And it is a strange world. Science Fiction meets Magical Realism through the wild imagery of Ovidiu Bufnila. Go to his website. Read his reeling, nonstop Romanian SF/Magical/Fantastical stories. Come back a little bit changed, perhaps even a little bit mad...like Belbbo Atipal in "Pataggonia".
(Ovidiu's Strange World: www.bufnila.go.ro )
I like this Bufnila. Not so much at first, when his writing seems like a nonstop jumble of ideas and images. But after a bit, when the images start to take on a life of their own. Maybe I should read more Romanian SF.
"I live in Bacau county, Romania. I am a writer. A good writer. I believe that. It is a great idea. Such a lack of modesty! "
"I published three novels, JAZZONIA, Plumb Publishing House, LUXURY CORPSES, Noesis Publishing House, and MOREAUGARIN'S CRUSADE, Pygmalion Publishing House. I also published two collections of short short stories: PURPLE DEATH, Brancusi Publishing House and A MAGICAL RING, LiterNet Publishing House."
"I received the award of Literary Romania (1983) for the best short short story. THE ECLIPSE is that story. "The Eclipse is a dark comedy that touches on race, war and everyday madness", says Laurel Walsh, editor of Double Dare Press, http://www.doubledarepress.com. I say she is right. You may smile at it. Well, she is right. I received the award for the best Romanian SF Novel. JAZZONIA is that novel [The award for Jazzonia was given by The National Convention (Romania), 1993]."
Though none of his novels are available in English yet, Jazzonia is in the works, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
Here are two short pieces, Ovidiu's forte, "Patggonia", about a man who buys a virtual empire, and a conversation with H.G. Wells in "Interview".
-- Ernest Lilley
(Stories and images courtesy of Ovidiu Bufnila)
Pataggonia by Ovidiu Bufnila
To buy yourself a country.. What a dream, ho, ho, ho.. But an Empire?! Well! That's what I call a bargain! But Belbbo Atipal was missing few good billions. So he went on 42nd, at "Frotex Ltd." to buy himself a little country named Pataggonia. Who was like him, now? On his street? Nobody! Por Mador was pumping himself with hashish, tones. Gervella Banzi was a prostitute since she had been nine. Zul Pazul was waiting for ET's and all day long he was singing at his guitar. He had some pretty nasty songs. In one of them he was mocking at the Government. The Police fined him twice. Once at the end of Electric Spring and the other time at the beginning of Nostalgic Winter. But Belbbo Atipal was now a name! Him and only him! If only you could have seen the others, gathered around him, when he was back from 42nd Street. They asked him questions. They envied him. They pressured him. They promised him wonders. But Belbbo Atipal did nothing but laugh at them. When he had enough of his Pataggonia, maybe he would be so kind as to lend it to them for an hour or two… "And how is your Pataggonia?" Gervella Banzi asked, tearing her nipples and rubbing herself, shamelessness. "It's rainy or unbearable hot?", asked Zul Pazul, clanging his hippie guitar. Por Mador offered to Belbbo Atipal the mummified head of a hashish dealer and the trunk, preserved in formol, of a Bengalis elephant. But Atipal paid no attention to it. He locked himself in the house, cursed them well, put on his head the crystal helmet and started the virtual machine, entered Pataggonia in the program and, with the hell of a car, he started wandering through his country, as a big boss he pretended to be. What a country, that Pataggonia of him! Beautiful. And how many wonderful adventures he had there! He opened a bottle of champagne, he stopped the virtual machine and he shouted to the jerks on his street all sorts of dirty things. He was standing on the window and laughed at everybody. That is, you got it right, now he was somebody, he owned a country! Zul Pazul told him straight in the face that he's a jerk. Por Mador threatened him: "I'll boil your balls in alcohol!" Gervella Banzi was doing filthy gestures and thrown stones in his letter box. Belbbo Atipal shouted and cursed them for a while. He called them names. In the evening, though, he saw something unusual which made him silent. He looked closely. He checked his virtual machine: it was unplugged. Though, over his house was flying a huge eagle, the kind of eagle you can see only in Pataggonia's mountains. The eagle grabbed Gervella Banzi and flew with her on a roof, where it ate her eyes. Por Mador called the cops, and Zul Pazul told them the whole story, suspecting a flow of information from Atipal's virtual machine. Police inspector shot them both. Then he turned left about and shouted with a hoarse voice to Belbbo Atipal "Hey, Mr. President, don't hide yourself anymore!", polishing his badge of Pataggonia Chief Commissar. They didn't even see me.. stupid guys! I don't give a damn on all those virtual people, believe me. I would have liked to fly as that huge eagle. I'm Haal the Madman. For seven hours I was staring at that eagle, how it was eating Belbbo's neighbours. Hell, it was a great show…!
Interview by Ovidiu Bufnila
"You walk too quickly! I can't keep pace
with you !"
An excerpt from Bufnila's Award winning novel: Jazzonia...
When on the Terraria planet the Time’s Gates were opening, the Atlanticus ocean was throwing, on its hot beaches, glassy corpse, rusty airplanes, broken gramophones, flattened refrigerators, yellowed diaries, sodden, swollen books, broken statues, hollow pots, washing machines made like balls, shabby sport shoes, condoms torn to shreds, shriveled box gloves, discolored electoral posters, cracked casks and many other things that made the Terrariens run after from morning until evening, very curious and frightened.
Sometimes, the magnetic
plains being devastated, from that whole amalgam of crushed and twisted
forms were borning varied creatures which were
giving much trouble to everybody. Some of them were stupid, other were
extremely intelligent. They seemed to be indestructible, so the world
started to tolerate them, to avoid them or to just
© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu el05/27/02