The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction

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Ferreira, Rachel Haywood. The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2011. Reviewed by Andy Sawyer, "A Global Genre in the Periphery," Extrapolation, 54.1 (2013): 100-105, our source here.

Immediately relevant: Ch. 4, "From Science to Technology." Sawyer notes that Ferreira sees that, over time, in the Latin American works,

as in Anglo-American fiction, the gothic "double" becomes the artificially created human revealed in texts from Frankenstein (1818) to R. U. R.: Rossum's Universal Robots (1920). The popular impact of these fictions [...] allows for the "modernization and Latin Americanization of earlier Northern works" (172-73) and the development of a literary genre that is less focused upon science and more upon the presence of implications of technologized daily life. [Eduardo Ladislao] Holmberg's "Horacio Kalibang or The Automatons"[1] (Argentina 1879) was one of his most popular works, offering a world where more and more characters turn out to be mechanical "robots," and the story is discussed at length in relation to Shelley's Frankenstein and E. T. A. Hoffman's "The Sandman" (1816). It is hard not to see it as a story echoing an increasing industrialization. Horacio Quiroga's The Artificial Man (Argentina 1910) is the work of a writer who is described as "one of the most canonical writers discussed in this book [i.e. Ferreira's]" (194); we are told, however, that it was a potboiler magazine serial published under a pseudonym. This does not disqualify it from being [...] the point where "the science fiction tradition is able to break free of the fantastic and stand alone" (194).

I.e., the Initial Compiler will note here, a breakthrough work, if not the breakthrough work, in an entire regional and linguistic category of SF was on the theme of the artificial human in a context of increasing modern mechanization.

RDE, Initial compiler, 30Jan19