The cult section of the literary world

Eraserhead Press

Show Me Your Shelves: Shane Cartledge

Shane Cartledge is one of the really cool emerging voices in bizarro fiction. His first book, House Hunter, was published in 2012 as part of the New Bizarro Author Series. Since BizarroCon is nonstop fun and mayhem, I didn’t get to sit down with my Bionic Brother in Portland, but have been in touch ever since, and he’s a great guy: talented, mellow, humble, and he loves Junji Ito. Now Shane’s second novel is here, so it’s a perfect time for him to show us his stuff and talk books. Dig.

Who are you and what role do books play in your life?

I’m Shane. I read books. I write books. I live them in my head. Books are the key to my imagination. Smashing words together in a way that makes different people picture different things in their heads, I think that’s a very powerful thing. It seems mostly harmless, but it can be terrifying, the things books can make you think. It can also be beautiful. At times it can be blissful, surreal, chaotic, or cathartic. With each book, there is a different experience to be had, and within books, a complex network of thoughts and emotions. It overwhelms me. I read to experience those feelings. I write hoping that other people can feel it too while reading my own work. What more is there to books?

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You were part of the greatest NBAS class ever. What did you learn? Do you think it changed your career in a significant way?

I have five other authors to thank for my NBAS class being so great. The books were magical. I went to places I’ve never been and never could imagine from the comfort of my own home. I made so many friends and I learned that this first book was only the beginning of something. I learned what hard work really is, and that I’ll never achieve much without it. I learned that respect and admiration is earned. You don’t wake up published and dive Scrooge McDuck style into a pool of royalty money. Every book sold is a blessing. Every book read. Every review. Every time someone tells someone else about this book they read that was yours. I learned that everyone won’t love my book (and some might really dislike it) and that’s okay, and the solution to it is to wake up the next day and keep writing. Write something better. Write what you love to write. Write what you’re afraid to write because you think it’s beyond your limits. Don’t be afraid to go insane. Of course the NBAS changed my career in a significant way. I became part of a collective. I found out how little I knew about the publishing industry, how little writing experience I had, how much hard work I had ahead of me if I really wanted to stick around. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Is living in Australia an impediment to your career in the US? Are there any pains that come from it besides the price of sending books this way?

Pretty much all the book-related shipping I do is international shipping. I’ve had books sent to me that have wound up missing, and some of those books were one-of-a-kind limited edition type deals. It hurts both me and the guy on the other end. Every time I ship books out I’m worried they won’t arrive. I’ve come to peace with the cost of international shipping, and I’m constantly thinking of ways to work around that to give people the best deals I can without running at a loss. But I’m always concerned about whether or not my books will arrive. It sucks being so far from all the writers I cherish. It sucks that I can’t afford to fly out to Portland for BizarroCon each year. Talking with other writers is something I’m getting used to, trying to work around American time zones in order to have a decent conversation. I guess the other thing would be that I don’t really have much of a local writing collective. It might just be that I’m shy and don’t get out all that much, there isn’t much in terms of readings/events/conventions in my part of the world (and specifically my part of the country). I’m constantly telling myself that I need to talk more with local poets and writers and try to latch on to everything that comes along and try to boost it up a bit, to try building up a local network.

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You read books and comics, so let’s split it: give me the best five books you’ve read this year and the top five comics.

Okay. Books:

One – Long Lost Dog of It, by Michael Kazepis. His prose is so smooth, the details are so sharp and clear, the story is raw and aggressive.

Two – Crystal Eaters, by Shane Jones. I just finished it, and there’s this mythic quality about it, the child-like simplicity of the concept and the way that you see it from the beginning charging head-first towards heartbreak.

Three – The Creek, by Justin Grimbol. There is a lot of humour and a lot of heart in Justin’s writing, and I think it is beautifully displayed here in his poetry collection.

Four – The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World, by Brian Allen Carr. Carr’s writing, like Jones, has that mythic quality about it, but it exists on a darker spectrum. It’s an all-consuming monster, and it is beautiful.

Five – Black Cloud, by Juliet Escoria. This is the world unfiltered and brimming with conflicting emotions. Short stories with characters saying and doing things you wish they wouldn’t, feeling things you know are true feelings. It feels real.

Comics, while I read American comics on occasion, I read a ton of manga. Here’s my five picks:

One – Knights of Sidonia, by Tsutomu Nihei. If there’s one name I can hammer into the skulls of people reading this, it’s Tsutomu Nihei. His works are beautifully, apocalyptically sublime. He is a science fiction visionary and artist.

Two – Claymore, by Norihiro Yagi. This one’s been going on for a while, and I’m currently up to date at volume 24 in the series. The story has a Dragonball Z style build up of powerful heroes fighting powerful monsters with each volume building up to something larger and more inconceivable than the last. I read it for the monsters which never cease to amaze me.

