ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE is now available as light radiation from your Kindle screen!
This hi-def transfer of the cult classic has been fully revised and updated and features 20,000 words of new digital-only content including:
-And new section “The Fallout: Bonus Material of Suspect Value” which contains early, entirely out-of-control interviews with CEMETERY DANCE magazine and THE MEAT SOCKET, as well as “JUST THE WORST THING EVER: A TERRIBLE STORY YOU SHOULDN’T READ (WITH WRITER’S COMMENTARY)” and “A REAL BATCH OF NETWORK PITCHES FOR SHOWS WHICH YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT BE SEEING ANYTIME SOON.”
It’s priced crazy cheap ($2.99) for the holidays and to say thanks for all the support and love the book has received in the past.
JRJ gathered some Evan Williams, an Apocalypse IPA, and his cell phone last week for this very enjoyable interview for the BOOKS AND BOOZE podcast.
Per the site: “In Books and Booze episode 16 we sit down with Jeremy Robert Johnson to talk about good beer, good bourbon, experimental writing, and NaNoWriMo. We talk about our favorite stories from We Live Inside You and Jeremy serenades us with the hits of the Doobie Brothers.”
p.s. I am buying knives.
“Ashley Crawford talks with Jeremy Robert Johnson about Bizarro, David Cronenberg, parasites and, inevitably, the end of the world.”
JRJ has been interviewed for 21C Magazine, whose prior subjects have included folks like Burroughs, Gibson, Shirley, Ballard, Acker, Brian Evenson, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Jonathan Lethem. You can click on the logo above to jump to the sprawling Q&A.
LitReactor, the net’s premier site for literary news, discussion, and writer’s workshops, has chosen Jeremy Robert Johnson’s WE LIVE INSIDE YOU as its May ’12 Book Club Selection. The discussion will run for the entire month and Jeremy will be participating (i.e. drinking heavily and posting nude manatee pics).
So, if you’ve already read one of Bizarro’s most popular and critically acclaimed titles and want to join the discussion, feel free to jump in!
ALL-MONSTER ACTION! by Cody Goodfellow is now available at Amazon, featuring art from Mike Dubisch (cover and interiors) and Nick Gucker (interiors):
“A tour-de-force! Goodfellow’s latest is his best yet. Compulsive, breakneck reading!” —BRIAN KEENE, author of The Rising and Ghoul
IT’S THEIR WORLD… NOW GET THE FUCK OFF!
Whether on the sun-kissed beaches of a nameless South Pacific paradise or in the suffocating dungeons of retail Hell, the misfits of evolution and mistakes of misbegotten science are battling, breeding, and feeding. And they’re looking at you…
They came seeking cheap thrills and interspecies recreational sex, but they reaped a whirlwind of clusterfuckery when they toyed with the unspeakable forces of monster lust. From the idyllic nostalgia of WW2 to the thoroughly bat-shit future, witness the wages of sin and mutation as you’ve never seen them before (unless you read them previously in the periodicals or anthologies in which they first appeared)!
OUR MAIN FEATURE!
The world gave him a blank check and a demand: Create giant monsters to fight our wars. But Dr. Otaku was not satisfied with mere chaos and mass destruction…. Even as his subversively delicious kaiju creatures undermined the very fabric of American life, he hatched a scheme to animate the cities themselves and inaugurate a new dark age of mega-monster abominations who would finally give humanity the ass-whipping it deserved. Now only one man, riding inside the skull of a much larger man, stands between us and the planet-devastating madness of…
“ALL-MONSTER ACTION! is hilarious, action-packed, and way too much fun. Over-the-top and wild! Highly recommended.” — JONATHAN MABERRY, New York Times Bestselling author of Dust & Decay and Assassin’s Code
“This is your chance. You only think you’re hip—but you haven’t read this Cody Goodfellow book, so you’re not yet. Now you can be hip, and read something crazy entertaining too. You can’t go wrong, man, I’m telling you. You’ve got to read this thing. I mean, if a book rocks, it rocks, that’s all.” —JOHN SHIRLEY, author of A Song Called Youth
“Cody Goodfellow’s writing etches itself inside your eyelids and chases your brain back into the dark corners where you can’t escape. ALL-MONSTER ACTION! has more high concepts in a paragraph than a whole summer of blockbusters: a mad scientist who’s passed on like the flu; biotech mutants harvested for fun and profit; and a giant monster arms race that ends in a showdown on the moon. This book is a human’s-eye view of the future coming down hard on us, like a Tokyo resident gazing up at the sky and seeing only the outline of a giant foot.” —CHRISTOPHER FARNSWORTH, author of Blood Oath and The President’s Vampire
“ALL-MONSTER ACTION! is a dirty bomb right to the cerebral cortex—it’s sharp, smart, scary, scarring, sexy and brutally funny. And like any good bomb, it’s got specific targets in mind: Genre and gender, racism, colonialism, ageism and classism. ALL-MONSTER ACTION! demonstrates again that Cody Goodfellow is some kind of mad-ass genius.” —LISA MORTON, author of The Castle of Los Angeles and Monsters of L.A. and Four-Time Winner of the Bram Stoker Award
