(1860-1940) Writer and historian from Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost State of Brazil. He wrote a historical chronicle, Marcha da divisão do Norte: para a história ["March of the North division: for History"] (1896), about the 1893 revolution when Rio Grande clashed with the central government and was defeated. His only incursion into sf is A Liga dos Planetas ["The League of Planets"] (1923), which is considered the first Brazilian novel to feature Space Flight by mechanical means. A Liga dos Planetas is a carefree, unambitious novel. A Brazilian airplane visits both Mars and Venus, which share the same kind of Utopian civilization and lifestyle. Most of the book is filled up with mere "fact lists" or Infodumps on Brazilian history, geography, the arts, etc., disguised as talks delivered by the Brazilian travellers to Martian and Venusian audiences. Both Mars and Venus are invited to be members of a "League of Planets" together with Brazil [sic]. They refuse, because of the belligerent nature of Earthlings; a War ensues, involving all the Solar System, and the narrator wakes up from his dream.
Coutinho's novel is typical of the negligent manner which many mainstream authors in Brazil adopted when dealing with science-fictional themes. It shares some of the playfulness of Joaquim Manuel de Macedo's O fim do mundo em 1857 ["The End of the World in 1857"] (1857), one of the earliest genre stories by a Brazilian author. The author states in an afternote that A Liga dos Planetas was written in 1920; the title page bears the date 1922, but on the cover it reads 1923. [BT]
Albino José Ferreira Coutinho
- A Liga dos Planetas ["The League of Planets"] (Porto Alegre, Brazil: Livraria Americana, 1923) [dated 1922 on title page: pb/]
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