Ten Planets: Stories
A collection of fanciful, philosophical science fictions by "one of Mexico's finest novelists" (Vulture).The characters that populate Yuri Herrera's surprising new story collection inhabit imagined futures that reveal the strangeness and instability of the present. Drawing on science fiction, noir, and the philosophical parables of Jorge Luis Borges's Fictions and Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics, these very short stories are an inspired extension of this significant writer's work. In Ten Planets, objects can be sentient and might rebel against the unhappy human family to which they are attached. A detective of sorts finds clues to buried secrets by studying the noses of his clients, which he insists are covert maps. A meager bacterium in a human intestine gains consciousness when a psychotropic drug is ingested. Monsters and aliens abound, but in the fiction of Yuri Herrera, knowing who is the monster and who the alien is a tricky proposition. In Ten Planets, Herrera's consistent themes--the mutability of borders, the wounds and legacy of colonial violence, and a deep love of storytelling in all its forms--are explored with evident brilliance and delight.
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About the Author
Born in Actopan, Mexico, Yuri Herrera is the author of three novels, including Signs Preceding the End of the World, which was one of the Guardian's "100 Best Books of the 21st Century" and won the Best Translated Book Award. He teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans.Lisa Dillman lives in Decatur, Georgia, where she translates Spanish-language fiction and teaches at Emory University. Her recent translations include National Book Award finalist The Bitch by Pilar Quintana and A Silent Fury by Yuri Herrera.
"Herrera's writing moves through different registers with ease, some familiar, some uncanny . . . all of it unlikely and beautiful. In Ten Planets, Herrera shifts from the fantastical (monsters and aliens) to the eerily materialist (a bacterium achieves sentience) like a boy flipping through the pages of a beloved comic book: with delight and conviction."--Jonny Diamond, Literary Hub
"The emotional heft, combined with Herrera's commitment to genre, yield satisfying results."--Publishers Weekly
"Utterly brilliant, hilarious, and original, these strange jewels. Anyone whose hand alights on this book and does not open it is missing out on the best work of our time."--Deb Olin Unferth, author of Barn 8
"Each of Herrera's stories bewilders, but always in a way that generates connections between seemingly disparate ideas. This collection is powerful and imaginative."--Superstition Review "A conceptually heavy, emotionally empathetic accounting of the most alien of conditions."--Kirkus Reviews