Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Rudy Ch. Garcia!
Rudy Ch. Garcia is on his ninth life, at least: childhood, potential UT-Austin
physicist, traveling mag salesman (a MS), Chicano student activist (like Sally?), underground socialist, grants writer, computer graphics entrepreneur, bilingual primary teacher (a MS), and author. 2012 is his writing breakout-year with his alternate-world epic, The Closet of Discarded Dreams, and three published short stories (one, a children’s fable in Spanish), so far. Surrounded by azteco & desert gardens (shopped MS). Garcia produces primarily spec fiction, out of an arts-&-crafts bungalow in North Denver, where he writes, constructs other things and lives with his wife Carmen, female cat Horatio, tom Camilo, and an ACD, Manchas, none of whom are yet on their ninth life.
The Closet of Discarded Dreams
Buy link: forthcoming
A young Chicano battles insanity in a surreal world where everyone endlessly relives humankind’s abandoned dreams. Except for him. Will Vietnam vet fraggers, Lenny Bruce, a Midget Godzilla, vampires, Neanderthals, a Black leper, Marilyn Monroe, Che, and Chrisie the Bruiser prove foes or allies? When the rebellious captive discovers special powers, his desire to escape contends with his growing empathy for the Dreampeople. But can he create his own identity and rally them in time to overcome the Closet’s cataclysmic secret?
Noted authors’ reviews of The Closet of Discarded Dreams
“The Closet of Discarded Dreams is a cornucopia of image and incident – a Dantean journey through a land where everyone’s dreams coexist. The book is an amazing gothic ziggurat, replete with eyeball kicks and well powered by Rudy Ch. Garcia’s hypnotic stew of spanglo slanguage, wry, funny, and with mordant takes on Chicano life amidst the Anglos of these United States. At a meta-level, you might also say the book is about the author’s quest to dream it up. Spicy and satisfying.” – Rudy Rucker, author of The Ware Tetralogy, a cyberpunk founder and Philip K. Dick Award winner.
“A polyglot tornado of words, in which Magic Realism meets Punk and develops an Attitude. Dizzying!” – Eileen Gunn, Hugo Award winner.
“Garcia has created a crazy, raw, hilarious and often bizarre world in his debut novel. Don’t expect a peaceful summer read with this book. Garcia is an original new literary voice.” – Daniel A. Olivas, author of The Book of Want, editor of Latinos in Lotusland.
“From the opening line of Rudy Garcia’s captivating novel, it’s clear that we’re someplace new. And that’s where Garcia’s smooth prose takes us: to fresh and marvelous places, to unquiet and vibrant rooms that are not our own. These are good places to be for story, and more importantly for its readers.” – Teague von Bohlen, author of The Pull of the Earth, 2007 Colo. Book Award winner.
“A Chicano in Wonderland. Garcia stuffs pop culture and consumerism into his comic blender and hits the purée button.” – Mario Acevedo, best-selling author of the Felix Gomez series, Nymphos of Rocky Flats, & the graphic novel Killing the Cobra.
“The Closet of Discarded Dreams is something new for the new millennium. A post-cyberpunk vision that captures the struggle for identity and reality that is growing up Chicano in the Information Age of colliding symbolism and exploding civilizations. It demonstrates how Chicano is a science fiction state of being. I hear rumors of an international Latino New Wave in speculative fiction. The Closet of Discarded Dreams is a powerful example of what this new subgenre can become.” – Ernest Hogan, author of Cortez on Jupiter and Smoking Mirror Blues.
“Garcia’s incredible leap of imagination takes us to an entertainingly bizarre world of dream people before tapping into something innately human. The search for meaning.” – Warren Hammond, author of KOP, Ex-KOP and KOP Killer.
More Author Information
Rudy Ch. Garcia’s noir detective story LAX Confidential (’08) and his Southwest fantasy, Memorabilia (honorable mention in Writers Digest competition) appeared in the Latinos in Lotusland and in Needles and Bones anthologies, respectively. His SF-fantasy flash fiction A Grain of Life is feature on AntiqueChildren.com (’09), and a humor-fantasy-horror, Weird Ronnie, took first place in an AlternateSpecies.com competition in Britain. The fantasy story Mr. Sumac, published 6/2012 in AQC’s journal, Kingdom Freaks and Other Divine Wonders. His SF short Last Call for Ice Cream was published by Rudy Rucker, Sr., on his Flurb webzine #13, 3/12. Garcia is a quasi-ex-member of the Northern Colorado Writers Workshop, holds a B.A. in writing from the University of Colo.-Denver and is a member of the Rocky Mt. Fiction Writers. He is a founder-contributor to LaBloga.blogspot.com, a Chicano literary website.
“Who you think you are don’t matter a hill of beans.”
The voice came from a handsome kid on the crater rim. A long curl hung to his chin. Dressed Elvis-50s in a cream-colored silk shirt opened to his sternum, brandishing a mouthful of gold teeth, and seated cross-legged, he twirled a necklace of umpteen diamond carats.
“You’re not that person. Never were. Your memories are fat lies.”
