse of the Ancients, Matt de la Peña [??]. (middle-grade, Scholastic Inc.) "Sera sees the terrifying future, but can’t prevent the Cataclysm while stranded thousands of years in the past. The only hope lies with the ancient Maya, a mysterious people who claim to know a great deal about the future."

Crossed Genres wants "characters of color"

Two of the most recent books by Latino spec authors (Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias and Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older) were published by Crossed Genres. Below is the latest info about submitting.

Crossed Genres welcomes and strongly encourages submissions with underrepresented main characters: women, characters of color, LGBTQ characters, characters with disabilities, etc.
Novels & single-author collections - CGP has re-opened for submissions of novel and single-author short story collections, with new guidelines.
Payment: $2,000 advance, then royalties commensurate with industry standard
50,000-100,000 words. Any genres now accepted, not only Science Fiction & Fantasy, though they’re still welcome. Specifically looking for submissions that blend multiple genres.
Also check info about submitting to Crossed Genres Magazine 2.0.

A Revolution That Won't Go Away

If you're wondering when la gente will rise up, don't despair. Instead, read about what some of the poorest and what were thought to be some of the least powerful people in the world have continued. A Revolution That Won't Go Away was written by a journalist who recently visited a Zapatista “organizing school” in the heart of the Lacandon jungle in southeastern Mexico. Qué viva la gente, la gente, la gente!

Es todo, hoy,
RudyG, aka Rudy Ch. Garcia, author of The Closet of Discarded Dreams
Twitter - DiscardedDreams   Author FB -


Sabrina Vourvoulias said...

I was really grateful to Em Sedano for writing about Ink for La Bloga shortly after its release. He's great, as you are, in focusing attention on Latino writers.

Manuel Ramos said...

I wonder if the list doesn't beg the question, or, rather, tell only half the story. Don't we need to know how many Latinos/as were/are writing this genre to understand the impact of the "published" numbers? Not saying that we can ever really know that fact, but without it can we have a complete picture of the situation?

Manuel Ramos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yes, the list tells only half (of half) of the story, if that. Never a complete picture.
If the published latino spec novelists are half of those submitting MSS, we're kicking butt, big time. That's probably not the case.
I believe the numbers reveal Change, not significant in terms of quantity, but in terms of magnitude. Something has happened/is happening.
I'd take the optimistic interpretation and write and submit like una maquina! Pura arte.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

A generation ago, this would have been considered impossible by a lot of people. I guess we've made some progress. Now, we gotta write some stuff to shake the world!

Anonymous said...

Definitely pushing forward, but we need to publish more. Keep tabulating. This is fascinating. Thank you!-M. Miranda Maloney

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a list of Chicano/Latino children literature in Spanish and or English?

Anonymous said...

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: 2013 collection This Strange Way of Dying (stories set in Mexico). Her upcoming debut novel: Signal to Noise, out from Solaris in 2015. Also set in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone who's sent me more info.
To Anonymous: about a list of Chicano/latino children's lit in Spanish / English,
Email me so I can send you something later.

Inexplicata (IHU) said...

1997: "Juan and the Chupacabras"?? To the best of my recollection it was called Chupacabras and Other Mysteries, LOL!! I should know, I wrote it :-)
Saludos y gracias,
Scott Corrales

Sandra Ramos O'Briant said...

This is a good start, Rudy, and a helpful list for anyone writing in this genre. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

We have to keep submitting, go to conferences, support Latina/o writers, publicize, etc. etc.

Thank you for the info on Crossed Genres. I know of a young man who writes horror/sci-fi and wants to begin submitting short stories.

Armando Rendón said...

Just to clear up a question mark about Hank Lopez who wrote Afro-6--he did consider himself a Chicano, though born in Mexico, he grew up in the U.S. and was very much involved in Chicano movement affairs; I knew him from working with him and many others on such matters as the Mexican American Anti-Defamation committee which took on Frito-Lay over the Frito Bandito ads--anybody remember those except me?


El Bandito lives, on YouTube:

Guillermo Luna said...

This seems REALLY low. There must be other LATINOS! that have been published. Add me to your chart. I'm Latino, I was published by Bold Strokes Books in December 2013, my book has numerous Latino characters (Joaquin Moreno, Felix De La Santos, Loca Rosa, Don Humberto), it takes place in Mexico and it involves a Mexican monster.