The Mexicanx Initiative

As Artist Guest of Honor of the upcoming 76th World Science Fiction Convention, I’ve decided to create ‘The Mexicanx Initiative’ — an effort to sponsor Worldcon attending memberships and award them to FIFTY Mexicanx artists, writers, filmmakers, culture shapers, and fans. We need more Mexicanx representation in science fiction and fantasy, and together with my incredible sponsoring teammates, we aim to do that at this year’s convention.

So how does a Mexicanx sf/f professional or fan apply for one of these sponsored memberships? Simple. Answer this:

“Why do you want to attend this Worldcon?”

The rules are short and sweet. You must be Mexicanx — that is, of Mexican ancestry, whether a citizen of Mexico, Mexican American, Mexican Canadian, etc. As the sole judge and jury, I will review all submissions. I will research candidates as best I can. There is no word count limit, but please don’t craft an epic. Keep your statement simple — even something as short as 100 words can be effective. Just make it you. Make it from the heart. You may post it here, or email me. In some cases, I may ask if it would be OK to email or phonechat a few followup questions.

This business, this field, this life is about relationships. It’s about your stories and your dreams. I’m doing this because our world needs more Mexicanx stories, more Mexicanx sf/f pros and fans, and more DREAMers. To own our future, we must own our narratives, lest we continue to be villainized, abused, and butchered. It’s time for us to represent, gente.

My amazing sponsoring teammates so far are:

• Author John Scalzi (THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE)

• Photographer Ctein

• Author Ty Franck (one-half of James S.A. Corey)

• Author Christopher Brown (TROPIC OF KANSAS)

• Super-agent Joanna Volpe (President, New Leaf Literary & Media)

• Super-fan Chris Rose

• Super-fans John and Christine O’Halloran

• Author Mary Robinette Kowal (THE CALCULATING STARS)

• Author Kate Elliott (COLD MAGIC)

• Author and editor Richard Flores IV (FACTOR FOUR)

Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction (Kathi Overton, Tom Schaad, Mike Zipser)

• Super-fan Kat Angeli

• Super-fan Canadiense Anónima

SF in SF and Rina Weisman

• Super-fan Randall Shepherd

• Super-fan Elizabeth B. McCarty

AMAZING STORIES / The Experimenter Publishing Company

• Author Mur Lafferty and husband Jim Van Verth

I’ve wanted to launch this endeavor since I was first named a Worldcon GoH back in August, but only recently has it achieved liftoff — and wow, is it ever rising FAST. I announced on Wednesday, January 24th, that I would sponsor two Worldcon memberships, and within minutes, my good friend Scalzi offered to match with two of his own. We continue to gain teammates and we now have FOURTEEN sponsored memberships to distribute.

Shoutout to Mexicanas: So far, I’ve received very few submissions for these memberships from the ladies, while witnessing a strong wave from the men. Keep those submissions coming, one and all — but women, please don’t let the men have all of these memberships.

Thank you to Worldcon 76 for its very generous support and enthusiasm for The Initiative. Our team goal is to bring FIFTY of the best Mexicanx creators and fans to this year’s convention, and together, we will make that dream happen.

In Loteria We Trust.

19 thoughts on “The Mexicanx Initiative

  1. I’m a first gen Mexican/Puerto Rican American woman from the borderlands of Southern California. I’ve been writing my entire life and publishing since 2005. I consider my work mythic fiction, informed by the wonderful wild familia and our bruja lineage. Some people call it magical realism, I call it life. I’ve published in various literary journals, anthologies and newspapers. I work construction to pay the bills. I have a fantasy trilogy based on pre-contact mesoamerican mythology that will go on sub soon; pyramids and jaguars instead of castles and dragons, with brown skinned warrior women. I’ve written these books for the nerdtastic brown girls who want to see themselves in high fantasy and have never had the chance. I would LOVE to attend WorldCon. Please consider me, thank you!

  2. I’m Monica Robles Corzo AKA Monarobot, I’m a full time Mexicana indie artist from Chiapas, I make monsters inspired in Maya culture, aesthetic and mythology, I’d like to attend this con because I’m a science fiction fan and I’ve been developing Maya inspired sci-fi works myself!

  3. My name is Bibiana Camacho. I’m from Mexico City. I’d like to attend this Worldcon because my literature (I’ve published four books, two novels and two tale collections) mix science fiction, with contemporary horrors, insanity, solitude and mystery. And I’d love to meet other authors, discover other worlds and stories.

