Neon, A Literary Magazine, Reviews BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA

Says reviewer Christopher Frost:

I was initially sceptical of Bibliotheca Fantastica, the recent anthology of short stories published by Dagan Books. The collection is, to put it simply, a book about books. Each of the twenty stories to be found between its covers involves a book, tome, scripture, scroll or tablet of some kind.

Don Pizarro’s introduction does a good job of touching on some of the reasons why books are such a potentially interesting subject – yet it still left me the tiniest bit unconvinced that it would be anything but a dry and interminable read. Thankfully this was not the case. The stories ranged widely, and included some stunningly original takes on the concept of a book.

In fact each story was so wildly unique and intriguing….

Read the rest here.

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The Qwillery ask BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA authors about the power of books

When we put together the fantasist anthology, Bibliotheca Fantastica, we asked ourselves, “What’s so magical about books, anyway?” David Sklar, Gord Sellar, Michael J. DeLuca, A.C. Wise,  Garry Kilworth, S.J. Hirons, Ray Vukcevich, Tina Connolly, and Andrew S. Fuller, answered that question for us, over at The Qwillery:

Books are time travel. They’re telepathy. They’re the seance, the ansible, the summoning ritual, the oracle, the visionary dream. Reading makes another person’s ideas our own, for better or worse, as different, far away or long ago as that other person might be. The connection isn’t perfect–what magic is? But what’s lost in the translation from one mind to the page and back into another’s leaves room for the creativity that makes the next book possible, and the next. If only we could read them all. – Michael J. DeLuca, author of “Other Palimpsests”

My favorite and most heartbreaking dreams are the ones where I’m in a library or old junk shop and I stumble on a book by a beloved author that I didn’t know existed. I know where this comes from–when I was little I was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz. I thought there was only one book, but then in my Scholastic flyer from school I boggled as I saw an advertisement for #2. In our local bookstore sometime later I found 3, and eventually all the L. Frank Baum ones through 14. Several years later I was in the Topeka library and the same thrilling shock ran through me as I found the ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson. Each of these moments is incised in my memory. The books themselves were magical, but the unexpected discovery that you could, in fact, go back to Oz (or Narnia, or Green Gables, or or or) was always the real magic. – Tina Connolly, author of “Paperheart”

We are matter that looks at and thinks about the universe and then tells stories. How that all works and why we should make up stories are deep mysteries, but that’s what we do, and while it might not really be magic, it is wonderful. As we change in the coming ages, if we survive, the way we tell those stories might change, too. When we augment those most complicated of things, our brains, new art forms will probably arise. At some deep level, though, I think it will still be narrative, because that’s who we are. We struggle to make sense of things and then we say stuff. Some of the most interesting things we say are collected in objects called “books.” – Ray Vukcevich, author of “The Go-Between”

Read the rest here.

SF Signal interviews Don Pizarro about BIBLIOTHECA FANTASTICA

SF Signal introduces their new interview with author and editor Don Pizarro by calling our latest anthology “the excellent Bibliotheca Fantastica (see their review). With questions that range from the concept of books as an idea to the thrills and dangers of the book-worlds our authors created, the interview explores a little bit of what an editor thinks after the book is put together…

HM: As I read the stories, I could sense an unwritten warning about the power of books. When it comes to books with magical properties, what’s more dangerous – the book or the reader?

DP: That’s a false dichotomy I think, and here’s why. Think about the phrase, “Guns don’t kill people….” There are three ways to finish it: (a) “people do,” (b) “bullets do,” or (c) “Actually no, guns do kill people.” However you answer it, if you take away any one of those elements (Let’s swap: (a) the reader, (b) the book’s content, (c) the book-as-object), there just isn’t as much danger as there is when all the elements are combined.

Combine them, and the danger is practically limitless!

Read the rest here.