by Roberto González-Quevedo

Introductory Note

Roberto González-Quevedo (1953-) is one of the leading writers in Asturian, in particular thanks to his creation of the world of Pesicia, one of the most significant examples of fantasy world-building based on a free recreation of a pre-Roman culture from the Iberian Peninsula. Since so little is actually known of Pesician people, as well as of other ethnic nations living in that peninsula thousands of years ago, their cultures, including their history and myths, have been largely invented by writers, thus giving birth to a particular kind of high fantasy fiction of archaeological and legendary nature based on educated speculation. This sort of high fantasy has had a great development in the literatures of Spain, and González-Quevedo’s Pesician stories are to be counted among the best ones in Spanish contemporary literatures. The following very short story titled “Alog” (first published in 1990), which has been translated by Álvaro Piñero González from the author’s own version in Castilian Spanish, is a rare example of flash fiction in the high fantasy genre. It shows that a whole suggestive fantasy world can be built in just a few lines. Although it is not directly philosophical in its scope, it still can serve as illustration for one of the literary tenets of Sci Phi Journal: world-building can be kept (very) short, even in high fantasy, and poetic style should also be welcome in speculative literature in the broader sense of the word.


Alog was loneliness. He was born in a far away county, a county covered with huge millet fields and traversed by rivers in which the water flowed ever so slowly. His eyes stared, from the very beginning, at the everlasting sorrow of an infinite horizon infinitely distant from all things.


When the Glubbs invaded the land and smeared with blood the little mills, the stone houses and the winter produce, things changed for Alog. He saw his mother die, his father’s eyes become empty and his siblings leave with their backs bearing the marks of slavery.               


Only Alog escaped, but, alas, he saw, by coincidence, from within a small crate used to measure millet, the death of his own self.

Alog bearing witness to his own death.           


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