Short Story Highlight: “The Death Collector” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

New web magazine AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, while recent, appears to pay special attention to international writers (see also The Butcher Boy by Jacques Barbéri, which we have highlighted earlier). They have recently published Mexican author Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s latest story, The Death Collector:

There’s a murder scheduled in one hour. Mexico City. 1960.

* * *

Most people would pick another time and place. John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Even in Mexico there are more famous sights. The massacre of hundreds of students in the Plaza of the Three Cultures is only eight years away; tanks bulldozing through the streets and the soldiers pouring bullets into the crowds. Forty-seven years in the other direction the streets of Mexico City smell of charred human meat and the screams of the wounded.

Those are large conflicts. Pools of blood spill through the City of Palaces. But the ones I look for are the little deaths. A true collector does not go for the easy, gaudy spectacles printed in bold letters in the history books.

A gourmet of death sniffs for the delicious, the delicate, the more refined crimes rather than clumsy trails of corpses.

No. Mexico City. 1960. Ramon Gay is about to die.

Ramon Gay. He’s the true image of a movie star in striking black and white. Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema is grinding to a halt, but there are still actors like Ramon with his sculpted face that cries perfection and his smile that turns women into Jell-O.

Debonair, he struts into the frame with a sense of place, a dignified style. His image burns into the film like a scar upon time. They don’t make faces like Ramon’s anymore. They don’t make murders like his either. – continue reading.


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