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Dystopias In The ‘Noir’ Code Are Also Dreamed Of In Catalan

To the eleven authors of ‘Somia Philip Marlowe amb xais elèctrics?’ They were asked for a science fiction story that imagines what the future will be like and that includes a detective plot . The result, without prior agreement, was that they all agreed to write a dystopia .

A direct effect of these months of pandemic , “they all share a pessimistic tone and the fatalistic vision of an uncomfortable future”, states Àlex Martín Escribà , editor of Alrevés and director of the collection ‘Crims.cat’, who has coordinated this anthology, the first in Catalan that hybridizes crime fiction and science fiction, together with the writer Teresa Solana , the creator of the idea.

Along with her, habitual ‘suspects’ who have cultivated both genders – Llort , Salvador Macip, Anna Maria Villalonga , Marc Pastor , Margarida Aritzeta, Andreu Martín , Max Besora, Jordi de Manuel, Jordi Nopca and Carme Torras – build the stories of this literary adventure that follows the path of Manuel de Pedrolo , and that, as the title of the book already proposes, pays homage to a reference of the crime novel, Raymond Chandler , creator of the detective Marlowe, and another of science fiction, Philip K. Dick and his iconic, groundbreaking and groundbreaking 1968 novel ‘ Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ‘, Which inspired the film ‘ Blade Runner ‘ .

“Before you imagined an apocalyptic future and it turns out that with the pandemic it has already become our present. Although luckily we have not seen images of people taking to the streets with guns and looting shops. People have been more civilized,” says Solana for this newspaper, gathered at the Obaga bookstore in Barcelona with three of her colleagues, Aritzeta, Llort and Villalonga.

Before you imagined an apocalyptic future and it turns out that with the pandemic it has already become our present

Teresa Solana
“All dystopias are negative, but I think we agree on them because that made us think that we could fight for a future that was not like that, as a way of claiming the opposite, because we want a better world than this one,” says Aritzeta, who in the 80s, in which ‘ Graphemy ‘ was his first science fiction work , he imagined how “a guy spread a virus around the world and restrictions to control the pandemic were succeeded” …

For ‘Somia Philip Marlowe …’ he goes back to it in “a Barcelona where the few people left after a solar storm and several pandemics live under a glass bell. The reality is so boring that they seek experiences in crimes of the past.”

In the anthology, which they present this Sunday at the Setmana del Llibre en Català, “there is humor and parody, cyberpunk visions and worlds where humanity has ended up being controlled by technological powers, in fact, ideas that were already present in Philip K. Dick : climate change, robotics and humanity, control by technology, drift towards subtle and controlling dictatorships … “, certify Martín Escribà and Solana.

“Science fiction has been very useful to speculate about what the society of the future will be like if we do not watch, as seen in the series ‘Black mirror ‘. I thought it would be interesting for colleagues in crime fiction to imagine what that future would be like but inventing one detective plot “, explains Solana, who in the story that contributes to the anthology recovers her mossa d’esquadra Norma Forester now turned into a centennial old woman who sees how her granddaughter is involved in a ‘thriller’ plot” in a Barcelona dystopian in which the sea level has risen, tourists have disappeared and neighborhoods have been filled with large industrial warehouses where products that are sold in China are manufactured. “

Corruption and suicides
Also in a society punished by “pandemics, global warming, and climate refugees” sets his story Villalonga, who assures that “no one believed that we would come out of the covid crisis better.” In line with that darkness, he focuses his dystopia, he points out, “on institutional corruption and racism, with a police from a special anti-suicide squad”, a serious problem, he adds, which should be talked about more.

While the also doctor and researcher Salvador Macip pays homage to Poe, Llort has chosen to “flee from post-pandemic images and people with masks” to write, he explains, “a fun, a game with a lot of humor and references from literature and the science fiction cinema, from ‘Lost’ to ‘Blade Runner’ passing through ‘20,000 leagues of underwater travel ‘”. Besora, who shoots towards censorship and politics, is responsible for the childlike illustrations that accompany each story, as if his character of the girl Betsy de Vós had drawn them.

Aritzeta concludes by recalling that, “whether in utopias or dystopias, crimes continue to exist in all societies.”

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