Phantasmagorist Cisco (The Tyrant) explores the concept of reincarnation in a chimerical story about a homeless man named deKlend—who may actually be institutionalized in a sanitarium—and his attempt to make a pilgrimage to the imaginary country of Votu, a fantastical realm where time runs backward, the inhabitants worship five “natural” robots that formed spontaneously, and gangs of theriomorphic waifs (rabbit girls and pigeon girls) struggle to survive as urban scavengers. As deKlend’s quest progresses, he meets Phryne, a lead addict who self-medicates her lead poisoning by absorbing the energies from other people’s incestuous encounters, and Goose Goes Back, a soul inhabiting a bizarre fusion of machine and cadaver until it can be reincarnated. An extensive expansion of topics only touched upon in “The Thing in the Jar,” Cisco’s contribution to The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, this fusion of surrealist travelogue and journey of self-discovery is an impressive work of weird fiction, and its images and ideas will resonate with readers long after the novel ends. (June)
On behalf of CELEBRANT and all its resonations, Phantasmagorist Cisco says "Thank you!" My thanks also to those who attended my May Day reading in New York.