translated by: see below
Released at Eurocon (Barcelona) 2016
Spanish Women of Wonder (Alucinadas) is the answer to the question “do many women write speculative fiction in the Spanish-speaking world?” Indeed, the answer is a resounding hells yes. From Cuba to Spain, and Argentina to Mexico, women are writing excellent speculative fiction and finally getting the recognition they deserve. As editor Cristina Jurado points out in her introduction to the collection, the stories that were submitted “reflec[t] a wide spectrum of interests, a large portion concerning the effects of technology and scientific advances on the lives of future generations.” The environment and our relationship to it is also a major theme running through these pieces. Each tackles these questions from a unique angle, inviting the reader to think more broadly about humanity’s future. Such a collection offers us access to some of the best contemporary Spanish spec fic, and it’s thanks to the efforts of editors Cristina Macía, Cristina Jurado, and Leticia Lara that both Spanish-language- and English-language readers can enjoy it.
Following is the list of stories, authors, and translators:
“Terpsichore” by Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría, translated by Lawrence Schimel
“The Infestation” by Felicidad Martínez, translated by Sue Burke
“The Storm” by Laura Ponce, translated by Sue Burke
“The Schiwoll Method” by Yolanda Espiñeira, translated by Sue Burke
“Red Houses” by Nieves Delgado, translated by Sue Burke
“Sea Changes” by Lola Robles, translated by Lawrence Schimel
“Techt” by Sofía Rhei, translated by Sue Burke
“Welcome to Croatoan” by Layla Martínez Vicente, translated by Sue Burke
“Black Isle” by Marian Womack, translated by the author
“Team Memory” by Carme Torras, translated by Sue Burke
“By the Light of the Electric Moon” by Angélica Gorodischer, translated by Amalia Gladhart
So which stories in particular brought me to the edge of my seat? Obviously “Terpsichore,” for one, which you might have read in the October issue of Strange Horizons (focusing on Spanish sf). It’s brilliant, it’s terrifying, it twisted my brain into a pretzel and then twisted it again. After all, a quantum science fiction story about the direct confrontation of multiple versions of oneself is…tantalizingly hard to wrap your mind around. But it’s fun to try!
Felicidad Martínez’s “The Infestation” blends horror, mystery, and planetary colonization into one frightening story about a planet’s indigenous species rising up again human infestation. I wasn’t prepared for it to end, and when it did, I yelled “THIS NEEDS TO BE A NOVEL” to the empty room. Marian Womack’s “Black Isle” also asks us to think about humanity’s impact on its environment, this time in terms of genetic manipulation of birds and animals.
In “Techt,” Sofía Rhei explores how the impoverishment of language negatively impacts human thought, emotion, and action. It reminded me of the brilliant story by Chinese sf writer Ma Boyong, “City of Silence,” in which a similar linguistic deterioration by the government leads directly to authoritarianism. But “Techt” is also about more than that: it’s about memory and love and loss, too.
Ultimately, each of these stories is worth reading and savoring, and you can do that by grabbing a copy for yourself here. It’s so worth it.