Following up on last week’s post about Clemente Palma, I thought I’d point out the World SF News Blog, which is the only site I know of where you can see posts about The French on Mars, a hundred year retrospective on French stories about Martians, or a three-part post about South African Speculative Fiction, or a link to a roundup of Danish Science Fiction written between 2004 and 2007.
For anyone interested in science fiction from around the world, you’ll find a lot of information on this blog.
(And thanks to everyone who passed along information about Clemente Palma. Malignant Tales, his one story collection translated into English, arrived via interlibrary loan this morning . . .)
Although he’s considered to be the first Peruvian science fiction writer, there’s precious little information about Clemente Palma available in English. That said, what is out there is extremely intriguing . . . and seems almost made up. Or like he’s an entry from Bolano’s Nazi Literature in the Americas . . .
One of Palma’s short story collections was translated into English, but it’s his “sci-fi masterpiece” XYZ that really sounds interesting. From the little I could find online — mainly from this academic book — XYZ is about a guy who clones miniature versions of famous movie stars, which then melt after four months. He moves to a strange, remote island to perfect his cloning process (so the movies stars are full-size), and falls in love with the clone of Jeannette MacDonald. Their romance is interrupted when a mysterious yacht loaded with machine guns shows up and tries to invade the workshop. Turns out that MGM caught wind of the island and wanted to cash in on these cloned movie stars. Apparently the book ends with the clones meeting their real-life counterparts (and then melting) and the mad scientist killing himself after denouncing the movie studio for fucking with his experiment.
This could be total shlock, but it also sounds kind of fun in an unhinged sort of way . . . At another site (which also makes the Bolano connection) I found a bit about how Palma has been accused of being a racist, in part for XYZ, but also for his story “La ultima rubia” which “is set in a future in which all races have blended (and speak Esperanto,) and the protagonist sets on an insane quest to find a blonde woman so that he can make gold.”
Seems like the perfect sort of book to pop up on Lost . . . Is anyone reading this familiar with Palma?
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Spoiler alert: acclaimed writer Stefan Zweig and his wife Lotte kill themselves at the end of Lauren Seksik’s 2010 novel, The Last Days.
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