Photojournalist and author of History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town, is just back in Poland after a lightning two-week tour of the United States, and he managed to take some photos between all his events. We at Restless are grateful to have met this multitalented man and, after reading his incisive reportage about a Polish town, to see our own urban landscapes through his finely tuned eyes. Check out the remarkable shots he took on tour.Read More
One of the most exciting contemporary Latin American science fiction writers working today is also the lead singer of a heavy metal band, and he looks like a comic book superhero brought to life. Meet Yoss, author of A Planet for Rent (Se alquila un planeta), a dystopian adventure that depicts the future Earth as a vacation getaway for bored intergalactic tourists. On this planet, the entire human population labors in a warped tourism operation, compelling residents to prostitute themselves to wealthy aliens looking for an exotic fling. The story is something like the nightmarish inverse of space tourism: In Yoss' world, the aliens have decided to visit us.
As Yoss relates it: "I started to write A Planet for Rent in 1995, in the hardest part of the Special Period, the economic scarcity that happened in Cuba at the fall of the Soviet Union and real socialism. The first story, 'Social Worker,' which describes metaphorically the prostitution of Cubans with alien tourists, or 'jineterismo' as the Cubans call it, was the result of the clash between what the official press said and the necessities of surviving that I saw were pushing two generations of Cuban women to an activity that the revolutionary rhetoric always considered degenerate and improper for socialism. When I finished this first story, I wrote out of rage, frustration, and the need to talk about things that the press and the governmental discourse were quiet about."
An acerbic portrait of life in contemporary Cuba, A Planet for Rent is also a nonstop thriller from the island's most talented and original enfant terrible. In celebration of our new English translation and first digital release of the book in Spanish, peruse our photo gallery and take a tour of Cuba with Yoss, the new king of the Cuban SF underworld.
Last Friday, Restless Books teamed up with the Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends committee, Karloff Restaurant in Cobble Hill, and two wonderful writers, Hamid Ismailov and Boris Fishman, for a truly remarkable evening. Fueled by a splendid multi-course meal (and a an exotic flight of infused vodkas), the authors and the crowd discussed Russian literature and ideas, and ideas and literature in Russia. Friends were made, food was shared, and a wonderful time was had by all! Be sure to check out Ismailov's fantastic novel The Underground (now available in print!) to see what the fuss was all about.
Ismailov, author of two novels from Restless Books—The Underground and The Railway (coming spring 2015)—was driven from his native Uzbekistan for his “unacceptably democratic tendencies.” Fishman is the acclaimed author of the novel A Replacement Life and editor of Wild East: Stories from the Last Frontier.