By Suzan Palumbo
Welcome to the first installment of my new recommendation spotlight, “Check Dis” on the Constelación blog. In each column, I’ll highlight a piece of fiction written by a Latinx, Caribbean or BIPOC author. This column is not part of a must read or best of list, but rather, an invitation for you to enjoy a story that touched me personally. It is my love letter to stories and writers who have long been underrepresented in SFFH. I hope you’ll find the work I include as rich and rewarding as I do.
Without further ado:
Strange Horizons published a fantastic special issue in December 2020, featuring poetry, nonfiction and fiction by Mexican writers. The issue is available in both Spanish and English and is free to read online here.
I loved “A Biography of Algae” written by Martha Riva Palacio Obón and translated by Will Morningstar in the issue.
This piece weaves a touchingly human story of life, death and identity by exploring the connections between science and art, the past and the future, the cosmic and microbial. It contextualizes the protagonist's memories of a traumatic near death experience in childhood using the history of algae as a touchstone, showing us how the protagonist's personal story and by extension our own is inextricably intertwined with the seen and unseen universe around us.
Brilliant and moving, I invite you to check it out!
Suzan Palumbo lives in Canada. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, she is an ESL teacher and Gothic lit enthusiast. Her work has been published at The Dark, PseudoPod, and Fireside Magazine among others. Her full bibliography can be found at suzanpalumbo.wordpress.com.