cover image Trafalgar


Angélica Gorodischer, trans. from the Spanish by Amalia Gladhart. Small Beer (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-61873-032-9

This understated and impressive story cycle, written in 1979 by Argentinean author and World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gorodischer (Kalpa Imperial), relates the adventures of intergalactic trader and coffee addict Trafalgar Medrano. When he meets with the unnamed narrators, he tells of his attempts to raise money by selling goods and services on other planets; most of his efforts end in improbable, hilarious disaster, such as being mistaken for Mandrake the Magician or finding a world that looks exactly like Earth—in 1492. The tropes are well-worn, but Gorodischer takes them in entertaining directions that both evoke their golden age roots and transcend them with a layer of absurdism. Gladhart’s translation spotlights Trafalgar’s dryly comic statements, like “I changed the course of history; nothing more than that.” Trafalgar’s adventures build on each other nicely, creating a collection that’s a joy to read. (Feb.)