“One of the most unique and creative works I’ve ever read. The author is quite obviously insane, but like Colonel Kurtz, he’s got a plan. ALL-MONSTER ACTION! is packed with wild, driving energy that carries the reader along like an out-of-control Disney ride. Cody Goodfellow combines genres and crazed pop-cult tropes with finesse and style. Old Mr. Yeats kept bitchin’ about ‘the centre cannot hold.’ Bullshit. With ALL-MONSTER ACTION! Cody Goodfellow proves he can hold the center together and play lead guitar at the same time. Filled with crazed, strange characters drawn from pop-cult, z-grade cinema and zillions of comic books, the pace is frantic and the imagery often makes you laugh while you cringe. What impresses me most with ALL-MONSTER ACTION! is Cody’s ability to take cultural icons and clichés and turn them into a funny, intelligent, satiric story that perhaps Max Ernst would have written if he fronted Black Flag. ALL-MONSTER ACTION! made me remember those late nights as a kid, watching amazingly strange films and thrilling to every minute. Cody Goodfellow must have caught those films, too, because his fevered stories have one foot in the past and one foot in the present. Reading ALL-MONSTER ACTION! gave me the same pleasure as the first time I saw ‘The Navy vs. the Night Monsters.’ Brilliant!”—RICKY LEE GROVE, The Greatest Character Actor Ever (Army Of Darkness, Point Break, Scanner Cop) and the Pizza Delivery Man in Your Mom’s Recurring Wet Dreams
Received this press release from JRJ today along with a note- “Not a prank, you guys. I know I pulled a Malick for a while there, but this thing is real. All the best.
P.S. OF THIMBLE AND THREAT just dropped!? That book is amazing.
P.P.S. Dressing Bishop the Pug as J. Edgar Hoover this year, but I can’t get the stitching on the evening gown quite right…”
Available now from Jeremy Robert Johnson and Swallowdown Press (with book design by CM3 and amazing cover art by Alex Pardee):
We are within you, and we are growing. Watching. Waiting for your empires to fall. It won’t be long now.
We are the fear of death that drives you and the terrible hunger that reshapes you in its name. We are the vengeance born from senseless slaughter and the pulsing reptile desire that negates your consciousness. We are the lie on your lips, the collapsing star in your heart, and the still-warm gun in your shaking hands. The illusion of control is all we’ll allow you, and no matter what you do…
WE LIVE INSIDE YOU
“WE LIVE INSIDE YOU is fucking terrific. Jeremy Robert Johnson is dancing to a way different drummer. He loves language, he loves the edge, and he loves us people. These stories have range and style and wit. This is entertainment… and literature.”—JACK KETCHUM, author of Off Season, The Girl Next Door, and The Woman (w/Lucky McKee)
“A haunting collection from a wildly talented author, WE LIVE INSIDE YOU is composed of nineteen perfectly-wrought nightmares, every one of which will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.”—PETER CRAIG, author of Hot Plastic and Blood Father, co-screenwriter of The Town
“The people populating these stories are real and vital and you WILL care, deeply, about what becomes of them… and in JRJ’s harsh universe, baaaaad things happen. Often. Prepare thyself.”—CRAIG DAVIDSON, author of Rust and Bone, The Fighter, and Sarah Court
“The guy’s a genius. Reminds me of William Gibson—the dark interest in altered states of consciousness, the unrelentingly furious forward movement, and the same kind of unlimited imagination.”—BEN LOORY, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
“Tongue-replacing isopods, brain-raping copepods and body-warping worms are far from the most insidious parasites that infest Jeremy Robert Johnson’s hapless literary victims. Though the squirmy bits elegantly pioneer new frontiers of sickness, WE LIVE INSIDE YOU is at its most twisted and mordantly revelatory when it drops the body-horror metaphors and digs into the real horror of all the parasitic drives that ride us––tapeworms of greed, lust like plagues of crab lice, and the lethal heartworms of true love. So tightly written and so fluidly brutal you’ll want to consume this psychosexual demolition derby in one sitting, but you’ll spend the rest of the night checking yourself under a microscope.”—CODY GOODFELLOW, author of Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars and Radiant Dawn/Ravenous Dusk
“Waaaay out at the deep end of the collective unconscious—where even the bravest of brain cells fear to tread—Jeremy Robert Johnson performs stand-up comedy for the gods. And their laughter is a marvelous, terrible thing. He’s the kind of post-Lovecraftian genius berserker who makes the Great Old Ones new again. As with Clive Barker, there is no glorious mutational eruption that Johnson can’t nail directly through your gawping mind’s eye.”—JOHN SKIPP, NY Times Bestselling author of Spore (w/Cody Goodfellow) and The Bridge (w/Craig Spector)
Fall 2011 will see the release of Jeremy Robert Johnson’s WE LIVE INSIDE YOU, the highly anticipated follow-up to breakthrough cult hit and Bizarro touchstone ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE. Per Johnson “the collection is a very intense genre-hopping batch of stories about love, crime, parasites, and the end of the world. Same obsessions, but I think (or at least hope) there’s a noticeable step up in the craft of the stories themselves. I’m incredibly excited for readers who don’t cop every hardbound anthology or magazine to be able to check out the new stuff.”
