The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lunar Braceros - Sanchez and Pita

Lunar Braceros 2125-2148    Lunar Braceros, 2125-2148.  A novella by Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita.  National City, Califas:  Calaca Press, 2009.  120 pages, paperback, ISBN 978-0-9843359-0-9, $15

    Calaca provides this description:  "A futuristic sci-fi novella from the perspective of the underdog by Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita.  Featuring cover art and illustrations by San Diego, Califas artist Mario A. Chacon.  Twenty-second century Cholos living on Cali-Texas Reservations have few options.  One of them is signing up as Moon Tecos, technicians disposing of Earth's waste on Lunar sites.  After discovering that their Teco contracts are one-way tickets, the Lunar Braceros are forced to take matters into their own hands."

    Authors Sanchez and Pita are both college professors; Sanchez having gotten her Ph.D. from UT, thereby accounting for some of the very light Texas connection in the plot which prefers the West Coast.

The writing follows in the fragmentary tradition with changing type font to accent the changing persons' perspective.  Largely the pieces are "letters" to Pedro, a young son, still on earth and subject to the capitalist hegemony that rules the Earth through the New Imperial Order.  Shifting eco-political boundaries have created Cali-Texas which also includes Northern Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii.  To some readers, the novella may evoke some post-modernist forms.

       It's a rather creative, if difficult to follow, plot which shifts from California to the Moon to sites in Mexico and South American locales.  Earth and the Moon are controlled by giant conglomerates which have corralled the poor into Reservations to serve as a quasi-slave labor force for the vast human population.  The Moon serves as a gigantic waste dump for radioactive material and for mining.  At the volume's conclusion, Pedro is grown and beset with the same problems as his forebearers – how to overthrow the capitalists and set up a cooperative, utopian society.    Towards the end, things get so bad that the revenge emerges as an acceptable option to motivate readers. Much of the narrative is sci-fi technical narrative of life on the Moon where a revolt ignites.

    Texas figures very little in frequency and content.  Texas serves as a birthplace for one principal.   Texas and the Southwest are admired for their spaciousness and openness to mobility.  Central Texas is admired because Central Texas is admirable.  Houston seems to be a hated center of control, especially the space program, and is to be avoided at all costs, even to preferring Tierra del Fuego.

    Even so, Lunar Braceros is refreshing for its sweep of terrain and politics and philosophy.

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