Entry updated 13 September 2021. Tagged: International.
Despite Spain's authoritarian control over its colonies, many literary works reached New Spain (the former name of Mexico) during the three centuries of Spanish rule. In this way, even when read by a very small number of readers, the following (among others) became known: Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516), the works of Lucian, Orlando Furioso (1506) by Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533), and many works by the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher. The latter inspired some of the first Mexican Proto SF works, all of them raptures of the soul or mind voyages to distant and exotic places, like the Tautología extática universal ["Universal Static Tautology"] (1667), today lost, by the Jesuit Alexandro Favián (circa 1624-after 1681); the poem "Primero Sueño" ["First Dream"] (circa 1685) by the Hieronymith nun Juana Inés de la Cruz (circa 1648-1695); and La Californiada ["The Californiad"] (1740) by the Jesuit José Iturriaga de la Fuente (1717-1787).
During the eighteenth century, taking advantage of the reforms promoted by the Spanish monarchy and the tolerance of some Enlightened kings like Charles III (1716-1788), who ruled from 1759 through 1788, several works by Voltaire, reached New Spain. His conte philosophique Micromegas (in Le Micromégas de Mr. de Voltaire ..., coll 1752; trans anon 1753), was the starting point for a pair of Mexican short stories. "Sizigias y cuadraturas lunares" ["Syzygies and Quadratures of the Moon"] (1775) – using a Fantastic-Voyage to our natural satellite the Moon, which proves to be populated by Aliens, as a pretext for social criticism – was written by the Franciscan monk Manuel Antonio de Rivas. The other was the anonymous "Cuento" ["Short Story"] (9 and 24 February 1810 Diario de México), published in two instalments and telling the story of the conflicts of Spain with other European powers as a kind of Planetary Romance, in the same year that saw the beginning of the war against Spain that would lead into the Mexican independence.
In 1835, fourteen years after the sealing of Mexican independence, a Spanish translation of the "Great Moon Hoax" by Richard Adams Locke (1800-1871) was published as a pamphlet, as was one of its sequels, also fraudulent: "Viage a la Luna, de dos atrevidos alemanes, verificado en 1835, y la sucinta relación de lo que observaron en aquel planeta, traducido de un periódico de Londres" ["Voyage to the Moon, by a pair of brave Germans, verified in 1835, and the concise account of what they observed in such planet, translated from a London newspaper"] (1835), published also as a pamphlet.
The optimism unleashed by the new government period of general Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876), was reflected in the short story "México en el año 1970" ["Mexico in the year 1970"] (1844), which appeared in the magazine El Liceo Mexicano, under the pen name of Fósforos Cerillos (possible pseudonym of the journalist Sebastián Camacho Zulueta, circa 1820-1915), where he imagines his country turned into a powerful one, where the main means of transport are hot-air Balloons, and state-of-the-art mass media comprises large daguerreotype screens that show moving picture in anticipation of the Cinema. A similar attitude of optimism (see Optimism and Pessimism), for different reasons, like the secessionist attempt of the Yucatan peninsula, lay behind "Gacetín de Mérida, Capital del Bajo Yucatán, enero 30 de 1949" ["Little Gazette of Merida, Capital of Lower Yucatan, January 30, 1949"] (1849 El Registro Yucateco), written by the historian and author Gerónimo del Castillo Lenard (1804-1866) and offering a vision of the prosperity the peninsula might attain when the Mexico-Guatemala confederation is accomplished.
Two members of the political parties which vied for power in nineteenth-century Mexico, Juan Nepomuceno Adorno (1807-circa 1880), on the part of conservatives, and Nicolás Pizarro (1830-1895), politically committed with liberals, wrote Utopias where they imagined the future of their country and the world. Adorno, in "El remoto porvenir" (trans as "The Distant Future" by Andrea Bell in Cosmos Latinos, anth 2003, ed Andrea Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán) (1862, 1882), followed the ideas of Charles Fourier (1772-1837); Pizarro, in El monedero ["The Purse"] (1861), put into practice the principles of primitive Christianity, which, in his view, could help the development of the country without placing any restraints on science and technology. To a certain degree, the well known Mexican writer, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano (1834-1893) followed the latter philosophy in his short novel La Navidad en las montañas ["Christmas in the Mountains"] (1871).
It is very probable that the French invasion and the Second Mexican Empire (1862-1867), which appointed Mexican emperor the Austrian archduke Maximillian of Habsburg (1832-1867), introduced in the country the first books by Jules Verne (1828-1905) who, together with Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), and H G Wells (1866-1946), were the most influential in Mexican sf of the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. In his first – non-sf – short story, "Les premiers navires de la marine mexicaine" (July 1851 Musée des Familles), Verne told the romantic version, loosely based on historical facts, about the origin of the Mexican navy. Between 1872 and 1882, the French publisher resident in Mexico, Alfredo Bablot (? -1892), among other Mexican colleagues, published eleven Mexican editions of Verne's works. Between 1871 and 1879, Mexican scientist José Joaquín Arriaga (1841-1896) published periodically many short stories, under the generic title of La Ciencia Recreativa ["The Recreational Science"], focused on the popularization of science. For such reason his colleagues called him "the Jules Verne of Mexican science".
Besides the already-mentioned influences, the school of romanticism is reflected in the work of Pedro Castera (1846-1906), author of the short story "Un viaje celeste" ["A Celestial Voyage"] (El Domingo, 1872), with mental travel through the universe; the novella "Rosas y fresas" ["Roses and Strawberries"] (in Dramas en un corazón ["Dramas inside a Heart"] coll 1890), where a semi-automatic mine is portrayed (see Automation); and Querens (1890), a novel about hypnotic experiments on a strange woman (see Hypnosis).
Following Poe's style, Victoriano Salado Álvarez (1867-1931) published the "Historia del hombre que se hizo sabio" ["Story of the Man Who Became Wise"] (circa 1899) (in Cuentos mexicanos del siglo XIX ["Mexican Short Stories of the Nineteenth Century"], anth 1951, ed José Mancisidor); and José María Barrios de los Ríos (1864-1903), as a tribute to Verne, wrote "El buque negro" ["The Black Ship"] (circa 1900) (in El país de las perlas y cuentos californios ["The Country of Pearls and Californian Short Stories"], coll 1908).
During the years 1877 and 1878, debates in favour of Darwinism in Mexico were led by the politician and intellectual Justo Sierra (1848-1912) – who also wrote a foreword to Verne's Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1869-1870), published as a newspaper article in El Federalista, 10 February 1872. Among the opponents, Javier Aubuet (? -? ) – possibly a pseudonym – published the Satire "El porvernir de los gorilas" ["The Future of Gorillas"] (6 January 1878 La Libertad), in which some intelligent apes (see Ape as Human) celebrate the fact that Charles Darwin (1809-1882) has already recognized them as the legitimate owners of the world.
