Chronological list of Paul's works of Imagination

(Introduction by Rudy Rucker)

PS Publishing

  • May 2003
  • hardcover 1-90288-066-8
  • softcover 0-74349-822-4
  • also available as an ibook (October 2004)

 

Fantastic Books

  • October 2009
  • softcover 1-60459-890-5

 

Paul Girard is a morose ex-hippy working in a dead-end bookshop job and grappling with the mysteries of life. He’s expecting a quiet breakfast before the shop opens for business. He’s not expecting to be visited by a universe-hopping robot shrub from an alternate future, who offers him a ticket to all the parallel realities he can imagine in the form of a quantum yo-yo. Failure of a whole new order of magnitude awaits him.

***

How badly could you screw up when granted access to infinite worlds conforming to your heart’s most intimate desires? No matter how much of a botch you or I might make of such a miraculous gift, rest assured that Paul Girard, hapless middle-aged bookstore clerk, can hilariously surpass your worst fumblings and missteps. Visited one morning by a dimension-hopping artificial intelligence named Hans, Paul is given the ability to jump instantly to any world he can envision. But without truly knowing himself, Paul soon discovers that framing a wish that gets the expected results is not as easy as it first appears. From the depths of the Big Bang to a world where hippies rule; from a land of Amazons to one of where life is a video-game; from a society where cooperation means everything to one where individual chaos rules – across these bizarre dimensions and many others, Paul races in the search for happiness, love, wealth, status – and the answer to the Ontological Pickle. Acquiring comrades and enemies along the way, our feckless alternaut reaches a cul-de-sac from which the only exit is death. And then his adventures really begin..

Read a preview of Fuzzy Dice

 

 

(introduction by Michael Bishop)

PS Publishing

April 2002

signed limited edition hardcover 1-90288-047-4

May 2003

ebook from Fictionwise

 

 

 

 

A moderately modern city, pulsing with music and commerce, seemingly of infinite length, yet only as broad as a wide avenue, flanked on one side by Heaven, on the other by Hell. Such is the milieu intimately familiar to — and mostly unquestioned by — the millions of average humans who inhabit the Linear City. Yet a small band of seekers do indeed ponder their odd lot, the genesis and fate of their strange habitation. Among the speculatively minded are a small group of writers who specialize in what they call “Cosmogonic Fiction.” And among these men and women we find Diego Patchen, one of the younger luminaries of his set. A Year in the Linear City is the story of Diego and his friends, their loves and rivalries, their failures and triumphs, during one pivotal year beneath the Seasonsun and Daysun, in forbidding sight of The Other Shore and The Wrong Side of the Tracks. Careers will flourish, comrades will part forever, subterranean adventures will endanger both soul and city, and a fateful expedition to far off Blocks will bring new and challenging perspectives, leaving no one unchanged.

Read a preview of A Year in the Linear City

by Andy Watson

No, not because there is a WANTED poster with my face on the wall. It’s not me they desire; it is my mail!

Sorting, collating, delivering junk mail is an inhuman, soul-crushing job-never-done. So: imagine their delight, consider the renewed sense of wonder conveyed to my local postmaster and staff when they encounter envelopes plastered with silly, subtle, crass, sublime, banal and bizarre visual non-sequiteurs. Dance-step diagrams juxtaposed with salacious ‘sixties-era Playboy comic captions. Well-oiled vixens pasted into position, leering out of potbelly stoves advertised in yellowing, 105-year-old fin de siecle catalogues of cast-iron medical devices. Farm animals debating pharmaceutical inserts warning of curious side effects. Ludicrous labor-saving inventions, coupled with comic-book word bubbles carefully excised from casually pornographic German public health advisories. Max Fleischer’s manic sensibilities invested onto miniature television screens advertising A Whole New Ewe. Now, that was why they’d joined the post office in the first place…

Two, three, sometimes four times a week — for well over fifteen years, now — I’ve received envelopes from Paul Di Filippo, invested with his unique sensibilities, his fascinating, strangely slapdash-AND-deft collage art. Never less than six times a month, even when he has been hobbled by illness or traveling overseas. Neither sleet nor hail has stayed that appointed courier of mindbending whimsy.

Paul scoffs at PhotoShop and reaches for his scissors, for a razor blade, for a glue stick, for stickers and stencils and packing tape. With the surgical precision of Max Ernst, he conjures an original, peculiar thought and sends its manifestation my way. With expert ease he instantiates his ideas with what I imagine to be protean alacrity. (In all these years I have never watched him make one of these Mail Art envelopes. Perhaps each one takes him four hours! But I prefer to think he creates them in a blur of instinct, in less time than it takes us mere mortals to lick a stamp.)

Yes, of course, I am also interested in the contents of these glorious envelopes: the manuscripts and disks, the press clippings and pages torn from magazines, the foreign language editions and zines. Perhaps the only phenomenon that can rival Paul’s artistic Output is his Input — an eclectic and insatiable hunger, a passionate and persistent curiosity, an omniscient awareness. It all contributes somehow to Paul’s mindmeld with the zeitgeist: an unfathomably holistic grasp of pop culture. In this sense, Paul’s Mail Art is another aspect of the same muse that powers his writing.

In his novels and stories — and in his Mail Art — the essentially cheerful Di Filippo soul is exposed. He clearly applies himself to the production of Mail Art because he enjoys it. I feel certain that he would continue even if only to mail these marvelous things to himself. Sometimes I can actually hear his distinctive laugh as I extract a new envelope from the pile of bills and ponder the latest expression of his joie de vivre.

So I have accumulated hundreds (maybe over a thousand?) of these, by rough count, in bags and boxes. Early in this postal exchange spanning decades I realized that there was genius in Paul’s Mail Art, in addition to his work as a writer, and so I’ve kept them ALL, waiting for an opportunity to put them on display. I thought it would be a side show at a science fiction convention where Paul would someday be the guest of honor. But where better than at PaulDiFilippo.COM?

Enjoy!