CUBAN SCIENCE FICTION
LA CIENCIA FICCIÓN CUBANA
Daniel W. Koon


HOT(TEST) OFF THE PRESS:

Autobiography (English), Bibliography (English), several stories previously unavailable online (Spanish) on a new webpage dedicated to Ángel Arango NEW!! Added 7/22/2009
La bala en el aire (The bullet in the air) Bilingual version in the Gobshite Quarterly Online, translation by Medea Benjamin. NEW!! Added 7/22/2009

Links fixed, updates in Daína Chaviano's website section. NEW!! Added 7/21/2009

The Second Annual Behique Conference -- the annual place to be for Cuban lovers of science fiction and fantasy -- is coming up: July 31 - August 1, 2009. Los Premios Salomon (The Solomon Awards) will be awarded. Thanks again to Leo. Here's hoping he posts some good pictures of the event. NEW!! Added 7/20/2009

June 2009 Interviews with Cuban authors. (NEW!! Added 6/26/2009, Updated 7/21/2009)

Raúl Aguiar's Prologue to an anthology of stories by Cuban women. (NEW!! Added 6/26/2009)

ABOUT THIS SITE                       
GENERAL LINKSCUBAN SF IN ENGLISH               
CUBAN SF IN SPANISH       

LINK EXCHANGEARGENTINE SFCOSTA RICAN SF

ABOUT THIS SITE


The history of published Cuban SF can be divided neatly into three time frames (well, as neatly as any human enterprise can be), each period witnessing a blossoming of the genre to new heights, only to be chopped down again by the machete of external political events. The first era ran from 1964 to about 1973, and was brought to a close by the slogan of the political commissars -- “Everything for socialism, nothing against socialism” -- which led, not surprisingly, to an era of generally less sparkling production. The second 'golden age' ran from 1978 until the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 precipitated an immediate island-wide paper shortage, which not only closed down the publication of SF on the island, but halted the publication of nearly all Cuban literature. Cuban letters have slowly recovered, and SF publication began again in earnest in 1999, but the options for publishing still lag behind the capacity of Cuban writers to create their new worlds, and is largely dependent on donations of paper from around the world in the face of forty years of continuing -- and recently increased -- economic sanctions by the US.

Still there are very promising signs. Daína Chaviano, an award-winning Cuban SF writer in Miami, has reissued two of her SF stories in Spanish in the early years of this millenium, Alfa Erídiani recently devoted an entire issue of its ezine to works by contemporary Cuban SF writers, and Axxón, one of the foremost Spanish-language SF ezines, has been devoting more and more
space in recent years to works by Cuban SF writers.

This site is intended as an introduction to the world of Cuban science fiction for an English-speaking audience. While a few Cuban SF stories have been translated into English [1], most of it, like the bulk of all Spanish-language SF, has gone unnoticed in the Anglophone world.

This site is an ongoing project. My intention is to begin by providing some overview, in English, to this world unfamiliar to most English-speaking science fiction fans. Next, I would like to provide some links to Spanish-language sites (including actual Cuban SF), where those interested in delving deeper into the topic can explore for themselves. Finally, I am delighted to be able to offer some translations into English of some of these works (the equivalent of a 300 page paperback anthology so far, with more to come).

This site would not be possible without the generosity of the Cuban writers themselves, and in particular would not be possible without the existence of Guaicán Literario, a huge site -- which continues to grow in size at a rate which threatens to take over the rest of the Net -- devoted to the genre and heroically and lovingly maintained by Gerardo Chávez Spínola, from which site I have written most of my translations; without Axxón, an Argentine e-zine which is my other principal source of material; without the unflagging enthusiasm of Bruno Henríquez, tireless writer, fan, and promoter of the genre (and fellow physicist); without the trailblazing of scholars like Juan Carlos Toledano, Andrea Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán and fans like Scott Edelman; and without the encouragement of Steven White, my own personal translation guru. Thanks to you all.