Although in his writings it is possible to discover the presence of Verne, Wells, and the French astronomer Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), the Modernist poet Amado Nervo (1870-1919), an amateur astronomer who was very keen on popular science books, wrote the first original sf short stories with true literary quality. Although his topics may seem inspired by such European authors, it was the Mexican poet who wrote "La última guerra" ["The Last War"] (1898 El Mundo ["The World"]), "El sexto sentido" ["The Sixth Sense"] (1918 La Novela Semanal ["The Weekly Novel"]), "Diana y Eros (cuento astronómico)" ["Diana and Eros (Astronomical Short Story)"] and "Los congelados" ["The Frozen Ones"] – both included in Cuentos misteriosos ["Mysterious Short Stories"] (coll 1921), as well as other beautiful short stories of sf and fantasy.
Nervo also wrote scientific and sf poetry. Among his poems, "El gran viaje" ["The Great Voyage"] (in El estanque de los lotos ["The Lotus Pond"], coll 1919), which begins "Quién será, en un futuro no lejano / el Cristóbal Colón de algún planeta" ["Who is going to be, in a not so distant future / the Christopher Columbus of some planet"], was repeated over and over again in all Mexico throughout 1969, especially in the mass media which covered the Apollo XI mission.
The series of articles published in the weekly El Mundo ["The World"], in 1898, under the generic title of "Las crónicas de los siglos futuros" ["Chronicles of Future Centuries"] or "Cuentos del porvernir" ["Short Stories of the Future"], pretending to be newspaper chronicles of a distant future, under the pseudonym of Natalis, were also probably written by Amado Nervo.
A contemporary of Nervo, the writer and journalist Carlos Toro (1875-1914) was persecuted and spent some time in jail for criticizing the government of president Porfirio Díaz (1830-1915). He used this experience to imagine a free and democratic country and, incidentally, some technological inventions in a manuscript called "México en el año 3000" ["Mexico in the Year 3000"], which has unfortunately been lost today. He also published some sf short stories, all of them brought together in a tribute collection under the title El miedo (algunos cuentos) ["Fear (Some Short Stories)"] (coll 1945), edited by Leopoldo Ramos. His "Cuento del futuro" ["Story from the Future"] (circa 1900) seems to be inspired by Nervo's "La última guerra" ["The Last War"], because, in the twenty second century, several animal species begin to talk and behave like intelligent beings; but his best are "El hombre artificial" ["The Artificial Man"] (circa 1910) where he tells the story of some kind of Golem created by a Jewish clockmaker and a woman folk healer in an isolated town during the Mexican Revolution; and "El dieciocho de mayo" ["The Eighteenth of May"] (circa 1910), about a scientist who creates a shelter to survive the toxic gases that Halley's Comet was supposed to bring in its tail.
The worries unchained by World War One appear in "Cómo acabó la guerra en 1917" ["How the War Ended in 1917"] (December 1917 Revista Universal) by Martín Luis Guzmán (1887-1976), the excellently constructed short story which describes in detail an artificial brain (see AI) that forecasts the imminent destruction of the planet. The same year, Julio Torri (1889-1970) published two sf short stories (both published in Ensayos y poemas ["Essays and Poems"], 1917), "Era un país pobre" ["It Was a Poor Country"], about a declining nation where the value of literature is recorded on the stock exchange; twenty years later, Antonio Castro Leal (1896-1981) revisited the topic in a more elaborate way in "La literatura no se cotiza" ["Literature Is Not in Demand"] (February 1937 Letras de México ["Mexican Letters"]). Torri's other short story "La conquista de la luna" ["The Conquest of the Moon"], is an account of the social consequences of the Invasion of our natural satellite, since Moon inhabitants easily adopt the conquerors' fashions.
The first important Mexican sf novel, Eugenia (1919), was written by the psychiatrist and university professor Eduardo Urzaiz (1876-1955). His scientific and collectivist Utopia takes place in the year 2218, in Villautopia, capital of the subconfederation of Central America, where the state rules with absolute control over the governed. Sexual and monogamist family taboos have been erased and equality among men and women has been achieved. The state also appoints the Official Reproducers of the Species and science has achieved the pregnancy of both male and female.
Perhaps inspired by the practical science magazines of Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967), professor Alberto Oliva (? -? ) published his Fantasías: Divulgación científica ["Fantasies: Popular Science"] (circa 1921), were he imagines adventures in Mars and some other extraordinary places and situations to teach scientific notions to his readers. Almost twenty years later, inside the government reform programme on education, Germán List Arzubide (1898-1998) conceived Troka, el poderoso ["Troka, the Powerful"] (1938), a robot with the capacity to turn into different machines in order to explain to children their operation and importance to society.
The first decade after the Mexican Revolution, the governments asked themselves about the best economic and political model to follow, whether capitalism or socialism, a controversy which is clearly described in the future society pictured by Félix F Palavicini (1881-1952) in ¡Castigo! Novela mexicana de 1945 ["Punishment! A Mexican Novel of 1945"] (1926).
The growth of Mexico City and of the industrialization around the world, is reflected in a pair of short stories, "Neocentauro" ["Neocentaurus"] (Lentitud ["Slowness"], 1932) by José Martínez Sotomayor (1895-1980), and "La máquina humana" ["The Human Machine"] (in Cinco horas sin corazón ["Five Hours Without a Heart"], coll 1938) by Bernardo Ortíz de Montellano (1899-1980), whose main characters suffer a slow symbiosis with machinery. The latter is also the author of "Cinq heures sans coeur" ["Five Hours Without a Heart"], included in the same collection, an interesting story about the little inhabitants of a distant future Earth, in a dehumanized society where love is just a necessary act to perpetuate the species, and where the corporal metabolism has evolved to let people live only for five hours.
Mi tío Juan ["My Uncle Juan"] (1934), a novel about a pacifist Scientist who discovers a formula to grow into a giant and then wants to destroy all the armies in the World, was the work of the veteran of the Mexican Revolution, Francisco L Urquizo (1891-1969).
The famous painter, vulcanologist and writer Dr Atl – pseudonym of Gerardo Murillo (1875-1964) – published Un hombre más allá del universo ["A Man Beyond the Universe"] (1934) to develop his philosophical and astrophysical speculations, as well as the short story "El hombre que se quedó ciego en el espacio" ["The Man Who Became Blind in Space"] (Cuentos de todos los colores ["Short Stories of All Colours"], vol. III, 1941), with the purpose of criticizing the possibilities of human knowledge.
There were two collections of short stories published in the 1930s and 1940s: Espectro ["Spectre"] (coll 1932) by Jorge Useta – pseudonym of José Ugarte (1880-? ) – in Barcelona, Spain, and Los domadores y otras narraciones ["The Tamers and Other Stories"] (coll 1945) by Manuel Becerra Acosta (1881-1968).
In the decade of the 1940s four important sf novels were published. Su nombre era muerte ["His Name was Death"] (1947) by Rafael Bernal (1915-1972) – also the author of the famous detective fiction novel El complot mongol ["The Mongolian Plot"] (1969) – tells the story of a Scientist who, during a voyage to the Chiapas jungle, discovers the language of mosquitoes and later attempts a revolution among them. The other three novels were written by one of the most important authors in Mexican sf, Diego Cañedo, pseudonym of Guillermo Zárraga (1892-1978). This famous architect decided to became a writer when he was almost fifty years old, but he only needed five years to publish three books which were praised even by the well known writer and literary critic Alfonso Reyes (1889-1959). In El réferi cuenta nueve ["The Referee Counts Nine"] (1943) Cañedo relates the discovery of a manuscript which contains the story of the German Nazi invasion of Mexico during World War Two. The work he dedicated to H G Wells, Palamás, Echevete y yo (o el lago asfaltado) ["PalamÁS, Echevete, and I (or The Asphalted Lake)"] (1945), is also a tribute to The Time Machine (1895), in which he tells of Time Travel by the two voyagers mentioned in the novel's title to different time periods, among them pre-Hispanic and colonial Mexico. La noche anuncia el día ["The Night Announces the Day"] (1947), is the work where he makes his clearest criticism of the Mexican political system, because it concerns the invention of a Machine to read the human mind, which is used to learn and take advantage of politicians' deplorable private motives. Cañedo later published some short stories, each of them in private editions, making them very difficult to collect.
