The Bottom of the Sky
May 19, 2018
novel | pb | 266 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
“A vision as fun as it is profound.”—John Banville
"The book of the future, the book that begins to write itself when everything has ended: the story of two young people in love with planets, and of a disturbingly beautiful girl. Between Bioy Casares and Philip K. Dick, but with a voice all its own, it is both powerful and artistic."—Enrique Vila-Matas
An homage to American science-fiction films and novels, The Bottom of the Sky is the story of two boys, a disturbingly beautiful girl, and their joint love for other planets. Their friendship is formed during the heyday of sci-fi writing, a time defined by almost cult-like literary groups and pulp covers awash in gaudy alien landscapes. But time has passed, and the three members of The Faraways have drifted apart. The future they once dreamed of is now happening, but interstellar travel to Urkh 24 has been replaced with 9/11, the Gulf War, and a mysterious “incident” at the center of it all.
A Kurt Vonnegut novel told by David Lynch, filtered through the madness of Philip K. Dick, The Bottom of the Sky is a triumph of style, or, as Fresán says in the afterword, “a clump of simultaneously broadcast messages, like a storyline that only wants to be a succession of marvelous moments seen all at the same time.” (Read an Excerpt)
Translated from the Spanish by Will Vanderhyden
About the Author: Rodrigo Fresán is the author of ten works of fiction, including Kensington Gardens, Mantra, and The Invented Part, the latter two of which are publishing by Open Letter books. A self-professed “referential maniac,” his works incorporate many elements from science fiction (Philip K. Dick in particular) alongside pop culture and literary references. According to Jonathan Lethem, “he’s a kaleidoscopic, open-hearted, shamelessly polymathic storyteller, the kind who brings a blast of oxygen into the room.” In 2017, he received the Prix Roger Caillois awarded by PEN Club France every year to a French and a Latin American writer.
About the Translator: Will Vanderhyden received an MA in Literary Translation Studies from the University of Rochester. He has translated fiction by Carlos Labbé, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Juan Marsé, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, Rodrigo Fresán, and Elvio Gandolfo. He received an NEA Fellowship to work on The Invented Part.
“The Bottom of the Sky shows us that reality is a kind of science fiction; science fiction has become reality. And while terrorism, invasions, and unending wars have led humans to treat one another like alien species, Fresan asks us to imagine that love, in its purest form, can survive and even triumph over chaos and brutality.”