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About Benjamin Parzybok
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"Couch hits on an improbable, even fantastic premise, and then rigorously hews to the logic that it generates, keeping it afloat (at times literally) to the end."—Los Angeles Times
"Delightfully lighthearted writing. . . . Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments . . . Parzybok’s quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams."—Publishers Weekly
"The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest.” —Willamette Week
"Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated—or outright ripped off—Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again"—The Stranger
“Beyond the good old-fashioned story, Couch meditates on heroism and history, but above all, it’s an argument for shifting your life around every now and then, for getting off the couch and making something happen.” —The L Magazine
“Elevates this common piece of furniture from the stuff of everyday magic to something much more powerful.” —Jessica Schubert McCarthy, The Daily Evergreen
"Couch follows the quirky journey of Thom, Erik, and Tree as they venture into the unknown at the behest of a magical, orange couch, which has its own plan for their previously boring lives. Parzybok's colorful characters, striking humor, and eccentric magical realism offer up an adventuresome read."—Christian Crider, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
"This funny novel of furniture moving gone awry is a magical realism quest for modern times. Parzybok's touching story explores the aimlessness of our culture, a society of jobs instead of callings, replete with opportunities and choices but without the philosophies and vocations we need to make meaningful decisions."—Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
"A lot of people are looking for magic in the world today, but only Benjamin Parzybok thought to check the sofa, which is, I think, the place it’s most likely to be found. Couch is a slacker epic: a gentle, funny book that ambles merrily from Coupland to Tolkien, and gives couch-surfing (among other things) a whole new meaning.”—Paul La Farge
"One of the strangest road novels you'll ever read. It's a funny and fun book, and it's also a very smart book. Fans of Tom Robbins or Christopher Moore should enjoy this."—Handee Books
"It is an upholstered Odyssey unlike any other you are likely to read. It is funny, confusing in places, wild and anarchic. It is part Quixote, part Murakami, part Tom Robbins, part DFS showroom. It has cult hit written all over it."—Scott, Me and My Big Mouth
"Parzybok does this thing where you think, 'this is fun!' and then you are charmed, saddened, and finally changed by what you have read. It's like jujitsu storytelling."—Maureen F. McHugh, author of After the Apocalypse
In drought-stricken Portland, Oregon, a Robin Hood-esque water thief is caught on camera redistributing an illegal truckload of water to those in need. Nicknamed Maid Marian—real name: Renee, a twenty-something barista and eternal part-time college student—she is an instant folk hero. Renee rides her swelling popularity and the public's disgust at how the city has abandoned its people, raises an army . . . and secedes a quarter of the city.
Even as Maid Marian and her compatriots build their community one neighbor at a time, they are making powerful enemies amongst the city government and the National Guard. Sherwood is an idealistic dream too soon caught in a brutal fight for survival.
Sherwood Nation is the story of the rise and fall of a micronation within a city. It is a love story, a war story, a grand social experiment, a treatise on hacking and remaking government, on freedom and necessity, on individualism and community. Benjamin Parzybok is the author of the novel Couch and has been the creator/co-creator of many other projects, including Gumball Poetry, The Black Magic Insurance Agency (city-wide, one night alternate reality game), and Project Hamad. He lives in Portland with the artist Laura Moulton and their two kids. He blogs at secret.ideacog.
We have original fantasy by L.B. Gale (“Spindles”) and Megan Arkenberg (“The Suicide's Guide to the Absinthe of Perdition”), and fantasy reprints by David Barr Kirtley (“The Black Bird”) and Brian Ruckley (“Beyond the Reach of His Gods”).
Plus, we have original science fiction by Robert Reed (“Flowing Unimpeded to the Enlightenment”) and Benjamin Parzybok (“Bear and Shifty”), along with SF reprints by Pat Cadigan (“Nearly Departed”) and Nancy Kress (“Art of War”).
For our ebook readers, our ebook-exclusive novella is “Dragonfly” by Ursula K. Le Guin, and of course we have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with Ursula K. Le Guin and David Brin.