A rugged journalist by the name of Jay Robbins is sent on a mission to the dangerous jungles of Brazil to search for a missing hippopotamus researcher and a news story. Along the way, he stumbles upon a mythical breed of hippo, the Lastiz, which harbors another world within its guts and secrets he could only imagine. It won’t be easy though. With two elderly assassins trailing him and a bunch of notes, Robbins has his job cut out for him.
Published by Bizarro Pulp Press.
The D. Harlan Wilson Book Prize is presented annually by Raw Dog Screaming Press to a collection of short fiction or a novel. Sponsored by Wright State University-Lake Campus, the award takes its name from author, editor, critic and English professor D. Harlan Wilson, whose body of fiction and nonfiction engages multiple genres and styles. Submitted works should demonstrate an aesthetic of genuine innovation and originality that stands comfortably alongside RDSP’s library of titles. The award entails a cash prize of $1000 plus publication by RDSP.
Head over to the Raw Dog Screaming site to preorder a copy of D. Harlan Wilson’s THE KYOTO MAN, part three of the Sci-Kung-Fi trilogy. You have three options for how you get your TKM copy – paperback, hardcover, or limited edition signed hardcover.
In the wake of the Stick Figure War, civilization lapsed into obscurity. Fallout ravaged the fabric of space and time. History digested reality and reality exhumed the future as survivors tried and failed to create a new beginning … Amid the chaos, one man experiences a terminal affliction, a revolution of the self: the chronic transformation into the city of Kyoto, Japan. Each transformation further plunges the world into darkness, but he’s helpless against the lethal clockwork of his body, his psyche, his mindscreens—and nothing, not even Fate itself, can stop him from becoming God … In the third and final installment of the Scikungfi trilogy after Dr. Identity and Codename Prague, acclaimed author D. Harlan Wilson composes a narrative grindhouse that combines elements of science fiction and horror with pop culture and literary theory. Erudite, ultraviolent, and riotously satirical, The Kyoto Man reminds us how, at every turn, reality is shaped by the forces that destroy it.
As a fan of the Bizarro literary genre, I want the authors and small presses that publish Bizarro to succeed. Part of this is letting readers know that the genre exists. Here are some things that I have done to help spread the word about Bizarro.
After you read a book, review it. Post a review on Amazon.com, BN.com, your blog, your Facebook, Goodreads.com, anywhere really. Or shout out your review on a street corner and hand out written pamphlets with your review printed on it. I actually haven’t done the street corner thing, but you get the basic idea. Be honest in your reviews, I implore you. I’m leery when I see a debut author of any genre with 72 5-star, vague reviews. Honesty is really the best policy here.
2. The Library
I’m pretty much always strapped for cash, so I can’t buy all of the books that I want. Who can, really? But a great way to get a book in your hands, at least temporarily, is to request that your public library order it. Here is a pic of some of the books that my local library has ordered at my request:
All in all, seven or eight of the Bizarro books that I requested are now on my library’s shelves. Granted, they rejected at least 15 other requests that I made, but it never hurts to ask. If I can get a library in the middle of Alaska to stock some Bizarro, I’m pretty sure that other folks can do it too.
D. Harlan Wilson has a new novel coming out soon. The Kyoto Man is the third novel in his Scikungfi Trilogy.
Wilson exploring the importance of page folds in House of Leaves.
Here is the plot summary:
In the wake of the Stick Figure War, civilization lapsed into obscurity. Fallout ravaged the fabric of space and time. History digested reality and reality exhumed the future as survivors tried and failed to create a new beginning … Amid the chaos, one man experiences a terminal affliction, a revolution of the self: the chronic transformation into the city of Kyoto, Japan. Each transformation further plunges the world into darkness, but he’s helpless against the lethal clockwork of his body, his psyche, his mindscreens—and nothing, not even Fate itself, can stop him from becoming God …
In the third and final installment of the Scikungfi trilogy after Dr. Identity and Codename Prague, acclaimed author D. Harlan Wilson composes a narrative grindhouse that combines elements of science fiction and horror with pop culture and literary theory. Erudite, ultraviolent, and riotously satirical, The Kyoto Man reminds us how, at every turn, reality is shaped by the forces that destroy it.
For more information please visit the brand new flash website for the novel:
Raw Dog Screaming Press, in association with Morgantown Poets, will be hosting a book release party Friday May 25 from 7-9pm at Monongalia Arts Center (MAC), 107 High St., Morgantown WV. The event is free and open to the public.
