In the prologue to the 2014 edition of Cantos de las Guerras Preventivas, Costa Rican author Fernando Contreras Castro states that the novel, originally published in 2006, originated as a response to the ambiguously-defined military campaigns that dominated the global geopolitical landscape during the first decade of the 21st century. Contreras Castro further explains that the novel is an attempt at imagining near-future worlds from a distinctly Latin American perspective, while avoiding the currents of cyberpunk and paranoid fiction that dominated late 20th century science fiction writing in the United States. The novel also marks a significant departure from the author’s own previous works, the majority of which explore the urban spaces of San José and the margins of Costa Rican society more broadly. Cantos de las guerras preventivas is the first of three works that envision hostile landscapes of a near-future in which geopolitical borders have been replaced by private cities and restricted ecological zones, both of which are controlled by megacorporations. In this paper, I discuss the ways in which three works by Fernando Contreras Castro approximate the critical dystopia (Moylan 2000) as a strategy for problematizing the lasting consequences of neoliberalism’s destructive presence across the region. In particular, I argue that the dialectical opposition between elements of historiographical metafiction and the ecological uncanny (Nayar 2019) in these works distorts the temporal distance between the sociopolitical realities of the present and the seemingly unfamiliar landscapes of a future in which humanity teeters on the brink of destruction.
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"The Future in Fragments: Three Critical Dystopian Works by Fernando Contreras Castro,"
Alambique. Revista académica de ciencia ficción y fantasía / Jornal acadêmico de ficção científica e fantasía: Vol. 9
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/alambique/vol9/iss2/5