Dark Constellations

Pola Oloixarac, trans. from the Spanish by Roy Kesey. Soho, $26 (216p) ISBN 978-1-61695-923-4
This wild anthropological ride blends political satire, psychedelic sexuality, and cyberpunk themes through three intertwining stories. Spanning the history of three separate eras of Argentina and surrounding areas, the novel connects 19th-century Niklas Bruun’s explorations into hallucinogenic plant Crissia pallida; the emergence of the internet, anarchistic hackers, and the global economy in 1980s; and a near-future ambitious project from the Argentinian Ministry of Genetics that seeks to transform humanity at a base level through the use of mass surveillance. Though the collected text offers lengthy (and often mocking) commentary on the concerning direction of global politics, each story comes across as wildly disconnected despite an attempt at interconnectivity. With each character’s circumstances throughout history given an evocative and flowery description, the bigger message is often bogged down and left to the reader to parse through with long-forgotten context. Even for readers with fluency in anthropology and shadow politics, this book will bewilder and leave plenty open to question. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/11/2019
Release date: 04/16/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-855-8
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