A Brief History of Mexican Science Fiction

Over at Strange Horizons, Silvia Moreno-Garcia offers A Brief History of Mexican Science Fiction:

At the beginning of the 1980s, Mexican science fiction was facing a death spiral. Then, suddenly, something odd happened: a whole new generation of writers started producing original, unique tales that were not knockoffs of American or British writers. Mexican science fiction was about to hit a stride.

What was the big push behind this science fiction boom? A contest organized by the CONACYT and the State Council of Science and Technology of Puebla, with the winning short stories earning publication in the non-fiction scientific publicationCiencia y Desarrollo. It was not the first time Ciencia y Desarrollo had featured science fiction in its pages. It had included stories by foreign authors, and in 1983 printed its first Mexican science fiction story titled “La tia panchita.”

Nevertheless, the National Contest of Short Science Fiction Puebla and its partnership with Ciencia y Desarrollo ensured that much more national fiction made it into each number. The winner of the first contest was Mauricio-José Schwarz in 1984. Schwarz, along with other writers such as Federico Schaffler—who also headed the speculative magazine Umbrales: literatura fantástica de México (1992-2000) epitomized the new Mexican science fiction movement: young, eager, and bold in its languages and structure.

These awards and new wave of writers seemed to indicate Mexican science fiction was coming into its own. However, after riding high for twenty years, this wave of confidence crashed again in the 2000s. But where did Mexican science fiction originate? Who were the precursors that helped launch the ’80s boom? And how exactly did we go from bust to boom to another bust in the 2000s? – click here to find out!


One thought on “A Brief History of Mexican Science Fiction

  1. It’s so great to see that Mexico has a subculture of science fiction fans and writers! This makes me proud since part of my ancestry is rooted in Mexico. It’s just sad to see the decline in the support and popularity of the subgenre there. However, as Ms. Moreno-Garcia indicates, the writers in the sci fi subgenre press on and the medium of film and e-zines is helping with this.

    I was just a little surprised that while she was discussing speculative fiction in general (including film) why she did not mention Guillermo Del Toro’s movies. Perhaps he’s more popular here in the U.S. than in Mexico, and I’m not sure if he’s still residing in Mexico or not.

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