Mexican Pulp magazines began to appear in the middle of the 1930s. The first title important to Mexican sf, although it was a detective fiction magazine, was Emoción ["Excitement"] (1934-circa 1938, 100+ issues), which from time to time published translated material from Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, and Astounding Science-Fiction. Los Cuentos Fantásticos ["Fantastic Short Stories"] (1948-1954, 45 issues) also included translated material from the main American sf and fantasy magazines at the time. Most of the Mexican issues of this magazine contained English-language announcements from Weaver Wright (a pseudonym of Forrest J Ackerman) offering to sell American books and magazine subscriptions "available from your friendly North of the Border neighbor". The same formula was followed by Enigmas (1955-1957, 16 issues) with translations from Standard Magazines; Ciencia y Fantasía ["Science and Fantasy"] (1956-1957, 14 issues), the official Mexican version of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Fantasías del Futuro ["Fantasies from the Future"] (1958, 1 issue), which published original material from Super Science Fiction, Future Science Fiction, Planet Stories, and The Original Science Fiction Stories (see Science Fiction Stories). Every so often, the pages of Emoción, and Los Cuentos Fantásticos included original material from Mexican authors, among them the filmmaker Juan Bustillo Oro (1904-1989). Almost always their collaborations were short horror or fantasy stories. Research so far indicates that the only memorable sf short story of this period was G Loreto's (? -? ) "Los últimos días de la Tierra" ["The Last Days of Earth"] (August-September 1935 Emoción), which describes, in a very cruel way, the end of the last survivors from Earth inside an escape Spaceship during an astronomical catastrophe. The covers of Mexican Pulp magazines were, as a rule, taken from American pulps, with the only exception being the covers of Emoción magazine, featuring original artwork by Alfonso Tirado (? -? ).
Since 1935, first in newspapers and later in magazines, there began to appear Mexican Comic-book versions of such American Superheroes as The Shadow, Mandrake the Magician, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers (see Buck Rogers in the 25th Century), and The Phantom. The first original Mexican sf series of comic-books was Los Supersabios ["The Super-Scientists"] by Germán Butze (1912-1974), so successful that it lasted from 1936 until its creator's death in 1974; even today some newspapers still republish the old cartoons. It was also adapted into an animated movie, Los Supersabios (1987), directed by Anuar Badín (? - ). Other worthy Mexican sf comic-books are El Hombre Azul ["The Blue Man"], created in 1940 by Juan Reyes Beiker (? -? ), which has had its own radio show from 1942; Guerra Interplanetaria ["Interplanetary War"], beginning as a straight adaptation of Well's War of the Worlds (1898) but, when this storyline finished, expanding into new and exciting adventures which appeared in several newspapers from 1940 until circa 1953. However, the most successful of them all, considering the number of copies per issue, was José Guadalupe Cruz's (1917-circa 1989), Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata ["Santo, the Silver Mask"], the comic-book of the real-life wrestler and movie star of the same name, which began in 1951 and finished in 1980.
At the beginning of the 1950s, American SF Magazines, such as Astounding Science-Fiction, Fantastic, Fantastic Universe, Galaxy Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Original Science Fiction Stories (see Science Fiction Stories), Other Worlds, Science Fiction Adventures, Science Fiction Stories, and Spaceway, began to be sold in Mexico. At the end of the same decade, the Argentine sf magazine Pistas del Espacio ["Trails from Space"] was also sold on Mexican newsstands. The famous Spanish sf magazine, Nueva Dimensión ["New Dimension"], reached this country almost from its first issue in 1968, but its export was suspended for reasons unknown in the middle of the 1970s. In the same magazine, the famous Mexican detective fiction author Paco Ignacio Taibo II (1949- ) published his first sf short story, "Llamaradas para fechas vacías" ["Sudden Blazes for Empty Dates"] (October 1978 Nueva Dimensión). Since then he has been a great promoter of what has been called in Mexico "alternative genres", and of new and talented authors. Later he wrote the sf novella Máscara Azteca y el Doctor Niebla ["Aztec Mask and Doctor Fog"] (1996), and other two sf short stories, all of them reunited in his collection Sólo tu sombra fatal ["Only Your Fatal Shadow"] (coll 2006).
It was also in the 1950s, when sf books translated from English and published in Spain and Argentina reached the country. Aside from that, hundreds of Spanish sf dime novels (see Dime-Novel SF), always written under Anglo-American pseudonyms, crossed the Atlantic. Mexican publishing houses like Novaro, Diana, and La Prensa published many translations of English language sf books, and their titles were exported to Spain and South America.
In the same time period, Mainstream Writers like Juan José Arreola (1918-2001), and Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) made their first contributions to fantastic literature. Also Octavio Paz (1914-1998) finished the theatrical adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's (1804-1864) "Rappaccini's Daughter" (1844), with the same title translated into Spanish: "La hija de Rappaccini" (1955), which opened the following year. Antonio Castro Leal (1896-1981) published the short story "Una historia del siglo XX" ["A History of the Twentieth Century"] (September-October 1955 Cuadernos Americanos ["Americas Notebooks"]), a Satirical exercise in Latin American history seen from the point of view of the twenty-eighth century.
The 1960s were a landmark for many reasons. 1964 saw the first appearance of a Mexican sf short story in an important anthology of Mexican literature, when "Orestes" by Alfredo Leal Cortés (1931- ) was included in El cuento mexicano del siglo XX ["The Mexican Short Story of the Twentieth Century"] (anth 1964) edited by Emmanuel Carballo. The main character of the title, Orestes, lives in a Far Future where science and Technology seem to have conquered everything, and considers himself the most learned and famous of men, but discovers the existence of some ants which had supposedly become extinct in previous centuries. While attempting to eliminate the threat they represent, he comes to a tragic end. In the same year, El mensaje de Fobos ["The Message from Phobos"] (1964) was written by the brothers Irene Gutiérrez de Lanz (1928- ), author of children's literature, and Arturo Gutiérrez Arias (1925- ), an ex-military man, airline pilot and writer, who combined their talents to tell the adventures of a child who travels to Mars and returns to Earth with a message of peace and hope to all humanity. The story was translated into many languages after it was awarded first prize in the Fourth Children's Short Story Contest of the Pan American Round Table of Mexico City. A short-lived semiprozine, Crononauta (1964, 2 issues) – the first to include mainly Spanish-American authors, with illustrations by, among others, José Luis Cuevas (1934- ) and Manuel Felguérez (1928- ) – was created by a pair of flamboyant foreigners residing in Mexico, the Colombian René Rebetez, and the Chilean Alejandro Jodorowsky (1929- ), who also founded the first Mexican SF Club.