  4. Hi, my name si Gabriela Frias Villegas. I am a Science Communicator who studied literature and mathematics. I am the curator of Science Fiction Science (Ciencia Ficción Ciencia) a festival in which writers, scientists and artists discuss science fiction subjects from their perspectives. I would love to go to Worldcon because I want to meet authors and other creators who have new and exciting ideas. Currently I am
    working in a book about how science and science fiction ingfluence and interact with each other, and it would be great to discuss the subject with other people interested on it.

  5. I couldn’t answer sooner than today because i was in the California desert conducting readings at anonymous’ immigrant cemeteries, scouting the water canals and holding cross-border “Tierra y Libertad” flag-making parties at Mexicali, and I’m really glad there’s an extension to the deadline! Why would I love to be in WonderCon? Well, I love cons, and I love speculative fiction and have written and published stories in both English and Spanish, and I’ve even conducted a crazy two-month extravaganza of science fiction interventions right on the San Ysidro border crossing, so I really appreciate to talk and exchange ideas with people who are as involved in the subject as me. Why speculative genres? Because they provide the most amazing toolkit with which to analyze, understand and change our contemporary, globalized, and highly-unequal world.

  6. Hello and thank you for your actions, John.

    A friend of mine contacted me yesterday and told me about this, and after careful consideration, I decided to not follow on his proposal for me to take a shot at a sponsorship, but I will sure let my fellow Mexican creators know about this opportunity over my social networks and personal contacts.

    Once more, thank you for your efforts in making our community more visible to the larger worldwide audience.

    All best to you and your loved ones, and I sincerely hope to meet you sometime in the near future.


  7. Hi, my name is Adam Gallardo. Why do I want to attend World Con? To connect with a larger community that, in broad strokes, operates in the same world I do. As a second-generation Mexican-American who grew up in an almost all-white city, I felt more than a little isolated. Then I decided to pursue life as a writer, and that was even further isolating. I just want the chance to mix with people who will understand at least one of the worlds I occupy. And, thanks to this initiative, it sounds like there might also be a larger Latinx presence at the con as well, which would just be icing on the cake.

    I’ll be honest, I have struggled with my cultural identity my whole life – hell, I white-washed my own first novel – and now I want to strive to make my personal identity more a part of everything I write.It would certainly be nice to connect with other Latinx creators and fans.

    I can give you a link to my Amazon Author page if you’d like, or my CV is on my blog.

    Thanks for this opportunity.

  8. Hi! My name is Iliana Vargas. I was born in Mexico City, in 1978. Since my childhood I’ve seen an alien at the mirror, and that image has guide me to the literature and other creative expressions about science fiction and all the ways of fantastic imagination. I have published 3 tale books in which you can find hybrid beings and monsters; bizarre places, languages and atmospheres; entities from other dimensions and personages who are lost between the dream-world and the wakefulness.

  9. And I would love to go to WorldCon because I want to share the things that I like to imagine and to write, and to know the creations, dreams and nightmares of the people who also loves the several worlds of science fiction and the power of the imagination.

  10. Hi. My Name is Edgardo E. Pérez , I’m from Hidalgo, Mexico. I spend my life study Physics. I love Science and I love the Science Fiction. Some cientifics have a bad idea abut that fantastic world of fiction. They say, the cience get stoped and hinder by the brains fulled of fantasies. I think it is in other way. I study Physics, i mean, I study the real wolrd but I read science fiction to expand my mind because I remember that words from la Barca: “the reality before to be reallity, was a dream”

  11. Angela Lujan

    At my first Worldcon, Renovation, I saw panels with professional writers, I saw the Hugos and writers gaining recognition for their work. I realized for the first time that professional writer was not just fantasy. This was something I could actually become.
    I’m now at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I am majoring in English Writing. I’ve published works in the school’s literary magazine, Brushfire and I’m currently the staff writer for the school magazine, Insight. While attending UNR, I’ve taken courses that have helped me to understand my intersecting identities as a woman who is Mexican and queer. I’ve made it my goal as staff writer for the magazine to use my platform to bring some awareness of diversity issues to campus. This means I’ve written about gender nonconforming faculty, and lectures addressing issues of race and gender. I’ve written about local nonprofits and how they help marginalized groups. I try to write about people who help people. People who are trying to bring their dreams into reality.
    When I first picked up a science fiction book, Have Spacesuit-Will Travel, I thought that science fiction was about dreaming of distant galaxies, adventures that inevitably involved lasers, and alien creatures. As I navigate my life, and my town, and meet people who try to create a better future, I’ve come to think of science fiction as the dreams these people have; dreams of helping people, dreams of more inclusive communities, dreams that will someday come true.

