Senor 105 Book 1: The Gulf


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Product Description

The Periodic Adventures of Señor 105: Book 001

“The Gulf”


“Señor 105 y el Cráter Misterioso”

By Cody Quijano-Schell

1970: Scientist, explorer and semi-retired Mexican wrestler Senor 105 returns to Mexico to discover the countryside is being overrun with a fresh Productsinflux of forbidden technology. He and his Parisian companion Shiela (a conglomeration of sentient Helium molecules) must travel to the Chicxulub Crater, traditionally the source of many menaces. They will have a hard time reaching the crater, as the Yucatan gang/cult the Terrible Kings don’t want them to reach it. Who is their leader and what is affecting the ocean’s tides? Who is the woman intent on obtaining a pair of silver antlers? Men made of gold, a sabotaged train and more mysteries from the depths of the Gulf!


  1. :

    To make sure we’re all on the same page, Senor 105 is a Mexican wrestler. He wears a mask at all times and he fights bad guys. He’s the protagonist of his stories, unsurprisingly, but their real hero is the strangeness of his universe. Personally I get the impression that Cody isn’t just writing these stories for the sake of conventional plot or characterisation, but rather from a love of anything and everything that might turn your head inside-out. Here’s a list of possible inspirations, resonances and/or unconnected random neuron-sparkings I experienced while reading this:

    1. Sapphire and Steel. “I wear masks that represent the elements of the Periodic Table.” Senor 105′s companion is a sentient isotope of helium, who’s described as being from a “Noble Family”.

    2. Astrology, which manages to connect what might on the face of it seem like straightforward SF (the solar system’s planets) with the Sapphire and Steel-ness, via the alchemical symbols for the planets.

    3. The extinction of the dinosaurs (I think ignoring Earthshock) and a bunch of bad guys whose whose leader says “I will be like the Tyrannosaurus Rex” and whose name (the Terrible Kings) is an approximate translation of two-thirds of the Greek and Latin in that dinosaur’s name. I think they’re human, but it’s sometimes hard to tell in the Senor 105 universe.

    4. A refreshingly feminine viewpoint. You might think that Mexican wrestling would be a macho genre, but this novella has almost no fighting and its protagonists are all female except for Senor 105 himself. Furthermore he thinks like a scientist, not a muscleman. There’s a female Mexican wrestler who was Senor 105′s mentor, a helium balloon that self-identifies as female (how? why?) and a woman who dresses up as a Canadian mounted policeman and wants to be one even though it’s not allowed. I also found an interesting misreading of the line “just as young as he was the day I met him as a little girl”, only realising afterwards that the “little girl” would have been the narrator.
    There’s a jackalope, a Zodiac Machine and a general sense that Forteana is only the beginning. The world we’re living in is just one of many worlds and dimensions. Senor 105 is a man of science in a universe created by a writer who loves the magic of impossibilities and hates having them explained away. Personally I think Senor 105′s next crossover should be with the Silver Age Superman, with his wacky kryptonite, Krypto the Superdog and Mr Mxyzptlk. They’re as gloriously silly as each other, but Senor 105 is aware of it.

    Admittedly a lot of this was first introduced in Elementary, My Dear Sheila, but that doesn’t invalidate it or anything.

    A couple of possible typos, incidentally. I’d prefer the last sentence on p14 with a semi-colon, not a second comma, and there’s a “it’s” for “its” on page 23 (“on it’s edge”). There’s also an odd-looking bit at the bottom of p4, which at the very least is a missed joke opportunity. “He fell to the ground, screaming. ‘What is wrong with him? He is in pain!’” Um, didn’t Senor 105 just hit him?
    The story also isn’t as dynamic as you might expect. As with Elementary, My Dear Sheila, you’ll go away impressed with Cody’s fecundity of imagination and worldbuilding, but after a while you might have trouble remembering the plot. I remember the train crash. That was good. Apart from that, though, it’s basically a jam session of characters and ideas… but this is only a 41-page novella and so Cody gets away with it.

    Overall, likeable. There’s stuff here I’m rather fond of, e.g. Luna, or the use of nationalities (Mexico, France). It’s good to step beyond the English-speaking world. I think there’s room to explore further the relationship between this magical universe and Senor 105′s scientific mindset, but that’s not a bash at this story. Potential is good. This universe is looking likely to evolve somewhere fascinating…

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