The 11th issue of Rudy Rucker’s Flurb, guest-edited by Eileen Gunn, features no less than 3 Mexican writers, Alberto Chimal, Bernardo Fernández (also known as BEF), and Pepe Rojo. The stories are published in both the original Spanish and in the English translation.
Hotels, by Alberto Chimal (translated by Carmen Valderrama):
n Reykjavik, there is a study group that specializes in the mysterious work of Juan Cruz de la Piedra, whom members call (in Spanish) “El Arquitecto del Misterio,” the Architect of Mystery. They are miracle workers, soothsayers, haruspices, and there are even one or two architecture graduates from the University. Their meeting place is a clandestine hall on Safamýri Street, presided over by a bronze bust of either Gunnar Gunnarson or Loftur the Wizard (they cannot agree which). In any case, they say it has the power to speak seven times a year, to announce disastrous or wondrous events.
The Last Hours of the Final Days, by Bernardo Fernández (translated by the author):
Our bike ran out of gasoline as soon as we crossed the intersection of Reforma and Bucareli. The bike coughed to death. Just like that. Cursing, Wok tried to start it again; he kicked it furiously, refusing to accept that the ride was over.
“What’s so funny, bitch?” he asked, half angry, half amused. “Stupid Aída!” I’m always laughing.
We left the bike beside Sebastián’s Caballito. The huge sculpture used to be a brilliant yellow monument; now it’s a rusty wreck blocking Reforma, as are most of the other statues that we’ve been playing dodge-’em with since we found the bike.
Silently, Wok climbed the sculpture’s carcass. From the top, he scanned the horizon in search of a vehicle we could steal. Or at least milk some gasoline from.
“Nada,” he mumbled from his watchtower.
We could hear a few distant explosions.
Stuff, by Pepe Rojo (translated by Alida González Navarro):
“Hi, Dolly!” the husband shouted, opening the front door.
“Hi, Doll!” the wife answered from the kitchen.
“Where are the kids?” Doll asked, brushing his cheek against hers.
“They’re staying over at the neighbors,” she said, pulling a container out of the microwave and putting it on the table. “How was work?”
“As usual,” the husband replied. “A calculator decided to swap religions and went for the hexadecimal system. Destroyed a week’s worth of work. The experts are working on it. How about you?”
“It was an awful day,” Dolly answered with a smile. “Everything was going well until the paper came. It was written in another language, but the pictures and the cartoons were all right, so I decided not to worry about it. At noon, the fridge had a nervous breakdown, and it defrosted. When I walked in, the kitchen was flooded. I had to mop the floor, sweep it, call the supermarket for more ice, and then call the therapist. He promised to have the fridge back this weekend.”
“Poor thing!” said Doll.
I’m so glad that Latin American authors are getting acknowledged for their science fiction/fantasy work. In the United States they don’t get enough recognition as much as people of Hispanic/Spanish-speaking background are one of the largest growing minorities here (I fall under that category, although I did not grow up learning fluent Spanish). I hope to see more authors of the Hispanic/Latin American culture get their speculative fiction recognized.
Eileen Gunn mentioned this at Worldcon. How fabulous that it’s dual language! For me that’s the ideal.