The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide To Quantum Santeriar

By Carlos Hernandez


A quirky collection of short sci-fi stories for fans of Kij Johnson and Kelly Link Assimilation is founded on surrender and being broken; this collection of short stories features people who have assimilated, but are actively trying to reclaim their lives. There is a concert pianist who defies death by uploading his soul into his piano. There is the person who draws his mother's ghost out of the bullet hole in the wall near where she was executed. Another character has a horn growing out of the center of his forehead—punishment for an affair. But he is too weak to end it, too much in love to be moral. Another story recounts a panda breeder looking for tips. And then there's a border patrol agent trying to figure out how to process undocumented visitors from another galaxy. Poignant by way of funny, and philosophical by way of grotesque, Hernandez's stories are prayers for self-sovereignty.


"Hernandez's witty, insightful debut collection of 12 short stories pushes the boundaries of speculative fiction."

– Publishers Weekly (starredreview)

"Hernandez's quantum-magical realist style has struck upon a potent vein, appealing to the literary minded and science fiction fans alike."

– Peter Dabbene, Foreward Reviews

"I loved every tale in this book. Buy it and see for yourself."

– Sam Tomaino, SFRevu

"Mixing humour, hurt, wonder, and keen insight, this is a short fiction debut that's fierce and charming all at once and by turns."

– Amal El-Mohtar, Lightspeed Magazine

"There is, in fact, something quite addictive in Hernandez's writerly voice -- a combination of compassionate intelligence and weird humor that contributes to making even his most morally ambiguous and dubious characters likable."

– Sabrina Vourvoulias, Al Día News

“Carlos Hernandez’s debut short story collection, The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria, is a perfect example of how contemporary Latina/o authors are drawing from multiple fantastic traditions in their writing. Hernandez’s collection defies categorization by bringing together elements of Latina/o and speculative writing in a masterful mashup of science, magic, and cultural belief. Hernandez creates a collection of 12 short stories that, while not always connected, share a collective thread of questioning and discovery; many of the stories examine humanity’s relationship to itself and to the environment as well as exploring the boundaries of religion and science.”

– Los Angeles Review of Books

“The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria comes out of nowhere, blindsides you with its witty play on language, and steers you into a realm of delightful science fiction which blurs present and future with fingers steady on the pulse of modern culture as it is now.”


“The stories in Carlos Hernandez’s cheekily titled new collection,THE ASSIMILATED CUBAN’S GUIDE TO QUANTUM SANTERIA, paint intriguing vignettes in which characters contend equally with the trials of American race relations, ethnic assimilation, magic, technology and theoretical physics.”

– New York Times

“The Guide is a strong and polished debut, no doubt; one that has clearly left this reader wanting more.”

– StrangeHorizons

“It’s not every writer who can manage to be funny, terrifying, philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific at the same time, but narrative genre-blending is Carlos Hernandez’s stock in trade. I start reading each story wondering what he’s going to come up with next, and finish it having learned something about humanity and faith and also giant pandas or ghost jellyfish. A remarkable collection.”

– Delia Sherman, author of Young Woman in a Garden

“Hernandez’s The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria is fantastic and sincere, seamlessly blending science, magic and love. Whether rescuing trickster jellyfish frozen on Mount Everest, or reattaching legs to a lover’s husband via superportation, Hernandez cuts to the human heart of each story and wraps an ebo around his readers.”

– Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach

“In his debut collection, Carlos Hernandez explores the ways in which we conform our identities to fit into worlds that would otherwise break us. But all of his characters strive to reclaim the parts of themselves that could easily be thought of as lost. Funny, smart, and fierce, these stories are a breath of fresh air in a tightly constricted world.”

– Christopher Barzak, author of Wonders of the Invisible World

“Carlos Hernandez treats science, culture, and genre with a bracing irreverence. The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria is a zany, kaleidoscopic whirl of a book that delivers both tantalizing ‘what ifs’ and moments of true pathos.”

– Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria

“Irreverent, ebullient, dark, hopeful, sharply funny, and achingly sensitive, Hernandez brings us a rich tapestry of Latino experience. Absolutely not to be missed.”

– Julia Rios

“The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria by Carlos Hernandez is an exceptional collection of imaginative stories that are as captivating as they are entertaining.”

– Erin Underwood, editor The Grimm Future

“These delightful stories from Carlos Hernandez dance with a light step and a knowing wink, and yet that effervescent surface wraps jawdropping twists and mind-bending concepts within its boundaries. Science fiction and magical realism freely fraternize, quantum fluctuation and ritual incantations just two aspects of the same great mystery. In these intimate stories of families rent apart and repaired, that mystery is just as likely to be encountered in a humble kitchen or a lover’s bed as it is in outer space or the deepest trenches of the ocean. Each story is a shimmering pond that once dived in proves bottomless.The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria is a remarkable debut, an intoxicating breath of fresh air.”

– Mike Allen, editor of Clockwork Phoenix, author of Unseaming, Nebula and Shirley JacksonAwardfinalist

“Carlos Hernandez swindles you with a mixture of levity, authenticity, and sorrow that’s too true to be unreal.”

– Charles Tan

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