Saturday, July 07, 2012
Debut novel – The Closet of Discarded Dreams
by Rudy Ch. Garcia
[Note: The "Spic vs. spec: Chicanos/latinos & sci-fi lit" series has run its course, for the time being. We will begin a series on Chicanos/latinos & fantasy in August.]
Damnation Books will release my first novel on Sept. 1! It's not to believe, yet. The idea that one of my major works will be hold-able in my own hands hasn't sunk in, but I know it will. Check out the cover and let me know what you think.
The Closet of Discarded Dreams is the best thing since sliced white bread. [Why do they call it white if it's brown on the outside? If you send a kid to the store for white bread and he comes back empty-handed, don't blame him if he said he didn't see any; blame it on society's color-bias.]
No, The Closet is better than white bread, it's as good as mamá's homemade tortillas de maiz, hot, dripping with butter melting down the sides and smelling freshly tostitas. Okay, enuf with the culinary analogies. This is not a review of the book; I'm leaving that to Sedano or Olivas or Ramos to review for you; they'll be much more reliable. Consider this just a preview.
In the vein of our "Spic vs spec" series, the novel speculates: What happens to your dreams, your aspirations after you abandon them? Did you hope to marry your high school love, but life turned out differently? Have your shelved that blockbuster movie idea you thought would win you an Oscar? Or, to go deeper into your psyche's yearnings-and-desires category, did your shrink convince you to drive out those "other" thoughts from your mind?
Guess what. All of humankind's discarded dreams don't disappear; they transport to an alternate world--the entire dream, the players, the scenario, and whatever stuff is in your dream. When I explained this to one reader, she responded, "It's a world of dreams. So, it's a happy place?" Maybe not.
Here's where "Spic vs. spec" comes in. I took a gamble. Big risk. I could have written a "mainstream" spec novel with an Anglo protagonist and probably increased significantly its potential audience and market. But, I didn't. The Closet's hero is a young Chicano with issues. If you're whatever kind of latino, you know the issues, like being waited on in a restaurant AFTER the Anglo couple who came in after you.
But the worst issue our hero has is he's totally not going to put up with being condemned to The Closet of Discarded Dreams. He doesn't belong there, he won't accept a dream-role, he will find a way to escape. If this sounds like the historic situation that many gente grew up in, resenting second-class citizenship, the onerous lack of opportunities, poverty, the burdens of the barrio and the longing that, "One day, I will make it out of here," well, all this author can say is, quién sabe?
Some readers and reviewers will label The Closet a fantasy story. That's fine, so long as it comes from a read about a world crazier than our own. Crazy? This book's got Che and Marilyn Monroe homesteading a 9/11 monument and flirting for eternity, a midget Godzilla frustrated by and tormented for his size, VN vets who fragged their best-buddy lieutenant, 3 Chicanos condemned to a poker-playing and beer-guzzling marathon, it's got a lynched Black leper, a robotic spider that traps miniature bombers to eat the little-people crew, vampire and zombie jazz/salsa lovers, nude volleyball marathons, Nazis, gurus, y quién-sabe-qué-más cosas. It's also got catastrophe, revolution, salvation and the ultimate discovery. And more. The ending could "blow your mind," as we used to say.
In the coming weeks, I'll be availing myself of La Bloga to give you insights that may be of use to those laboring with their first novel MS or hoping to get their first one published. And there'll be weekly contests for autographed copies, leading up to the first author-signing in Denver. Also, a new website for the book is under construction.
I'll be traveling this month through parts of Aztlan to set up signings, appearances, interviews, etc. Chingaus!--I'll wash cars for free if it'll get me in front of an audience. New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, Nevada, Utah, hopefully Tejas, as well.
If you're on my route, please let me know the possibilities and contact me. I could definitely use and appreciate the help of La Bloga readers in this endeavor.
This painting, "Man's Disharmony," was done by Robert Maestas and is used with his permission. It depicts what I may look like when The Closet of Discarded Dreams in my hands. Or what I'll feel like on the insides at my first signing. Hope you get to see how accurate it proves. Below are some advance reviews by spec fiction authors you might recognize.
Es todo, hoy,
"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 metalevel, 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, Philip K. Dick Award winner, a cyberpunk founder.
“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.
"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 Killer.
Go here for more info on my writings.