13 Latina Fantasy Books For the Sci-Fi Lover in Your Life

credit: thewizardofbooks / Instagram

 

Fantasy literature by Latinx authors is it’s own kind of genre with commentary on the Latinx experience and culture imbued in the magical elements. From Young Adult lit to classic sci-fi tomes, this list features a variety of authors who’ve created their own unique fantasy worlds that’ll captivate you. While science fiction is rooted in the make-believe, most of the Latinx writers are woke and using their words to comment on the very real state of Latinos in the U.S. and the immigrant experience. But, like in any good fantasy lit list, there’s plenty of adventure and romance for a great escapist read. Here are 13 of the best fantasy books by Latinx writers that’ll make you want to believe in the supernatural

 The Centenal Cycle by Malka Older

 

Malka Older’s series The Centenal Cycle has been described as a cyberpunk political thriller with three books receiving acclaim. The fast-paced thrillers center around an omnipotent search engine that has completely revolutionized politics taking warring nations and turning them into global micro-democracies. But, like in any other government, there are those seeking to take down the powers that be and people on both sides of the conflict battle it out. The series kicks off with “Infomocracy” followed by “Null States” and concluding with “State Tectonics”.

Buy it here.

“Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado

View this post on Instagram

💕💕💕 #Repost @maponce

A post shared by Carmen Maria Machado (@carmenmmachado) on

In this award-winning genre-bending debut Carmen Maria Machado blends psychological realism and science fiction with both humor and horror. The collection of short stories are unsettling and outlandish features madwomen and even “Law and Order: SVU”doppelgänger along with ghosts and urban legends. Remember the story of the girl with a ribbon around her neck that haunted you as a child? You’ll revisit her here. The narratives reshape the realities of women’s lives and the violence they experience in stories like “The Husband Stitch”. The book is so spooky and otherworldly that FX will adapt it into a series next year.

Buy it here.

“Spirits of the Ordinary” by Kathleen Alcala

Kathleen Alcala’s debut novel follows the journey of the Carabajal family and melding of Mexican-Jewish and American culture. Father and husband Zacarças leaves his family behind on a journey for gold in North Mexico setting off a series of events that affects the whole family. Alcala was likened to magical realism writers  Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel after this magical tale of faith and family.

Buy it here.

“So Far from God” by Ana Castillo

View this post on Instagram

I meant to post something earlier, but hey, it's #HispanicHeritageMonth ! I usually like to focus on Latinx authors from September 15th-October 15th, but I haven't actually read anything for fun since this semester started 😩 Either way, here's a book rec: SO FAR FROM GOD by Ana Castillo discusses feminism, environmental racism, sexual violence, war, and a LOT more by following the lives of four daughters in New Mexico. It's an amazing book (with magical realism!!) by an amazing Chicana author, and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get into some Chicana literature for Hispanic Heritage Month! . . Who are your favorite Latinx authors? 🤔 . . #bookstagram #books #bookphoto #bookphotography #chicanaliterature #diversebooks #booksrecs #bookrecommendations #bookrecommendation #sofarfromgod #anacastillo

A post shared by ✨ Nicole | 22 | Charlotte ✨ (@loversinalibrary) on

In Ana Castillo’s “So Far from God” we’re introduced to Sofia and her daughters , Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, and la Loca in Tome, New Mexico. The story is replete with supernatural elements as they combat very real issues including racism, poverty, exploitation, pollution, and war. It spans two decades unfolding in flashbacks that can be humorous but also provide biting commentary on society.

Buy it here.

“The Island of Eternal Love” by Daína Chaviano

View this post on Instagram

《La belleza es el comienzo del terror que somos capaces de soportar》 Cecilia se refugia en un bar cada noche para huir de su soledad en Miami; ahí conoce a una misteriosa anciana quien le narra 3 historias que han comenzado más de un siglo atrás en ciertos lugares del mundo; un suicidio en China, una extraña maldición a ciertas mujeres en un pueblo español y una joven arrancada de su hogar en la costa africana. Las vidas de estos personajes se irán entrelazando conforme la historia avanza, desde una Cuba bajo el dominio español hasta nuestros días. Hoy terminé este libro y sin duda está en mi lista de favoritos. #laisladelosamoresinfinitos #dainachaviano #Miami #cuba #lahabana #destino #amor #amalia #Pablo #mercedes #caridad #cecilia #amorespredestinados #pasado #masalla #books #bookstagram #instabook #instaread #lecturaterminada

A post shared by daniela📚 (@ownthxbooks) on

This is Daína Chaviano’s first English translation and it follows Miami-based Cuban journalist Cecilia and her relationship with the elderly Cubana Amalia. While investigating a “phantom house” she meets Amalia in a bar in Little Havana whose family saga spans Africa (Kingdom of Ifé), China (Canton) and Spain (Cuenca) and converges in Cuba in the mid-19th century. The book was so popular and beloved that it’s become the most translated Cuban novel of all time.

Buy it here.

“Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was ” by Angélica Gorodischer

Celebrated Argentinian fantasy writer Angélica Gorodischer’s first English book was translated by none other celebrated American sci-fi writer Ursula Le Guin. Together these iconic sci-fi escritoras create this fantastical world featuring an unnamed empire and its numerous rise and falls.

