Mexican Science Fiction, Part III: Three Messages and a Warning

“A great science fiction detective story” – Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
Luck and Death at the Edge of the World

I’ve written before about Mexican science fiction cinema (here and here).  Today it’s the turn of Mexico’s literary science fiction.

Congratulations to Small Beer Press for publishing Three Messages and a Warning, Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic, a collection of science fiction and fantasy from Mexico.  

Three Messages and a Warning

Three Messages and a Warning

To be clear from the outset, all reports indicate that this collection leans more toward the fantasy end of the spectrum than the hard science fiction end.  Don’t expect Mexican space opera.

Nonetheless, the book is frequently discussed in science fiction terms, which earns it a place on any page dealing with Mexican futurism.  And as a reader, the fact that it’s bent toward the fantastical certainly does nothing to discourage me — I’m stoked to read it and will post some comments on specific stories as I make my way through it.

The volume has received quite a bit of critical acclaim.  The San Antonio Current calls it:

“An ebullient collection of south-of-the-border speculative writing that leaves little doubt that if the 1960′s British New Wave magazine New Worlds were to find a new home it would be in old Mexico.”

That is pretty high praise indeed, at least it is if — like me — you’re a fan of the authors who published in New Worlds, like J.G. Ballard, Michael Moorcock, and Thomas Disch.

Below you will find a video of Alberto Chimal reading his story Variation on a Theme of Coleridge, which opens “I got a call.  It was me, calling from a phone I lost the year before.” (The reading is in Spanish, but the video is subtitled in English.)

“Variation on a Theme of Coleridge” by Alberto Chimal from Chris Brown on Vimeo.

If you want a fun way to enhance your reading of the book, editor Eduardo Jimenez Mayo has created a playlist of suggested listening to accompany it over on the music blog largehearted boy, ranging from Mario Lanza to Laurie Anderson.

And if you didn’t manage to make it to the book signing and party in Austin, Texas in January, you can find an account of it with some photos on Lawrence Person’s Futuramen blog, here.

Finally, you can buy the dead tree version of this book, or the ebook version, from all the usual suspects, but I urge you to support Small Beer by buying it directly from them. Besides, if you’re getting the ebook edition their version is downloaded instantly, just like buying from Amazon, but it’s DRM-free.

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