Michael A. Arnzen (The Gorelets Omnibus) and Jason Jack Miller (Hellbender) will be joining the publisherto read their work. A limited number of Raw Dog Screaming Press books will be available for purchase.
Public parking is available near the MAC in the parking garage at the corner of Pleasant and Chestnut Streets and at the city lot behind 142 High Street (enter off Spruce). The MAC is accessible to individuals with special mobility requirements; schedule ahead at least two days prior to the event by calling 304-292-3325, or write to email@example.com.
Morgantown Poets is an informal not-for-profit, all-volunteer community group that meets 7-9 p.m. the third Thursday each month at the MAC, providing literary enthusiasts in north-central West Virginia the opportunity to express themselves, share their work, network and to connect up-and-coming writers with more established authors. New writers are welcome.
Join on Facebook by entering “Morgantown Poets” in the search or join the mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us on Twitter(@MorgantownPoets) or watch videos of past events on our YouTube channel.
Five drivers. One race. Millions of tentacles.
It’s the year 2025 in the neon-colored nuclear wasteland that was once the United States of America. The remaining inhabitants are at the mercy of mutants, freaks, marauders, gangs, and the last millionaire in the country, the mysterious Mr. Silver. Now, five drivers must compete in a life-or-death race that will determine the fate of the planet. There’s Samson, a lone wolf who buried his life in racing after he lost his wife and son. Gabby Peppermint, a cold-hearted bitch with a huge pink sledgehammer and an unrivaled thirst for blood. Junko, a cross-dressing ex-sex slave in a 1987 Honda Civic. Mama Hell, a God-fearing Christian who wears a shawl made of tattooed human skin. And Drac, a glass-skulled madman who drives a tentacled car possessing eldritch powers.
Something timeless and beautiful has risen off the Eastern Seaboard, the ancient city of R’lyeh and these five racers have been called together for the most epic race in history. Tearing through a post-apocalyptic New Jersey landscape rife with mind-bending terrors, Drac, Samson, Gabby, Junko and Mama Hell will encounter things far more dangerous than each other. A tooth-tornado, nuclear mutants, cannibal Christians, a gargantuan ejaculating marionette, a friendly crab dealer, and the great city itself: the city of R’lyeh, either their doom or their salvation.
It’s Death Race 2000 meets H. P. Lovecraft in bizarro author Jordan Krall’s best and most suspenseful work to date.
It’s the Bizarro Hour – Chicago edition! Do you like your fiction weird, off-kilter, insane? Do you wanna see a reading that goes way beyond someone standing there, nose in a book, droning on and on about nothing? This event will blow your freakin’ mind right out of your skull!
Famous Author Mykle Hansen has an important presentation about how even you can be affected by death! (And kittens!)
Noir bizarro-pulp author Garrett Cook presents his Old Tyme Bizarro Action Raydio show!
The world’s foremost expert on Party Wolf cranial infestation and migration patterns Michael Allen Rose will help keep you safe from invasive species!
The amazing Andersen Prunty shares tips from his Driver’s Guide to Hitting Pedestrians!
Featuring your lovely hosts, all the way from the U.K. the world-famous duo THE POP TARTS!
PRIZES TOO? HOLY BEES! That’s right, buy one of the bizarre and hilarious books on sale and get entered into a raffle for free books, art and other crazy great stuff!
ALL WHILE ENJOYING the WONDERFUL atmosphere and tasty treats of your favorite neighborhood coffee shop KNOCKBOX!
FREE! FREE? FREE!
MARCH 1ST, 2012
1001 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
From bizarro author Jordan Krall…
Introducing GNOSTIC GNOSTRILS Ministries and Astral Hospital.
Personalized 16-page hardcover books by bizarro author Jordan Krall. You provide him with 5 things (names, places, themes, concepts, objects) and he incorporates them in a collection of stories, fragments, poems, and drawings. All handwritten and hand drawn. Each copy is limited to 1 so whatever stories are included in your book will NEVER be reprinted. You will be the only one to own a copy! Every book will be written with the buyer in mind.
$23 (includes shipping in the US) and $30 if you want it read to you on You Tube. Paypal address: gorshinary (at) juno (dot) (com)
Author Matthew Revert (A Million Versions of Right, The Tumours Made Me Interesting) recently wrote an excellent short essay on absurdism that I wanted to share with you all this morning. It will go well with your cup of coffee, tea, or chocolate milk.
Click here to read the article.
