Creatures of Light and Darkness – Roger Zelazny

creatures1This text is a translation from Bulgarian. The original can be found here.

Putting Creatures of Light and Darkness into categories is a difficult task. From the point of view of genre, form, style, anyhow. Its text is seemingly messy (and remains messy under careful scrutiny), as if under the influence of light drugs. The text itself – if I can be allowed this heavy-handed personification – and not the author who produced it, as underground fan legends sometimes have it.

Creatures of Light and Darkness strikes me as a science-fictional poem. I initially attempted to bolster this argument with the kind of discursive and formally elaborate writing associated with academic literature. Then I decided against it. The reader just needs to read the first chapter – in the House of the Dead – to see the poetry, shining through, crisp and clear.

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Dodger – Terry Pratchett

A geezer, now, well, a geezer is somebody that everybody knows, and he knows everybody, and maybe he knows something about everyone he knows that maybe you wished he didn’t know. Um, and well, he’s sharp, crafty, um, not exactly a thief but somehow things find their way into their hands. Doesn’t mind a bit of mischief, and wears the street like an overcoat.”

That’s Dodger all right, a proper geezer and a tosher to boot. Which, in case you didn’t know, is a sort of sewers scavenger. To paraphrase the book, toshers look for value in the things people above throw away, the things they don’t care about. Pratchett’s homage to Charles Dickens, a story he has probably wanted to write for a long time, is very much interested in this toshing business, literally and metaphorically. Continue reading

project Dostoevski – Радослав Парушев

project Dostoevski на Радослав Парушев си е умишлено хлъзгава книга, авторът се е постарал така да я напише. То не са лингвистични каламбури и постмодерни диверсии, изобщо, пипал е по такъв начин, че да се оттича смисълът на романа през сумати цепки и накрая я си разбрал къде се е събрал в гьол или пет гьола, я не, я не ти пука особено. Затова сме поканили (така де, поканил съм, ама така се казва по принцип) авторът сам да се изкаже по някои въпроси.

Критик: !

Автор: ?

К: ?!

А: Ти пък кой си? Continue reading

Yellow Blue Tibia – Adam Roberts

Note: This review was written some time ago for ShadowDance. What appears below is a translation of the original. Hence the recognizable formatting with “+” and “–” sections.

Kim Stanley Robinson wrote some time ago that Adam Roberts’s Yellow Blue Tibia should be awarded the Booker prize for 2009. I am not in a position to say whether I agree or not, as I rarely read the shortlisted novels. What I can agree about is that this strange and strangely-titled book absolutely deserves a spotlight. Authors of so-called “literary realism” will definitely benefit from reading it; its methods can make their stories more interesting, their worlds more imaginative and their ideas more provoking.

Adam Roberts is probably one of the currently active authors who are best versed in the genre. He is a London-based professor who specialized in Robert Browning and Victorian literature, author of Science Fiction, a critical introduction to SF,and of the comprehensive study The History of Science Fiction (to the extent such a thing can be comprehensive, of course). In addition to that Roberts maintains an active blog, where he frequently demonstrates and hones his fine critical skills and incisive humor. When an author’s name sits beneath an intellectual overview of the ideas of Frederic Jameson andbeneath popular parodies (such as The Soddit, The Sellamillion, The Dragon With a Girl Tattoo, etc.), and when that author manages to pull off roughly one good SF novel per year, take notice and keep close tabs on that particular career. Continue reading