Rebetez was very influential in Mexican and Latin American sf as the author of Los ojos de la clepsidra ["Clepsydra's Eyes"] (coll 1964) and La nueva prehistoria y otros cuentos ["The New Prehistory and Other Short Stories"] (coll 1967), the editor of La ciencia ficción: Breve antología del género ["Science Fiction: A Brief Anthology of the Genre"] (anth 1966), and of one of the first relevant essays originally written in Spanish, La ciencia ficción: Cuarta dimensión de la literatura ["Science Fiction: The Fourth Dimension of Literature"] (1966). The last two were published by the Mexican Ministry of Education and distributed in all public high schools. Being also a great traveller, Rebetez considered himself the voice of Spanish-language sf around the world, until he became more interested in Cinema.
It was between 1964 and 1983 that the first generation of Mexican sf authors emerged – those who deliberately immersed themselves in the genre, viewing it as more a literary divertissement as it had been for most of their forerunners. This generation felt attracted to sf because it was the fashion at the moment and also because of their fascination with the space race. The majority merely took elements from Anglo-American sf for their work, keeping faithful to the school of the Spanish-American short story. Among others, these include the following authors and collections: El dominó ["The Dominoes"] (coll 1964) and Los supervivientes ["The Survivors"] (coll 1982) by Jaime Cardeña (1920- ); El quinto reino ["The Fifth Kingdom"] (coll 1966) by Ramiro Garza (? - ) Orden de colonización ["Colonization Order"] (coll 1966) by Antonio Sánchez Galindo (? - ); Hacia el infinito ["Towards the Infinite"] (coll 1968), and ¿De dónde ...? ["Whence ...?"] (coll 1969) by Agustín Cortés Gaviño (1946- ); ¡Cuentos increíbles! ["Incredible Short Stories!"] (coll 1970) by Agustín Contín (? - ); Sin ventaja ["Without Advantage"] (coll 1971) by Jorge Tenorio B (? -? ); Cuentos arcaicos para el año 3000 ["Archaic Short Stories for the Year 3000"] (coll 1972) by Marcela del Río (1932- ); Vuelo en la noche ["Flight by Night"] (coll 1974) by María Elvira Bermúdez (1916-1988); La desaparición de Hollywood ["The Disappearance of Hollywood"] (coll 1973), and Fantasías en carrusel ["Fantasies on a Merry-Go-Round"] (coll 1978) by René Avilés Fabila (1940- ); Después de Samarkanda ["After Samarkand"] (coll 1977), and La grieta ["The Crack"] (coll 1978) by Manú Dornbierer; and Derelictus y otros cuentos ["Derelictus and Other Short Stories"] (coll 1980) by H Kinyah (? -? ), possibly a pseudonym.
Worthy of special note, for their wit and artistically polished work, are the short stories of Costa Rica-born Alfredo Cardona Peña, who published his first collection in 1966, Cuentos de magia, de misterio y de horror ["Short Stories of Magic, of Mystery and of Horror"] (coll 1966); others followed, his last being Los mejores cuentos de magia, misterio y horror ["The Best Magic, Mystery and Horror Stories"] (coll 1990). In his long poem, "Recreo sobre la ciencia ficción" ["A Recess about SF"] (1967 Cuadernos Americanos ["Americas Notebooks"]), he explains why sf is the Mythology for our times.
In this period, Todos los caminos del universo ["All the Roads of the Universe"] (anth 1974) edited by Oliva Rodríguez Lobato (? - ), was the first anthology of Spanish-American authors – mostly Mexican – to be published in Mexico.
Novelists were also busy. Tomás Mojarro's (1932- ) Trasterra (1973) is a poetic and imaginative recreation of the apocalypse with elements from pre-Hispanic Mythology; Jesús Pavlo Tenorio's (? - ) La píldora maravillosa ["The Marvellous Pill"] (1974) pictures the struggle against the infertility that ravages humankind; and Juan Guerrero Zorrilla's (? - ) Destruyan a Armonía ["Destroy Harmony"] (1982) is a Utopia in which people and Machines coexist in harmony. Proceso a Faubritten ["The Trial of Faubritten"] (1976) by Marcela del Río (1932- ) had its origin in a short story, "La bomba L" ["The L Bomb"] (in Premios León Felipe de Cuento ["León Felipe Short Story Awards"], anth 1972); this which was read by Ray Bradbury, who encouraged del Río to expand it into the above-mentioned novel, dealing with the invention of an Immortality bomb.
The year 1968 is a milestone in the history of contemporary Mexico because it was the date when the government violently crushed some student demonstrations, unintentionally giving impetus to the counter-cultural movement which in turn had an impact on sf. Mejicanos en el espacio ["Mexicans in Space"] (1968) by Carlos Olvera (1940- ), though outwardly a comic Space Opera of the year 2147, full of colloquial language, is a fine contemporary Satire with sharp criticism of the Mexican government; El último reducto ["The Last Redoubt"] (1968) by the Spanish-born Juan Aroca Sanz (? - ) describes the problems of a Far Future society, governed by neuter-sex people who control the reproduction of men and women; Argón 18 inicia ["Argon 18 Begins"] (1971) by the also Spanish-born Edmundo Domínguez Aragonés (1938- ), describes the violence of the period as scientific research develops; Nueva utopía (y los guerrilleros) ["New Utopia (and the Guerrillas)"] (anth 1973), edited by René Avilés Fabila (1940), imagines science-fictional devices to fight against an oppressive government; and El día que perdió el PRI ["The Day the National Revolutionary Party Lost"] (1976) by Armando Ayala Anguiano (1928- ), pictures a Near Future Mexican society where the hegemonic political party has finally accepted its defeat by the right-wing ideology of the National Action Party – a scene that really happened in the year 2000.
Mainstream Writers were also busy. Homero Aridjis's (1940- ) Espectáculo del año 2000 ["Show for the Year 2000"] (1981) imagines the end of a century as a kind of medieval feast, El último Adán; his ["The Last Adam"] (1986) is a Parody in Biblical style of the last days of the world; and Gran teatro del fin del mundo ["Great Theatre of the End of the World"] (1989) features the theatrical performance of important passages of world history inside a nuclear shelter. Salvador Elizondo (1932-2006) published "La luz que regresa" ["The Returning Light"] (1983) first in the literary magazine Vuelta ["Round"], and the following year as a book, beautifully illustrated by Arnaldo Coen (1941- ): he dedicated it to "precocious, nosy, and perspicacious children", although this Time Travel story seems very tricky even for such readers; José Emilio Pacheco's (1939- ) "La catástrofe" ["The Catastrophe"] (1984 Proceso), tells the story of a new Mexican-US war. Carlos Fuentes published his near-apocalyptic vision of Mexican society, Cristóbal nonato (1987; trans Alfred MacAdam and the author as Christopher Unborn 1989); and the learned Ernesto de la Peña (1927-2012) delighted readers with some short stories in the manner of Jorge Luis Borges in Las máquinas espirituales ["The Spiritual Machines"] (coll 1991).
