Condomnauts, by Yoss - 9781632061867.jpg
Condomnauts, by Yoss - 9781632061867.jpg



By Yoss

Translated from the Spanish by David Frye

Cuban Science Fiction

Set a course for intercourse in this raucous space opera from Yoss, “Cuba's premiere science-fiction writer” (VICE), where humans explore the limits of the Milky Way—and their libidos.

Book Details

Paperback list price: $16.99 • ISBN: 9781632061867 • Publication: 7/17/2018 • 5.5" x 8.25" • 208 pages • Science Fiction: Cuba/Comedic/Space Opera • Territory: World

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About the Book

In the 24th century, Josué Valdés’ rise from an orphan in the slums of Rubble City, Cuba to one of the galaxy’s most accomplished explorers was nothing short of meteoric. On the streets, Josue raced cockroaches for cash—until he discovered his true-calling: as a sexual ambassador for humanity and the Nu Barsa colony.

Every so-called “condomnaut” knows that diplomacy and trade deals depend on sexual pacts in the galactic community—and every encounter becomes a close encounter. While some condomnauts have been raised and genetically enhanced to meet the needs of any tentacled insectoid in the galaxy, Josué is a natural whose ego could eclipse the big dipper. Our intrepid condomnauts travel light years across the galaxy and discover that old rivalries—and prejudices—are never far behind. When the first extragalactic beings arrive in the Milky Way, and with them the potential to negotiate for extraordinary new technologies, Josué must call upon every ounce of his talent to seal the deal for his colony and all of humanity.

Indirectly investigating current sexual mores, Cuban science fiction rock star Yoss plays upon stereotypes while making it clear that under Communist Cuba what is daring is not always funny and vice versa. Following the success of Super Extra Grande and A Planet for Rent, Yoss brings us another uproarious space adventure with Condomnauts, a wildly inventive and unapologetic tale that would make even Barbarella blush.


Praise for Super Extra Grande

“Intergalactic space travel meets outrageous, biting satire in Super Extra Grande…. Its author [Yoss] is one of the most celebrated — and controversial — Cuban writers of science fiction…. Reminiscent of Douglas Adams — but even more so, the satire of Rabelais and Swift.”

—Nancy Hightower, The Washington Post

“A lighthearted space-opera adventure by Cuban author Yoss…. This novel's madcap tone is very similar to Douglas Adams'—so much so that it's almost impossible to avoid drawing such comparisons (although Adams didn't joke about oral sex with aliens, as Yoss does here). As in Adams' works, the galaxy's species are terrifically alien, sporting six breasts and no teeth or breathing methane instead of oxygen. There are also lots of fun references and wordplay throughout the book: the giant amoebas, for example, live on planet Brobdingnag, which orbits a star called Swift-3, while Jan Amos Sangan Dongo is a riff on sangandongo, Cuban slang for "really big." But possibly the most enjoyable aspect of this strange world is that it takes place in a future in which an Ecuadorean Jesuit priest discovers faster-than-light travel, and the first space flight proving his theory is announced by unfurling a banner on Mars that reads "Suck on this, dumb-ass gringos!" Also, the lingua franca of this future is Spanglish, and all the dialogue appealingly follows suit: "el amor—don't we know it bien!—goes beyond lo físico, even lo químico. Far beyond." An exceptionally enjoyable comic tale set in a fully realized, firmly science-fictional universe.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Science fiction is a place where minority authors have brilliantly mixed the possibilities of the future with the sociopolitical problems of their time. Everything from politics and sexism to racism and the silence of the subaltern (the one Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak wrote about) have been explored within the context of a narrative that takes place in a fictional future. Cuban science fiction author Yoss’ Super Extra Grande does all these things.… [Yoss] marries hard science with wild invention and throws that mix into a hilarious, politically and sexually charged universe where all alien races have stopped being unknown to each other. The result is a witty narrative that proves that, when done right, science fiction can be the most entertaining genre even when delivering a message.… Spanglish dialogue enriches the narrative and makes it crackle with authenticity.… Kudos must be given to translator David Frye for his outstanding work.… Besides the space it creates to discuss alternate realities, the best science fiction is that which delivers on the promise of its name, and Yoss pulls it off with flying colors in part thanks to his degree in biology and in part thank to his fearless approach to creation. The variety of creatures he crafted for this relatively short novel is a testament to a powerful imagination, and the fact that he managed to flawlessly merge them with a larger narrative without bogging down the action is proof that he is a talented storyteller. Furthermore, Yoss’ work deserves attention because regardless of what he does in the story, he always keeps his focus on subverting the order of things.… Yoss tackles science fiction with the attitude of a rock star, and he has the talent to make even his wildest ideas work. Super Extra Grande follows the parodic tradition of Cuban science fiction and treads new grounds in terms of the amount of imagined science and fauna found in its pages. This is a narrative in which anything is possible, love and desire are thrown into the tumultuous new territory of interspecies relationships, and Spanglish is the unifying language of the galaxy. In other words, this is science fiction at its best: wildly imaginative, revolutionary, full of strange creatures, and a lot of fun to read.”

