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Pachico, Julianne

Entry updated 27 November 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1987-    ) UK teacher and novelist, mostly in Colombia and the US until adulthood, who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Saddest Mad Scientist" in The Mad Scientist Journal for Autumn 2012 (issued 2013). The carceral setting of her first novel, The Lucky Ones (2017), whose central action takes place in an isolated mansion in Colombia (see Horror in SF), prefigures her work in general, where enclosure and estrangement intersect. Both this novel and its successor, The Anthill (2020), also set in Colombia, convey a sense – less explosively perhaps than Marianna Enriquez in Our Share of Night (2019) – that South America as a whole is irradiated by the presence of Mysterious Strangers looking for "home" in jungles of overload.

Pachico is of sf interest for her third novel, Jungle House (2023), set in an isolated "smart" house in a Dystopian Near Future version of Colombia. The house is controlled by an AI which calls itself not only Jungle House but Mother; a bathetic Robot is also involved. The human protagonist Lena – whose name seems intended to remind readers of Rima, the protagonist of W H Hudson's Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest (1904) – has been raised in isolation to service the house's owners, a family named Morel. Here an unmistakable alert to a previous text is provided: Adolfo Bioy Casares's The Invention of Morel (1940) also technologizes intimate relationships amid Godgame aspirations on the part of the ultimate owner. In Jungle House, which is marked by occasional incursions of Young-Adult speak, an emotionally complex plot plays out in a world increasingly distorted by Climate Change. [JC]

Julianne Pachico

born Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: 1987



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