There were also sf magazines, like Espacio (1977-1978, 6 issues), and Kosmos 2000 (1978, 2 issues), but they only offered translations – chiefly of US material, with some from the USSR. One venue where local talent could publish was, surprisingly, Contactos Extraterrestres ["Extraterrestrial Contacts"] (1976-1982), a UFO magazine published by skeptics; this also included translated short stories from the US.
But the place where the new generation of authors really came together was the science magazine Ciencia y Desarrollo ["Science and Development"], published by the Mexican Council of Science and Development (whose Spanish acronym is CONACYT). It included a short sf story in each bimonthly issue since 1977, all of them by foreign authors, until the physician and painter Antonio Ortiz (1953- ), who also worked for the magazine, published his short story "La tía Panchita" ["Aunt Panchita"] (July-August 1983 Ciencia y Desarrollo), about a Time Traveller who lives in a popular Mexico City neighbourhood – an attempt to convince Mexican authors that sf could have a real Mexican flavour.
The following year, 1984, saw the establishment – through the efforts of biologist Celine Armenta (? - ), who worked at the State of Puebla CONACYT's Office – of the Puebla SF Short Story National Award. This sparked open interest in the genre among literally hundreds of (mostly young) Mexican writers, as shown by the 120 short stories received from all over the country. The first winner was "La pequeña guerra" ["The Little War"] (November-December 1984 Ciencia y Desarrollo), later included in Escenas de la realidad virtual ["Scenes From Virtual Reality"] (coll 1991) by Mauricio-José Schwarz. In 1985, the winner was "Crónica del gran reformador" ["Chronicle of the Great Reformer"] (January-February 1986 Ciencia y Desarrollo), a Time Paradox story taking place during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, by Héctor Chavarría (1950- ). In 1986 the prize was not awarded: the panel of judges considered all the story submissions unworthy, and decided to use the award money to create an SF Literary Workshop. Rumor has it that the winner was "El que llegó al metro Pino Suárez" ["The One Who Reached the Pino Suárez's Subway Station"] (in El futuro en llamas ["The Future in Flames"], anth 1997, ed Gabriel Trujillo) by Arturo César Rojas (1955- ), but that his use of slang and strong language disqualified it in the eyes of the judges. The winners and some honourable mentions from the first eight years of the Puebla SF Short Story Award were published in Principios de incertidumbre ["Uncertainty Principles"] (anth 1992) edited by Celine Armenta. As a rule, this new generation of authors has attempted to create a peculiarly Mexican sf, with characters, scenery and circumstances corresponding to the Mexican urban and rural reality.
The National Politechnic Institute also had an internal annual sf short story contest from 1989-1991, published in three anthologies, Antología de cuentos del certamen de cuento de ciencia ficción ["Anthology of the SF Short Story Contest"], published in three separate volumes (anth 1990; anth 1991; anth 1994).
Outstanding collections from this period are Los ojos de Ciro ["Ciro's Eyes"] (coll 1984) by Juan Cervera (? - ); Vértigos y barbaries ["Vertigos and Barbarisms"] (coll 1988) by Irving Roffe (1954- ); El proyecto Supermán ["The Superman Project"] (coll 1989) by Juan José Morales (? - ); Puerta a las estrellas ["Door to the Stars"] (coll 1990) by Lauro Paz (1955- ); and Mecanomatia (coll 1991) by Rolando de la Mora (? - ). There were also important novels like the gay Space Opera Xxyëröddny, donde el gran sueño se enraíza ["Xxyëröddny, where the Great Dream Takes Root"] (1984) by Kalar Sailendra – pseudonym of Arturo César Rojas (1955- ); El festín de los egos (1985; trans by the author as Feast of Egos 1993), about Clones in a future society, by José Zaidenweber (1930-1995); Herencia estelar ["Stellar Inheritance"] (1988), a Space Opera about the Mayan ancestors, by José V A Icaza (1941-2006); Al norte del milenio ["North of the Millennium"] (1989), a Dystopia involving the takeover of the northern Mexican territory by the US, by Gerardo Cornejo (1937- ); and Navegante de Taurus ["Navigator from Taurus"] (1990), a First Contact novel by Wilbert Romero Alonzo (? - ).
Dark humour and the Mexican picaresque are always present in the work of Gonzalo Martré – pseudonym of Mario Trejo González (1928- ) – who has been a prolific sf writer since the mid-1980s, with the following collections: Dime con quien andas y te diré quién herpes ["A Man Is Known by the Herpes He Keeps"; the title puns on the Spanish verb "eres" and the name of the disease "herpes"] (coll 1985), Apenas seda azul ["Barely Blue Silk"] (coll 1987), La emoción que paraliza el corazón ["The Emotion That Paralyses the Heart"] (coll 1994), and Coprofernalia (coll 2001). Later, as president of the Mexican Association of SF and Fantasy, he edited the nonfiction La ciencia ficción en México (hasta el año 2004) ["Sf in Mexico (Until the Year 2004)"] (anth 2004).
The contemporary generation of Mexican sf authors was united following the creation of the Puebla SF Short Story Award, which highlighted the work of writers from all over the country. The magazine Tierra Adentro ["From the Interior"] of the National Council for Culture and the Arts, published a special issue (January-February 1991) of what they called the "new sf in Mexico". In 1992, the Mexican Association of SF and Fantasy was founded; this organization introduced an annual award, the Kalpa – named for one of Amado Nervo's poems – for the best published short sf story. The 1996 winner of the Kalpa award, Pepe Rojo's (1968- ) "Ruido gris", was trans by Andrea Bell as "Gray Noise", and included in Cosmos Latinos (anth 2003) edited by Andrea Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán. The first Conventions took place in Puebla (1991), Nuevo Laredo (1992), Monterrey (1993) and Mexico City (1996). Since the second convention, international participants, like Bruce Sterling have taken part. At the third, the Mexican-US anthology Frontera de espejos rotos ["Border of Broken Mirrors"] (anth 1994) was launched: this was edited by Don Webb (1960- ) and Mauricio-José Schwarz. One short story from this anthology, Guillermo Lavín's (1956- ) "Llegar a la orilla" was trans by Rena Zuidema and Andrea Bell as "Reaching the Shore", and included in Cosmos Latinos as already cited. Federico Schaffler (1959- ), reunited 42 authors in Más allá de lo imaginado ["Beyond the Imagined"] (anth 1991-1994 3vols); he also created the magazine Umbrales ["Thresholds"] (1992-2000, 50 issues), not only a venue for the very active writers of the Mexican northern territory, but also for those from the rest of the country. Its fourteenth issue (February 1996) was a special one dedicated to the "Mexican Myths", a local version of H P Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, with original contributions inspired in pre-Hispanic mythology and Mexican colonial history. The novel El mito del espejo negro ["The Myth of the Black Mirror"] (1997) by Héctor Chavarría (1950- ) is set in such a universe. The 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas inspired another sf anthology, also edited by Schaffler: Sin permiso de Colón ["Without Columbus's Authorization"] (anth 1993). Mauricio-José Schwarz created the Semiprozine Estacosa ["Thisthing"] (1991-1992, 2 issues).