[1] See, for example, “The Cosmonaut” by Ángel Arango (1964), “The Annunciation” by Daína Chaviano (1983) and "Like the roses had to die" by Michel Encinosa (2001) in “Cosmos Latinos”, (Wesleyan University Press, edited by Andrea L. Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán, 2003), an excellent anthology of SF from Latin America and Spain.


GENERAL LINKS:

HISTORY:
INTERVIEWS: Original interviews with Cuban authors conducted by SLU students, 2006
See Guaican for more interviews.

SUPERSITES:
Disparo en red: Homegrown Cuban site run by the Espiral Writers' Workshop. (NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)
  • Issue 34:
    Article: Oscar Hurtado, vida y obra -- Sheila Padrón
  • Issue 31:
    4. Story Made in Cuba: El Capitán, el Piloto y la Sirena -- Juan Pablo Noroña.
  • Issue 30:
    Article: Temblar es un placer -- Juan Pablo Noroña Lamas
  • Issue 29:
    2. Article: La raza maldita ¿o imposible? -- Yoss
    4. Story made in Cuba: Invitación -- Juan Pablo Noroña
QUBIT: Digital bulletin of cyberpunk literature and thought. (NEW!! Added 6/26/2009, revised 7/15/2009)
Back issues: eldiletante.ueuo.com/revistas.html
Subscribe: qubit AT centro-onelio.cult.cu
Shameless, personal plug: Issue #36 contains a translation of my overview of Costa Rican SF.
          Selected stories
1 Feb 2005 "Rafaella" - Michel Encinosa
2 Mar 2005 "Sobre la extraña muerte de Mateo Habba" - Fabricio González Neira
3 Apr 2005 "El Centinela" - Erick Mota
4 May 2005 "Una moneda de plata en el bolsillo de la noche" - Yoss
5 Jun 2005 "Claudi@" - Jorge Enrique Lage
7 Aug 2005 "Nada que declarar" - Anabel Enriquez Pineiro
9 Oct 2005 "Ciudad Cristal" - Ariel Cruz + Vladimir Hernandez
10 Nov 2005 "Cazadores de Imagenes" - Alejandro Madruga Gonzalez
12 Jan 2006 "Area Protegida" - Ariel Cruz
13 Feb 2006 "Lider de la Red" - Yoss
14 Mar 2006 "Veinte deulsiones" - Ariel Cruz
15 Apr 2006 "Bondage 3D" - Raul Aguiar
19 Aug 2006 "Teledildonic Love" - Roberto Estrada Bourgeois
21 Oct 2006 "Erika" - Michel Encinosa


Químicamente impuro: "Chemically impure": a Spanish-language blog of ultrashort (40-149 words) stories, typically sf, horror, or fantasy. Cuban authors among the frequent collaborators. (NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)


Breves no tan breves: "Not so short shorts": QI's sister site, for stories between 150 and 1000 words. (NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)


Juventud Técnica (2009), (2008), (2007) : Cuban print magazine which has published most of the big names in Cuban science fiction over the years. A number of recent sf works are posted (in Spanish) at this link.(NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)


MiNatura. Older downloads: International fantasy and sf from Ricardo Acevedo Esplugas & Carmen R. Signes Urrea. (NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)
  • Number 94: May 2009 Theme: Conspiracy theories
    La Conjura Kurgan / José Miguel Yoss Sánchez G. (Cuba).
    Alfonso X El Sabio y Capablanca/ José L. Lima (Cuba)
    Teoría del Rumor/ Anabel Enríquez P. (Cuba)
    Nanoguerra/ Compay Gallo, pseud. (Cuba)
    Un espectro en la máquina/ Vladimir Hernández (Cuba)
    Ghost net/ Juan Pablo Noroña Lamas (Cuba)
  • Number 92: March 2009 -- Fantasy poetry
    Eva / Elaine Vilar Madruga (Cuba) (Contest winner)
    Las preguntas de la zorra / Elaine Vilar Madruga (Cuba)
    Centenario de muñecas / Amanda Rosa Pérez Morales (Cuba)
    Soliloquio para una Sinfonía de Fantasmas / Domingo Hernández Varona (Cuba)
    Pesadilla /Elena Beatriz Corujo Morales (Cuba)
  • 91: Jan. 2009 Theme: Aliens
    Jineteros/ Juan Pablo Noroñas (Cuba)
    Contacto Cósmico/ Bruno Henríquez (Cuba)
    Un inesperado visitante/ Ángel Arango (Cuba)
    La Amenaza/ Vladimir Hernándezs (Cuba)
    Cómic: Fuera de Control/ Yury Díaz Caballero (Cuba)
  • 89: Sept/Oct 2008 Theme: Robots, androids and cyborgs
    8/ Mirale a los ojos y verás/ Alexander O´farrill (Cuba).
    23/ Presidente/ Maykel Reyes Leyva (Cuba).


