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Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic

And so, perhaps urged on by the official indifference, the lions left their refuges to cynically strut their manes down our streets.

Without hunger, they are as tame as a little cat. But they eat all day, which is why it was impossible to know at which moment they would bite off the arm of a balloon salesman or swallow a kid.


This book contains thirty-three short stories (some very short indeed) and one poem. They are a mixture of fantasy, horror, ghost stories, magical realism and folk tales plus a fair few non-genre stories, and whatever the editors may claim in the introduction, I would only count three or four stories, "The Hour of the Fireflies", "1965", "Pink Lemonade" and maybe "Photophobia", as being science fiction.

A couple of the stories were quite predictable, but there is a lot of variety and most were very atmospheric, and I enjoyed most of them. Those I liked least were the stories about obsession, including "The President without Organs", a strange tale of freedom of information and national fixation with the president's body, and "The Transformist" and "The Drop".

My favourites were "Photophobia", "Lions", "Wittgenstein's Umbrella" and "Pink Lemonade".
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June 2012

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