Technology, climate change, Covid-19. Social transformations, emotional revolutions, economic crises. Dreams and nightmares, the best-concealed monsters, the magic of good stories when they are well told.

The huge power of imagination.

The 21st century doesn’t have just one reality. It has many. And we need new tools to explain them.

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42: the name

You just have to do a quick Google search: 42 is the science fiction number par excellence and, by extension, that of all fantasy genres. There are memes, T-shirts and whole articles to figure it out. It is the subject of tributes, people play with it and quote it more or less overtly. Above all, they attempt to reveal its mystery.

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Design: Tono Cristòfol Ilustration: Álex Ferreiro and Mercè Iglesias


Autorship: Pep Herrero

Ricard Ruiz Garzón (Barcelona, ​​1973) is a writer and a teacher at the Escola d’Escriptura de l’Ateneu Barcelonès [Ateneu Barcelonès cultural association writing school]. He has won awards including the Ramon Muntaner and Edebé awards, among others, and has written around 15 books, including Esquizo, Herba negra, Mary Shelley i el monstre de Frankenstein, Mångata and Janowitz. He has also compiled anthologies (Mañana todavía, Risc, Insólitas, Extraordinàries) and has worked as a critic and journalist in the press, television and radio for a quarter of a century. His works have been adapted to comic, theatre and film formats and translated into half a dozen languages. He is a member of the boards of directors of AELC and Clijcat. @ricruizgarzon


The first edition of Festival 42, which will be held from 3 to 7 November, will lay down the core principles that will characterise it.

  • A focus on fantasy or unrealistic genres (always with the aim of integrating, disseminating and prescribing).
  • Dialogue based on literature, with its related narratives (such as games and video games, films, series, comics, illustrations and oral narratives).

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Some hundred writers are the confirmed guests at the first edition of the festival, a notable number of whom are women. The names will be announced later on, but a few can already be announced to whet our appetites:

  • Albert Sánchez Piñol

    (Barcelona, 1965) Anthropologist and writer. Sánchez Piñol is the author of a dozen books, including the novel La pell freda (2002), which has been translated into 37 different languages, and of which more than eight-hundred thousand copies have been sold around the world. He has also published books such as Pallassos i monstres, Tretze tristos tràngols, Pandora al Congo, Victus, Vae Victus, Fungus and, in 2021, Les estructures elementals de la narrativa. He is considered to be one of the great innovators in fantasy genres in Catalan literature.

  • Elia Barceló

    (Elda, Alicante, 1957) Writer and teacher. Considered as the first lady of Spanish sci-fi, Barceló has published 30 different novels and around one hundred short stories. Some of her fantasy works include Sagrada, El mundo de Yarek, El vuelo del hipogrifo, El secreto del orfebre, Cordeluna, the Ánima Mundi trilogy and El efecto Frankenstein, for which she won the 2020 National Award for Children's and Young People's Literature. She is also the author of the essay Cortázar visto por Elia Barceló.

  • Adrian Tchaikovsky

    (Lincolnshire, 1972) Tchaikovsky is a British fantasy and sci-fi author who is also a qualified lawyer, zoologist and psychologist. He has just published his first book in Catalan: a translation of the short dystopian novel Firewalkers. Author of well over twenty books, he is also renowned for the novel Children of Time (for which he won the 2016 Arthur C. Clarke Prize) and the Shadows of the Apt series (published between 2008 and 2014).

  • Elisabetta Gnone

    (Genoa, 1965) Italian writer. She started out by creating and directing some of Disney’s most popular magazines (Bambi, Winnie the Pooh, Minnie or Chip ‘n Dale) and she also came up with the idea for the comic series W.I.T.C.H. She began to devote herself to writing stories for children and teenagers with the Fairy Oak saga, a winner of various awards and an international hit that is still going. She has also published the series of novels on Olga de papel.