Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lola Robles' Monteverde: Memoirs of an Interstellar Linguist

I'm pleased to announce the release of Monteverde: Memoirs of an Interstellar Linguist, a novella by Lola Robles translated by Lawrence Schimel, in both small trade paperback and e-book editions, as the fifty-second volume in Aqueduct's Conversation Pieces series.  You can purchase it now from Aqueduct at www.aqueductpress.com.

Terran scholar Rachel Monteverde journeys to Aanuk, a paradisiacal planet famous for both its beaches and the generosity of its nomadic inhabitants. The aanukiens are not the only people on the planet, however: Rachel is eager to meet the Fihdia, a cave-dwelling people who share a congenital condition that makes them blind. Rachel’s relentless determination to communicate with them despite the Aanukien’s dismissal and the Fihdia’s secretiveness will yield more than she ever hoped for.

Rachel Cordasco writes of the novella in a review for Speculative Fiction in Translation, "Robles expertly mixes notes that Terran linguist Rachel Monteverde took for her report to the Society for the Study of Interstellar Languages with Rachel’s reminiscences about life on Aanuk and the ways in which language acts as the common denominator among otherwise wildly distinct cultures. At its heart, this is a story about translation’s importance in breaking down barriers between people, and Lawrence Schimel’s translation of this story about translation is so smooth you almost forget that Monteverde wasn’t originally written in English....Monteverde is unlike anything else you’ll read this year. It raises language itself to the level of a main character, one who may be invisible but nonetheless forms the basis of all interaction and understanding. Without language, we wouldn’t have Monteverde, and without translation, us English-language readers wouldn’t have access to this small but brilliant book."

 A few details about the author and translator:

LOLA ROBLES is the author of three science fiction novels, La rosa de las nieblas (1999), El informe Monteverde (2005) and Flores de Metal (2007) as well as a collection of lesbian science fiction short stories co-written with Ma Concepción Reguiero, Historias del Crazy Bar y otros relatos de lo imposible (2013). Her most recent book is the essay En regiones extrañas: un mapa de la ciencia ficción, lo fantástico y lo maravilloso (Palabaristas, 2016), a panoramic overview for the lay reader of the basic concepts of non-realist genres, their divisions and overlaps.

She has also published numerous articles and studies focusing on Spanish-speaking women authors of science fiction and fantasy, with pioneering works analyzing Gothic narratives through a feminist lens or the treatment of trans* experience and identity in genre literature. From 1987 to 2002, she coordinated the cultural activities of the Biblioteca de Mujeres (the Women's Library) of Madrid and was one of the founding members of the Red de Bibliotecas y Centros de Documentación de Mujeres (The Newtwork of Women's Libraries and Documentation Centers). Since 2006, she has given a monthly lecture and reading group discussion called Fantástikas, focusing on women writers and characters in genre literature. This workshop is adapted for people with visual disability, especially since the author herself has low vision. Blog: Fantástikas: http://escritorasfantastikas.blogspot.com.es/

LAWRENCE SCHIMEL writes in both Spanish and English and has published over 100 books as author or anthologist in many different genres—including fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and comics—and for both children and adults. He has won the Lambda Literary Award twice, for PoMoSEXUALS: Challenging Assumptions about Gender and Sexuality (with Carol Queen; Cleis) and First Person Queer (with Richard Labonté, Arsenal Pulp Press), and has also been a finalist for this award 13 other times. His anthology The Future Is Queer (with Richard Labonté;, Arsenal Pulp Press) won the Spectrum Award, and he has also won an Independent Publisher Book Award, and a Rhysling Award, among others.

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