We asked some of the writers from Three Messages and a Warning to tell us the story behind the story. Here’s the first installment . . . !
About “Pink Lemonade”
Liliana V. Blum
Although must of my writing has always been in the realistic side, I am an assiduous reader of dystopias. I love 1984, The Handmaid’s tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Day of the Triffids, for example. So I was happy to give it a try when I was invited to write a science fiction or fantasy short story for the anthology.
One of my deep and personal obsessions has always been food, and not in the bulimic or anorexic kind of way. I suffer a weird distress whenever I think about people not being able to eat, going hungry. Needless to say, when my children are sick and cannot hold food in their stomachs, I suffer more than with other common illness. When I watch a movie in which the characters can’t eat due to their fictional context (they’re in a war, or lost in the woods, or held prisioner), I grow anxious. Events like the Holocaust and famines, then, are my worst nightmares.
Since my husband, Ramón, is in the agro business, I am close to and more or less versed on the newest agrocultural trends and technologies. I am very aware of the antagonism of many people in this area. Curiously enough, everybody thinks the more technology in health, science, education, transportation, computers, gadgets, the better. But when it comes to agriculture, it suddlenly becomes satanized. It wouldn’t worry me, except because if agriculture worldwide would go “organic”and use zero-technology seeds, more than two thirds of the population would die of starvation, and most of the forested areas in the world would have to be destroyed in order to make room for those inefficient crops. So I decided to write about what would happen if these “green” groups would really have it their way. That’s how “Pink Lemonade” was conceived . . .
Liliana V. Blum (Mexico, 19xx) is not one of those women who refuse to reveal their date of birth; she just likes coincidences. So that she was born the same year that Heinrich Böll’s The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum was published, is a great one. She is a ginger gal who suffered through her Mexican childhood of pinch-the-redhead-in-the-arm-for-luck. Now she only suffers the sun. She was born in Durango (famous for its scorpions, revolutionaries and narcos) and currently lives in Tampico, Tamaulipas (famous for its crabs and narco-related violence). Despite the eight-legged creatures, the daily bread of bullets and mutilated bodies, and being the mother of a boy, a girl, a beagle and a guinea pig, she has managed to write five short-story collections; one of them, The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (Host Publications, 2007) was translated into English. Her work has been published in literary magazines in the US, Mexico, England, and Poland. One of her books will be reprinted for a reading-campaign in Mexico City, to give away for free in the subway. She is currently working on her first novel.