The Bottom of the Sky is the third of Rodrigo Fresán's novels to appear in English (and the first since his Best Translated Book Award-winning The Invented Part). "Not a novel of science fiction," but instead "a novel with science fiction," The Bottom of the Sky is an exuberant story transcending both space and time. Paying homage to the sci-fi greats, Fresán's ambitious tale is, at once, a love story, an enigmatic eschatological puzzle, a work rooted firmly in the present while simultaneously orbiting in a far-off realm, and a genre-transcending book unbound by formulaic construct or conceit. In other words, it’s amazing — and Fresán is simply so much fun to read: entertaining and edifying in equal measure. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"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."
"Rodrigo Fresán is a marvelous writer, a direct descendent of Adolfo Bioy Casares and Jorge Luis Borges, but with his own voice and of his own time, with a fertile imagination, daring and gifted with a vision as entertaining as it is profound." John Banville
"A kaleidoscopic, open-hearted, shamelessly polymathic storyteller, the kind who brings a blast of oxygen into the room." Jonathan Lethem
"It’s 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
About the Author
Rodrigo Fresán is the author of several novels, including Kensington Gardens, The Invented Part, The Dreamed Part, and Mantra, the latter three all published or forthcoming from Open Letter Books. 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."
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 NEA and Lannan fellowships to translate another of Fresán’s novels, The Invented Part.