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Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain (Early Classics of Science Fiction) Paperback – July 31, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Early Classics of Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; 1st edition (July 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819566349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819566348
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Helpful explanatory notes, a comprehensive bibliography and a well-organized historical introduction all add value to this intriguing anthology, which contains 27 Spanish and Latin American SF stories, most of them brief, dating from 1862 to 2001. As the editors point out, Latino and Mediterranean countries are often perceived as consumers, if not victims, of the technology developed and sold by their northern neighbors. Hence, Latino writers tend to work with "soft" SF themes and a social science emphasis while incorporating Christian symbols and motifs, as in the powerful Cuban story "The Annunciation" (1983), or denouncing brutal totalitarian regimes, as in the shattering Brazilian "The Crystal Goblet" (1964). From Argentina, "Acronia" (1962), a frightening foreshadowing of an Orwellian online workplace, highlights the dangers of mechanization, while "The First Time" (1994), from Spain, postulates mental and moral decay as the end result of mindless consumerism. Flashes of wit and a gentler spirit (especially in the few stories by women) occasionally brighten this darkling plain of violence, perversions and utter hopelessness, but overall the political, social and economic turmoil that rocked Latin America in the 1970s and '80s seems still to pervade its science fiction, making for a gloomy, though instructive, reading experience.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Cleverly caparisoned as a scholarly anthology, Cosmos Latinos is a survey of Spanish and Portuguese sf from both sides of the Atlantic, most of it never before translated into English. Coverage begins in the nineteenth century and continues through the early years of the genre's definition to include many more recent than older stories. The introduction provides a historical overview of sf development in the Spanish-speaking world, and the notes accompanying the stories build useful contextual frameworks for appreciating the authors and their work. Many stories exploit familiar sf territory--the technologically advanced future, time travel and its repercussions, and so on--but obscurer corners are visited, too, as in an alternate Crucifixion occurring on a far-distant world just being explored by humans, and a recasting of the conquistadors as spacefarers. A welcome expansion of the sf terrain for Anglophones, especially since its scholarly trappings highlight how vital sf is in Latin America and Iberia. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Periodista, escritor, músico, fotógrafo y traductor mexicano y español. Ha escrito cuento, poesía, novela y canciones. Desde 1976 se dedica a la prensa electrónica y escrita, ocupándose principalmente de divulgación científica, entrevistas y política. Ha escrito en los principales diarios y revistas mexicanos y actualmente está a cargo de la página de ciencia del suplemento "Territorios de la cultura" del diario bilbaíno "El Correo"

Obtuvo Premio Nacional de Cuento de Ciencia Ficción "Puebla" en 1984 con su cuento "La pequeña guerra", el Premio "Plural" en 1990 y el Premio de Relato Policiaco de la Semana Negra en 1997 y, ese mismo año, el Premio Nacional de Periodismo del Club de Periodistas de México por su trabajo de divulgación científica en radio.

Desde 1999 participa en la radio y la prensa españolas. Pertenece a la Sociedad Mexicana para la Divulgación de la Ciencia y la Técnica (SOMEDICyT) y a la Asociación Española de Comunicación Científica (AECC).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Cosmos Latinos" is a long overdue, excellent survey of the history of science fiction writing in Spain and Latin America, including Brazil. The authors have done an admirable job compiling a chronological history by selecting some of the most important stories written during the period from 1862 to 2001. This is an invaluable look at science fiction as seen through the eyes of a culture other than English, infusing much recent Latin American history into the futuristic tales told by the writers represented here. There is a broad array of themes covered in this anthology, ranging from religion to mankind's use of technology, as seen through traditional technologically-oriented science fiction that is akin to the best work from the likes of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, to more recent explorations in psychology and sociology (e. g. the North American "New Wave" movement of the 1960's and 1970's as exemplified by the works of writers as diverse as Samuel Delany, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin and Joanna Russ) and of course, most recently, the cyperpunk movement led by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, among others. There are also echoes of work by the likes of Stanislaw Lem and J. G. Ballard represented in this anthology. I look forward to reading a subsequent volume edited by both authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Cosmos Latinos" edited by Andrea L. Bell and Yolanda Molina Gavilán is an unusual entry in the Early Classics of Science Fiction series. Instead of focusing on early stories, this anthology looks at science fiction from Latin America and Spain. There are a couple of short stories from the 1800s, and a few from 1952 and earlier, but 22 of the stories are from 1964 and later and 8 are from 1989 and later. While this series might not be the most appropriate place for this collection, it is a very interesting collection, and the author histories do offer some insight not only into the authors themselves, but the evolution of science fiction in Latin America and Spain.

There are 27 stories in all, and if you are anything like me, you probably are not familiar with any of these author's translated works. No authors are duplicated here, so you will be introduced to 27 authors. They come from a wide variety of countries including Mexico, Spain, Chile, Cuba, Brazil, El Salvador, Argentina, Venezuela, and Peru. You will also get a good variety of science fiction stories, including such themes as future societies, space travel, time travel, alien visitation, and cyberpunk.

The editors provide a nice introduction to Latin American science fiction, along with some good introductions to the authors. They also provide a large number of the translations for the stories included in this anthology. While this book might not fit the descriptive name of the series, there is little doubt that the content is well designed for the serious study of speculative fiction, so in that way this is certainly a worthy addition to the series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Just finished this fantastic book, and I mostly wondered why there has been so little work done in making such material available. This book really left me wanting more. These Latin American and Spanish writers of SF are able to treat many of the traditional SF themes in very original ways, without being derivative of American/European SF styles. The stories have a wonderful, unique flavor. I hope the authors continue to make such stories available in English, especially the more recent stuff. "Stuntmind" was one of my favorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sophia on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 2009 I wrote a two-part review on my blog about Cosmos Latinos, and it might help you decide whether or not to buy this book. There isn't a lot of Latin American science fiction translated to English out there, so this book is much appreciated as a initial look into the genre. Besides the short stories, it covers the history of science fiction in Latin America, a tale that is by no means complete! Here's a sampling of the stories (from the blog at [...]):

*The Annunciation by Daína Chaviano (Cuba, 1983). Founder of Cuba's first sci-fi writers' workshop and host of genre-related television and radio programs before emigrating to the U.S., Chaviano presents an alternate and humorous view of the immaculate conception.

*Stuntmind by Braulio Tavares (Brazil, 1989). Roger Van Dali is chosen to be the first of several human contacts for a race of alien visitors, changing his life from simple bookkeeper to fabulously rich, but with severe physical and mental consequences. The contacts, called Stuntminds, provide a wealth of alien knowledge to the world.

*Reaching the Shore by Guillermo Lavín (Mexico, 1994). On Christmas Eve, a little boy dreaming of a new bicycle runs to greet his father at the end of his factory shift but his dad, a pleasure microchip addict, just wants his next fix.

*Gray Noise by Pepe Rojo (Mexico, 1996). A reporter with a camera in his eye, embedded audio links and a direct line to the news center, roams the city in search of the best news. The more his items are viewed the better he gets paid, and violence always gets the most attention. Meanwhile anti-media extremists use the panic caused by a new illness called Constant Electrical Exposure Syndrome to advocate a radical change in society.
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