This is a part of our fall Book Club conversation about the short story collection, New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction By Writers of Color, edited by Nisi Shawl. Want to participate? Sign up for our newsletter or record a voice message as you read on the Science Friday VoxPop app.
It’s week three of the SciFri Book Club’s exploration of New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color. This week’s story is ‘Burn the Ships,’ by author Alberto Yáñez. It’s set in a world that could be the Cortés-conquered Aztec Empire of 1520—but in this fictional version, the Spanish conquerors have modern guns, radios, railroads, and even scientific developments like vaccines. And as the Indigenous people are contained and slaughtered in camps, they use powerful magic to animate their dead against the invaders.
SciFri producer Christie Taylor, Journal of Science Fiction managing editor Aisha Matthews and University of California Santa Cruz professor Catherine S. Ramirez talk about how a story about the past can still be science fiction, and introduce Chicanafuturism—a literary cousin of the Afrofuturism we discussed in last week’s conversation about Andrea Hairston’s story ‘Dumb House.’
We’re closing out Fall Book Club with a virtual, call-in celebration! Christie Taylor and co-host Aisha Matthews will chat with speculative fiction author and editor Nisi Shawl, on Monday, October 26. Register now!
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Aisha Matthews is managing editor of the Journal of Science Fiction and the director of Literary Programming for the Museum of Science Fiction’s Escape Velocity conference in Washington, D.C..
Catherine S. Ramirez is a professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California-Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California.
The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.