Join us at City Lit Books for a conversation with Yoss, author of Super Extra Grande and A Planet for Rent, and local author, Rey Andujar.
A Planet for Rent and Super Extra Grande mark the English-language debut of an astonishingly brave and imaginative Latin American voice.
Born José Miguel Sánchez Gómez, Yoss assumed his pen name in 1988, when he won the Premio David in the science fiction category for Timshel. Together with his peculiar pseudonym, the author's aesthetic of an impentinent rocker has allowed him to stand out amongst his fellow Cuban writers. 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.
SUPER EXTRA GRANDE
With the playfulness and ingenuity of Douglas Adams, the Cuban science-fiction master Yoss delivers a space opera of intergalactic proportions with Super Extra Grande, the winner of the twentieth annual UPC Science Fiction Award in 2011.
In a distant future in which Latin Americans have pioneered faster-than-light space travel, Dr. Jan Amos Sangan Dongo has a job with large and unusual responsibilities: he’s a veterinarian who specializes in treating enormous alien animals. Mountain-sized amoebas, multisex species with bizarre reproductive processes, razor-nailed, carnivorous humanoid hunters: Dr. Sangan has seen it all. When a colonial conflict threatens the fragile peace between the galaxy’s seven intelligent species, he must embark on a daring mission through the insides of a gigantic creature and find two swallowed ambassadors—who also happen to be his competing love interests.
Funny, witty, raunchy, and irrepressibly vivacious, Super Extra Grande is a rare specimen in the richly parodic tradition of Cuban science fiction, and could only have been written by a Cuban heavy-metal rock star with a biology degree: the inimitable Yoss.
A PLANET FOR RENT
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.
Born in Santo Domingo in 1977, Rey Anduhjar is the author of several works of fiction including Los gestos inútiles Candela (Alfaguara – PR Pen Club Awards 2009); Amoricidio (FIL-Santo Domingo Fiction Award 2006) and Saturnario (Ultramar Literature Prize NYC-2010). He’s been researching the connection between body, language and literature for several years. Andújar is Artistic Associate at Aguijón Theater, Editorial Director at Contratiempo magazine, and holds PhD in Caribbean Literature and Philosophy. Rey also writes for film and theater. He lives in Chicago and teaches Latin American History and Literature at Governors State University.