The magazine Asimov Ciencia Ficción ["Asimov's SF"] (1994-1999, 16 issues), Mexican version of Asimov's Science Fiction, could also be considered a part of the 1990s sf boom. It was published by José Zaidenweber (1930-1995) and later by Salomón Bazbaz (1967- ), but had a short life not only because of the Mexican economic crisis, but for persisting in the practice of including more Mexican national authors than translations from English, thus breaching the original deal with Dell Magazines.
One of the most outstanding novels of the 1990s, La primera calle de la soledad ["The First Street of Solitude"] (1993) by Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, an sf espionage story in the best style of Philip K Dick's Paranoia and religious hallucinations, intertwined with Cyberpunk, was the starting point – along with the international rage for this kind of literature – for the Mexican school of Cyberpunk. Flavoured with Mexican religiosity and other idiosyncrasies, the movement drew the attention of local and foreign scholars. The most representative titles and authors were the fanzine fractal (1995-1997, 7 issues) edited by José Luis Ramírez (1974- ) – winner of the Puebla SF Short Story Award in 1998 – who also edited the Original Anthology Cuentos compactos cyberpunk ["Cyberpunk Compact Short Stories"] (anth 1997) in the format of CD booklets; Gerardo Horacio Porcayo's Silicio en la memoria ["Silicon inside the Memory"] (anth 1998); Gerardo Sifuentes' (1974- ) Perro de luz ["Light's Dog"] (coll 1999); Willivaldo Delgadillo's (? - ) La virgen del barrio árabe ["The Virgin from the Arab Quarter"] (1997), winner of the Chihuahua Literary Prize; and Jorge Eduardo Álvarez's (1968- ) Río de redes ["Web's River"] (1995).
A very prolific author and promoter of Mexican sf in this period was Federico Schaffler (1959- ), who lives in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, winner of the Kalpa Award in 1997, and author of the collections Absurdo concursante ["The Absurd Contestant"] (coll 1988), Breve eternidad ["Brief Eternity"] (coll 1991), with the chronicles of an independent Republic of Nuevo León; Sendero al infinito ["Path into Infinity"] (coll 1994), and Contactos en el cielo ["Contacts in the Sky"] (coll 1996).
An account of the collections of the last decade of the century must include Mauricio-José Schwarz's Escenas de la realidad virtual ["Scenes from Virtual Reality"] (coll 1991) and Más allá no hay nada ["Beyond, There Is Nothing"] (coll 1996) – one short story from this coll, "Destellos en vidrio azul" was trans by Ted Angell as "Glimmerings on Blue Glass" and included in Cosmos Latinos as already cited; Guillermo Lavín's (1956- ) Final de cuento ["End of a Short Story"] (coll 1993); Manú Dornbierer's En otras dimensiones ["In Other Dimensions"] (coll 1995); Pepe Rojo's (1968- ) Yonke (coll 1998); Guillermo Farber's (1951- ) Kubrick's 2002 (coll 2000); Ramón López Castro's (1971- ) Soldados de la incertidumbre ["Soldiers of Uncertainty"] (coll 2000); and Jorge Martínez Villaseñor's (1935- ) El día perdido ["The Lost Day"] (coll 2000).
Among the novels, where the Dystopian fate of Mexican society seems to be a constant theme, Gabriel Gozález Meléndez's (1960- ) Los mismos grados más lejos del centro ["The Same Degrees Very Far From the Centre"] (1991), the work of a writer and musician, full of concrete poetry à la Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), retelling the Mexican's Revolution in the near future; Mauricio Molina's (1959- ) Tiempo lunar ["Lunar Time"] (1993), winner of the "José Rubén Romero" National Novel Award, another Near Future mystery in Mexico City with pre Hispanic mythology allusions; Ricardo Guzmán Wolffer's (1966- ) Que Dios se apiade de todos nosotros ["May God Have Mercy on Us All"] (1993), the first adventure of the future Mexico City detective Sergio Lupus; Daniel S Cárdenas' (? - ) El Presidente Lemus (1993), about the struggles of a society and a government that fights to retain its territory; María Luisa Erreguerena's (? - ) Precursores ["Forerunners"] (1995), a sound story of the human problems during the colonization of a planet (see Colonization of Other Worlds); Pedro Ángel Palou's (1966- ) Memoria de los días (1995), a religious and Magic vision of a Post-Holocaust world; José Huerta Ibarra's (1938- ) La Copa Antonio Vivaldi ["The Antonio Vivaldi Cup"] (1995), the story of an Alternate World where the World Cup is given for competition in classical music; Ricardo Chavéz Castañeda's (1961- ) El día del hurón ["The Day of the Ferret"] (1996), not precisely sf but a surrealistic fiction about a pair of twin Cities, one of them underground and resembling a kind of urban subconscious of the other; Luis Eduardo García's (1962- ) Technotitlan Año Cero ["Technotitlan Year Zero"] (1997), is a thorough recreation, via Time Travel, of the real-world massacre of Mexican students in 1968; Blanca Martínez's (? - ) La era de los clones ["The Age of the Clones"] (1998) an sf adventure full of nostalgia; Fuego para los dioses ["Fire for the Gods"] (1998) by H Pascal – pseudonym of Juan Manuel García Junco (? - ) – is a Space Opera dealing with the traffic of Mexican chili; and Isaí Moreno Roque's (? - ) Pisot, los dígitos violentos ["Pisot, the Violent Digits"] (2000), winner of the Juan Rulfo Award for a First Novel, is a mystery, full of Mathematical speculations, about a serial killer who is also a Time Traveller.
The vision of Mainstream Writers of this period is also pessimistic. Hugo Hiriart's (1942- ) La destrucción de todas las cosas ["The Destruction of All Things"] (1992), is a new version of the Aztec conquest told as though it were an Alien Invasion; Guillermo Sheridan's (1950- ) El dedo de oro ["The Gold Finger"] (1996), imagines an apocalyptic Mexico condemned to be ruled by extremely long-lived corrupt politicians; Francisco Martín Moreno's (1946- ) Sequía ["The Drought"] (1997) presents the fatal consequences for Mexico City during a long drought; and Carmen Boullosa's (1954- ) Cielos de la Tierra ["Heavens of the Earth"] (1997) questions Mexican Identity in three time periods: the colonial past, the postrevolutionary present, and the postnational future.
Homero Aridjis (1940- ), the most prolific mainstream author to make forays into sf in recent years, wrote La leyenda de los soles ["Legend of the Suns"] (1993) and ¿En quién piensas cuando haces el amor? ["Who Do You Think of When Making Love?"] (1995), which could be considered two separate volumes of the same story, using the Mesoamerican myth of the Fifth Sun in a Mexican society of the Near Future to describe the problems of modernization; and in La zona del silencio ["The Silence Zone"] (2001), he tells a mystery story set in a very intriguing region of northern Mexico.
Gabriel Trujillo (1958- ), who lives in Mexicali, Baja California, has been a very prolific sf writer and researcher since the late 1980s. His essay La ciencia ficción: literatura y conocimiento ["Science Fiction: Literature and Knowledge"] (1991), won the annual State Literature Award. Later, he focused on Mexican sf, beginning with Los Confines: Crónica de la ciencia ficción mexicana ["The Boundaries: Chronicle of Mexican SF"] (1999), and Biografías del Futuro: La ciencia ficción mexicana y sus autores ["Biographies from the Future: Mexican Science Fiction and Its Authors"] (2000). Additionally, he published Miríada ["Myriad"] (coll 1991), and Laberinto (as time goes by) ["Labyrinth (As Time Goes By)"] (1995), winner of the State Literature Award, an avant-garde sf novel of a universe which has suffered a process called "Derridization" – after the concepts of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004).
