Modern sf appeared in Spain during the 1950s with the publishing imprint Minotauro and the magazine Mas Alla (1953-7), both from Argentina (LATIN AMERICA). Spanish sf editions began in 1953, with pulp novelettes in the Futuro and Luchadores del Espacio series, followed by Nebulae, the first specialized Spanish imprint for sf books. During 1955-90 about 1300 sf books were published in Spain, mostly translations from English, with only about 50 by Spanish authors.Before the Civil War, Coronel Ignotus (the pseudonym of Jose de Elola), Frederic Pujula, Elias Cerda and Domingo Ventallo were the most important authors of old-fashioned speculations andfantasies, mainly satirical and sometimes political. Ignotus was published in one of the earliest quasi-sf MAGAZINES in the world, earlier than any in the USA or UK: Biblioteca Novelesco-Cientifica (1921-3), each of whose 10 issues containing a single novel by Ignotus, 3 featuring interplanetaryvoyages. In the 1950s George H. White (pseudonym of Pascual Enguidanos) wrote a series of 32 sf adventure novelettes known collectively as the Saga de los Aznar ("Aznar Saga") series (1953-8). More interesting aresubsequent stories in the 1950s and 1960s by Antonio Ribera, Francisco Valverde, Juan G. Atienza, Domingo Santos, Carlos Buiza and Luis Vigil(1940-); it was with these that modern Spanish sf really began.The 1960s saw the first boom in sf publishing in Spain. After the short life of the magazine Anticipacion (1966-7), the most influential of all Spanish sf magazines began: Nueva Dimension, founded in 1968, ed Sebastian Martinez (1937-), Domingo Santos and Luis Vigil; it was voted the best European sfmagazine at the 1972 Eurocon in Trieste. A real milestone in Spanish sf, ND published local authors alongside the best sf from other countries. Itlasted 148 issues, until Dec 1983.Incursions into sf have also been made by writers who normally work outside the genre, such as Tomas Salvador (1921-), whose La nave ("The Ship") (1959) is a reworking of the popularGENERATION-STARSHIP theme, and Manuel de Pedrolo (1918-1990), who had a big success with his novel written in Catalan, Mecanoscrit del segon origen ("Mechanuscript of the Second Origin") (1974), about life after a world HOLOCAUST.Domingo Santos - the pseudonym of Pedro Domingo Mutino (1941-) - is the major contemporary Spanish sf writer. Some of hisstories and novels have been translated into several foreign languages. His best known novel is Gabriel, historia de un robot ("Gabriel, The Storyof a Robot") (1963), about the personality and coming of age of a ROBOT not subject to the "fundamental laws" that compel other robots to obedience. Another interesting novel is Burbuja ("Bubble") (1965), but the best of Santos is found in his short fiction. Meteoritos ("Meteorites") (coll 1965) is a classic collection, but more demanding are the stories inFuturo imperfecto ("Future Imperfect") (coll 1981) and No lejos de la Tierra ("Not Far from Earth") (coll 1986), set in the NEAR FUTURE and often concerned with ECOLOGY and the threats that endanger the quality of our lives.In the 1970s Gabriel Bermudez Castillo (1934-) appeared with well written books such as Viaje a un planeta Wu-Wei ("Travel to a Wu-Wei Planet") (1976) and action-adventure novels like El senor de la rueda("The Lord of the Wheel") (1978). Carlos Saiz Cidoncha (1939-) has specialized in SPACE OPERA, and in 1976 also privately published the first history of Spanish sf; this was the embryo of his 1988 PhD thesis, the first in Spain on such a topic.The political changes following Franco's death in 1975 appear to have had no effect on sf publishing. Sf in Spain has always had a restricted market, perhaps too small to bother with. Its only political censorship under Franco may have been the prohibition in 1970 of Nueva Dimension \#14, which contained a story by an Argentinianthat appeared to advocate Basque separatism.A second boom in sf publishing took place in the 1980s, and more new authors appeared, the most gifted perhaps being Elia Barcelo (1957-). Her novelette "La Dama Dragon" ("The Dragon Lady") (1982) has been translated into several foreign languagesand is collected in Sagrada (coll 1990), the title being the feminine form of the word for "sacred". The first Spanish woman to publish an sf book, Barcelo is a very good stylist in a country where the usual style of sfwriting precludes it from consideration by more demanding literary critics. Her stories are concerned with women's role in society and with the contrast between technological and primitive cultures. Other new authors are Rafael Marin Trechera (1959-) with Lagrimas de Luz ("Tears of Light") (1982), an interstellar epic, and the collaboration of JavierRedal (1952-) and Juan Miguel Aguilera (1960-) in a modern HARD-SF space opera, Mundos en al abismo ("Worlds in the Abyss") (1988), an unusually science-conscious book for Spain.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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