“Condé’s brutal, mystical, and deeply felt speculative debut lifts up a vision of Indigenous resistance and renewal in the face of climate change and colonizers. … The author’s depiction of Taíno culture is profound, his evocative images of a land in ruin are visceral, and the grief and sheer determination expressed through his characters is often so vivid as to be overwhelming. The result is a beautiful blend of futurism and magical realism that delivers a hopeful message of human resilience.”
— ★ Publishers Weekly starred review
“Indigenous culture is at war with imperialism in E. G. Condé’s haunting novel Sordidez… Evocative and descriptive, the language captures the lushness of Puerto Rico and the devastation of the desiccated Yucatán peninsula. It is dreamy and vengeful, a character unto itself. It is also multilingual, highlighting words and phrases from Arawak and Mayan languages… At its heart, Sordidez is a clarion call to recognize that the political and biological ecosystems of the world are intertwined.”
— Foreword Reviews
“Condé gives us a clear-eyed, optimistic vision of how storytelling can transcend borders and create solidarity among resistance movements. … With great respect for history and heritage, identity and environment, Sordidez depicts the future hurtling toward us, as well as the courage we’ll need to meet that future head-on.”
— Lisa M. Bradley, author of The Haunted Girl and Exile
“SORDIDEZ by E.G. Condé is a rich and lush tale of finding hope amidst bleakness, of sacrifice, community, survival, and both connection and isolation with a desolate climate crisis backdrop. Condé weaves an elegant and intricate narrative of healing and courage that is sure to touch and inspire.”
—AiJiang, Nebula finalist and author of LINGHUN
“Sordidez is an instant classic that deals with issues many occupied and colonized people deal with: intolerance, trauma, loss of history, necessity to reclaim indigenous culture, the poisoning of land and climate disaster. Sordidez offers a future vision that, though broken like the present, has hope. Ultimately, Sordidez blends narrative, visions, healing and resolutions, in several figures, all willing to transform for their people and offer mutual aid in a found familia.”
— Scott Russell Duncan, for Somos En Escrito
“E.G. Condé picks up a kaleidoscope in Sordidez and peers into the future, in the direction of Puerto Rico and the Yucatan peninsula, forming a vibrant Latinx vision of our future, and fulfilling the promise of speculative fiction to inspire us in the process of decolonization. Amidst the strange new horrors created by both humans and AIs in this future world, the trans protagonist Vero Diaz endeavors to heal the people and the land through the revolutionary spirit of the Taíno. This is Condé’s first book, and I can’t wait for the next one.” — Matthew David Goodwin, editor of Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology and Assistant Professor, Department of Chicana/o Studies, University of New Mexico
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Vero has always felt at odds with his community. As a trans man in near-future Puerto Rico, he struggles to gain acceptance for his identity and his vision of an inclusive society. After a hurricane decimates the island and Puerto Rico is abandoned by the United States, Vero leaves his home to petition the centralized government for aid and seek the truth about new colonists arriving on the island. But in the Yucatan, Vero finds a landscape ravaged by an ecological disaster of humanity’s own making—the Hydrophage, a climate technology warped into a weapon of war and released onto the land by the dictator Caudillo. Amidst the destruction, Vero finds both desperation and hope for regrowth as he documents the lives of the survivors. Details about the colonists’ intentions emerge when Vero meets the Loba Roja, an anti-Caudillo revolutionary who imagines the renewed power of the Maya. Intrigued by her vision of the future and her unapologetic violence, Vero is faced with life-changing questions: can an Indigenous resurgence protect his beloved island? And what must he sacrifice to support it?
About the Author
E.G. Condé is an anthropologist of technology and an emerging speculative fiction writer of the Puerto Rican diaspora. His short fiction appears in If There’s Anyone Left, Reckoning, EASST Review, Tree and Stone, Sword & Sorcery, and Solarpunk Magazine. Stay connected to his writing at www.egconde.com or follow him on social media via @CloudAnthro.