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Gorodischer, Angélica

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1928-2022) Argentinian author of nonfiction and fiction works in both the realist and the fantastic modes, who was nevertheless very much identified as a science fiction writer. Gorodischer was also closely associated with the city of Rosario, home of her well-known character Trafalgar Medrano, introduced in her novel Trafalgar (1979; trans Amalia Gladhart 2013); this is constructed as a Club Story sequence in which Medrano, a comical millionaire businessman, serves as both observer and social critic as he makes his rounds of several planets and then returns home to tell his fellow citizens about them. Gorodischer's science fiction output – at least twenty untranslated novels and collections – far more closely resembles the highly literary work of Jorge Luis Borges or Italo Calvino than it does the more rural (or, from an urbane, intensely urban Argentinian standpoint, rusticated) Magic Realism of authors like Gabriel García Márquez or Mario Vargas Llosa.

Gorodischer published fiction at book length from the mid-1960s and the following works have been translated: the two-book Kalpa sequence comprising La casa del poder ["The House of Power"] (coll of linked stories 1983), El imperio más vasto ["The Greatest Empire"] (coll of linked stories 1983) translated together by Ursula K Le Guin as Kalpa Imperial (omni 2003), and "Los embriones del violeta" (in Bajo las jubeas en flor ["Under the Flowering Jubeas"] coll 1973), translated as "The Violet's Embryos" in Cosmos Latinos (anth 2003) and reprinted in Year's Best SF 9 (anth 2004) edited by Kathryn Cramer and David G Hartwell. Meant as a parable of dictatorship in Argentina, Kalpa is set in a vast land, the rules of whose nature and governance are almost sufficiently estranged from "normal" reality for it to be described as an Alternate Cosmos; the stories embedded into this land, told by storytellers who sometimes become implicated in the action, emphasize the vast flux of Time, for the empire is aeons old and its citizens and rulers are Twice-Tolds [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. "The Violet's Embryos", another good example of this author's highly literate style, speculates in general about the nature of desire and search for happiness while confronting traditional military notions of masculinity.

Gorodischer received a World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement in 2011. [JC/YMG]

Angélica Beatriz del Rosario Arcal de Gorodischer

born Buenos Aires, Argentina: 18 July 1928

died Rosario, Argentina: 5 February 2022

works (selected)


Kalpa Imperial

  • La casa del poder ["The House of Power"] (Buenos Aires: Editiones Minotauro, 1983) [coll of linked stories: Kalpa Imperial: pb/]
  • El imperio más vasto ["The Greatest Empire"] (Buenos Aires: Editiones Minotauro, 1983) [coll of linked stories: Kalpa Imperial: pb/]
    • Kalpa Imperial (Northampton, Massachusetts: Small Beer Press, 2003) [omni: trans by Ursula Le Guin of the above two: Kalpa Imperial: pb/Rafal Olbinksi]

individual titles

  • Opus dos ["Opus Two"] (Barcelona, Spain: Ultramar, 1967) [pb/]
  • Bajo las jubeas en flor ["Under the Flowering Jubeas"] (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones de la Flor, 1973) [coll: pb/]
  • Casta luna electrónica ["Chaste Electric Moon"] (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Andrómeda, 1977) [coll: pb/]
  • Trafalgar (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Orbis, Biblioteca de Ciencia Ficción, 1979) [coll of linked stories: Trafalgar Medrano: pb/]
    • Trafalgar (Easthampton, Massachusetts: Small Beer Press, 2013) [trans of the above by Amalia Gladhart: Trafalgar Medrano: pb/Ron Guyatt]
  • Prodigios (Barcelona, Spain: Lumen, 1994) [pb/]
    • Prodigies (Easthampton, Massachusetts: Small Beer Press, 2015) [trans of the above by Sue Burke: pb/Elisabeth Alba]


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