Rudy Ch. Garcia's The Closet of Discarded Dreams was published by Damnation Books in September 2012.
Information about Rudy Ch. Garcia:
Rudy Ch. Garcia's noir detective story, LAX Confidential ('08) and his Southwest fantasy, Memorabilia (honorable mention in Writers Digest competition) appeared in anthologies. His SF-fantasy flash fiction, A Grain of Life is viewable at 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 2012. 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 Colorado-Denver and works as a Denver-area bilingual elementary teacher.
He is a founder-contributor to http://www.LaBloga.blogspot.com, a Chicano literary website.
The Closet of Discarded Dreams website: http://www.discarded-dreams.com
Information about The Closet of Discarded Dreams:
A young Chicano battles insanity in a surreal world where everyone endlessly relives humankind's abandoned dreams. Except for him. Will VN 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 empathy for the Dreampeople. But can he create his own identity and rally them to overcome the Closet's mysterious secret?
A REVIEW OF RUDY CH. GARCIA'S THE CLOSET OF DISCARDED DREAMS
Rudy Ch. Garcia's The Closet of Discarded Dreams was a pleasant surprise for me, because it turned to be unlike anything I've read recently. This novel treads paths not often trodden and that's a good thing, because there are many readers who appreciate originality in their fantasy novels.
The Closet of Discarded Dreams can be called an alternate world fantasy novel. I found this fantasy novel to be interesting and entertaining, because Rudy Ch. Garcia written something different. In my opinion the closest match to this novel is probably James Walley's The Forty First Wink, because in both novels the protagonist wakes up and realizes that something's wrong and begins to explore his surroundings, but there are many differences between these novels.
It's possible to say that this novel reads almost like an urban fantasy novel, but it is not urban fantasy. Because there are quite a few elements in this novel that are often associated with urban fantasy, I think that fans of urban fantasy may enjoy reading it.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
A young Chicano wakes up and notices that he's not in his bedroom and not even in his own world. He soon finds out that he's in a strange and surreal place called the Closet of Discarded Dreams. He's a newbie in the Closet and he has a lot to learn about the Closet. The Closet is a place that has its own rules and it is inhabited by odd people. He learns that the people who live in the Closet are Dreampeople who the Dreamers - real people - have abandoned. He finds out that there is a Door in the Closet through which things arrive in the Closet, but it is not an exit. He wanders around and learns more about the Closet and its inhabitants...
This is all I'll write about the story, because I don't want to spoil anybody's reading pleasure by too many revelations and spoilers. I'll only mention that exploring the Closet and its wonders with the protagonist is an entertaining reading experience.
The inhabitants of the Closet are wonderfully weird and act in interesting ways. Reading about the inhabitants was intriguing, becase they were quite an odd bunch of characters. Almost everybody seemed to be in the Closet, including Napoleon, Einstein, Dali etc - or at least their clones were there - and the author wrote wel about them.
It was interesting that the people who lived in the Closet couldn't age or die. The protagonist noticed that he didn't have to eat or sleep, and he didn't collapse from exhaustion, although he wandered around the Closet. He found out that no one can die, get injured or even get sick in the Closet, because they get healed.
I also found it interesting that many Dreampeople tended to cyclically relive parts of their lives over and over again as if caught in a loop. It was almost as if they'd specialized in doing so. The protagonist was different from these people, because he didn't act like the others and thought of himself as unique in that regard.
One of the best things about this novel is that the protagonist is a Chicano man. The author has taken a conscious risk by choosing to use a Chicano man as a protagonist, because there aren't many Chicano protagonists in speculative fiction. Fortunately his taking a risk has paid off well. It was interesting for me to read about a Chicano protagonist and I'm sure that other readers will also enjoy reading about him and his doings.
The author is capable of adding humour to the story, which is very nice. The humour lightens the narrative in a good way and makes the story flow better. There are also a few well-chosen sexual references in this novel that add a bit of atmosphere to the story.
The Spanish words and phrases added a nice element of fascination and strangeness to the story. I have to mention that reading this novel was an educational reading experience for me, because I learned new Spanish words and phrases.
It's amazing how many different elements the author has been able to add to this novel without making the story feel annoying (this novel contains well-known elements in a slightly different format). I appreciated it that the author used plenty of imagination, because imagination is very important in this kind of fantasy novels.
In my opinion Rudy Ch. Garcia writes well and has a good imagination. It'll be interesting to see what he writes next, because this novel was a satisfyingly told fantasy story.
Rudy Ch. Garcia's The Closet of Discarded Dreams may not be to everyone's liking because of its different kind of a story, but it can be recommended to readers who want to read something different and want to be entertained by what they read. If you're tired of reading formulaic and traditional fantasy fiction, this novel has something new to offer for you.
It's easy to like The Closet of Discarded Dreams, because it's something different and new for speculative fiction readers. It's a refreshingly original and different kind of a fantasy novel full of imagination and charming quirkiness.
My final words are:
This novel is interesting and delightfully quirky fantasy fiction! It's almost like Alice in Wonderland for the modern age.