From beloved Cuban science fiction author Yoss comes a bitingly funny space-opera homage to Raymond Chandler, about a positronic robot detective on the hunt for some extra-dangerous extraterrestrial criminals.
On the intergalactic trading station William S. Burroughs, profit is king and aliens are the kingmakers. Earthlings have bowed to their superior power and weaponry, though the aliens—praying-mantis-like Grodos with pheromonal speech and gargantuan Collosaurs with a limited sense of humor—kindly allow them to do business through properly controlled channels.
That’s where our hero comes in, name of Raymond. As part of the android police force, this positronic robot detective navigates both worlds, human and alien, keeping order and evaporating wrongdoers. But nothing in his centuries of experience prepares him for Makrow 34, a fugitive Cetian perp with psi powers. Meaning he can alter the shape of the Gaussian bell curve of statistical probability—making it rain indoors, say, or causing a would-be captor to shoot himself in the face. Raymond will need all his training—and all his careful study of Chandler’s hardbitten cops—to meet his match.
As he did in his brilliantly funny and sharp science-fiction parables A Planet for Rent, Super Extra Grande, and Condomnauts, Yoss makes the familiar strange and the strange familiar in Red Dust, giving us an unforgettable half-human hero and a richly imagined universe where the bad guys are above the laws of physics.
“Cuban author Yoss brings a hard-boiled noir aesthetic to this uproarious space opera about a wisecracking, Raymond Chandler–loving robot detective…. Yoss plays the mix of sci-fi and square-jawed detective fiction for some big laughs while layering in loving allusions to the greats of both genres…. a cinematic shoot-out of a finale, complete with bullets, blasters, and samurai swords. This is good fun.” —Publishers Weekly
“Cuban SF writer Yoss adds a dash of detective noir to his latest space opera…. Yoss has created inventive and dimensional characters within a meticulously orchestrated, richly detailed, world-building mystery that will appeal to Terry Pratchett fans.” —Adrienne Cruz, Booklist
“Experienced translator Frye goes with the flow beautifully in a book that code-switches between languages, cultures, literary eras, and genres. An absolute joy to read.” —Bethanne Patrick, Literary Hub
Red Dust by Yoss
Restless Books 2020