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How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
by Charles Yu


Overview -

National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award winner Charles Yu delivers his debut novel, a razor-sharp, ridiculously funny, and utterly touching story of a son searching for his father . . . through quantum space-time.
Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business.  Read more...


 
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More About How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
 
 
 
Overview

National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award winner Charles Yu delivers his debut novel, a razor-sharp, ridiculously funny, and utterly touching story of a son searching for his father . . . through quantum space-time.
Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business. Every day, people get into time machines and try to do the one thing they should never do: change the past. That's where Charles Yu, time travel technician--part counselor, part gadget repair man--steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally. When he's not taking client calls or consoling his boss, Phil, who could really use an upgrade, Yu visits his mother (stuck in a one-hour cycle of time, she makes dinner over and over and over) and searches for his father, who invented time travel and then vanished. Accompanied by TAMMY, an operating system with low self-esteem, and Ed, a nonexistent but ontologically valid dog, Yu sets out, and back, and beyond, in order to find the one day where he and his father can meet in memory. He learns that the key may be found in a book he got from his future self. It's called How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, and he's the author. And somewhere inside it is the information that could help him--in fact it may even save his life.
Wildly new and adventurous, Yu's debut is certain to send shock waves of wonder through literary space-time.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307379207
  • ISBN-10: 0307379205
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish Date: September 2010
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.64 x 6.6 x 0.98 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.91 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Science Fiction - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-07-05
  • Reviewer: Staff

Yu uses futuristic ideas to explore a mundane theme: writing about the self and the moment in Tristram Shandy–esque digressions. The protagonist, who shares the author's name, spends most of the story interacting with entities that either mirror him (TAMMY, an operating system who reflects his personality) or don't exist (Ed, a "weird ontological entity" in the shape of a dog; Phil, a programmed supervisor who thinks he's human). The conclusion tries to mitigate character-Yu's risk-averse solipsism, but is too quick and abstract to really counter the rest of the book's emotional weight. Mainstream readers will be baffled by the highly nonlinear Oedipal time travel plot, but the passive, self-obsessed protagonist is straight out of the mainstream fiction that many SF fans love to hate, leaving this book without an audience. (Sept.)

 
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