Have a great morning!
by William Pauley III
Check out these wild pics I just found online!
What’s that you say? These pics don’t seem so weird or wild? Okay, maybe not at first, but they will after you realize that they are all coffins! Visit www.crazycoffins.co.uk for more info.
by Scott Emerson
Tony Rauch is the author of the short story collections I’m Right Here (Sprout Press), Laredo, and Eyeballs Growing All Over Me . . . Again (both Eraserhead Press).
Fusing science fiction, whimsy, and abusrdism, Rauch presents an optimistic alternative to bizarro lit, offering character studies that often read as strange fairy-tales.
For updates on upcoming releases and samples of his work visit his website at http://trauch.wordpress.com
BC: What’s the appeal of bizarro for you?
TR: Radical freedom. Freedom from previous arbitrary conventions. Freedom to mix themes, styles, genres. It’s like jazz music to me –complete liberation. This lends a sense of looseness and fun to the stories. Many genres seem stiff and limiting to me, or at least stagnant and stale or over-serious, lacking a sense of whimsy. I have never cared for labels because to me they are arbitrary and limiting. As much as possible I’d prefer to avoid easy pigeonholing because I fear it may chase away potential readers. I understand the need to group similar items into general, broad categories, though I don’t know what my stories have to do with other genres, such as horror or slasher fiction, so why group my stories in with those types as they’re not similar in tone or theme. You can be entertaining and get people to think. I hope to merge the ‘deep feeling thing’ and speculative in some stories. I suppose it’s like composing music –Led Zeppelin trying to balance or merge the light and the dark, the acoustic folk with the bluesy rock. It’s a tricky alchemy to pull off. But that’s what I’d like to experiment with in the future.
BC: You’ve published largely in the short form. What do you like best about the format, and do you plan on attacking a novel?
TR: There seems to be a real power in brevity. I’m not tied down to an excess of background info, so I feel more agile, limber, running mean and lean. The brevity lends a directness and immediacy to the proceedings. Although at times I guess I sacrifice character development –how did the events affect the characters, did they change? I like story starters –you start a story and leave the reader to think about the ending –what happens next. I have been writing longer shorts,more as action adventure pieces, and less involved with character development. Sometimes you are who and what you are, and maybe the circumstances that pass through you can’t change you anyway, as if you’re already wired to be what you are. I have no plans to write a novella or novel. I like exploring a variety of ideas, so short form seems to work best for me.
BC: Many of your stories deal with second chances, going back to correct past mistakes, etc. Is there a significance for you with this theme, and if so, what would you like to go back and change?
TR: Yes, I think so. I do think about the past and some regrets, things I’ve missed, people I didn’t get to know or who’ve moved on. (But I know having regrets is one indication that you have a full life, filled with many choices, which is good. With no choices, you may have few opportunities, few options, and then fewer regrets, but less of a say in your own life. Then again, it’s probably not too healthy to dwell on the past. Sometimes you just have to move on. Sometimes things happen for a reason.) The things I’d change would be the things I missed out on and getting to know more people. I didn’t get to see some concerts when I was younger, some bands or tours, some basketball games or players I wanted to see, so how could I go back and see them? Now lots of them are posted on YouTube, so that really alleviates some of that regret or feelings of loss. I have tremendous regrets about not getting to know some girls in my past, or about seeing things end too soon. I miss some people in my past. I do have regrets about not being nice to some people when I was younger, mostly about not including people in things, maybe being too insular, and I would like to apologize to those people, or go back in time and set things right and make it up to them.
BC: Your work has many positive messages. Was “upbeat bizarro” something you consciously explored and if so, where do you think it stands among more aggresive/excessive bizarro?
TR: I don’t mind forms of the extreme, it just seemed like there was a lot of negative, overly dark, or gross-out stuff already out there. So what is missing in the marketplace? What void could I fill so as to make me feel like the work I create matters and has a reason for being? So going the other direction seemed interesting to me –getting on the vibe that unusual stories don’t all have to have a bad ending. Many fairy tales have happy endings. Though I recognize that having characters go through the wringer and then just shrug and accept things can mitigate some of the negativity. I wouldn’t say all my stories end on a positive note, just that some of the people in them took the attitude that they weren’t going to be defeated or beaten down by the arbitrary crap that’s been thrown at them. There’s a strength in perseverance and seeing things through. Maybe that strength can be learned and applied to the future to make things easier. Sometimes in life right when things seem their worst, they suddenly really aren’t –that girl really did like you after all, your financial situation turns around, something at work changes for the better. Sometimes not reacting right away, taking a “wait and see” attitude, is the best course of action. Or thinking long term.
