cover image The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria

The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria

Carlos Hernandez. Rosarium (, $15.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-4956-0739-4

Hernandez’s witty, insightful debut collection of 12 short stories pushes the boundaries of speculative fiction. Many of the included works are flights of fancy and colorful vignettes. In “The International Studbook of the Giant Panda,” a woman transforms herself into a giant panda to assist with breeding. In “Bone of My Bone,” a man struggles with growing a horn in the middle of his forehead. Other tales are poignant and perceptive, with both “The Macrobe Conservation Project” and “Fantaisie-Impromptu no. 4 in C#min, op. 66” taking a closer look at what life after death really means. Stories dealing with questions of Latino identity round out the collection. Hernandez shows off his facility with a variety of concepts and genres, and each scene is realized to its full potential. Over and over, he asks what it means to belong and to be accepted, no matter what state we may find ourselves in. (Jan.)