From the back cover:
Latin American science fiction is, first of all, Latin American fiction. Although it has been perceived as a genre that is out of place in the region, one can find basic affinities between local science fiction and literary currents that have played a key role in Latin American cultural history. Using Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares’ works as its theoretical foundation, this book formulates a model of the writing of science fiction in general, inside and outside Latin America. This genre is one more avatar of the literature of astonishment, while, at the same time, it is a corpus in which works belonging to the science fiction tradition are continuously rewritten, in a contant expansion of its repertoire of conventions, tropes and motifs. As a result, in science fiction we find a cognitive oscillation between wonder and the library, in order to produce a controlled dis-location and estrangement of the world shared by authors and readers. Moreover, this study explores how Latin American authors “naturalize” this genre by means of historical allegory: interplanetary travel offers an opportunity to analyse the “discovery” of the New World or globalization, the contact between humans and aliens helps to explore the encounters between Europeans and indigenous cultures in the Americas, totalitarian dystopias offer a model to approach the historical trauma of the disappeared in Argentina, and a number of authors find cyberpunk explorations of an apocalyptic future a very productive starting point to engage with the present of the Latin American megalopolis. In order to illustrate the Latin American writing of science fiction, I offer detailed analysis of works by some of the best known and respected authors, such as Argentine writers Angélica Gorodischer and Carlos Gardini, and Mexican author Hugo Hiriart and Pepe Rojo.