Book Review: Cortez on Jupiter by Ernest Hogan

Book Review: Cortez on Jupiter by Ernest Hogan

Cortez on Jupiter: A Locus Poll Top Ten Novel by [Hogan, Ernest]

A wild young Chicano artist who covers Greater Los Angeles with fantastic graffiti. A beautiful African telepath who opens the door to communications with the deadly Sirens of Jupiter.
This wonderful debut novel from Ernest Hogan should not be missed by those looking for voices of diversity in Science Fiction. Structured as an interview with artist Pablo Cortez we are treated to the story of how Cortez became the only human to survive contact with the alien beings known as the Sirens living in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Written as though we are experiencing a documentary about Pablo Cortez, we get not just his perspective on events, but that of numerous people around him leading up to his encounter with the Sirens. The biggest challenge I faced in reading was the “Spanglish” Cortez employed as he recounted his tale. My limited knowledge of Spanish had me hoping I was “hearing” the words as they should sound. Definitely felt authentic to the character as he was presented and made for a compelling tale. Having read the reprint of this 30 year old book I appreciated the introduction and the mood it set for the story. This book also had the added effect of stirring up my own thoughts about art and the possibilities that zero gravity could produce. A delightful tale that leaves me wanting to explore more of Hogan’s work. Highly recommended for those seeking something other than just the usual space journey or with an interest in Chicano SF.

 

Rating: 5/5 Paint Splatters

 

Until next time, See you among the Stacks.

Duncan

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