Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Title spotlight - "Mañana todavía" (Still Tomorrow) edited by Ricard Ruiz Garzón

I love post-apocalyptic fiction with passion and I am trying to devour almost everything this genre throws my way. However, that doesn’t prevent me from finding the subject a bit limited sometimes, not necessarily because of the execution or imagination of the writers, but rather because of the fewer areas where such scenarios take place. It is natural, on the English publishing market, for United States and United Kingdom, occasionally Australia (the main reason for my love for the genre), to be main settings for visions of apocalyptic futures, but wouldn’t be nice to see other regions of the world featured on more stories? After all, in the unfortunate case of an apocalyptic event that brings to an end the world as we know it, the entire Earth is affected and not only certain areas. Wouldn’t be interesting to see such stories taking places in Nicaragua, Romania, Gambia or Mongolia, for example, with the particularities and characteristics of each different location playing a role? I do have hope though that, sooner rather than later, my wish will be granted. After all, I did see some encouraging signs in the recent years, “Grants Pass”, an anthology edited by Jennifer Brozek and Amanda Pillar, takes the readers throughout the world, while Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s anthology “Fractured”, due to be released on August, brings us tales of the Canadian post-apocalypse. Another such point of attraction for me is an anthology edited by Ricard Ruiz Garzón, “Mañana todavía” (Still Tomorrow), published this month in Spain by Fantascy and for which I am keeping my fingers crossed to see it translated into English as well. Some of premises mentioned in the synopsis of this collection might seem familiar, but I am certain that the stories, settings and writers will compensate in the fullest the recognizable aspects. And how can I not be optimistic when the table of contents stars some heavy names of modern Spanish genre literature. Laura Gallego is a prolific author of young adult literature with successes such as “The Idhún’s Memories” or “The Legend of the Wandering King”, Elia Barceló, one of the most important figures of Spanish science fiction, with translated works such as “Heart of Tango” and “The Goldsmith’s Secret”, Rosa Montero, important author of contemporary fiction, with translated works such as “Beautiful and Dark” and “Tears in Rain”, Susana Vallejo, award winning author of the “Porta Coeli” series or “El espíritu del último verano”, Félix J. Palma, familiar to the English readers for “The Map of Time” and “The Map of the Sky”, Marc Pastor who published “Barcelona Shadows” in English this year, José María Merino, multiple award winning writer of novels, short stories and poetry, Rodolfo Martínez, prolific author of science fiction, with “The Queen’s Adept” available in English, Juan Jacinto Muñoz Rengel, considered one of the greatest Spanish short story writers of his generation, Javier Negrete, award winning writer of fantasy and historical fiction, Juan Miguel Aguilera, renowned for his collaborative with Javier Redal that brought to life the Akasa-Puspa universe and Emilio Bueso, multiple award winning writer, one of the most promising voices of Spanish genre fiction. 12 important Spanish writers who present their dark, bleak vision of the world’s future, in Spanish for the moment, but like I’ve already said, let’s hope that “Mañana todavía” (Still Tomorrow) would be available someday in English as well.

Twelve prominent Spanish writers face to face with a fashionable genre subject: the dystopias or anti-utopias. Like the classics of the genre (“1984” by George Orwell, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury) and like the recent published titles (above all “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins), “Mañana todavía” features twelve stories that are as many ways of literary imagining what could possible go wrong in our future: the dependency of mobile phones and internet, the dangers of social networks, the natural disasters, the problem of natural resources, the radical political visions or the risks of scientific progress in the matters of reproduction, genetics and health are only some of the major themes of this collection, related by prestigious authors from within and outside the genre.

“WeKids” (WeKids) by Laura Gallego
“Al garete” (Adrift) by Emilio Bueso
“2084. Después de la revolución” (2084. After the Revolution) by Elia Barceló
“Instrucciones para cambiar el mundo” (Instructions for Changing the World) by Félix J. Palma
“El error” (The Error) by Rosa Montero
“Limpieza de sangre” (Blood Cleaning) by Juan Miguel Aguilera
“Camp Century” (Camp Century) by Marc Pastor
“En el ático” (In the Attic) by Rodolfo Martínez
“La inteligencia definitiva” (The Supreme Intelligence) by José María Merino
“Gracia” (Grace) by Susana Vallejo
“Colapso” (Collapse) by Juan Jacinto Muñoz Rengel
“Los centinelas del tiempo” (The Time Guardians) by Javier Negrete

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