He reminded me of the “Teen Angel” oldie I’d always hated and I had to stop the humming of it from filling my head.
“You’ve got that person’s memories, but you’re not him. You just used to be one of his dreams.” He chuckled, seeming to hold back more.
A flood of remarks rose from below: “Wish you were my dream.” “He’s mine for eternity.” “In your wettest ones!” The underground Nesters finally quit their quibbling.
Teen Angel threw the necklace away frisbee-fashion. “You’ll get used to being in the Closet,” he said. “After a few days, everybody does. Best thing about the place is, nobody goes bonkers or gets sick. Nobody gets older, or the flu or pimples, unless they brought them in with them. Not that it matters, but, what’s your name?”
I was about to tell him I had amnesia, when a two-hundred-square-foot area near us caved in like a sinkhole. I heard people scream, yell, groan and cuss, laugh and sigh. Then everything resettled, the surrounding half mile rippling to redistribute itself, like a plug had stopped up the draining of a Godzilla-sized bathtub filled with mole. The surface didn’t appear any lowered.
It took me a couple of tries to get my words out. “What. . .was that?”
The kid scratched at his toenails like his pedicurist had missed spots. “From the size of it, coulda been a mountain cabin or a Texas Longhorns champion football team. Don’t matter. Just means somebody reclaimed his big dream or. . .You’re obviously a Newbie and don’t know: this is The Closet of Discarded Dreams. Okay?”
Okay, so now I knew what C.D.D. stood for. But what in el Diablo’s culo was that! And why was I in it? . . .
1. In three days, all power will go off, everywhere for a very long time. What will you include in your author survival kit?
Two copies of my unpublished works, double-spaced, one for revising, one for posterity. Cases of pencils, notebooks (for writing and toiletry), match books, smokes, and Knob Creek whiskey to be administered each Friday p.m. after a week of writing, and my Swiss Army knife for my nails and the pencils. Plus, probably like you Sally, my telescope. I’ll also need my ‘shadow,’ my dog Manchas, ’cause otherwise he’ll fade out.
2. Where did the idea for the work you are promoting arise?
Ostensibly, The Closet of Discarded Dreams about a world of dreams; two precursors influenced its creation: 1. I inevitably skip reading dream scenes because they lack verisimilitude. Chingau–they often bore into stupid! And since I relish challenges [like a dare to write about an artificially intelligent carpet that takes over the world, using just ice cream; Rudy Rucker liked that one.], in this novel I planted chaos, contradiction and irreverence amidst humankind’s dreamy aspirations. 2. I first wrote this as a short story. Nebula Award winner Edward Bryant remarked that that contained “the germ of something in the vein of magic-realism author Jorge Luis Borges,” inspiring me to novelize it. Then the Northern Colo. Writers Workshop issued a challenge: write a novel in 30 days. It took me 45 for the working draft, 60k words, then years of rewrites. It’s 61.3, now. Hopefully, both Ed and Jorge won’t/wouldn’t be too disappointed in their vicarious-bastard offspring.
3. What do you like to read?
Lottery tickets, even though they’ve all had sterile endings. The awesome and the inspiring. Redoubt and Like Son for the former. Cortez on Jupiter and the website TomDispatch for the second. 100 Years of Solitude for both. History, fantasy, sci-fi, Junot Diaz, Neil Gaiman’s Nicolas Was–a 100-word story I try emulating–Lalo Delgado’s poetry, the KOP novels, the Latinos in Lotusland anthology, Santos’ Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats and stories written by primary students.
4. Tell us about the most exciting place you ever visited. It was a place with poor working people who had time for storytelling, water pristine like innocence, fruit trees hanging with treasure, etchings of dinosaur sightings, daily encounters with the supernatural. Don’t matter where it is; its residents don’t benefit from visits. I portray it in an unpublished fantasy novel as a dream, but didn’t use it in The Closet of Discarded Dreams. Not yet, anyway.
5. What is the most mundane, day-to-day thing you can share about yourself?
I’m allergic to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Japan, Cancún, Europe or other tourist spots, except for research purposes. I’ll live out my time in the Southwest and Mexico, sleeping in the truck bed, sitting out on the prairie or desert, dreaming up worlds unlisted in resort brochures. It’s not where you are that’s exciting; it’s how you flow within yourself and connect with your regular environment that infuses a ‘vacation’ into each day. The backyard’s exotic enough for me, and friends, colleagues, students, family and neighbors, sufficiently fascinating.
6. What scares you the most?
Interviews. Before that, American middle-class values and beliefs that, as a body politic, keep us the most ignorant on the planet. After that, that mainstream readers will not open my novel, assuming that this tale can’t enthrall or enrich them. That’s why I sought reviews from literary novelist and Colorado Book Award winner Teague von Bohlen, sci-fi author Warren Hammond of KOP-series fame, cyberpunk-founder Rudy Rucker, Sr., and Hugo Award winner Eileen Gunn. From what I know, they’re non-latinos, and speak to the novel’s universal appeal. I would’ve asked Neil Gaiman, but I lost his number in some desert’s sand.
The Closet of Discarded Dreams
Buy link: forthcoming
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