Rios de la Luz explores the “inner workings that were happening in her brain” while writing her first collection The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert, and Scott’s suggestion that her stories resemble the Martian gemstones depicted within each, being unique, energetic, fresh, multifaceted, and yet interconnected(0:03:30). Notions of magic realism, time travel (0:17:50), science fiction, Junot Diaz, Ray Bradbury, Lucius Shepard, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and her love of outer space and comic books (0:20:15), especially Los Bros Hernandez’s Love and Rockets, emerge, as well as working with her publisher Ladybox Books, a rising imprint of Broken River Books and being part of the dynamic small press community in Portland, Oregon (0:32:00). The discussion also explores diversity as a rising force in both authors and audience for spec-lit (0:48:00), including Rios’ identity as a “Latina-Chicana-Bruja” writer but “mostly just a strange brown girl,” as well as using Spanish to reset rhythm in her narratives, growing up in El Paso, discovering her favorite writer Sandra Cisneros and her passion for creating young characters like herself, including her excitement in seeing female, African and Guatemalan leads in Star Wars and a black Hispanic super-hero in Spider-Man Miles Morales (0:59:15). Another ever-present element in her writing is the guardian abuela, reflecting the importance of her grandmother and great grandmother to whom she says she “owes so much” (1:10:45). Also queer characters, the awkwardness of puberty (‘Church Bush’) (1:23:30), disappeared women, dead children (‘La Reina’), her complicated feelings about borders and a short reading of her hauntingly beautiful story ‘Marigolds’ (1:30:20). Finally, Rios talks about what’s next (1:35:45) for her including flash fiction, zines, two horror stories, a bizarro tale and a novel, as well as recommending poet Yesika Salgado aka Yesika Starr, fellow Ladybox Books author Meliza Bañales, aka Missy Fuego, and Vanessa Mártir.
News From the Weird
(1:54:25) Head Editor/Curator Constance Ann Fitzgerald joins Scott to talk more about this innovative women-run press/collective, how it got started, its exciting slate of “fiercely talented” authors, the rebirth of the zine and the current dynamic and label-defying small press scene.
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Host/Executive Producer: Scott Nicolay
Co-Host, News From the Weird: Justin Steele
Associate Producer/Show Notes: Anya Martin
Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker
Music: Michael Griffin