The author of the widely praised debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe returns with a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories.
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have what it takes to be a hero? . . . A company outsources grief for profit, its slogan: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.”
Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, and in Sorry Please Thank You he fills his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in this new collection we have resounding proof that he has arrived (via a wormhole in space-time) as a major new voice in American fiction.
*This ebook includes photos, illustrations, and a bonus short story, which add to the ever-expanding world of Minor Universe 31.
Photos and illustrations appear as hyperlinks in text.
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.
A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Selection
Who explores the final frontier? The ship has reached the last world. Beamed down from the transporter bay is the captain, the XO, the medic, the security chief, the ethnographer, and finally an unnamed yeoman, the narrator of Charles Yu’s mind-bending journey into the science fiction unknown. And the yeoman knows one thing, if he knows anything at all: the yeoman always dies.
In the tradition of Jonathan Lethem and Douglas Adams, National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 award winner Charles Yu presents a story of searching (not wandering) and the galactic limits of home, from the utterly original collection Sorry Please Thank You.
An eBook short.