Tzankov, Vesel

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Biography

Vesel Tzankov was born on July 27, 1963, in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is married and has a daughter.

Since 1979, he has written and authored a large number of humorous short stories published in newspapers and magazines, humorous sketches for radio and television, drama for radio and theater, two television comedy series, several books of humorous short stories, a fantasy novel, and a satirical novella. Since 1997, he has published a topical satire column in the Sega daily newspaper. From 1996 to 2004, he was the chief scriptwriter for a weekly national television comedy show.

Since 1991, he has worked as an editor in the Humour and Satire Department of the Bulgarian National Radio’s Hristo Botev program for culture. In 2002, he became lead editor of the department, and in 2007 he became the program’s culture division leader.

In its 2003 review of publications marking April Fools’ Day, the French Le Monde daily named his feuilleton, April Fools’ Day for National Day as the best joke of the year.

Vesel Tzankov has won a number of literary prizes, as well as the Annual Award of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists for 2000.

Publications

  • The Blog of the Local Idiot, a humorous novel, Ciela Soft and Publishing, 2011;
  • Let Us Not Be Skinny. 55 Well-tried Recipes, a collection of moral-culinary playful essays, Georgiev and Daughter Publishing House, 2009 (published with the support of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists);
  • Pixel, a fantasy novel, Georgiev and Daughter Publishing House, 2008 (received the third prize for novel writing at the sixth annual awards of Argus Publishing House);
  • Do You Get me Right?, a monodrama with the comedian Georgi Mamalev, Tears and Laughter Theater, 2002-2007;
  • Jo-ho-ho and a Bottle of Bromine, a collection of humorous short stories, Rayko Aleksiev Foundation and Ivan Vazov Publishing House, 1998.

Synopses

Synopsis of the novel Pixel by Vesel Tzankov

What would our life be like if we lived in a 3,000,000,000-strong megalopolis? How would all these people be induced to think no more than is necessary, especially since there are no more pyramids to be built? Can one gain awareness of oneself as a person despite the System? And what, in fact, is the System: is it God, or fiction, is it a monstrous plot, or is it something different still?

These were the questions I posed to myself while writing my novel, Pixel. If I had to define the novel in a single sentence, I would say it shows life in the Metropolis described in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The City Board is facing a problem. In order to resolve it according to the rules of bureaucratic aesthetics, the bigwigs resort to Pixel 1D4C00: one of 1,920,000 officers in the virtual computer screen’s video memory. Wandering around the city, hiding among the hackers, and delving into his memory, Pixel 1D4C00 gradually discovers the man within himself.

Somebody is killing off the doubles of the City Chief Secretary. Who is it that wants to drive him over the edge and make a point as subtle as a hammer blow to the teeth? Is it Oldfish, head of the City Board and opponent of his appetite for greater authority? Is it Big Boss, the Chief Plumber, who wants to drive through a successive City infrastructure project as a way of laying his hands on a tidy budget sum that the Chief Secretary’s allies also covet? Could it be the hackers? Could it be fighters for this cause or that? Or, indeed, could it be a maniac with too much spare time on his hands?

One day, Pixel 1D4C00, who is responsible for the colour and brightness of the last pixel at the bottom right-hand side of the virtual computer screen, sees a stranger at the workstation of his best and only friend, Pixel 1D45C3. Everyone claims that this stranger is indeed Pixel 1D45C3. Setting out to track down his friend, Pixel 1D4C00 gradually leaves the herd, becoming ever more suspicious, until he is ultimately challenged by an AntiVirus Realtime Auto-Protect System patrol.

While on the run, the pixel comes upon a group of hackers living semi-legally amid the City’s foundations. In conversations with the hackers’ leader Old Man Matey, with the thin bodybuilder Beefcake, and with Boss Man, who has abandoned a brilliant City career to exercise his human right to laziness, Pixel 1D4C00 continues exploring his individuality.

Apprehended by the forces of law and order, the pixel is returned to the City. Here, he at last finds his friend and realises that the System needs even its smallest cog to prevent the gigantic mechanism from coming to a grinding halt. Is anyone who helps a System that makes everyone faceless a traitor or an individualist? No, this is not the main dilemma facing Pixel 1D4C00, who is more troubled by the opportunity for making an independent decision. He exercises his choice, and the Board dilemma is resolved. The System continues to function: until the next conflict, at least.

The manuscript is 250 pages (56,000 words).

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