Last week I’ve talked about a new speculative fiction novel published recently in Spain, Jesús Cañadas’ “Los Nombres Muertos” (The Dead Names). With a very interesting premise and the renowned H.P.Lovecraft as its main character “Los Nombres Muertos” promises to be a captivating reading. And since Jesús Cañadas’ novel already gathers some good reviews I do hope that someday, soon, we would see “Los Nombres Muertos” translated into English too. For the moment however we have the chance to gather a bit more information about “Los Nombres Muertos” in an interview made by Cristina Jurado, author of “De Naranja al Azul” (From Orange to Blue), with Jesús Cañadas. The interview was initially published in the miNatura magazine and now it can be read on both Spanish (on Más Ficción Que Ciencia) and English (on Sense of Wonder).
CJ: Then Los nombres muertos, is it a speculative novel about traveling and literature?
JC: Once I read a very nice thought in César Mallorquí´s blog. It was a sort of message to his younger self, the writer who has something to tell to the world. The message said something like “Don´t bother, young one. The world doesn´t need you to come to tell it anything. It knows lots of things by itself. Be happy if you can tell a good story, the most honest one you can come up with.” I couldn´t agree more. I can´t tell you what is a speculative novel about traveling and literature. I´m nobody to speculate about anything. The idea behind Los nombres muertos is to recreate a certain style, a type of novel that I love to read, and to be able to get close to a character that fascinates me. And it´s about having fun writing it, nothing more.
It´s true that the story plays around with the codes of pulp literature, weird menaces and classical adventure novels. It is filled with nods to that period of time, to the characters and to Lovecraft´s legacy. But it´s like that because I enjoy those things. We don´t need to play the reference game if you don´t want to. You can seat in your couch and read it as an adventure novel about a time between the two World Wars.
In the first sentences, when I was plotting what would happen later, I spoke to my good friend Albo López. I told him: “I´m working on a novel in which the main character is Lovecraft, as if everything he wrote was real”. He rolled his eyes and said: “Wow. Be careful Jesús. That´s original!” I cursed his mother first but then I realized he was right: there are hundreds of Lovecraft pastiches. And I wanted to do something different. I was “somebody from the lot that didn´t want to be in the lot”, as Quino used to say. So I took another direction. Where? In October I will tell you.
For just a little more information about “Los Nombre Muertos”, but also about Jesús Cañadas, his writing and the state of Spanish speculative fiction head over to the excellent Sense of Wonder blog where you can read the entire interview.