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Indiana, Rita

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1977-    ) Dominican singer-songwriter and author, who is of sf interest for her third novel, La mucama de Omicunlé ["Omicunlés Maid"] (2015; trans by Achy Obejas as Tentacle 2018), set initially in 2037, in a Near Future Dominican Republic devastated by Climate Change and other Disasters. The protagonist Acilde, who is the Dominican president's maid, has worked as a prostitute before becoming Ominculé's protegé, and subsequently her heir. While in the process of transforming herself/himself personally (see Transgender SF), Acilde is required to undertake Time Travel to the past and the future, partly in order to prevent neighbouring Venezuela from dumping nuclear weapons in a region of the Caribbean due in the near future to implode fatally in a seaquake, partly in a more general quest to save the planet from ultimate environmental collapse. Only a massive melodramatic intervention can now save Homo sapiens. Simultaneously, an Afrofuturist "counter-melody" can be heard: the wanted necessary return of our deep ancestral voices interweaving with those of the generations about to perish, orchestrated in a sense by Acilde, who marries in herself/himself the human story: the capacity to do so being a sort of Superpower. All the same, beyond the aspirational mutations of the charismatic messenger, there seems to be an underlying burden: that dreadfully "the future is coming." Some of the confusions in the rendering of multiple time-lines seem to due to the indifference to telling typical of the Mainstream Writer of SF married here to something akin to Magic Realism. But the end effect is of a sum greater than its parts. [JC]

Rita Indiana Hernández Sánchez

born Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: 11 June 1977

works (highly selected)

  • La mucama de Omicunlé ["Ominculés Maid"] (Cáceres, Spain: Periférica Editorial, 2015) [binding unknown/]
    • Tentacle (Sheffield, South Yorkshire: And Other Stories, 2018) [trans by Achy Obejas of the above: pb/]


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