CUBAN SCIENCE FICTION
LA CIENCIA FICCIÓN CUBANA
Daniel W. Koon
HOT(TEST) OFF THE PRESS:
June 2009 Interviews with Cuban authors. (NEW!! Added 6/26/2009)
Raúl Aguiar's Prologue to an anthology of stories by Cuban women. (NEW!! Added 6/26/2009)
Plus a recently updated section on websites and blogs with several new entries.
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 , 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.
 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.
INTERVIEWS: Original interviews with Cuban authors
10 libros de ciencia ficción cubana: guía de lectura 10 Cuban science fiction books: a reading guide), Juan Pablo Noroña, Cuasar, 12.30.2005. As definitive a top ten list as you are likely to find.
"Marcianos en el platanar de Bartolo: Analisis de la historia y perspectivas de la CF en Cuba" ("Martians in Bartolo’s banana field") -- Yoss . A thorough history of science fiction in Cuba through 2002.
"Latin American Science Fiction Writers: An A-to-Z Guide", edited by Darrell B. Lockhart (Greenwood Press: Westport, CT), 2004. Includes biographies of the Cubans Daína Chaviano, Miguel Collazo, Oscar Hurtado, Félix Lizárraga, F. Mond, Agustín de Rojas.
- "Entre feed-back y slip-stream: el ghetto de la ciencia ficción" (Between feedback and slipstream: the science fiction ghetto) -- Yoss. Essay from the e-zine Axxón, April 2003.
- "Reseña histórica bibliográfica de la CF cubana" (Historical bibliographical outline of Cuban SF) -- Juan Pablo Noroña Lamas
- List of published Cuban literature, 1964-2002: (Español with cover art and links to authors) (English).
- Wikipedia entry (Spanish): Ciencia ficción cubana: Contributor "Carnendil" in Estelí, Nicaragua.
- Wikipedia entry (English): Spanish SF links in general article on Science fiction
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
4. Story Made in Cuba: El Capitán, el Piloto y la Sirena -- Juan Pablo Noroña.
Article: Temblar es un placer -- Juan Pablo Noroña Lamas
2. Article: La raza maldita ¿o imposible? -- Yoss
4. Story made in Cuba: Invitación -- Juan Pablo Noroña
Juventud Técnica (2009), (2008),
: 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)
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).
Guaicán Literario -- An exhaustive Spanish-language site for information on Cuban SF. Updated regularly with news on the SF&F community in Cuba.
- Autores (Writers) -- some include links to storiesAn extensive list of published Cuban SF, including works published abroad
- Interviews with Cuban SF writers
- about Cuban SF in general:Vladimir Hernández,F. Mond,Ariel Cruz Vega,Yoss,Michel Encinosa Fú,Bruno Henríquez,Ángel Arango,Roberto Estrada Bourgeois
- about their own works:Yoss,Ariel Cruz Vega,Vladimir Hernández,Michel Encinosa Fú,Bruno Henríquez,F. Mond,Ángel Arango,Roberto Estrada Bourgeois,Raúl Aguiar,Agustín de Rojas,Josefina Martínez Otaño,Eduardo del Llano
- "Cienciaficcionario" (SF Dictionary)
Axxón: Monthly Argentine ezine of Science Fiction featuring fiction from around the world.
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:
- Daína Chaviano: An influential writer in the history of Cuban SF, now living in the US. A bilingual site with entrevista / interview, chronology, etc. In recent years, Chaviano has re-published two of her Cuban-era SF works:
- Arnoldo Águila: Another Cuban writer of SF (and of essays) living in the US since 1992. While this site is principally in Spanish, it contains links that allow one to use Babelfish to translate most pages into English.
- Cuentos: Stories from the collection "Serpiente Emplumada" (Feathered serpent).
- Novelas: Contains the first chapter from three different novels.
- 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. It also has a nice picture of various Cuban sf figures that caught my eye.
(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
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)
Un inesperado visitante (An unexpected visitor)
¡Llegóvisita! (They've arrived!)
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 Cruz and Vladimir Hernández
Ciudadde cristal (Crystal City)
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)
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)
VladimirHernández and José MiguelSánchez Gómez ("Yoss")
La Prisión (Prison)
La ciudad muerta de Korad (The dead city of Korad) (Cantos I & II only) (2002 Betania reissue is available here or here.)
Cazadoresde imágenes (Image chasers)
Casamuerta (Dead house)
Duchy Man Valderá
Wanted (Scroll down) (Wanted )
MusiúLarx (Musiú Larx)
Juan Pablo Noroña
Hielo (Ice, Reprinted in Universe Pathways 4)
Los soñadores de Kaliria (The dreamers of Kaliria)
Yailín Pérez Zamora
Scientia Militarii (Scientia militaris)
En el insomnio, La montaña, natación (Scroll down.)(Three ultrashort stories: Insomnia, The Mountain, Swimming)
Agustín de Rojas
Elaño 200 (fragment)(The year 200)
José MiguelSánchez Gómez ("Yoss")
Losbuceadores (The divers) from Se alquila un planeta (Planet for rent): Equipo Sirius, 2002.
Trabajadorasocial (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).
Visit the Argentine SF page
Visit the Axxón SF page
Visit the Costa Rican SF page
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