Spanish designates the letter Y as “i-griega”—literally, the Greek i—to mark its difference from the letter I, which Spanish-speakers understand to be from the Latin even when we don’t say “i-latina” as we recite the alphabet. In choosing the title for this blog post, I reveled a bit—as only a bilingual language nerd can—in the hidden layer of significance I could give that not-so-simple I.
Until the end of July 2014, if you looked at the Wikipedia entry for “speculative fiction by writers of color” and scrolled down past the lists of African and African-American writers, Asian and Asian-American writers, etc., to the category for “Latino writers” you saw no list, just one line: “see Magical Realism.”
To add insult to injury, if you happened to click on that “see Magic Realism” link, you were taken to a list of Latin American writers of the speculative, with not a single U.S. Latino/a representative among them.
The Wikipedia entry no longer looks like it did in July, because Matthew Goodwin, a comparative literature professor and editor of the upcoming speculative fiction anthology Latino/a Rising (Restless Books, 2016), added an entry for U.S. Latino speculative fiction writers. But the omission he corrected is emblematic. The U.S. Latino/a speculative fiction writer is largely invisible to the speculative mainstream editor, publisher, reviewer and anthologist....
The thing is, to experience the tradition and sheer range of U.S. Latin@ speculative writing, you have to venture out of the usual neighborhoods and cross into the liminal borderland between genres; into the barrios of small press and website; and onto momentarily unfamiliar streets....
Let me introduce you to a few Latino/a authors whose stories you may not have read, and show you around some of the (perhaps unfamiliar) markets that have published their work.
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