The Mexican Flyboy

Alfredo Véa. Univ. of Oklahoma, $19.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-8061-8703-7
This impressive novel, part of the Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Américas series, gives a human-rights spin to the familiar SF theme of time travel. On the surface, Simon Vegas is a college professor of English whose passionate desire to awaken the spirits of San Quentin inmates is too easily dismissed by his colleagues as mania. Secretly, he’s the Mexican Flyboy, who uses his reconstruction of an ancient time machine to rescue people who are about to suffer cruel deaths—Ethel Rosenberg, Emmett Till, Joan of Arc, et al—and take them to a safe refuge in Boca Raton, Fla. Underneath these parallel lines of work, Simon is an enigma to his pregnant wife and to himself, taunted by a death row convict who senses Simon’s own history of cruelty and his burden of guilt. The vividly fanciful and intensely passionate story grapples memorably with the long history of human violence and the need to escape or redeem it. Véa (Gods Go Begging), a defense attorney as well as a novelist, argues vigorously in favor of hope, and his powerful feeling makes this history lesson come to life. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 06/15/2016
Genre: Fiction
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