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Martínez, Rodolfo

(1965-    ) Spanish computer programmer and author of fantasy and science fiction. He began writing in the early 1990s, and is widely held to be the most prolific and is probably the most critically acclaimed Spanish genre author of his generation. Martínez is best known for four sf series: Drímar, set in a universe of the same name; the Los archivos perdidos de Sherlock Holmes ["Sherlock Holmes's Lost Archives"] tetralogy; the La ciudad ["The City"] cycle; and the El adepto de la reina ["The Queen's Adept"] series.

His first novel-length publication, the Cyberpunk-espionage thriller La sonrisa del gato ["The Cat's Smile"] (1995), winner of Spain's 1996 Ignotus award, would also be the first of his Drímar saga, although Tierra de nadie: Jormungand ["No Man's Land: Jormundgand"] (1996), the 1997 Ignotus award winner, was the first written. The author would return to cyberpunk with perhaps the purest example of the genre in Spain, El sueño del rey rojo ["The Red King's Dream"] (2004). In addition to the two novels, the Drímar cycle includes six short stories and six novellas. Two of the novellas, "Un jinete solitario" ["A Solitary Horseman"] (1996 BEM #53) and "Este relámpago, esta locura" ["This Lightning, This Madness"] (in Premio UPC 1998 ["1998 UPC Award"], anth 1999), won Ignotus awards. Short stories in the Drímar sequence appear in El carpintero y la lluvia: Ciclo de Drímar 1 ["The Carpenter and the Rain: Drímar Cycle 1"] (coll 2010) and Cabos sueltos: Ciclo de Drímar 2 ["Loose Ends: Drímar Cycle 2"] (coll 2010).

In 1995, Martínez won the Premio Asturias [Asturias Award] – given for unpublished work – for the first of his fantastic homages to Arthur Conan Doyle, La sabiduría de los muertos ["The Wisdom of the Dead"] (1996). These novels offer a Sherlock Holmes who has lengthened his lifespan through the ingestion of honey made by bees genetically modified with his own DNA (see Genetic Engineering). The revision of that work, as Sherlock Holmes y la sabiduría de los muertos ["Sherlock Holmes and the Wisdom of the Dead"] (2004), was followed by Sherlock Holmes y las huellas del poeta ["Sherlock Holmes and the Poet's Footprints"] (2005), Sherlock Holmes y la boca del infierno ["Sherlock Holmes and the Mouth of Hell"] (2007), and Sherlock Holmes y el heredero de nadie ["Sherlock Holmes and No-One's Heir"] (2008). His most recent inclusion in the series is the short novel Desde la tierra más allá del bosque ["From the Land Beyond the Forest"] (2010 ebook).

The El adepto de la reina ["The Queen's Adept"] series, which Equipoisally combines elements of both Fantasy and sf, consists of the eponymous novel El adepto de la reina (2009) and one other, El Jardín de la memoria ["The Garden of Memory"] (2011), as well as three long stories, Embrión ["Embryo"] (2011 ebook), Amistad ["Friendship"] (2011 ebook), and Occidente ["Occident"] (2012 ebook). Set on the world Érvinder, the works are protagonized by the gifted, amoral, and unscrupulous super-spy Yáxtor Brandon, a highly trained member of the order known as the Empirical Followers who labour in a tense, cold-war type environment.

The narratives – three novels and several dozen short stories – belonging to his fantastic La ciudad ["The City"] series share only their setting, an unnamed provincial coastal City that may be considered its true protagonist (although a few characters do appear in more than one work). It is a place inhabited by all manner of Supernatural Creatures and mythical beings who either struggle to impinge upon everyday reality, or fight against those who would do so. The La ciudad sequence comprises El abismo te devuelve la mirada ["The Abyss Looks Back at You"] (2000; rev vt El abismo en el espejo ["The Abyss in the Mirror"] 2011 ebook), Los sicarios del cielo ["Heaven's Assassins"] (2005; rev vt Este incómodo ropaje ["These Uncomfortable Clothes"] 2012 ebook) – which won the Minotauro Prize – and Fieramente humano ["Fiercely Human"] (2011). Previously published La ciudad stories are being issued as a series of collections, the first being La ciudad, tres momentos ["The City, Three Moments"] (coll 2011).

Although not constituting an enormous corpus, Martínez's short fiction is nonetheless noteworthy: 1995 saw his story "Castillos en el aire" ["Castles in the Air"] (1994 BEM 38) win the Ignotus in that category, and in 1998 he was co-winner of the VI Certamen de Relatos Fantásticos de la Universidad del País Vasco [VI Fantastic Short Story Competition of the University of the Basque Country] with the then unpublished "Tarot" (1999 Gigamesh 18). Many of his best short fictions have been collected in Callejones sin salida ["Dead-End Streets"] (coll 2005) and Laberinto de espejos ["Labyrinth of Mirrors"] (coll 2006). He has also published three collections of poetry and the fantasy/sf novel Sondela (2011).

In 2009, Martínez created the non-profit publishing house Sportula, through which he not only began to publish new works, but has made many of his previous publications available in electronic format. He maintains an active blog [see links below]. He is also extremely active within Spain's dynamic fan culture, participating in Conventions, writers' workshops and other activities. [DKn]

Rodolfo Martínez

born Candás, Asturias, Spain: 1965

works (selected)



Los archivos perdidos de Sherlock Holmes ["Sherlock Holmes's Lost Archives"]

La ciudad ["The City"]

El adepto de la reina ["The Queen's Adept"]

individual titles




Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 00:46 am on 19 January 2022.