This book is hard to get!

For once, a book that merits its wacky title, this collection of Japanese writer Tsutsui’s seldom-translated short stories playfully skips across the conventions of both sci-fi and slapstick. With the same knowing approach to genre as US metafictionist John Barth, he pits tight-buttoned scientists and browbeaten salarymen against a variety of near-future woes, including the rampantly indecent (yet strangely fascinating) alien flora and fauna of the title story’s planet. Back on Earth, we encounter a civil war fought by armies of commuting soldiers, a mysterious rural railway tribe and a fantastically jumbled retelling of the life of Mozart.

Mostly written in the 70s, the stories’ satirical elements and sexual politics may now seem a little creaky. Yet the sense of a world bordering on paranoid hysteria is as strong as ever, as though Tsutsui’s spineless office workers and fickle housewives were trapped inside an episode of 'Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em' penned by Stanislav Lem.
"Salmonella Men On Planet Porno" by Yasutaka Tsutsui • ALMA BOOKS


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