Since the late 1980s, Mexican states of the northern border – perhaps owing to their proximity to the US and being places with much traffic where some of the main national problems of recent years have concentrated – gave rise to various avant-gardist cultural proposals, some of them sf. Examples include not only Federico Schaffler (1959- ) and Gabriel Trujillo (1958- ) but many others. In Monterrey, Nuevo León, Felipe Montes' (1961- ) Natal: Veinte visiones de Monterrey ["Native: Twenty visions from Monterrey"] (anth 1993), was a showcase of new writing talents; another outstanding example in recent years, from the same city, is Ricardo Martínez Cantú (1949- ), author of Libro de la luna libre ["Book of the Free Moon"] (coll 2001), and Luna de mascar ["Chewing Moon"] (coll 2006). Gerardo Cornejo (1937- ) had previously edited an equivalent of Felipe Montes' anthology of new authors from Sonora, in Cuéntame uno ["Tell Me a Story"] (anth 1985). Guillermo Lavín (1956- ) and José Luis Velarde (1956- ), from Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, published for many years the literary magazine A quien corresponda ["To Whom It May Concern"], and prepared special issues of sf from Mexico (July-August 1998), Argentina (November 1997), Spain (October and November 1999, two issues), and international sources (June, July and August 1999, three issues). In Tijuana, Baja California, Pepe Rojo (1968- ) designed a programme to promote reading among the people preparing to cross the Mexico-US border, by giving them free booklets with Mexican sf short stories, publishing a newspaper of the year 2043 whose front page says the border will be closed, and publishing, with Néstor Robles (1985- ) Desde aquí se ve el futuro: Testimonios de la vida fronteriza después del desastre ["It Is Possible to See the Future from Here: Testimonies of Border Life After the Disaster"] (anth 2012). The Spanish-born Imanol Caneyada (1968- ) resident in La Paz, Baja California, reflects all the violence, fears and hopes of border society in Historias de la gaya ciencia ficción ["Stories of Gay SF"] (coll 2003) – winner of the Sizigias Award – and La ciudad antes del alba ["The City Before Dawn"] (coll 2010), in the same fashion, Hermann Gil Robles (1983- ), from Culiacán, Sinaloa, seems to be among the best young writers with only two books, Fuera de la memoria ["Outside Memory"] (coll 2011) and Los sueños de los últimos días ["Dreams from the Final Days"] (2012).
Pepe Rojo (1968- ) and Bernardo Fernández (1972- ) created Sub (1996-2002, 5 issues), a Fanzine which drew international attention and was cited as a sample of modern day graphic design (March-April 2001 Communication Arts).
The Mexican Association of SF and Fantasy annually presented the Sizigias awards – after the title of the earliest Mexican sf short story; see Manuel Antonio de Rivas above – from 2001 through 2005, for the best novel, anthology, essay, and review. Particularly notable among the winners is Antonio Malpica's (1966- ) novel El impostor ["The Impostor"] (2001), a work of Survivalist Fiction set in Mexico City after an unknown disease has struck.
Recent collections of note are Gerardo Piña's (1975- ) La erosión de la tinta y otros relatos ["Ink's Erosion and Other Short Stories"] (coll 2001) – including as an appendix the interesting essay, "La literatura fantástica y la física" ["Fantastic Literature and Physics"]; Gerardo Sifuentes' (1974- ) Pilotos Infernales ["Infernal Pilots"] (coll 2002) – winner of the MECYF Award presented by the Mexico City Convention which derives its acronym from Convención de Ciencia Ficción, Cómics y Fantasía [Science Fiction, Comics and Fantasy Convention]; Lauro Paz's (1955- ) Los que se volvieron mito ["Those Who Became a Myth"] (coll 2002) – winner of the Sizigias Award; Blanca Martínez's (? - ) Archivo Hurus II ["Hurus Archive II"] (coll 2002); Aldo Alba's (1961- ) Cuentos del Alba ["Daybreak Short Stories"] (coll 2002); Ricardo Guzmán Wolffer's (1966- ) Bestias ["Beasts"] (2005); Janitzio Villamar's (1969- ) Nave Comando "Emperador" y otros cuentos de ciencia ficción ["Command Ship 'Emperor' and Other Short Sf Stories"] (coll 2007); and Pepe Rojo's (1968- ) Interrupciones ["Interruptions"] (coll 2009), featuring the short story "Un presidente sin órganos", trans by Chris N Brown as "The President Without Organs" in Three Messages and a Warning (anth 2011) edited by Eduardo Jiménez Mayo and Chris N Brown-.
There were thematic anthologies to commemorate the International Year of Physics, by the National University of Mexico's (UNAM) Institute of Physics: Antología de cuentos: Concurso de narrativa de ciencia ficción ["Short Stories Anthology: SF Narrative Contest"] (anth 2006), and the International Year of Astronomy, by the UNAM's Institute of Astronomy: Las cuatro esquinas del universo: Concurso de ciencia ficción ["The Four Corners of the Universe: SF Short Story Contest"] (anth 2010). Also, to commemorate Philip K Dick – a very respected author in Mexico, both by readers and authors – a group of the latter published an anthology marking the twentieth anniversary of his passing: El hombre en las dos puertas ["The Man Between Two Doors"] (anth 2002), edited by Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, one of the most original story selections of the last decade. Jorge Cubría's (1950- ) Ginecoides: Las hembras de los androides ["Gynecoids: Android Women"] (anth 2003), assembling sf and fantasy written by women, gave rise to a little controversy, because some reviewers considered that in his editorial notes the anthologist tried to make fun of the authors. Blanca Martínez's (? - ) Diferentes ["Differents"] (anth 2002), reunited short stories of all kinds of strange beings.
Worldwide 2012 Paranoia about the Mayan prophecies inspired some End of the World anthologies and collections, like José Luis Zárate's (1966- ) El fin del mundo: Manual de uso ["The End of the World: User's Guide"] (coll 2012 ebook).
The writer H Pascal – pseudonym of Juan Manuel García Junco (? - ) – and mostly young authors from his literary workshop, under the name of the Goliardos Project, have been continually publishing fantastic literature plaquettes (chapbooks) since the year 2000. Pascal is also the editor of Nuevas creaturas del abismo ["New Creatures from the Abyss"] (anth 2003), a Sizigias award-winning anthology of fantastic literature.
