Barcelona writer Francisco Guerrero wins the UPC Science Fiction Award with the novel 'Gutterson'

Barcelona writer Francisco Guerrero wins the UPC Science Fiction Award with the novel 'Gutterson'

The 24th UPC Science-Fiction Award ceremony took place as part of the Taboo’ks seminar of the International Fantasy Film Festival of Catalonia

Barcelona writer Francisco Guerrero wins the UPC Science Fiction Award with the novel 'Gutterson'

Francisco Guerrero, winner of the 24th Science Fiction Award, with the rector of the UPC and Miquel Barceló, organiser of the competition.

Collaboration between fantasy literature and cinema
In this year’s edition, the UPC Science Fiction Award is taking a step forward in its desire to open up to new and wider fields. Thanks to the agreement signed on 20 July by the UPC, the University’s Board of Trustees and the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia Foundation, the UPC’s Science Fiction Award ceremony formed part of the 51st International Fantasy Film Festival of Catalonia, which was held in Sitges from 4 to 14 October.

The ceremony took place at the Hotel Meliá in Sitges as part of the seminar Taboo’ks, an initiative of the festival that explores forms of collaboration between fantasy literature and cinema and is an ideal scenario for introducing new authors to the publishing world and the film industry. In addition to the rector, Miquel Barceló, emeritus professor at the UPC and the promoter of the event, also participated in the award ceremony.

The futurist novel 'Gutterson' written by Barcelona journalist Francisco Guerrero won the 24th UPC Science Fiction Award, which was presented in Sitges on 6 October at the Taboo’ks seminar within the International Fantasy Film Festival of Catalonia.

Oct 09, 2018

Francisco Guerrero (Barcelona, 1980) received the 24th UPC Science Fiction Award from the rector of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Francesc Torres, at an event forming part of the International Fantasy Film Festival of Catalonia in Sitges. Miquel Barceló, promoter of this award for unpublished works of science fiction, was also present.

The winning work is the first novel by Francisco Guerrero, a journalist and musical critic. The jury chose it because of its narrative quality, its original setting and the interesting situations that it describes. El estrecho borde de los campos de sal (The Narrow Border of the Saltfields) by Mexican author Carlos González Muñiz was the other finalist, and two other novels received a Jury’s Mention: Nistagmo, by the Madrid author Bruno Puelles Reyna, and Jack by the Barcelona author Salvador Lanzas Pellico.

In this edition of the competition, 49 works were presented, 31 of them from Spain and 18 from other countries (the United States, France, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Cuba and Peru). The winning work will be co-published by Iniciativa Digital Politècnica and Apache Libros, a publishing company specialised in science fiction, terror and illustrated books.

The jury was composed of professors and researchers from the UPC who are related to the world of science fiction in some way: Lluís Anglada, Miquel Barceló, Josep Casanovas, Jordi José and Manuel Moreno.

Labour crisis in a dystopian future
Gutterson is a first-person narrative of the working day of a police officer set in a future city in a state of emergency, “a metropolis full of technological obsolescence, climate change and diminishing freedom”, as the author describes it. “In essence, it is the history of a personal and professional crisis that largely stems from the failed application of algorithms in the field of human resources” in the context of a dystopian future marked by the colonisation of other planets and the widespread use of artificial intelligence.
The UPC Science Fiction Award was created in 1991 by the UPC’s Board of Trustees within the framework of its cultural and artistic promotion programme. It has become one of the most important events in Spain in this field. Proof of this, and of the growing interest in this literary genre, are the more than 2,100 works presented since its creation.


Science-fiction at the UPC
The UPC Science Fiction Award is an activity that reinforces the link between the University and this discipline, but it is not the only one. The UPC has a large collection of science fiction publications. The Comics and Aeronautics collection of the Terrassa Campus Library focuses on the subject of aeronautics within the fantasy world of comics through characters such as Captain Harlock, Flash Gordon and Blake Mortimer and authors such as Paul Gillon, Moebius and Hugo Pratt. The UPC also has a collection of literary science fiction works at the Rector Gabriel Ferraté Library on the North Campus of Barcelona and at the Library of the Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering, which can be consulted online through the University’s Science Fiction portal.

The UPC has been one of the pioneering universities in highlighting the potential of science fiction as a support for teaching and learning subjects related to science and technology. This is also the aim of the massive open online course Technoscience and Science Fiction: from King Kong to Einstein that the UPC offers to show the role played by science fiction cinema, literature and comics in motivating audiences and changing negative attitudes toward science.