Saturday, 18 February 2017

Orlando Ortega-Medina's Imaginary Bookshop

Today we welcome Orlando Ortega-Medina to the Imaginary Bookshop. Orlando's debut book, Jerusalem Ablaze is out now.

Jerusalem Ablaze includes 13 stories about love, obsession, faith, desire and redemption which take the reader from Japan to Quebec in Canada to California and to Jerusalem Notable stories include a Japanese boy’s understanding of the ferocity of hate an adulterant’s unusual fantasies about a werewolf Richard Wagner and a young priests’ encounter with a blood-thirsty dominatrix.


What would be the name of your imaginary bookshop?
Words Without End

Where would your imaginary bookshop be located?
Mumbai – the largest city in the country with the most readers.

Would your bookshop have any special features? E.g. a performing stage, a cocktail bar, etc.
The shop would be designed like the interior of the Star Ship Enterprise from Star Trek. It would have a multilingual staff, including at least one person who speaks Klingon, one person who speaks Elvish, and one that speaks Esperanto, and the books would be available in all the languages into which they have been translated. The shop would feature a combination performance space/cinema for events, readings, and screening Sci-Fi classics. There would also be a Star-Trek style cocktail bar for relaxing and networking, with recorded intergalactic jazz and pop playing in the background. The bookstore itself would have lots of interesting, comfy reading niches. Finally, there would also be a lending library section.

What would make your bookshop different from all the other ones?
Words Without End would be a destination for lovers of Sci-Fi from all over the world, and for those who are Sci-Fi curious.

What sections would you have in your bookshop? And what sections would you ditch?
Anything and everything that is Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and related, would go up on our shelves.

Every bookshop needs a display table. Which books would you have on your display table? Why?
Our display table would contain the best of the best literary Science Fiction books, including foundational classics, Sci-Fi by both female and male authors, and Sci-Fi (in translation) from all around the world, e.g. from Cuba, India, Israel, and Japan. Following are some specific titles we would feature on our opening day, in [Roman] alphabetical order:

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
A Legend of the Future by Agustín de Rojas
Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights by Ryu Mitsuse
The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
The Female Man by Joanna Russ

If you could run only one author event who would you have? You can pick a living or dead writer. What sort of event would they run?
I would invite H.G. Wells, and we would compare and contrast with him the world in which we are living with the one he predicted in his books, and to ask him where he sees us going from here.

A customer comes up to your till with a copy of your novel and asks you to give them a reason on why they should buy it. What would you say?
Our idea of a great book is one that is well-written, tells a great story, takes risks, does not shy away from controversial or difficult issues, and stays with the reader for a lifetime. Jerusalem Ablaze: Stories of Love and Other Obsessions is such a book.

What sort of cake would you offer when launching your book in your bookshop?

Space Cake, of course. For those who prefer something more earthbound, we would offer Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Halva Dairy-Free Ice Cream


Jerusalem Ablaze ( Cloud Lodge Books) by Orlando Ortega-Medina will be out on the Thursday 16th February.

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