Among the twenty-first century's most significant novels to date, mention should be made of Fernando Montesdeoca's (? - ) Esta ilusión real ["This Real Illusion"] (2002), a well done overlapping of realities which earned him the Juan Rulfo Award for a First Novel; Juan J Orosa's (? - ) Los extraviados ["The Missing Ones"] (2002), a Technothriller centred on the possibilities of artificial life; Mary Acosta's (? - ) adventures of a woman who unexpectedly becomes some kind of scientific detective in Las proezas secretas ["The Secret Feats"] (2003) and Las maniobras ocultas ["The Hidden Manoeuvres"] (2007); Sergio González Rodríguez's (1950- ) El Plan Schreber ["The Schreber Plan"] (2004), the shocking tale of a plan to change all people's Gender – this came with a CD with music and digital art to enhance the reading experience; Ricardo Guzmán Wolffer's (1966- ) La Saga de la V Voladora ["The Flying 'V' Saga"], a picaresque novel so foulmouthed that in real life, though in a previous version, it had censorship problems with the Mexican Ministry of State; Jesús Ramírez-Bermúdez's (1973- ) scientific and archetypal voyage through human minds in Paramnesia ["Paramnesy"] (2006); Eve Gil's (1968- ) Virtus (2008) an sf mirror of recent political problems; Jorge Vázquez Ángeles (1977- ) El jardín de las delicias ["The Garden of Earthly Delights"] (2009), about the Near Future war of Mexico City and surrounding territories over water; Gerardo Serrano Ramírez (1973- ) Último Edén ["Last Eden"] (2010), a Dystopia of the year 2050, where Technology has created a breach between sentient and non-sentient humans; and Luis Eduardo García's (1962- ) Éramos diez ["We Were Ten"] (2011), the Alternate-History war story of Mexico versus Central America.
In the new century, Mainstream Writers excelled with new novels and collections. Enrique Serna's (1959- ) short story "El orgasmógrafo" ["The Orgasmographer"] (title story of coll 2001), imagines a world where promiscuity is the rule. Carlos Fuentes's La silla del águila (2002; trans Kristina Cordero as The Eagle's Throne 2006) is an epistolary novel set in the year 2020. Ignacio Padilla's (1968- ) El androide y las quimeras ["The Android and the Chimeras"] (coll 2008), plays at will and in different variations with Thomas Alva Edison's (see also Edisonade) project to create a talking doll and Lewis Carroll's love of photographing little girls. However, Homero Aridjis (1940- ) achieved a masterpiece with Los invisibles ["The Invisible Ones"] (2010), a story set, simultaneously, in a very detailed seventeenth century and modern day France, where some invisible beings, possibly from outer space, are threatening society (see Invisibility).
The celebrated Mexican fantasy author, Alberto Chimal – pseudonym of Mauricio Alberto Martínez Chimal (1970- ) – won the Kalpa award in 1999 with "Se ha perdido una niña" ["A Girl Has Been Lost"], about a child who has correspondence with a Parallel World where the USSR still exists. Also of sf interest are his coll Gente del mundo ["Peoples of the World"] (coll 1998), a kind of encyclopedia of nonexistent societies; his essay "Jorge Luis Borges y la ciencia ficción" ["Jorge Luis Borges and SF"] (2003 Sol de Tierra), and his collection of mini short stories El viajero del tiempo ["The Time Traveller"] (coll 2011).
Since the late 1990s, three Mexican authors have attained international status, with one exception chiefly through sf. Gabriel Trujillo (1958- ), who is also a successful detective fiction author, reached this position with the novel Espantapájaros ["Scarecrow"] (1999), winner of an honourable mention at the international Technology to divert the trains on their way to concentration camps during World War Two.in 1998 – under the title of "Gracos" – a sf thriller about the legendary Chupacabras, also the winner of the National Colima Narrative Award in 1999. Trujillo is a master storyteller, as he shows in Mercaderes ["Merchants"] (coll 2002) and Aires del verano en el parabrisas ["Summer Breeze in the Windshield"] (coll 2009). His latest novel, Trenes perdidos en la niebla ["Trains Lost in the Fog"] (2010), is a touching and poetic story of a Jewish project using state-of-the-art
José Luis Zárate (1966- ), born in Puebla, won the Puebla SF Short Story National Award in 1987. He published Xanto (1994), a Parody of the Silver Mask wrestler with some Lovecraftian elements, and won the MECYF Award with La ruta del hielo y la sal ["The Route of Ice and Salt"] (1998), a horror novel about the voyage of Dracula to London (see Vampires). Both novels will make up a trilogy in conjunction with Del cielo oscuro y del abismo ["From the Dark Sky and the Abyss"] (2000), the story of a failed Superhero – winner of an honorary mention at the international in 2000, under the title of La máscara del héroe ["Hero's Mask"] (2009), as published in Spain.
The youngest one, Bernardo Fernández's (1972- ), who also uses the pen name "Bef", published his first collection ¡¡Bzzzzzzt!! Ciudad Interfase ["Bzzzzzzt!! Interface City"] (coll 1998), and then El llanto de los niños muertos ["The Weeping of Dead Children"] (coll 2003) – containing the short story "Leones", trans by Chris N Brown as "Lions" in Three Messages and a Warning (anth 2011) edited by Eduardo Jiménez Mayo and Chris N Brown. His novelette Gel azul ["Blue Gel"] (2007), the story of a world where all people live connected by a net, won the Spanish Ignotus Award in 2007. When he tried his luck participating in detective fiction novel contests, he won three awards in 2005, 2006 – in Gijón, Spain – and 2011. The last of these, the Grijalbo Novel Award for Hielo Negro ["Black Ice"] (2011), is of interest for sf readers, because this may be considered a post-Cyberpunk novel. Bef also publishes a great deal of sf for children and Young Adults.
There have to date been three retrospective Mexican sf anthologies: El futuro en llamas ["The Future in Flames"] (anth 1997) edited by Gabriel Trujillo (1958- ); Visiones periféricas ["Peripheric Visions"] (anth 2001) edited by Miguel Ángel Fernández Delgado (1967- ); and Los viajeros ["The Voyagers"] (anth 2010) edited by Bernardo Fernández (1972- ). [MAFD]
- Ross Larson. Fantasy and Imagination in the Mexican Narrative (Tempe, Arizona: Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University, 1977) [nonfiction: pp51-61: pb/]
- Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz. Los Confines: Crónica de la ciencia ficción mexicana ["The Boundaries: Chronicle of Mexican SF"] (Mexico City, Mexico: Grupo Editorial Vid, 1999) [nonfiction: pb/]
- Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz. Biografías del Futuro: La ciencia ficción mexicana y sus autores ["Biographies from the Future: Mexican Science Fiction and Its Authors"] (Mexicali: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, 2000) [nonfiction: anth: pb/]
- Ramón López Castro. Expedición a la Ciencia Ficción Mexicana ["Expedition to Mexican SF"] (Mexico City, Mexico: Lectorum, Consejo para la Cultura de Nuevo León, 2001) [nonfiction: pb/]
- Andrea L Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán, editors. Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2003) [anth: pb/Raúl Cruz]
- Darrell B Lockhart, editor. Latin American Science Fiction Writers: An A-to-Z Guide (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2004) [nonfiction: anth: hb/nonpictorial]
- Miguel López-Lozano. Utopian Dreams, Apocalyptic Nightmares: Globalization in Recent Mexican and Chicano Narrative (West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2008) [nonfiction: pb/]
- Eduardo Jiménez Mayo and Chris N Brown, editors. Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic (Easthampton, Massachusetts: Small Beer Press, 2011) [anth: introduction by Bruce Sterling: pb/Jamie Stolarski]
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