  12. Hi, all — I wanted to stop by here and say that I see ALL of you above and I’ll be following up with each of you, as I continue making decisions in the days ahead. I’m receiving a tsunami of submissions via my email too, and I’m carefully reviewing every submission, including yours. Thank you for your patience and I hope to check in with each of you soon. 🙂

  13. Hello John. Extraordinary endeavor. Thank you very much for the initiative.

    My name is Medardo Landon Maza Dueñas from Texcoco (very near Mexico City). I am a writter of epic fantasy. I have a degree on Creative Writting from the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM).

    -First honorable mention for the novel “Hadas en Chapultepec” in the 12 Premio Internacional de Narrativa Ignacio Manuel Altamirano (2015)
    -Wiinner, with the essay “El Quijote y Sancho & Frodo y Sam” of the X Premio Aelfwine of the Sociedad Tolkien Española (2014)
    -Accesit award for the fan-fiction novel “La Partida de Celeborn” of the Premio Gandalf 2011 of the Sociedad Tolkien Española

    1. “Hadas en Chapultepec” (2015) Fantasy novel
    2. “Póquer de Cuatrillizos” (2014) Fantasy novel
    3. “Castillo Hueco” (2013) Short novel, fantasy
    4. “Bosque adentro” (2013) Fantasy Children´s Book
    5. “Bajo la colina” (2013) Fantasy Children´s Book
    6. “La diminuta mariposa morada” (2012) Short novel, fantasy
    7. “Vampiros, licántropos y otras infamias” (2012) Fantasy Bestiary
    8. “Unicornios, dragones y otros portentos” (2008) Fantasy Bestiary
    9. “Elfos, trasgos, gnomos, trolls y otras criaturas del rincón” (2017) Fantasy Bestiary
    10. “Hadas: Damas de Poder” (2007) Fantasy Bestiary.

  14. Hi, John!
    My name is Libia Brenda. I have been a sci-fi reader since I was a girl. I started to write in my teenage years and I belive that one of the subjects that most puzzled me was to discover (in my 20´s) that science fiction was considered as something not-too-serious. What on Earth can be more serious than the especulation, the vision of the effects of our actions in the Universe, the extrapolation of what humanity can do? Of course I didn’t belive then, and less then ever, now.
    I now belive that us, writers of “a larger reality” (Ursula K. Le Guin´s words), are a great bunch of people in which company one can have the best time. I´m also convinced that to meet all kinds of writers and imaginators it’s one of the best ways to establish a real dialogue, and the best way to have access to others visions and ideas. That is one of the reasons because I want to attend the Worldcon 76, the other main reason, appart from the fact that sometimes for people in Latin america is not so easy to attend such beautiful events, is that we need to encourage the presence of female authors, woman who create, who do wonderful stuff and sometimes don’t feel supersure that the world is going to embrace them (it’s a bit my own case). So that: mostly, I want to know other women in Science Fiction, I know that there are going to be a lot of guys, as always 😛
    I have some short stories publish in anthologies from Mexico and Spain, some translated to the Italian, in a couple of books; some other short stories (and articles) in the web. And I am a memeber of a nerdy collective call “Cúmulo de Tesla” (Tesla’s Cluster?), conformed by artists and scientists dedicated to talk, write, study and enjoy the dialogue between science and art. THank you for open the door to us! Cheers 🙂

  15. I realize I might be late for this but in case there’s still time… I’m a filmmaker and VR/AR content creator, born and raised in Mexico City and have been living in Los Angeles CA for the past 10 years. I am also a puppeteer and learned about this opportunity through my friend Mary Robinette Kowal. I would love to attend Worldcon because I feel it would be a great opportunity for me to meet other science fictions creators and talk about where are our fictional worlds taking us. We are responsible for the worlds we are putting out there and the futures we are imagining and placing on people’s minds. We have to make sure that those futures are full of hope and innovative ideas that can help others imagine a better world.
    Thanks! Tanya Leal Soto

  16. Hello, my name is Enue Reynaldo, I’m from Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. I am a geneticist and molecular biologist. In addition, I have written science fiction stories like “The Last Project” included in the anthology “The Prometheus Mirror”. I would like to attend this Worldcon, because I want to meet people who have dedicated themselves to the development of science fiction and share with them my experience as a scientist who has written science fiction. Since I was a child, science fiction inspired me to become a scientist. I think every child who wants to be a scientist is because he or she has interacted in some way with the world of science fiction and was fascinated by it. Also, I think Mexican children could be more and better scientists if we write more hard science fiction in Mexico. Thanks for your attention.

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