This is the first English translation of a Catalan science fiction masterpiece. Manuel de Pedrolo’s widely acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel, which includes a foreword by Kim Stanley Robinson, tells the story of two children who survive the brutal destruction of Earth by alien explorers.
The protagonists, Alba and Dídac, retreat to the forest, then journey to the rubble of Barcelona to rescue and preserve the remnants of human civilization in the city’s bombed libraries and cultural institutions. In the absence of the rule of law and social norms, the children create a utopian world of two that honors knowledge and interracial love, to become a new Adam and Eve and try to bring about the world’s second origin. A bestseller and required reading for secondary school students in Catalonia, Typescript of the Second Origin is indispensable to understand how a region of Spain whose language, culture, and institutions were targeted and punished by Francisco Franco. At the same time, Pedrolo’s tale of survival reaches beyond national and cultural borders to offer contemporary international readers a timely warning about the threat of global ecological destruction.
“Two Catalan village children, a girl and a boy, survive the end of the world and decide ‘to be an origin and not an end.’ And who knows (the author is wisely equivocal on this point), perhaps they really do become the childish founders of a new civilization. This is an interesting European SF forerunner text, and I'm glad to see it sensitively translated and in print in English.” —Gwyneth Jones
“At last a fundamental novel in Spain’s Sci-Fi is available in English! For decades, Catalan youth have loved this modern masterpiece of post-apocalyptic eutopia. Now we can do the same in the US.” —Juan C. Toledano, editor of Alambique
“Typescript is sci-fi, allegory and above all a story of resilience. It is one of the most widely read works in Catalan ever, yet its author remains controversial and understudied. This is the paradox of Pedrolo, ripe here for a new public.”—Louise Johnson
MANUEL DE PEDROLO was born in L'Aranyó (Lleida), Eastern Catalonia, in 1918 and died in Barcelona in 1990. A prolific writer in all genres, Pedrolo experimented with new forms and content. He fought on the side of the Republican during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), and was a critic of the repressive policies of Franco’s regime (1939–1975), which included censorship of the Catalan language. Within the field of science fiction, Pedrolo’s greatest contribution was without a doubt Typescript of the Second Origin.
SARA MARTÍN is a senior lecturer in English literature and cultural studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. As a researcher she specializes in popular fiction, particularly gothic and science fiction, and in gender studies. This is her first literary translation into English.
KIM STANLEY ROBINSON is an American writer of science fiction. He has published nineteen novels and numerous short stories but is best known for his Mars trilogy. Robinson has won many awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the World Fantasy Award.
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