Condomnauts is the Cuban Kilgore Trout novel you never knew you needed

I don't think I've ever read Cuban sci-fi before, so I don't have much of a comparison available for Yoss's novel Condomnauts. Is it odd for Cuban sci-fi? On par? Do most Cuban sci-fi writers go by one name, like Yoss? Is Cuban sci-fi generally this horny?

So I hope you'll forgive my provincialism if I compare Condomnauts to an American author. It reminds me of nothing so much as Kurt Vonnegut — or, more accurately, Kurt Vonnegut's sci-fi novelist character Kilgore Trout. Condomnauts imagines a far-flung future in which astronauts from Earth traverse the galaxy as part of an intergalactic community. Our main character, Josué Valdés, specializes in making First Contact with alien species he encounters, and in this future every First Contact is performed through a sex act.

There's obviously no rule against using nonbiological protective barriers; sometimes you have no choice but to turn tot hem, such as when your oxygen-based body has to get together with a fluorine-based life form. But aside form such extreme cases, anything as crude as a physical barrier or filter such as a condom is generally considered an unpleasant discourtesy, as well as evidence of the udnerdeveloped medical sciences in the culture whose representatives resort to such crude measures.

That's basically the whole plot of Condomnauts: Valdés, who is famous for fucking alien species in the name of free interstellar trade, is trying to fuck a new alien species before other condomnauts. It's basically a pornier Star Trek.

I enjoyed Condomnauts a great deal. (I'm sure that David Frye's translation is a big reason why the book flew past in a flash.) There's a bit too much exposition in the book's middle, but the main character is interesting enough and the premise is so wild that even while meandering it keeps a reader's attention.

Those expecting Condomnauts to read as propaganda for some scary isolated communist regime will be sorely disappointed. The book is fun and well-versed in sci-fi history, including a good Asimov joke partway through. I don't know if Condomnauts taught me anything about Cuba, but it entertained me as a classic sci-fi novel with a porny modern twist. Sometimes, that's all we need to ask of our literature.