Bottom of the Sky is a riff on mid-century American science fiction by a well-informed aficionado. Anything less could have easily slid into satirical, sneering condescension, but here it is handled with affection and care. Certainly 1950s Science Fiction, with its inane plotting, gawdhelpus moralizing, and simplistic 'science,' is a stationary target for mockery, but Fresán gives us a stylized homage to a richly imagined world that acts as a handy prism for viewing the one we live in now. Bonus points if you catch all the famous science fiction writers making disguised appearances throughout.— Conrad Silverberg
At its core, The Bottom of the Sky is a novel about two young boys in love with other planets and a disturbingly beautiful girl. An homage to the history of American science fiction, it's also about the Gulf War, 9/11, and a mysterious "incident." It's like a Kurt Vonnegut novel told by David Lynch through the lens of Philip K. Dick.
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.