A Planet for Rent (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
A Planet for Rent Cover Image
By Yoss, David Frye (Translator)
$15.99
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews


When the aliens finally come knocking, they do so not as desperate refugees, lost E.T.’s, or even marauding world-destroyers, but as intelligent, advanced beings who find Earth primitive but beautiful, and see humans as backwards, self-destructive, savages. In fact, we have practically nothing to offer to the various races who are stronger, smarter, more beautiful, or simply far, far, wealthier. Nothing except ourselves. Earth is a prime tourist destination, and the concept of “sex sells” is unsurprisingly a universal concept. Kept in strict quarantine, humans turn to widespread prostitution as our only commodity: sexual, of course, but also artistic, cultural, and even putting our minds up for sale so that alien tourists unable to survive in Earth’s ecosystem, or who simply want the full human “immersion” experience, can take our bodies for a spin.

Yoss, a Cuban metal rocker, imagines a grim future, but writes with a fittingly energetic, imaginative, brashness. His stories are somehow wild and fun, even as hope is repeatedly shown to be a fool’s errand.

 

— From Chris

When the aliens finally come knocking, they do so not as desperate refugees, lost E.T.s, or even marauding world-destroyers, but as intelligent, advanced beings who find Earth primitive but beautiful, and see humans as backwards, self-destructive, savages. In fact, we have practically nothing to offer to the various races who are stronger, smarter, more beautiful, or simply far wealthier. Nothing except ourselves. Earth is a prime tourist destination, and the concept of "sex sells" is unsurprisingly a universal concept. Kept in strict quarantine, humans turn to widespread prostitution as our only commodity: sexual, of course, but also artistic, cultural, and even putting our minds up for sale, so that alien tourists unable to survive in Earth's ecosystem, or who simply want the full human "immersion" experience, can take our bodies for a spin.

Yoss, a Cuban metal rocker, imagines a grim future, but writes with a fittingly energetic, imaginative brashness. His stories are wild and fun, even as hope is repeatedly shown to be a fool's errand. -- Chris P.

— From August 2015

Description


"A Planet for Rent is the English-language debut of Yoss, one of Cuba's most lauded writers of science fiction. Translated by David Frye, these linked stories craft a picture of a dystopian future: Aliens called xenoids have invaded planet Earth, and people are looking to flee the economically and socially bankrupt remains of human civilization. Yoss' smart and entertaining novel tackles themes like prostitution, immigration and political corruption. Ultimately, it serves as an empathetic yet impassioned metaphor for modern-day Cuba, where the struggle for power has complicated every facet of society" --NPR, Best Books of 2015

Out of the modern-day dystopia of Cuba comes an instant classic from the island's most celebrated science fiction author: a raucous tale of a future in which a failing Earth is at the mercy of powerful capitalist alien colonizers.

In A Planet for Rent, Yoss critiques life under Castro in the '90s by drawing parallels with a possible Earth of the not-so-distant future. Wracked by economic and environmental problems, the desperate planet is rescued, for better or worse, by alien colonizers, who remake the planet as a tourist destination. Ruled over by a brutal interstellar bureaucracy, dispossessed humans seek better lives via the few routes available--working for the colonial police; eking out a living as black marketeers, drug dealers, or artists; prostituting themselves to exploitative extraterrestrial visitors--or they face the cold void of space in rickety illegal ships.

This inventive book marks the English-language debut of an astonishingly brave and imaginative Latin American voice.

About the Author


Born Jose Miguel Sanchez Gomez, Yoss assumed his pen name in 1988, when he won the Premio David Award in the science fiction category for Timshel. Earning a degree in Biology in 1991, he went on to graduate from the first ever course on Narrative Techniques at the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Center of Literary Training, in the year 1999. Today, Yoss writes both realistic and science fiction works. Alongside these novels, the author produces essays, reviews, and compilations, and actively promotes the Cuban science fiction literary workshops, Espiral and Espacio Abierto. When he isn't translating, David Frye teaches Latin American culture and society at the University of Michigan. Translations include First New Chronicle and Good Government by Guaman Poma de Ayala (Peru, 1615); The Mangy Parrotby Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi (Mexico, 1816), for which he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship; Writing across Cultures: Narrative Transculturation in Latin America by Angel Rama (Uruguay, 1982), and several Cuban and Spanish novels and poems.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781632060365
ISBN-10: 1632060361
Publisher: Restless Books
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2015
Pages: 272
Language: English