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Marín, Rafael

Entry updated 14 July 2023. Tagged: Author.

(1959-    ) Spanish translator, critic, comic book writer and co-plotter, and author; considered one of the best stylists in Spanish fantasy and science fiction. He has published nine novels, seven collections and about seventy short stories and novellas, in addition to several studies on comics and cinema, and a dozen historical and realistic novels for younger readers. Some early work was signed Rafael Marín Trechera.

After some work in poetry and comics Fanzines in the late 1970s, he published a handful of stories in Nueva Dimensión magazine, among them "Nunca digas buenas noches a un extraño" ["Never Say Goodnight to a Stranger"] (December 1980 Nueva Dimensión), a prelude to Cyberpunk. His better-known novel is Lágrimas de luz ["Light Tears"] (1984), a masterpiece that has had an enormous influence on the authors of its generation and later, being taken as a model of Spanish identity within the genre. It is a Space Opera with the soul of a picaresque novel, which draws on many classics and extra-literary influences. Written with a polished lyrical style, a disillusioned tone which attractively expresses a medievalized high Technology background, it narrates the life of the bard Hamlet Evans, a troubadour hired by an economic-military corporation to extol the virtues of the conquest of space and to erase the memory of its excesses and crimes. This novel broke Spain's long-standing inferiority complex in sf.

Marín collected some of his best short stories from the 1980s in Unicornios sin cabeza ["Headless Unicorns"] (coll 1987) for a publishing house ran by Domingo Santos. From 1990s, he continued his successful career as a fantasy writer. Some important novels are: La leyenda del navegante ["The Legend of the Navigator"] (1992) – originally published in three volumes: Crisei, Arce and Génave (all 1992) – an ambitious novel that tells the story of Salther Ladane, a legendary sailor and privateer who is the only one capable of restoring peace in the mercantile kingdoms of the Sea of Swords. Mundo de dioses ["World of Gods"] (1997), expanded from the novella (see below), similarly presents a world full of action superheroes. Juglar ["Minstrel"] (2006) is an alternate history that adapts the events related to historical character of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid Campeador, with a fantastic approach; it won the Ignotus Award and it was a finalist for the Minotauro Award. La ciudad enmascarada ["The Masked City"] (2011) is an autobiographical novel that portrays the everyday life of Cádiz, his hometown, vindicates the profession of teacher and his disenchantment with the always-fickle literary world, and pays tribute to H P Lovecraft.

Apart from novels, his work as a short story writer is diverse and highly relevant. His novella "Mundo de dioses" ["World of Gods"] tied for the important UPC Prize on the occasion of its first presentation. "A tumba abierta" ["At Open Grave"] (December 1991 BEM magazine), "Una canica en la palmera" ["A Marble in the Palm Tree"] (in Artifex 3 – 2nd Age, anth 2000, ed Julián Díez and Luis G Prado), "Son de piedra" ["Made of Stone"] (in Artifex 4 – 3rd Age, anth 2000, ed Julián Díez and Luis G Prado) and the novella Contra el tiempo ["Against Time"] (2001) with Juan Miguel Aguilera won the Ignotus Award. "La sed de las panteras" ["The Thirst of the Panthers"] (in Artifex 3 – 2nd Age, anth 2000, ed Julián Díez and Luis G Prado) won the Pablo Rido Award and "Habrá un día en que todos ..." ["There will be a Day when Everyone ..."] (January 1980 Nueva Dimensión), "De entre la niebla" ["In the Mist"] (October 1991 BEM), "Bibliópolis" ["Bibliópolis"] (May 1998 Gigamesh), "Ébano y acero" ["Ivory and Steel"] (in Visiones 1996, anth 1996, ed Joan Manel Ortiz) and "Ragnarok en las playas de Ítaca" ["Ragnarok on the Beaches of Ithaca"] (in Artifex 1 – 2nd Age, anth 1999, ed Julián Díez and Luis G Prado) were finalist in other sf awards.

Marín was the editor of the anthology Visiones 1997 ["Visions 1997"] (1997) published by Spanish Fantasy and Science Fiction Association and he wrote a memoir entitled Está lleno de estrellas ["It's Full of Stars"] (2015). He has also published more than two hundred translations, including novels, short stories, articles and Comics. His work as a comic and film critic is relevant, with dozens of articles and essays published in specialized magazines. He is also a well-known scholar of comics history. Also in comics, he worked for the USA market with artist Carlos Pacheco on the Fantastic 4 and The Inhumans with José Ladronn and Jorge Lucas. For the Spanish market, he wrote the mini-series Iberia Inc and Triada Vértice, as well as the 12-issue historical graphic novel 12 del Doce.

