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Tavares, Braulio

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1950-    ) In addition to being an award-winning Brazilian author, Braulio Tavares is a critic, television writer, musician, composer and a daily columnist for the newspaper O Jornal da Paraíba. He made his first contribution to the field of sf research with the concise handbook, O que é ficção científica? ["What is SF?"] (1986), later publishing the Fantastic, Fantasy and Science Fiction Literature Catalog (1992), a project he organized in English for Brazil's National Library. Among his recurrent themes are the loss of human Identity and civility, metafiction, Iberian fantasy, and the relationship between art and literature. His sf story collection of short stories, Espinha dorsal da memória ["The Backbone of Memory"] (coll 1989) won the Portuguese Caminho Prize in the field of SF, and in 2009, he won Brazil's coveted Jabuti Literary prize in the category of children's literature with A invenção do mundo pelo Deus curumim ["The Invention of the World by the Indian Boy God"] (2008). Among his memorable stories from Espinha dorsal da memória are "Stuntmind", in which Aliens enter human consciousness to seek thrills, the metafictional "Os ishtarianos estão entre nós" ["The Ishtarians are Among Us"], in which a sf writer imagines ants as Alien foes, and "Jogo Rápido" ["It's a Snap"], in which a gang of outlaw artists kidnap and brand a visiting scientist in a futuristic Rio de Janeiro. The only fantasy story in the collection, "História de Maldun, o mensageiro," ["Story of Maldun, the Messenger"] is set on the Iberian peninsula during medieval times, a scenario Tavares develops at length in a longer work, A máquina voadora ["The Flying Machine"] (1994), in which a shoemaker manages to construct a flying machine in order to escape from his everyday life.

As a writer from the Northeastern region of Brazil where religion and traditions of dating back medieval times are strong, Tavares often reflects his origins in his work. For example, in "Ficção científica no cordel" ["SF and Cordel"] (in Volta ao mundo da ficção científica, anth 2007, ed Edgar Cézar Nolasco and Rodolfo Rorato Londero), he examines science fiction motifs present in the popular form of Northeastern poetry known as cordel, a form that is often sung. He also coauthored a script adapting Ariano Suassuna's 1970 heroic fantasy epic set in the Northeast of Brazil, A Pedra do Reino ["The Stone of the Kingdom"] for television. As a widely read author who bridges worlds of mainstream literature and science fiction, Tavares's influences include canonical Brazilian authors such as Suassuna and João Guimarães Rosa as well as Jorge Luis Borges and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). In fact, his 1994 story "Exame da obra de Giuseppe Sanz" ["An Examination of the Works of Giuseppe Sanz"] (in Mundo Fantasmo ["Ghost World"] coll 1994) is reminiscent of Borges in both its depiction of the main character and its academic tone. In recent years Tavares has become an important anthologist of the SF&F genres in Brazil, with works such as Páginas de sombra: Contos fantásticos brasileiros ["Pages of Shadow: Brazilian Stories of the Fantastic"] (anth 2004), Contos fantásticos no labirinto de Borges ["Fantastic Stories in Borges's Labyrinth"] (anth 2005), and a collection of Brazilian sf stories called As Páginas do futuro ["Pages from the Future"] (anth 2011). He has also published works of literary criticism; the first is a study based on the work of Philip K Dick, called Um rasgão na real ["A Rip in the Real"] (2005). The second is a discussion of the short stories written by Guimarães Rosa from the perspective of Pulp fiction, Role Playing Games and sf, published with the title A pulp fiction de Guimarães Rosa ["The Pulp Fiction of Guimarães Rosa"] (2008). A much sought-after speaker, Tavares gives lectures throughout Brazil for university audiences, bookstores and fans and writers of the sf community. In 2009, he was named Personality of the Year by the editors of the Anuário Brasileiro de Literatura Fantástica ["Brazil's Annual Review of Fantastic Literature"], and he remains one of the most respected voices among Brazil's Second Wave of sf authors. [MEG]

Braulio Tavares

born Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil: 1950

works (selected)


works as editor

about the author

  • M Elizabeth Ginway. Brazilian Science Fiction: Cultural Myths and Nationhood in the Land of the Future (Lewisberg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press, 2004) [nonfiction: pp27, 28, 34, 138, 140, 166, 178-179, 187, 206, 209, 212: hb/]
  • M Elizabeth Ginway. "A Working Model for Analyzing Third World Science Fiction: The Case of Brazil" (November 2005 Science Fiction Studies 32.3) [pp467-494: mag/]
  • Branco, Marcello Simão and César Silva. "Personalidade do ano: Entrevista com Braulio Tavares" ["Personality of the Year: An Interview with Braulio Tavares"] in Anuário Brasileiro de Literatura Fantástica 2009: Ficção Científica, fantasia e horror no Brasil (São Paulo, Brazil: Devir Livraria, 2010) edited by César Silva and Marcello Simão Branco [nonfiction: pp105-132: pb/]


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