BOOK REVIEW: Bibliotheca Fantastica Edited by Don Pizarro

REVIEW SUMMARY: Eclectic, passionate and layered. Don Pizarro has an excellent eye for fascinating short fiction, which fully appreciates the magic imbued in books and the manners in which it shapes our lives, both directly and indirectly.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Twenty tales launch to create their own personal mythos centered around the notion books carry power, which can change people, the world and the characters’ personal reality. Bibliotheca Fantastica serves as a haven to nurture diverse concepts, plots and tropes in support of its central theme. There’s something for everyone as the saying goes.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Each story offers its own interpretation of the central theme; subtle work as well as more head-on approaches are represented; imagination and creative freedom are king.
CONS: An absence of harmony and cohesion between the individual pieces contribute to a more chaotic reading experience.
BOTTOM LINE: A guaranteed treat for the readers who are infatuated with books as physical objects as the stories help you rediscover why you fell in love with the written word and the act of reading in the first place.

Historically and culturally, books have always possessed power. Whether they denote high birth as literacy often did in the past, serve as vessels for the word of gods or preserve mystical rituals and incantations for the next generation of witches, books are the first, long-lasting imprint upon history. Encyclopedias catalogue human knowledge, journals document human lives and ledgers reveal the development of human logic. Now that the paperback has infiltrated just about every household and become, in a way, ubiquitous, the luster has worn off to a point, but books remain an object of power to those who, since early childhood, understand the potential for a good book to alter their reality.
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Dagan Books 3-for-2 Ebook Bundle Sale!

To celebrate the release of Bibliotheca Fantastica (out today) Dagan Books is offering a 3-for-2 ebook bundle of their previous anthologies. For only $8.98, you can get DRM-free digital copies of FISH, IN SITU, and Cthulhurotica.

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BOOK REVIEW: In Situ Edited by Carrie Cuinn

REVIEW SUMMARY: With this collection’s 15 stories, editor Carrie Cuinn argues that sometimes it’s best to keep hidden mysteries hidden.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: “An anthology of alien archeology, hidden mysteries, and things that are better off left buried,” with stories by such writers as Ken Liu, Alex Shvartsman, Mae Empson, David J. West, and K.V. Taylor.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Well-written, quick-paced stories; no clunkers.
CONS: A few stories with similar plots, characters, settings.
BOTTOM LINE: An interesting batch of stories about “things that are better off left buried.”
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In episode 120 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down to chat with Claude Lalumière and Don Pizarro from Dagan Books.
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