How do you follow a debut novel that was named one of Time magazine’s best books of the year? For Charles Yu the answer is Sorry Please Thank You, a breezy but fascinating collection of short stories.
In an interview during San Diego Comic-Con 2012, Yu revealed that the transition from writing his popular and widely praised book, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, to the short story format of Sorry Please Thank You was challenging. The author also admitted that not all of the stories turned out the way he had planned.
“Sometimes you write something and it’s just not what you thought it was going to be,” he said. Even so, Yu is pleased with the final product and readers will be too.
The collection of stories transports readers from futuristic earth to virtual reality and even into space. In every time and location the characters are searching for the same things: happiness and love. The fundamental nature of these desires helps keep Yu’s stories grounded even as some of them veer off into the more obscure and strange (an alien’s guide to Earth families, for example).