Buy it here.

“The Goldsmith’s Secret” by Elia Barceló

View this post on Instagram

En esta bellísima pieza literaria su autora nos recuerda que somos palabras. En la búsqueda nostálgica de algo que puede estar o no estar allí, esta novela corta tan breve como intensa presenta una historia de amor e identidad que desafía los hilos del tiempo, de la soledad y de la memoria, en aquel espacio en el que el deseo tiene su propia dimensión y la pasión sus propias leyes. Una novela llena de lírica y sentimientos, una historia de amor imposible. Una pieza de orfebrería, una joya literaria que nos lleva a sumergirnos en lo más recóndito de nosotros mismos. Porque también estamos hechos de la materia con la que se construyen los recuerdos. • • •¡𝓝𝓸 𝓽𝓮 𝓺𝓾𝓮𝓭𝓮𝓼 𝓼𝓲𝓷 𝓮𝓵 𝓽𝓾𝔂𝓸! • • #EliaBarceló #ElSecretoDeOrfebre #Entrelibros #Librería #TiendaDeLibros #Manta #Manabí #Ecuador #Libros #AmorPorLosLibros #BookManía #InstaBook #InstaPhoto #BookInstagram #Bookstagrammer #Readers #Leer #BookLove #Read #InstaLibro #Instabooks #BooksLover #BookAddict #Lectora

A post shared by Entrelibros.ec (@entrelibros.ec) on

Fans of time travel and romance will be enthralled with Elia Barceló’s novel about a goldsmith with an unrequited love. In “the goldsmith’s secret” a lonely  New Yorker returns to his hometown hoofing to encounter Celia aka the Black widow and his former paramour. Instead he, meets a young woman who introduces him to different eras in Spain as they travel through time. They discover a love trapped in two different periods in time and culminating in a magical twist.

Buy it here.

“United States of Banana” by Giannina Braschi

In her first book written in English, Giannina Braschi takes on displacement and imprisonment of Latinos in post-9/11 NYC. She brings in historical literary characters Hamlet and Zarathustra (Zoroaster) to join forces with her alter-ego Giannina on a quest to liberate Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty. In the midst of this rescue, the king makes Puerto Rico the 51st state and grants American passports to citizens of Latin America causing a shift in power. The book is a commentary on Puerto Rico’s position as an American territory, and Braschi’s struggle for liberty after her own displacement from her home in New York.

Buy it here.

 “Certain Dark Things” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

 

Mexican-Canadian writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia is known for her sci-fi works including her acclaimed second book “Certain Dark Things” about narco vampires in Mexico City. In true fantasy fashion, it features a love affair between a mortal (Domingo) and Atl, a descendant of Aztec blood drinkers. As their attraction grows so does the danger as they find themselves in the midst of rival vampire gangs and a cop on their trail. The novel was selected as one of NPR’s best books of 2016.

Buy it here.

“Kingdom of Women” by Rosalie Morales Kearns

In an alternative universe, as imagined by author Rosalie Morales Kearns, women have come together seeking vengeance on rapists, murderers, and child abusers in her nove “Kingdom of Women.”. Through female Catholic priest Averil Parnell we see the moral dilemma she faces as a child of God who also understands the need for vengeance as the lone survivor of a massacre of female seminarians. The book explores themes of forgiveness and justice, revenge and mercy through the evolution of Parnell as she embarks on this journey as a key figure in the societal changes taking place.

Buy it here.

“Ink” by Sabrina Vourvoulias

In this immigration dystopian work by Sabrina Vourvoulias, there’s eerie similarities to modern day that may be unsettling as well as thought provoking. Vourvoulias is known for her intelligent and and biting commentary on race and immigration evident in this futuristic novel.  The book opens with a biometric tattoo being approved for immigrants, otherwise known as ink,s as a form of control. The novel spans 10 years and features four narrators who struggle with their definitions of home and community and the feeling of “otherness.”

Buy it here.

“Dealing in Dreams” by Lilliam Rivera

In this forthcoming dystopian novel about sisterhood, Lilliam Rivera explores the meaning of home and family. Sixteen-year old Nalah is the protagonist who leads an all-female crew in Mega City and aspires to get off the streets and live in the exclusive Mega Towers. To achieve that goal she needs to her prove her loyalty to the city’s founder and cross the border to find a mysterious gang. In this journey, she battles with where her loyalties lie and understanding what (and who) actually makes a home.

Buy it here.

Brooklyn Brujas by Zoraida Cordova

Zoraida Córdova is the award-winning author of the Brooklyn Brujas series featuring a Brooklynite teenage witch named Alex Mortiz and her family. The first book “Labyrinth Lost” is a type of Alice in Wonderland re-imagining where she needs to travel between lands to find her family who disappeared when a spell backfired. Meanwhile book two, “Bruja Born”, deals with darker magic when her sister brings her boyfriend back from the dead and there are consequences to face. The books rely heavily on Latinx culture with Alex’s ancestors coming from Ecuador, Spain, Africa, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Buy it here.

Read: The Good, the Bad and the Evil: Supernatural and Spooky Works by Latinx Writers

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!