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Tropical Time Machines : Science Fiction in the Contemporary Hispanic Caribbean - Emily A. Maguire

Tropical Time Machines

Science Fiction in the Contemporary Hispanic Caribbean

By: Emily A. Maguire

eBook | 21 May 2024

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How writers and artists use science fiction to speak to the current moment in the Caribbean

Exploring the remarkable recent increase in works of science fiction originating in Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean and their diasporas, Tropical Time Machines shows how writers, filmmakers, musicians, and artists are using the language of the genre to comment on the region's history and present-day realities.

Discussing how previous Caribbean literature and film has characterized places including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic as "out of sync" with Western time, occupying a repeating or static space, Emily Maguire argues that science fiction breaks these cycles and resituates the region temporally and spatially. In chapters on cyberpunk, zombies, post-apocalyptic narratives, and the ab-real, Maguire shows how recent cultural production analyzes and critiques the ways globalization and national leadership have reinforced the region's marginalization amid economic and climate crises.

Art that employs the science fictional mode makes room for a new vision of the Caribbean, Maguire demonstrates—an alternate perspective in which the region has agency in shaping its own narratives and trajectories. The texts themselves are time machines, enabling creators to protest inequalities of the present from the point of view of an imagined, transformed future.

A volume in the series Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America, edited by Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste and Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Publication of this work made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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