With JRJ’s new batch of shorts about to drop, Bizarro Central asked him to compile a list of the stories that influenced his work. He sent us this:
10 Short Stories I Love to Death and Will Vouch for 100%*
1. In the Hills, the Cities- Clive Barker: I could probably do a separate Top 10 Barker shorts list and still not feel like I’ve presented a comprehensive picture of how much I love The Books of Blood (and the shorts tacked on to Cabal). I’m a fan of his sprawling horror/fantasy novels, too, but those early stories were such a perfect mix of imagination and elegance and gut level dread. And “In the Hills, the Cities” was the crown gem, its imagery indelible, its ideas gigantic but exquisitely reined in by Barker’s prose. I read this story and “Son of Celluloid” every year. They help to recharge the weirdness batteries and challenge me to hone my craft.
2. Father, Son, Holy Rabbit- Stephen Graham Jones: Rare is the story that instantly forces you to read it again. Rarer still is the story that grows richer with each run through. I hesitate to say too much about “Father, Son, Holy Rabbit” because of the way it functions, but I will say that its portrayal of a father and son’s quest to survive in a winter storm feels true and profound and when it decides to break your heart, you have no choice but to acquiesce. I’m tempted to read this story again, now that I have a son, but in all honesty I’m a little scared to go back.
3. The Rifle- Jack Ketchum: Another story about parenting, though Ketchum’s lean, anxiety-inducing writing takes you to an even darker place. A brilliant singular effect story that poses a terrible question (What would you do if you discovered your child was an irredeemable psychopath?) and then answers that question with a scene that still sends me reeling.
4. Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man’s Back- Joe R Lansdale: First, any Bizarro reader who hasn’t read their Lansdales (or, really, their Barkers) is missing out on a treasure trove, hell, a tidal wave of genre-jumping weirdness. Case in point- “Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man’s Back” a post-apocalyptic memoir of lighthouse living, mutant brain-eating rose vines, desert-wandering sharks, a cannibal tribe known as the Shit Faces, and mushroom cloud/daughter-face tattoos with bleeding eyes. As with most really great weird stories, to list its odder elements undercuts how much emotional truth is present. This is a story of regret rendered in deep strangeness.
5. Losers, Weepers- Cody Goodfellow: A man whose terrible tragedies have given him the ability to see the energy imbued in items loved and lost. Two landfill employees on a scavenger mission in a secret dump so toxic that alien meat trees have sprouted from the ground. These are the basic elements for one of Goodfellow’s finest stories, a wild, surprising, and ultimately poignant story of loss. How Goodfellow manages to insert a very lengthy character back story right into the middle of the narrative without losing any inertia, I still don’t understand. I’ve studied the thing, from a technical perspective, and it shouldn’t work. But it not only works, it makes the return to the climax all the more devastating and powerful.
6. Rust and Bone- Craig Davidson: As I type this up I’m beginning to spot a pattern. I am a sucker for very dark short stories about familial loss, regret, and attempted redemption or catharsis. “Rust and Bone” opens with a dissertation on broken bones and ends as a study of a broken (maybe vaporized) heart. But it’s nowhere near as corny as that pitch. Davidson’s style shares the clean, visceral “telegraph” style of Ellroy, but he throws in these short, shimmering descriptions that captivate you amidst the bloodshed. And as rough as the violence gets here, it feels right and true, and for a few graceful moments shared with the narrator, like an escape.
7. Incarnations of Burned Children- David Foster Wallace: As with the other writers on this list, there’s no shortage of knockout stories in their bibliography. But this is another singular effect story, like Ketchum’s “The Rifle,” and as in that story parenting becomes an outright nightmare. “If you’ve never wept and want to, have a child.” DFW didn’t have to pull any maximalist tricks on this one to totally fuck up your day. No indents, very few total sentences. Just three pages of stream-of-consciousness panic and pain and even the lyricism of the closing doesn’t let you suffer any less.
