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Barceló, Elia

Entry updated 14 July 2023. Tagged: Author.

(1957-    ) Spanish academic and author, in Austria from 1981; she is one of the three most important Women SF Writers working in Spanish, along with the Cuban Daína Chaviano and the Argentine Angélica Gorodischer. She has published thirteen fantasy and sf novels, four collections and more than sixty short stories. In addition, she has published a dozen mainstream and Young Adult novels plus two books of essays. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Barceló started writing sf stories for some Fanzines, such as "La estrella" ["The Star"] (October 1991 BEM) which won an Ignotus Award in the first year of presentation. Her early stories were collected in Sagrada ["Sacred"] (coll 1989) whose homonymous novella received a retro-Ignotus Award. Her first novel was Consecuencias naturales ["Natural Consequences"] (1994), in which she attacked the machismo of gender clichés and proposed male gestation. El mundo de Yarek ["Yarek's World"] (1994), which won the UPC Prize, is a celebrated story about a xenobiologist banished to a dead world after being found guilty of the genocide of the intelligent inhabitants of a planet (see Xenobiology).

From 1990s, Barceló began a successful career as a writer of mainstream and young adult novels, for which she received important awards. Among her most known and translated books are El secreto del orfebre ["The Goldsmith's Secret"] (2003; trans David Frye as The Goldsmith's Secret 2011), a passionate story of love and Time Travel, and Corazón de tango ["Heart of Tango"] (2007; trans David Frye as Heart of Tango 2010), a tragic and fantastic story with the tango as a backdrop (see Music).

Other important books are Cordeluna ["Cordeluna"] (2007), a thousand-year love story that won the Edebé Prize for Young Adult literature. Futuros peligrosos ["Dangerous Futures"] (coll 2007), a collection of sf stories set in a dark future; one of them, "One thousand euros for your life", was adapted as the film Transfer (2011) by German director Damir Lukacevic. The Anima Mundi young adult trilogy, comprising Hijos del clan rojo ["Children of the Red Clan"] (2012), Celsius 232 Award, Hijos de Atlantis ["Children of Atlantis"] (2013) and Hijos de las estrellas ["Children of the Stars"] (2015), deals with long-lived and powerful beings from another reality who live hidden among humans for thousands of years. El efecto Frankenstein ["The Frankenstein Effect"] (2019) (see Frankenstein Monster; Mary Shelley) received the National Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports, as well as the Edebé Award and Kelvin 505 Award from the Celsius Festival in Avilés.

Barceló has also published stories and articles in a hundred magazines and anthologies in Spain and other countries, including Antología de la ciencia ficción española 1982-2002 ["Spanish Science Fiction Anthology 1982-2002"] (2003) edited by Julián Díez, Mañana todavía. Doce distopías para el siglo XXI ["Still Tomorrow: Twelve Dystopias for the 21st Century"] (2014) edited by Ricard Ruiz Garzón, Castillos en el aire. 25 años de fantasía y ciencia ficción española ["Castles in Spain: 25 Years of Spanish Fantasy and Science Fiction"] (2016) edited by Mariano Villarreal and Distópicas. Antología de escritoras españolas de ciencia ficción ["Dystopics. Anthology of Spanish Science Fiction Women Writers"] (2018) edited by Lola Robles and Teresa López-Pellisa.

Her nonfiction includes La inquietante familiaridad: el terror y sus arquetipos en los relatos fantásticos de Julio Cortázar ["The Disturbing Familiarity: Terror and its Archetypes in the Fantastic Stories of Julio Cortázar"] (1999), later expanded as Cortázar visto por Elia Barceló ["Cortázar seen by Elia Barceló"] (2019). She edited the anthology Visiones Propias II ["Own Visions II"] (1993), published by the Spanish Fantasy and Science Fiction Association.

In summary, Elia Barceló is notable for her focus on characters exquisitely portrayed in their personal circumstances and archetypal and timeless plots, which transcend the stereotype thanks to the magic of her particular style: elegant, sentimental and nostalgic, which penetrates the most intimate springs of the human soul.

In 2007 she was honoured with the Gabriel Award by the Spanish Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror Association. [MV]

Elia Eisterer-Barceló

born Elda, Spain: 29 January 1957



Anima Mundi

  • Hijos del clan rojo ["Children of the Red Clan"] (Barcelona, Spain: Destino, 2012) [Anima Mundi: hb/]
  • Hijos de Atlantis ["Children of Atlantis"] (Barcelona, Spain: Destino, 2013) [Anima Mundi: hb/]
  • Hijos de las estrellas ["Children of the Stars"] (Barcelona, Spain: Destino, 2015) [Anima Mundi: pb/]

individual titles


  • Sagrada ["Sacred"] (Barcelona, Spain: Ediciones B, 1989) [coll: pb/Óscar H Chichoni]
  • Futuros peligrosos ["Dangerous Futures"] (Madrid, Spain: Edelvives, 2007) [coll: pb/A G E Fotostock]
  • La maga y otros cuentos crueles ["The Magician and Other Cruel Tales"] (Cádiz, Spain: Cazador, 2012) [coll: pb/Pablo Álvarez]
  • Otros cuentos crueles ["Other Cruel Tales"] (Cádiz, Spain: Cazador, 2017) [coll: pb/]


works as editor

  • Visiones Propias II ["Own Visions II"] (Spain: Spanish Fantasy and Science Fiction Association, 1993) [anth: pb/Mike W Kaluta]


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