Why can’t you learn something from a happy or curious experience? Why can’t a poignant tale or metaphor also have a happy ending? Mostly the first two books I wrote dealt with experimental fiction and modern fairy tales –trying to expand the capabilities, depth, forms, and boundaries of fiction, making those boundaries more elastic. The last book had more mini-adventures in them. So I was trying to turn people on to possibilities, making people think. I was also trying to illustrate the notion that there is treasure all around –in the forms of friendship, knowledge, inspiration, etc. Also, what I was going for in the last book was a sense of discovery and adventure. As I got into the working world, I feared my life was becoming routine, that the sense of adventure and discovery about life was being lost. So writing odd adventures seemed to help with that. I’m not saying dark stories are bad, I’d just like to add to the variety that’s available.
BC: Any new projects on the horizon?
TR: I just finished three new collections –one absurdist, and two that are similar to my last short story collection, Eyeballs, which are imaginative, whimsical, dreamy, absurd, surreal fantasy, sci-fi, and fairytale action adventures. After those are released, I will continue to work on marketing and promotion for them. It’s tough to get the word out about the books. I feel kind of isolated living in Minneapolis. But I don’t know what’s next after the new books are published and marketed. I have several other collections of shorts started, but they need work. I suppose that’s the sense of discovery in it all though –in finding out what’s next. That brings up a question I struggle with –what is success? To be an artist you can’t just coast on technique or comfortable formula, you have to go out there and explore the unknown in order to grow. You need to reach beyond what you already know in order to progress and stay fresh. But how many books like what I do does the world need?
BC: Finally, you’re cornered by a ravenous demon who agrees to spare your soul in exchange for a story. What’s the premise of your soul-saving tale?
TR: Funny thing, that actually happened to me when I was in 6 th grade. When cornered, I told this demon about this demon converter thing. They gave them out to everyone in my home room, maybe even everyone at my school. Mine was in the shape of a rock, and I showed it to the demon. He was curious and foolish enough to act as if it couldn’t hurt him, as though he was not scared, as most every demon behaves. He asked how it worked, thinking it was a challenge and he could defeat me, work his way around my defenses (the rock). So I explained: “I simply press it against your forehead and it sort of re-wires your thinking. Like this.” He leaned in, as if daring me to try something. And I slammed the rock against that soft spot in his temple, dropping him and causing him some temporary memory loss. While he was in this woozy state, I hypnotized him into being a good demon. And thus, in a sense, proceeding to re-wire his thinking via the rock. Now we’re pals. He sends me a Christmas card every year. So the moral of that story is: rocks are good, if deployed properly.
Buy LAREDO here.
Buy EYEBALLS GROWING ALL OVER ME . . . AGAIN here.
I came across this link a while back. Trying to come up with any explaination for why these photographs exist is a pretty fun game, that is if you are up for the challenge.
by William Pauley III
What would a child’s drawing look like if it were painted realistically? Have you ever wondered? If so, you’re in luck, artist Dave Devries has been hard at work on something he likes to call The Monster Engine. TME is a simple, but interesting concept. It allows us to see the darker side of child’s mind a little more clearly than they are capable of showing us themselves. While most of these look cute and innocent, others look horrific and downright evil. Visit his site and have a looksie for yourself. It’s an interesting project, for sure.
by Scott Emerson
Taken from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s “An Even Scarier Solstice”, “Slay Ride” re-tells “Herbert West–Re-Animator” in Christmas carol form.
Australian weirdo Matthew Revert, author of A MILLION VERSIONS OF RIGHT and his latest THE TUMOURS MADE ME INTERESTING, has a brand spanking new blog and it’s hot, steamy, and full of interesting bits about art, writing, and book design. Bizarro Central highly recommends that you have yourselves a visit.
Coming soon from Voodoo Press is the German edition of Jordan Krall’s bizarro epic Fistful of Feet! Check out the Voodoo Press website for more info.
It’s Tom Waits’ 62nd birthday today! Mr. Waits has been marching to the beat of his own drum since the late 1960s, combining pretty much every genre of music into each of his brilliantly orchestrated albums.
This year was a big year for him. Not only did he get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he also had a new album, BAD AS ME, come out, his first in seven years.
If you’ve never listened to him before, you really, really should.
Here’s one of my favorites. Classic video, too.