—Gabino Iglesias, PANK Magazine

“Super Extra Grande is another funny critique about Western politics…. For readers in Cuba, Yoss's new novel about exploring the insides of leviathan beasts could remind them of their independence leader José Martí. The poet described living in America as the experience of a very small person living inside of a much bigger animal. And for Latinos, Super Extra Grande could similarly be a story about immigrant families who have to dig in the bowels of a much larger United States to find their piece of the American dream….. In this sense, Super Extra Grande is an enormous mirror that unearths deep roots connecting Cuba with the United States and the universe.”

Arturo Conde, —NBC News Latino

“Yoss's latest novel Super Extra Grande is a work of welcome imagination, steeped in science and imbued with satire and philosophy…. One of the most endearing elements of the novel is the use of Spanglish that is peppered throughout….[speaking to a]  highly probable future in which jumbled English and Spanish is an embraced universal dialect. Not unlike his main character, it's evident that Yoss — as an artist and cultural anthropologist — is intent on doing the dirty work, on digging through the ugly insides of human identity in order to arrive at something pure and lasting. I kept imagining the novel causing a stir during the peak of Fidel Castro's reign, the dictator pacing like mad and shouting "Que locura!" at the mention of multisex species and atomic fusion. But Yoss seems more concerned with looking ahead. And in Super Extra Grande, he reconfirms that a future without a literature of the future is really no future at all.”

—Juan Vidal, NPR Books

“This newly translated novel by Yoss, considered one of the masters of contemporary Cuban sci-fi, transports us to a bizarre vision of the far future, where humanity has mastered space travel and discovered it is but one small corner of a vast, very strange intergalactic tapestry (think planet-sized amoebas, talking lizards, and female creatures that exist, mantis-like, on “substances” from the males of the species). Odder still, our hero is Jan Amos Sangan Dongo, an interspecies veterinarian tasked with hunting down a giant creature that has swallowed two Galactic Community ambassadors—each of whom Jan happens to have slept with—before the fragile peace between the galaxy’s seven sentient species collapses.”

—Joel Cunningham, Barnes and Noble Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2016

Praise for A Planet for Rent

"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

"In prose that is direct, sarcastic, sexual and often violent, A Planet for Rent criticizes Cuban reality in thinly veiled terms. Cuban defectors leave the country not on rafts but on 'unlawful space launches'; prostitutes are 'social workers'; foreigners are 'xenoids'; and Cuba is a “planet whose inhabitants have stopped believing in the future.” The book is particularly critical of the government-run tourism industry of the ’90s, which welcomed and protected tourists — often at the expense of Cubans — and whose legacy can still be felt today."

The New York Times

“Some of the best sci-fi written anywhere since the 1970s.… A Planet for Rent, like its author, a bandana-wearing, muscly roquero, is completely sui generis: riotously funny, scathing, perceptive, and yet also heart-wrenchingly compassionate.… Instantly appealing.”

The Nation

"A Planet for Rent is devastating and hilarious and somehow, amidst all those aliens, deeply deeply human."

—Daniel José Older, author of Half-Resurrection Blues

“A compelling meditation on modern imperialism…. A fascinating kaleidoscope of vignettes…. A brilliant exploration of our planet’s current social and economic inequities…. Yoss doesn’t disappoint, sling-shotting us around the world and the galaxy…. Striking, detailed.… Yoss has written a work of science fiction that speaks to fundamental problems humans deal with every day. This is not just a story about alien oppression; it’s the story of our own planet’s history and a call for change.”

SF Signal, 4.5-star review

"The human characters' palpable desperation and the impossibility of their circumstances become increasingly moving, and some stories, such as the blistering 'Performing Death' and its protagonist's excruciating, literally suicidal performance art, provide a wrenching depiction of the corrosive effects of prejudice and colonialism."

Publishers Weekly


About the Cuban Science Fiction Series

Just as new possibilities of travel and communication open between Cuba and America, Restless Books brings you a mind-expanding suite of science fiction—the first of its kind in English translation—that explores life on the long-isolated island through the powerful lens of the imagination.

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About the Author

 © Les éditiones Mnémos

© Les éditiones Mnémos

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.



David Frye.jpg

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 Parrot by José Joaquín 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 Ángel Rama (Uruguay, 1982); and several Cuban and Spanish novels and poems.


Books by Yoss