Levels

Karl Fischer. Bizarro Pulp, $14.95 trade paper (166p) ISBN 978-1-950305-33-9
An adventurer embarks on an uproarious quest to save the multiverse in Fischer’s thoroughly entertaining debut set in an immersive fantasy world made up of a series of levels that resemble a video game gone haywire. Leonard Marcs spends most of his time getting blackout drunk to ease his misery over being stuck in Castaway, a dead-end level, where he works a mind-numbing temp job doing data entry for the Adventurer’s Guild. Then someone nails a fish to his front door. It’s an ambiguous threat that becomes more sinister when Leonard discovers that the fish is an extremely rare breed with magical properties. Leonard sets out to confront the Fishmancers in their not-so-secret headquarters on level one, armed with a hastily purchased antimagic gun and the reluctant aid of a secret agency. This straightforward quest becomes a wild ride after Leonard strikes a bargain with an eel deity who helps him recover memories of a nefarious conspiracy to control reality. Fischer’s skillfully crafted plot not only twists and turns, but doubles back on itself through a series of temporal shifts as it weaves between alternate realities. Quirky, intellectual, and just a little dark, this fun genre-mashup is a delight. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/10/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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