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Negrete, Javier

(1964-    ) Spanish author, one of the best stylists in fantastic literature in Spanish. He has published seventeen fantasy and sf novels, one collection and barely a dozen short stories, in addition to some historical fiction books and historical essays. He has taken part in some important anthologies, such as Franco. Una historia alternativa ["Franco. An Alternative History"] (anth 2006) edited by Julián Díez and Mañana todavía: Doce distopías para el siglo XXI ["Still Tomorrow: Twelve Dystopias for the 21st Century"] (anth 2014) edited by Ricard Ruiz Garzón. His works have been translated into several languages, mainly French.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Negrete wrote some stories and articles for Spanish science fiction magazines and awards. His first story was La luna quieta ["Still Moon"] (in Premio UPC 1991, anth 1991, ed Miquel Barceló), a novella finalist for the UPC Award. In 1992, another UPC Award finalist novella, the very funny Space Opera Estado crepuscular ["Twilight State"] (1992), won the Ignotus and Gigamesh awards. His third novella finalist for the UPC Award was Lux aeterna ["Lux Aeterna"] (in Premio UPC 1995, anth 1996, ed Miquel Barceló). Finally, he won the award thanks to Buscador de sombras ["Shadow Seeker"] (in Premio UPC 2000, anth 2001, ed Miquel Barceló), which describes a world plagued by an enigmatic sleeping sickness related to an experiment on the search for the dark matter of the universe. The following year he won the Ignotus award with El mito de Er ["Myth of Er"] (in Premio UPC 2001, anth 2002, ed Miquel Barceló), an alternate history in which Alexander the Great undertakes a journey to the North Pole where, according to Greek science, the terrestrial and the celestial spheres are united.

Nox perpetua ["Perpetual Night"] (1996) is a fascinating sci-fi recreation of the conquest of the North Pole ... of Mars. La mirada de las furias ["The Gaze of the Furies"] (1997) is a great adventure full of references to the classics: a being genetically modified (see Genetic Engineering) to enhance his physical abilities and become an all-powerful killing machine must face Aliens who threaten to destroy all humanity; a novel honoured with the Ignotus Award.

In 2003, Negrete started the series Tramórea consisting of the novels La espada de fuego ["Sword of Fire"] (2003), winner of the Ignotus Award, El espíritu del mago ["Spirit of the Magician"] (2005), El sueño de los dioses ["Dream of Gods"] (2010) and El corazón de Tramórea ["Heart of Tramorea"] (2011), an epic fantasy saga about a competition between the greatest masters of the sword, who will have to face each other to get a legendary sword. Negrete began this story at the age of seventeen; when it was finally published it quickly became a bestseller.

His most important works in sf are Señores del Olimpo ["Lords of Olympus"] (2006) and Alejandro Magno y las águilas de Roma ["Alexander the Great and the Eagles of Rome"] (2007), both excellently set and with a very high literary quality. The first won the Minotauro Award, a mythological novel that describes the Gigantomachy, the battle that pitted the giants against the gods, who fought through men. The second won the Ignotus and Celsius 232 awards, an ambitious alternate history that confronts the greatest conqueror in history, who did not die in Babylon at the young age of 33, with the emerging military power of Rome; definitely, one of the reference novels for modern Spanish science fiction.

Negrete has also published young adult literature in Memoria de dragon ["Memory of Dragon"] (2000) and Los héroes de Kalanúm ["The Heroes of Kalanum"] (2003), erotic novel in Amada de los dioses ["Beloved of Gods"] (2004) – set in an antiquity full of myths – and he co-wrote with Juan Miguel Aguilera La zona ["The Zone"] (2012) in which a virus creates a pandemic in southern Spain; a novel related to the zombie phenomenon.

Atlántida ["Atlantis"] (2010) is a technothriller in which the protagonists find the exact location of the lost continent Atlantis. This work marks his transition to historical fiction, a genre to which he dedicated his following books. Of them, the only one with a slightly fantastic plot is Odisea ["Odyssey"] (2019), which retells the ancient epic poem of Odysseus. In this period he wrote the novella Los centinelas del tiempo ["Sentinels of Time"] (in Mañana todavía: Doce distopías para el siglo XXI, anth 2014, ed Ricard Ruiz Garzón), a dystopia in which he attacks the political correctness that dominates our lives and threatens rationality, culture and the rights of people; it won the Ignotus award in 2015.

In summary, Negrete has a solid classical background. In his stories, mythology usually plays an important role and there are many epic moments and characters of great personality, perfectly characterized in their socio-historical context. They are fine works of science fiction with the appeal of the best historical fiction. [MV]

Javier Negrete

born Madrid, Spain: 1964

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Tramórea

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Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 20:21 pm on 22 April 2024.
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