Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic
Ed. by Eduardo Jimenez Mayo and Chris N. Brown. Easthampton, MA: Small Beer Press, 2012. 261 pp. $16.00. ISBN 13: 978-1-931520-31-7.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
by: Reviewed by Peter Fekety

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Peter Fekety, Fort Worth Public Library, TX

Billing itself as the first of its kind, Three Messages and a Warning consists of 34 Mexican fantasy short stories, half of which were written by women and most by unknowns.  The collection crosses the fantasy spectrum from ghosts and the supernatural to a heavy dose of the apocalypse giving the reader a taste that goes beyond the political and historical flavors found so often in contemporary Mexican fiction.
The quality of the writing (and translating) is generally high and the stories are consistent in length, averaging 5-6 pages, although some barely go beyond a single page and one actually consists of a brief five stanza poem.  For those but the most avid readers of fantasy fiction, some stories will linger more than others.  The most memorable stories included Augustín Cadena’s Murillo Park, Yussle Dardón’s A Pile of Bland Desserts, Leo Mendoza’s The Pin and the hilarious Joyce Carol Oates-ian The President Without Organs, by Pepe Rojo. 

Recommended for academic and public library popular fiction collections

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