Saturday, January 18, 2014

La Bloga's Latino Speculative Literature Directory

Speculative literature: science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic(al) realism, fabulist fiction, a lo menos. Latino spec lit: mucho más que eso.

Genres of fiction make it easier for booksellers and publishers to fit our work into slots. It might've been Neil Gaiman who suggested that all books for those over 12 years old should only be shelved by author name. The spec lit definition above is something we live under, even if it can't accurately describe every book or story. There are other definitions, but this is what I use.

We were contacted this week by Julie Rodriguez, who describes herself as "an American writer living in San Mateo, Calif." She does "very short fiction, tiny true stories, illustrations & more." Her article Where are all the Latino genre fiction writers? Right here! is worth checking out on her website Truth Is Weirder. Julie compiled an extensive list of "Canadian/US Latino Genre Authors" and asked readers to contribute more names. Go there to see if you know of writers who should be included.

Her list inspired me to begin updating our list of "Latino spec novelists," which in some cases overlaps hers. What's below is our latest list of novelists, some of theirs books, publishers, genres and websites, in chronological order. I welcome contributions to making this more complete and current and will periodically update it, as needed. As you'll see, the list needs expanding.

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

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 was erected, but we could claim Esquer as a precursor.

1975 Los Pachucos y La Flying Saucer, an early spec short story by Reyes Cárdenas [Ch] (Caracol magazine). "A wild romp of the kind of joyous mayhem that happens when you plug sci-fi into a different culture."

1976 Victuum, Isabella Rios. (Diana-Etna Inc.) Where psychic development epitomizes with the encounter of an outer-planetary being. O.O.P.

Ernesto Hogan
1984 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.]

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."

Kathleen Alcalá
1992 Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, Kathleen Alcalá [Ch] (Calyx Books)

1992 High AzteCH, Ernest Hogan [Ch] (Tor Books) Renegade Chicano cartoonist Zapata creates a virus capable of infecting human minds with religion.

Jesus Treviño
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 Juan and the Chupacabras, 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. 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.

Mario Acevedo
2006 The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, Mario Acevedo [Ch] (Rayo HarperCollins) The first and only vampire book to be declassified by the federal government. . . . Felix Gomez went to Iraq a soldier. He came back a vampire.

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; Andre Norton Award nominated.

2012 The Closet of Discarded Dreams, Rudy Ch. Garcia [Ch]. (Damnation Books) A Chicano alternate-world fantasy. With a Chicano protagonist. Honorable Mention, SF/F category, 2012-13 International Latino Book Awards. www.discarded-deams. com

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.

Matt de la Peña
2012 Dancing With the Devil and Other Tales From Beyond, Rene Saldana Jr. [MA] (Pinata Books)

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."

Kathleen Alcalá story
On the Literary Journal of the Inlandia Institute, here's how Kathleen's just-released story begins:

La Otra
She had never thought of herself as “la otra,” the Other Woman. All she knew was that she had loved him better, and it was only natural that he should leave his fiancé and marry her.

“But that was a long time ago,” she would laugh when telling this story to Sirena, who seemed fascinated by her abuela’s past. “Back when the animals could talk.”

Anita had not been looking for a husband in those days. She already had too many men in her life – five brothers and a widowed father. She cooked and washed from dawn to night, then got up and did it all over again. When the house burned down along with half of the town, it was a relief – there was nothing to wash and nothing to cook. They had no choice but to join up with all the other refugees and walk north. . . .

Read the entire delightful story that reminded me of the great magic(al) realists.

Spec poetry wanted
Via the Carl Brandon Society comes this:
Stone Telling, a speculative poetry magazine dedicated to showcasing multi-perspective work of literary quality (eds. Rose Lemberg and Shweta Narayan) is open to submissions. For the coming issue, we're only considering submissions from people whose poetry we have NOT published before.

We are especially interested in diversity of voice and theme. While we are open to all speculative poetry, we love to see work that is multi-cultural and boundary-crossing, work that deals with othering and Others, work that considers race, gender, sexuality, identity, and disability issues in nontrivial and evocative ways. We’d love to see multilingual poetry, though that can sometimes be tricky. Try us!

There are no style limitations, but rhymed poetry will be a hard sell. Please try us with visual poetry, prose poetry, and other genre-bending forms. We will consider experimental poetry, but remember that not all experimental poems are easy to represent in an e-zine format.

Guidelines can be found at StoneTelling, but the "upcoming reading period" information is out of date. We're open to submissions from Jan. 15 – March 15, 2014.

- - - - -

RudyG Tweet #1 to Arapahoe High School's principal and students about your school shooting: Might it be past time to change the school mascot from Warriors to something else?

RudyG Tweet #2 to President Obama about your speech yesterday on the NSA and my civil liberties: As others have said, "my" civil rights are not mine to give up. I won't and can't do so because they're embedded and guaranteed in the Constitution that was intended to protect freedoms we do have. It will pass them on to those who come after me. Better that you should give up the NSA's power to chinga anymore with any of our civil rights.

Es todo, hoy,
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Twitter - DiscardedDreams


Manuel Ramos said...

Here's a couple of suggestions for your directory: 1.R. Narvaez's collection of short stories, Roachkiller and Other Stories. Here's a link to my interview of the author: 2. And wouldn't our own Daniel Olivas be included for short story collections such as Devil Talk? Mario Acevedo has five novels in the Felix Gomez series. Finally - not to get too fine, but isn't John Phillip Santos' book a memoir, not really fiction? Just asking.

Anonymous said...

Omitting my compa' Olivas is the kind of pendejada I hoped to find by posting this. Daniel, it will be fixed. I didn't intend to include all books by every author, only their first. Will consider that.
Yeah, forgot Roachkiller; in next update.
Finally, my read of Santos was different--elements of magic realism. Maybe a confusion on my part. Will consider that, too.
Qué mås, gente?


It's great to see the beginning of a history of Latino Sec Lit (or whatever it'll eventually be called).

One quick correction: AFRO-6 by Hank Lopez was published in 1969.

No doubt there'll be more tweaks and additions. I'm looking forward to it.

ggwritespoetry said...

Great list...and thank you so much for including me on it. One little fantasy book is called "Summer of the Mariposas" (2012)... "Under the Mesquite" is contemp/realistic.

ggwritespoetry said... about Rene Saldana Jr. with his book, "Dancing With the Devil and Other Tales From Beyond" (Pinata Books, 2012)

ggwritespoetry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ggwritespoetry said...

Xavier Garza ... "Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys" (Pinata Books, 2004)..."Juan and the Chupacabras" and many more...

Anonymous said...

Guadalupe, gracias. I took care of some of everybody's comments. Will continue updating, correcting.

Kathleen Alcala said...

Thanks, Rudi! I'm sure we will all think of more.