Guaican Literario: SF from CubaGuaicán Literario -- An exhaustive Spanish-language site for information on Cuban SF. Updated regularly with news on the SF&F community in Cuba.
Axxon: (Español, with some English content) SF ezine from Argentina Axxón: Monthly Argentine ezine of Science Fiction featuring fiction from around the world.
Alfa Erídiani Alfa Erídiani: SF ezine which published a special supplement devoted to Cuban Science Fiction: "Erídano 6", September 2004. [pdf format]Includes:
  • Prologue by Fabricio González Neira
  • Eligido para la evolución [Picked for evolution], by José Miguel Sánchez (Yoss)
  • Área protegida [Protected area], by Ariel Cruz
  • 1ro. soy un jerbo [First I am a gerbil??], by Michel Encinoza Fú
  • Sobre la extraña muerte de Mateo Habba [Concerning the strange death of Mateo Habba], by Fabricio González Neira
  • Hermano Cósmico [Cosmic brother], by Juan Pablo Noroña
  • Maniobra de evasión [Evasive maneuver], by Vladimir Hernández
  • Marcianos en el platanar de Bartolo: Análisis de la historia y perspectivas de la CF en Cuba (See above), by Yoss

SCHOLARSHIP ON CUBAN SF:
  • “From Socialist Realism to Anarchist-Capitalism: Cuban Cyberpunk"
    Juan C. Toledano Redondo, Science Fiction Studies #97: Vol. 32, November 2005.
  • “Chronology of Latin American Science Fiction 1775-2004."
    Juan C. Toledano, Yolanda Molina-Gavilán, Miguel Angel Fernández Delgado and Andrea Bell. (Forthcoming in Science Fiction Studies).
  • "Angel Arango's Cuban Trilogy: Rationalism, Revolution and Evolution"
    Juan C. Toledano, Extrapolation: A Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy 43, no. 4 (2002 Winter): p. 420-38.
  • "Influencias de la revolución en la literatura cubana de ciencia ficción: F. Mond y Agustín de Rojas"
    Juan C. Toledano, RLA: Romance Languages Annual 10, no. 2 (1998): p. 848-52.
  • "José Martí: Ciencia ficción y modernismo"
    Egberto Almenas-Rosa, Exégesis: Revista del Colegio Universitario de Humacao-UPR 13, no. 37-38 (2000): p. 47-52.
  • "Oscar Hurtado's The Dead City of Korad: A Unique Experiment in Cuban Science Fiction Poetry"
    Luis F. González-Cruz, In: Minc, Rose S. (ed.); 197 pp.; Literatures in Transition: The Many Voices of the Caribbean *Area: A Symposium; Hispamérica--Montclair State Coll., Gaithersburg, MD--Upper Montclair, NJ Publication: 1982.