Rafael Marín is one of the most important authors in Spanish fantasy and science fiction. His work, together with that of other prominent narrators of the so-called HispaCon Generation, contributed in a very significant way to the current normalization of these genres in Spain. His style is characteristic, marked by a great formal concern that leads him to include abundant autochthonous elements, characters of remarkable psychological depth, a good documentation work and, in general, a more rational approach to adventure. His texts are intimate and deeply human, rich in nostalgic, introspective and sentimental, full of deep vital reflections that denote an acute and intelligent observer of reality.

At the 2003 Eurocon held in Finland, he was honoured as Best European Translator and in 2019 received the Gabriel Award from the Spanish Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror Association. [MV]

Rafael Marín Trechera

born Cádiz, Spain: 3 February 1959



La leyenda del navegante

  • La leyenda del navegante: Crisei ["The Legend of the Navigator: Crisei"] (Madrid, Spain: Miraguano, 1992) [La leyenda del navegante: pb/Rafael Estrada]
  • La leyenda del navegante: Arce ["The Legend of the Navigator: Arce"] (Madrid, Spain: Miraguano, 1992) [La leyenda del navegante: pb/Rafael Estrada]
  • La leyenda del navegante: Génave ["The Legend of the Navigator: Génave"] (Madrid, Spain: Miraguano, 1992) [La leyenda del navegante: pb/Rafael Estrada]
    • La leyenda del navegante ["The Legend of the Navigator"] (Barcelona, Spain: Minotauro, 2006) [omni of the above three: La leyenda del navegante: pb/Opalworks]

individual titles

  • Lágrimas de luz ["Light Tears"] (Barcelona, Spain: Fénix, 1984) [pb/Antoni Garcés]
  • Mundo de dioses ["World of Gods"] (Barcelona, Spain: Ediciones B, 1997) [pb/Trazo]
  • Contra el tiempo ["Against Time"] (Madrid, Spain: Artifex, 2001) with Juan Miguel Aguilera [pb/Concepción Corrales]
  • Elemental, querido Chaplin ["Elemental, Dear Chaplin"] (Barcelona, Spain: Minotauro, 2005) [pb/Getty Images]
  • Juglar ["Minstrel"] ["Elemental, Dear Chaplin"] (Barcelona, Spain: Minotauro, 2006) [pb/Enrique Iborra]
  • La ciudad enmascarada ["The Masked City"] (Granada, Spain: Grupo AJEC, 2011) [coll: pb/María Delgado]
  • Oceanum ["Oceanum"] (Barcelona, Spain: Edebé, 2012) with Juan Miguel Aguilera [pb/]
  • Memento Mori ["Memento Mori"] (Madrid, Spain: Apache Libros, 2019) [pb/Jordi Armengol]


  • Unicornios sin cabeza ["Headless Unicorns"] (Barcelona, Spain: Ultramar, 1987) [coll: pb/Antoni Garcés]
  • Ozymandias ["Ozymandias"] (Tenerife, Spain: La Calle de la Costa, 1995) [coll: pb/Jesús Yugo]
  • La sed de las panteras ["The Thirst of the Panthers"] (Cádiz, Spain: Ayuntamiento de Cádiz, 2001) [coll: pb/José Luis Tirado]
  • El centauro de piedra ["The Stone Centaur"] (Madrid, Spain: Río Henares Producciones, 2002) [coll: pb/]
  • Piel de fantasma ["Phantom's Skin"] (Granada, Spain: Grupo AJEC, 2010) [coll: pb/Estudio AJEC]
  • Son de piedra y otros relatos ["Made of Stone and Other Tales"] (Madrid, Spain: Cyberdark, 2015) [coll: pb/Alejandro Terán]
  • Ora Pro Nobis ["Ora pro Nobis"] (Madrid, Spain: Apache Libros, 2018) [coll: pb/Jordi Armengol]


works as editor

Visiones 1997 ["Visions 1997"] (Spain: Spanish Fantasy and Science Fiction Association, 1997) [anth: pb/Jesús Yugo, Juanjo Bernal]


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