Edited by Alex Hernandez, Sarah Rafael García, and Matthew David Goodwin, the anthology Speculative Fiction for Dreamers is an exciting and mind-expanding collection of short stories by contemporary Latinx authors.
Speculative Fiction for Dreamers uses as its inspiration the lived experiences of the American Latinx community of today, expressed through speculative fiction. Rooted in the theoretical framework established by Gloria Anzaldúa’s ideas about la frontera, the anthology’s stories grew out of the participating authors’ lives, located at the cultural, political, sexual, and ethnic borderlands of American society.
Here, climate change is an ongoing apocalypse; government surveillance is part of everyday life; the fight for the integrity of one’s identity is constant; and the supernatural lurks behind the veil of reality. In Tabitha Sin’s “Homebound,” a woman is forced to participate in the American government’s eugenics program to pay off her debts; in Louangie Bou-Montes “Like Flowers Through Concrete,” an illegal garden is grown in a city destroyed by pollution, and it becomes the reason for a new friendship.
Expertly curated, the anthology is divided into five parts. The title of each part alludes to the Dreamer generation in an imaginative way while also demonstrating the anthology’s thematic arc, which goes from dreams of home to dreams never imagined by way of dreams interrupted or deferred. The stories take place in alternate Latinx-centric worlds and futures. They are fun, irreverent, and subversive, saturated by self-confidence and spirit. The illustrious contributors represent multiple identities from North, Central, and South America, and the preface by Frederick Luis Aldama puts the anthology into its cultural and literary contexts.
Speculative Fiction for Dreamers is a fun, subversive anthology of Latinx short stories.
Erika Harlitz Kern
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