AUTHOR WEBSITES AND BLOGS:
  • Alejandro Madruga: The science fiction portion of his blog. Contains stories he has posted (in Spanish), easily navigable on the left hand side. (NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)
  • Blog de Bajavel (Leonardo Miguel Gala Echemendía): Another Spanish-language blog from a Cuban writer of fantasy and sf. Visit the site to find out who's who in the picture to the left. (NEW!! Added 5/12/2009)

SF CONVENTION, CUBAFICCIÓN: Scott Edelman reports on Cubaficción 2002
PANEL DISCUSSION ON CUBAN SF:Cuban SF November, 2003 at Cuba Week at the University of Alabama

SF AND MANGA IN CUBA: Carlos G. Primelles Eguia (Español)



CUBAN SF STORIES TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH
Hover over the blue dot for a capsule summary of each story. (works best on Internet Explorer)

Ricardo Acevedo Esplugas
     
Palabras (Words)

Raúl Aguiar
      Helh (Helh, a chapter from the novel La estrella bocarriba [The inverted star])

Léster A. Alfonso Díaz
      Adios para siempre, ciborg ( Hasta la vista, cyborg)

Ángel Arango
      Un inesperado visitante (An unexpected visitor)
      La bala en el aire (The bullet in the air) Bilingual version in the Gobshite Quarterly Online, translation by Medea Benjamin. NEW!! Added 7/22/2009
      See more original stories from Ángel Arango here. NEW!! Added 7/22/2009

IleanaVicente Armenteros
      ¡Llegóvisita! (They've arrived!)
      Adaptación (Adaptation)

Bacarú
      Curiosidades sexuales entre los elfos de Tierra Media (Sexual peculiarities of the Elves of Middle Earth)

RobertoEstrada Bourgeois ("R. E. Bourgeois")
      Unatienda en la avenida (A shop on the avenue)
      Bosque(Ch. 1 & 2) (Forest)

Gerardo Chavez Spínola
      El encuentro (The Encounter)

Ariel CruzVega
      X7 (X7)

Ariel Cruz and Vladimir Hernández
      Ciudadde cristal (Crystal City)

Michel Encinosa
      Cordero en salsa (Lamb in sauce), (From Axxón 150 – May 2005)
      Erika (Erica), (From Axxón 148 – March 2005)
      Laura y Paula (Laura and Paula), (From Axxón 144 – November 2004)
      Cuenta conmigo (Count on me), (From Axxón 102 – September 1999)

Bruno Henríquez
      El epicentro (The Epicenter)
      Solo Marta (Just Marta)
      La próxima semana en 'Contacto' (Next week on 'Contact')

Albino Hernández Pentón (Kala Azar)
      Todos los deseos del Mundo (Every Wish in the World)

Vladimir Hernández
      Intrusos (Intruders)
      Fuego cruzado (Crossfire)

Vladimir Hernández and José Miguel Sánchez Gómez ("Yoss")
      La Prisión (Prison)

Oscar Hurtado
      La ciudad muerta de Korad (The dead city of Korad) (Cantos I & II only) (2002 Betania reissue is available here or here.)

Alejandro Madruga González
      Cazadores de imágenes (Image chasers)
      Casamuerta (Dead house)

Duchy Man Valderá
      Wanted (Scroll down) (Wanted )

F. Mond
      Musiú Larx (Musiú Larx)

Juan Pablo Noroña
      Náufragos (Castaways)
      Hielo (Ice, Reprinted in Universe Pathways 4)
      Los soñadores de Kaliria (The dreamers of Kaliria)
      Quimera (Chimera)

Yailín Pérez Zamora
      Scientia Militarii (Scientia militaris)

Virgilio Piñera
      En el insomnio, La montaña, natación (Scroll down.) (Three ultrashort stories: Insomnia, The Mountain, Swimming)

Agustín de Rojas
      El año 200 (fragment) (The year 200)

José MiguelSánchez Gómez ("Yoss")
      Los buceadores (The divers) from Se alquila un planeta (Planet for rent): Equipo Sirius, 2002.
      Trabajadora social (Social worker), also from Planet for rent and Axxón, vol. 56 (May 1994). Reprinted in Universe Pathways 4.
      El Performance de la muerte (A Performance of Death), also from Planet for rent, posted on Axxón, vol. 110 (Jan. 2002).
      Las Chimeneas (The chimneys) from Axxón, vol. 113 (April 2002).
      Ese día (That day) from Axxón, vol. 128 (July 2003).
      Apolvenusina (Apollovenusine) from Axxón, vol. 153 (August 2005).


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Visit the Axxón SF page
Visit the Costa Rican SF page
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