SF and me
Miguel Ángel Fernández, presidente de la AMCYF (Asociación Mexicana de Ciencia Ficción y Fantasía) pidió a los miembros que escribiéramos un texto sobre lo que ha sido la CF en nuestra vida, de qué manera la influido y cómo llegamos a ella, para ser publicado en el New York Review of Science Fiction.
No es que piense hacer de éste un blog en inglés como el de Ernesto Priego, pero me gustó el texto y hoy se los quiero compartir a los angloparlantes:
Part of my DNA: SF in my life
Growing up in Mexico City during the early seventies was like living in a late fifties/early sixties TV plateau.
At least, so it was for me, a member of the Mexican Generation X.
Being so, my first contact with science fiction must had been by the old American TV shows that were broadcasted by the local channel 5, though I can't remember exactly which one was the very first, no matter how I squeeze my brain.
Here I have to make a stop to evoke some context. Most of the Mexican media are devoted to local soap operas and pop music. This is what you'd call Mex trash, our lowest common denominator. Channel 5 was back then the only station that featured Spanish-dubbed American shows, so it's no wonder that Mexican kids from my generation grew up watching classics like The Munsters, The Addams Family, Bonanza, Combat! and a great share of SF classics as Star Trek (to which I never related to), Land Of Giants, The Time Tunnel (a local favourite though I know is not that big at the U.S.A.), Lost In Space, Space 1999, The Thundebirds, the Planet OF The Apes TV show and short lived animated cartoon, Logan's Run, Voyage to The Bottom Of The Sea and a bunch of cartoons that included a lot of japanese cartoons as Atroboy (my personal favourite), Ultraman, Mazinger-Z and many others.
That primal mediatic enviroment was the seed of my artistic vocation. Being a cartoon lover, I first became a comic book fan which eventually went to college to major on graphic design. But the very first contact I had with written SF was at the age of 11.
I was on fifth grade and my father insisted that I should read Jules Verne's Mikhail Strogoff. I swear I tried! But in the way, I came across a copy of Fahrenheit 451. And yes, I got hooked in the poetic-yet-very-low-tech prose of good old Ray Bradbury. F-451 became the first novel I ever read, even though I came to fully understand it when I re-read as an adult.
But the damage was done, I was a SF junky from then on. As the years passed, I became an avid reader of all kinds of books (classics, literature, science, historic essay, short stories?) but I've kept coming back to my first literary love, which was consolidated when in 1984, at twelve, I went to see Blade Runner, only to become a hard core SF buff.
It was reading a SF graphic novel, Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, that I decided to become a SF author and started to formally write SF stories in an editorial enviroment (the Spanish-written market) where our genre is usually considered as a minor contribution to popular culture.
I'd been lucky. I'd been included on several important anthologies. So far, I've published a short story collection and two children books, all of them being SF stories. A fourth one, a new short story collection is on its way and a couple of full length novels are in the middle of their respective editorial proccesses. Last year I was also given an official grant from the National Fund For The Arts for editing and publishing a Mexican science fiction comics anthology which will be released during next summer. Science fiction It's a part of my DNA now. It has not olnly changed my life as a reader and creator, it has been generous to me!