The First Wave: Latin American Science Fiction Discovers Its Roots
This essay examines three of the earliest works of Latin American sf together for the first time: "México en el año 1970" [Mexico in the Year 1970, 1844, Mexico], Páginas da história do Brasil escripta no anno de 2000 [Pages from the History of Brazil Written in the Year 2000, 1868-72, Brazil], and Viaje maravilloso del Señor Nic-Nac al planeta Marte [The Marvelous Journey of Mr. Nic-Nac to the Planet Mars, 1875-76, Argentina]. Nineteenth-century works such as these have been added to the genealogical tree of Latin American sf in recent years. The addition of pre-space-age texts to the corpus of Latin American sf does more than provide its writers and readers with local roots: it broadens our understanding of the genre in Latin America and the periphery; it extends our perceptions of the role of science in Latin American literature and culture; and, together with later Latin American sf, it contributes new perspectives and new narrative possibilities to the genre as a whole.
This article is from Science Fiction Studies 34 (2007): 432–462. Posted with permission.