Peruvian science fiction writing was always seen as something secondary, while realism reigned supreme. One of the voices against this normality is Daniel Salvo, who has just begun the digital boom, and has chosen to blog to popularize the genre, which today is accepted and considered essential in post-pandemic times.
Is it difficult to write and publish science fiction in Peru?
It is like any genre, whoever decides to write does not escape its context. I suppose some circumstances are better than others, but society is not uniform and never will be. In the case of science fiction, it is currently more difficult to write, and there is less resistance to the genre, as part of the current of world opinion that no longer considers it bad for authors such as Margaret Atwood or Kazuo Ishiguro to write about dystopian worlds or artificial intelligence. Indirectly, this is to our advantage. But just a few decades ago, science fiction was the bane of literature with claims of being “serious” in Peru. As for publishing, in addition to the official publishers, there is the opportunity to self-publish, either in print or digital form. But this does not necessarily mean a financial return to the author.
How did the idea of a science fiction blog come about?
I’ve always been a fan of this genre. In 2002, with the continuous development of the Internet, it was already possible to create free web pages in a very basic format, as was the case with “Ciencia Ficción Perú”. He had a dream that science fiction fans in Peru could find information there that was not found in traditional media, such as book reviews or stories of Peruvian authors, such as Clemente Palma or José P. Adolf. Thanks to that page, I contacted the members of “Velero 25,” another more elaborate web page dedicated to sci-fi, on which I also collaborated.
What is the process of the first Peruvian in space?
I think writing stories was the next step to writing reviews. I have a page where I have posted Peruvian authors, so why not post my own creations? However, it is a rather vague time, and I don’t remember exactly if I wrote the story giving the title “First Peruvian in Space” at the request of a magazine, or if it was on my own initiative. Anyway, as time went by, editorials and pages asking me for stories came out, and so I collected many stories. In 2014, the book was edited by writer Jose Donayer, which was published by Altazur Publishing.
“The Gift of the Stars” is your latest book, How Were You Born?
Once you start writing, it’s hard to stop. I began to see the world in a different way, any situation became a kind of trigger that triggered a story. Namely, stories began to come to my mind based on national situations. For years, science fiction was considered something that could only be written in other countries, but I found – as previously mentioned in “First Peruvian in Space” – that from our own country we can also be protagonists of dystopias, space travel, encounters with aliens, of through our privacy. And I think a lot of readers have responded to this kind of science fiction.
What are your upcoming projects in literature?
Old novels. It’s great, in the process of documentation, I discovered historical data that turned out to be much stranger than any figment of the imagination, and this makes me compelled to paraphrase everything. It seems easy to write poems, but it is not, sometimes it is necessary to absorb data that will not eventually appear in the novel, but it is necessary to know them in order for the change in the story to be reasonable. In the short term, some short stories will be published in various collections, and my participation in the Qhipa Pacha collective is a project full of expectations.