Reflection on Monstro short in Mothership edition.
The story I read was Junot Díaz’s Monstro. This featured an in the throws of climate change Afro-Latino world in the Dominican Republic. The world built is rich and full of quintessential cultural touches despite being a near future SciFi. The bits of Spanish intertwined within the novel and the slang of many social spheres made it feel more immediate and intimate instead of far in the past.
Furthermore, the particular Afro-Latino flares and the tensions between Dominicans and Haitians filled out the social commentary within the story. As climate change speeds up these communities are often not what we read about. And yet they are among the most effected. I found this a wonderful approach to the type of climate dystopia that SciFi will often chose to center in California instead of the tropics of Haiti and other nations.
The story evolves with a plague that is beginning to effect Haitian refugees on the island. The infection starts as a black dot and spreads and spreads. This world building is an interesting choice given the status of refugees in the region of the world and a call back to the Black Plague of Europe and its unequal effects across populations.
Soon, after weapons are dropped to handle the sick there are reports of a large monster — perhaps it grew out of the infected, perhaps it came from the blast — and suddenly the idea of control is over and the refugee situation has completely destabilized as the military fights these monsters on the island.
I found this whole world extremely interesting, brimming with realism, and a fresh new take and setting on these types of disasters in science fiction.