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Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic

This huge anthology of more than thirty all-original Mexican science fiction and fantasy features ghost stories, supernatural folktales, alien incursions, and apocalyptic narratives, as well as science-based chronicles of highly unusual mental states in which the borders of fantasy and reality reach unprecedented levels of ambiguity. Stereotypes of Mexican identity are explored and transcended by the thoroughly cosmopolitan consciousnesses underlying these works. It is a landmark of contemporary North American fiction that deserves a wide readership.

“South of the Border Speculation” by Robert Ontiveros @ the Austin Chronicle

Video: Alberto Chimal of Mexico City reads his story “Variation on a Theme of Coleridge.”

Book Notes @ by the editors, Eduardo Jiménez Mayo and Chris N. Brown.

“To read these stories in translation is to experience a quite different way to tell about the fantastic; it is to experience the Mexican way of understanding the function of fantasy in present day literature.”
Literal: Latin American Voices / La Prensa, San Antonio

“By turns creepy, self-consciously literary, and engagingly inventive, these 34 stories selected by translator-scholar Jiménez Mayo and writer-critic Brown offer some excellent and ghastly surprises. . . . These are punchy, ghoulish selections by south-of-the-border writers unafraid of the dark.”
Publishers Weekly

“Encompassing a definition of fantasy that includes the extraterrestrial, the supernatural, the macabre, and the spectral, these stories are set in unusual locales and deal with bizarre characters. All are very short (some just two pages), and most offer a surprise twist at the end.”
Library Journal

“Langorous, edgy, sumptuously beautiful by turns, Three Messages expands our understanding of contemporary Mexican literary production, collapsing high-low boundaries and pre-established ideas about national identity.”
—Debra Castillo, Emerson Hinchliff Professor of Spanish Literature, Cornell University

“When one talks to Mexican science fiction writers, the subject of ‘Mexican national content’ commonly comes up. Mexican science fiction writers all know what that is, or they claim to know, anyway. They commonly proclaim that their work needs more national flavor.This book has got that. Plenty. The interesting part is that this ‘Mexican national content’ bears so little resemblance to content that most Americans would consider ‘Mexican.'”
—from the introduction by Bruce Sterling

More about the book.

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