Be it stand alone comics or an ongoing storyline, everyone enjoys a good webcomic. But I need some new ones to follow and explore. With that in mind, I asked our panelists this question:
Don Pizarro has been subsisting on red-eyes and gallows humor for forty years. His writing has appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Crossed Genres, Reflection’s Edge, the anthologies Rigor Amortis and Cthulhurotica, and other places. He lives in upstate New York where he pushes paper, plays with knives and Filipino fighting sticks, and is a non-skating official for the local roller derby league. You can find him on his website Warm Fuzzy Freudian Slippers and on Twitter @DonP.
Now, Don sits down for a light chat about the project.
Haralambi Markov: In order to discuss Bibliotheca Fantastica, it’s necessary for the readers to learn more about the project in question. Please explain to us in your own words what Bibliotheca Fantastica is and what does Bibliotheca Fantastica as a title hold?
Don Pizarro: Bibliotheca Fantastica is an anthology of stories about the nature and the power of this construct we call “the book.” Each story explores these issues by using elements of the fantastic. In that sense, the title is descriptive of itself as an artifact, and of the contents within.
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.
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.
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.
[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
This week’s question was inspired by the upcoming anthology Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, which features stories from “up and coming” authors beginning in the year 2000. We modified the question slightly and asked our panelists this question:
Here’s what they said…