The Other Planet : A Novel of the Future
In this deliciously subversive novel the question is asked: Is it possible to live in the future?—andwhat would it mean to embrace the transformations created by every new thing, and at the same time to escape the depressing discrepancy between events that only happen and those which actually might?
For Valeria Florescu, the desirable pathway would lead through "a subtly coherent twining of adventures" in a personal quest for the "extraordinary." But when Valeria quits her job as research chemist at a large industrial laboratory, she discovers first that uncertainty is more than a law of particle physics. Almost immediately she encounters the contradictory allures of two attractive men: Liam Lenehan, whose mad passion for order takes the curious form of repairing obsolescence; and Humberto Vilanescu, alchemical entrepreneur and impresario of futurism. Against the claustrophobic inertia of well-meaning family members, Valeria is propelled by the magnetic promise of self-realization into adventures at supercharged Manhattan parties, orgies in postmodern condos, and tours through the decrepit wilderness of exurbia. And then, as the ruins of reality slip behind, she journeys toward the fulfillment of the ambitious yearnings of an electronic generation. . ..
“The Other Planet is one of the indispensable novels of the twentieth century, a complex and unsentimental examination of the tensions created by rapid social and technological change. Carefully constructed possibilities may be gleefully abandoned or lives that seem coherent in their design may be suddenly eclipsed by larger forces. Something sinister is still happening at the edges of perception, something both desirable and terrifying. In The Other Planet, the most common name given to that thing that inspires both longing and dread is ‘the future.’ . . . It is a journey through Ascher/Straus-world where film, TV, dreams, and brief conversations collide to create a hyperreal and moody landscape.” —from the foreword by Stephen Beachy
Paperback, 256 pages, 5.5 x 8.5", 2018, 978-1-62054-033-6
"A pretty definitive statement about the post-modern experience... The future is sparked by a mysterious stranger, Humberto Vilanescu. Rich, foreign, partly messianic and partly Mephistophelian, he's a combination of the Aga Khan, Howard Hughes and The Man Who Fell to Earth. ... This is a mysterious, absorbing, sexy and troubling reflection on these weird times, and it should be read." — John Strausbaugh, City Paper
“A style reminiscent of experimentalists Stanislaw Lem and Samuel R. Delaney.” --Library Journal