8. The Lottery- Shirley Jackson: Well, yeah. C’mon. “The children had stones already.” Holy shit.
9. Any Road, Any Time- Kris Saknussemm: A spiritual successor to “The Lottery” as directed by Todd Solondz. It’s clear from the kick-off that something bad is going to happen. The feel is ominous horror. Late night call. Dutiful tow truck operator headed to the scene. But a sudden shift to bizarre and extended eroticism changes the tone just long enough to keep you from noticing the trap door, and then Saknussemm pulls the switch.
10. The Last Rung on the Ladder- Stephen King: “But Jeremy, you seem like more of a ‘Survivor Type’ guy, and when I say that I mean: It seems like that’s the story structure that you most frequently steal write in homage to…” Touché, imaginary critic that lives in my brain. But when it comes down to it, “The Last Rung on the Ladder” is probably the story that sparked my love of the just-recognized “familial pain” theme in short stories. Most of the other stories in Night Shift had thrills and scares, but man, none of them hurt the same way.
So there’s my wildly subjective list. Regarding all the obvious omissions I will say that some of my favorite writers—like Ellroy and Mailer and Selby and McCammon and Welsh—do their most affecting work in long form. Palahniuk’s “Hot Potting” comes really, really close, as does Gary Braunbeck’s “Need.” Could I list individual sections of A Choir of Ill Children or Naked Lunch? Or HST articles? And if I included comic shorts you’d easily see Gaiman (“24 Hours” from Sandman) and Moore (every American Gothic issue of Swampy) and Ennis (for the Preacher issues with Jesse Custer’s Grandma) and Miller (“Hard Boiled” was pretty short, right?). And I feel weird leaving Ellison and Bradbury and Poe and Carver and Matheson and Oates off, as that’s probably some kind of technical literary crime, but done is done.
* Your mileage, of course, may vary, but trust me; this is a really solid list.
It’s time to sign up for this year’s Ultimate Bizarro Showdown! I need 14 more competitors, as a very brave man known as William Box has already thrown his hat in the ring.
If you’ve already bought your tickets for this year’s Bizarrocon (emphasis mine- Q: Who signs up for an event at a con they haven’t yet bought tickets to? A: Crazy, delusional people. Every year.) and would like to take part in the most exciting, hilarious part of the entire weekend, please shoot me an “I’m In!” at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t respond here- Only entries sent to my site email will be logged.
Here Are The Rules:
1) Costumes and props aren’t only allowed, they are encouraged. (Be careful with full masks as they tend to inhibit the ability of the mic to pick up your voice.)
2) You only have 3 minutes. If you go over the time limit people will give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down. If you get a thumbs up you will be allowed to finish. If you get a thumbs down you will be removed by the winds of steel and forever denied entrance to Valhalla.
3) Nothing too physically messy (though psychically “messy” is cool). We’re having the event in a gorgeous renovated historical ballroom. Any damage or mess, even minor, could hurt the lovely rapport we’ve built with the Edgefield. Years ago my volleys of silly string almost earned us a cleaning fee until Team Bizarro helped gather it up like a bunch of crackheads picking up carpet fuzz under the black-light.
4) Judges will vote for the winner based on presentation, weirdness, crowd response, and PH balance of stomach acid. Seriously magical prizes will be awarded.
1) Write something specific for this event. After all the standard readings preceding the event, cracking open an existing book might get some groans.
2) It helps if you make the story so weird that it’s funny (comical Bizarro is what people want). Think Andy Kaufman Mighty Mouse more than Andy Kaufman Reading the Entirety of The Great Gatsby. Annoying people is only funny in retrospect (Trust Me; I’m the guy who tried to plumb a River Phoenix GHB joke three times with ever-diminishing results). And attempting to shock is likely to get you booted after the three minutes, too.
3) Focus on entertaining the audience, not just showing off your writing skills.
3.5) If you time the piece out to three minutes you get to do the whole bit regardless of audience thumb orientation.
4) Go over-the-top, Stallone-style!
5) Dress to impress (in a Bizarro way, Stallone-style!).
6) Don’t be nervous: You’re guaranteed the most gregarious batch of drunken weirdoes as an audience. This event is all about having a great time. Garrett Cook arrived the first year, unknown to most, and won the showdown with a piece about a man trying to have sex with a duck. Carlton Mellick III took the prize the second year for his portrayal of a viking whose embarrassingly large nipples hid a secret power. Andrew Goldfarb won last year dressed as a massive musical flamingo that used a heavy steel chain for percussion. Do bring something awesome to battle, but don’t take it too seriously.
7) If you fuck up, Kevin Donihe will bite you. Have fun!
Any questions, just let me know.