Three – Attack on Titan, by Hajime Isayama. Giant naked humanoid creatures eating humans towards extinction? Brilliant!

Four – Gyo, by Junji Ito. I’ve had this manga on my watch list for a long time but volume 1 was always unavailable. It’s a 2 volume horror manga from the author of the infamous Uzumaki. Same tone, except instead of being haunted by spirals, it’s a fish apocalypse. Gruesome. Wicked.

Five – Mardock Scramble, by Tow Ubukata and Yoshitoki Oima. Cyberpunk assassin revenge story. Seven volumes. Lots of action. And there are shape shifting hamsters and talking dolphins in there somewhere too.

What’s your new book about and why should we spend our coffee money on it?

My new book is about milk (get Day of the Milkman HERE!). How a world is drowned in it, people rely upon it to continue their day-to-day lives, and then a milkman wakes up to find that he’s the last of his people, left floating in a curdling ocean. It’s about the will to survive. It’s about the search for meaning and understanding. It’s about coping with loss and trying to comprehend the world around you. But really, it’s just about milk.

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Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias


New Eraserhead Press Releases — SPRING 2013

shatnerquestmermaids

SHATNERQUEST by Jeff Burk

After the apocalypse, three Star Trek fans and their morbidly obese cat embark on a quest to save their beloved idol, the one and only William Shatner, from the hostile world America has become.

But their journey will not be easy, for the wasteland is filled with cannibal cults, Klingon biker gangs, Zombie Borg, and all manner of mutant creatures. And once they arrive at their destination, they discover that William Shatner has been transformed into Shatzilla – a giant 100-story radioactive monster hell-bent on destroying all of Los Angeles.

Now instead of saving Shatner from this new apocalyptic world, these three fans must save the world from this new apocalyptic Shatner. If only there was another giant monster who could take him down…

From the author who brought you the cult hit Shatnerquake, comes another Shat-tastic sci-fi comedy that proves once and for all that there actually is something even bigger than William Shatner’s ego. And it is… William Shatner!

Click here to buy from Amazon.com

VILLAGE OF THE MERMAIDS by Carlton Mellick III

MERMAID [mur-meyd] noun — a rare species of fish evolved to resemble the appearance of a woman in order to attract male human prey.

Mermaids are protected by the government under the Endangered Species Act, which means you aren’t able to kill them even in self-defense. This is especially problematic if you happen to live in the isolated fishing village of Siren Cove, where there exists a healthy population of mermaids in the surrounding waters that view you as the main source of protein in their diet.

The only thing keeping these ravenous sea women at bay is the equally-dangerous supply of human livestock known as Food People. Normally, these “feeder humans” are enough to keep the mermaid population happy and well-fed. But in Siren Cove, the mermaids are avoiding the human livestock and have returned to hunting the frightened local fishermen. It is up to Doctor Black, an eccentric representative of the Food People Corporation, to investigate the matter and hopefully find a way to correct the mermaids’ new eating patterns before the remaining villagers end up as fish food. But the more he digs, the more he discovers there are far stranger and more dangerous things than mermaids hidden in this ancient village by the sea.

Like a Lovecraftian version of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Village of the Mermaids is a dystopian mystery that proves once again how cult author Carlton Mellick III brings the weird to a whole new level.

AVAILABLE AT WWW.AMAZON.COM

SUMMER 2013 RELEASES:
(Coming in July)

“In Heaven Everything is Fine: Stories Inspired by the Films of David Lynch” ed. by Cameron Pierce
“Quicksand House” by Carlton Mellick III
“Japan Conquers the Galaxy” by Kirsten Alene
“You Are a Sloth” by Steve Lowe


Carlton Mellick III Celebrates His 40th Book Release with VILLAGE OF THE MERMAIDS

Starting with Satan Burger in 2001, author Carlton Mellick III has since become one of the most prolific authors of his generation. His average release schedule is four books per year, with a maximum of six releases in a single year. He has now reached 40 books in print at the age of 35. If he keeps up this pace he’ll break 100 books by the time he turns 50.

“If I thought there was a market for it I could easily write 10+ books per year instead of just 4,” says Carlton. “I am a full-time writer and I write at least 500 words per hour. If I actually worked like a person with a full-time day job, writing 8 hours a day 5 days a week, that would be an output of 80,000 words per month and 960,000 words per year. Since my average word length for a book is 40,000 words, I am theoretically capable of writing 24 books in a year. But that would be a hell of a lot of books!”

Whenever he’s asked if he feels like the quality of his work suffers from having such a large output, he always has the same response.

“Actually, it’s the complete opposite. The more I focus on quantity, the more the quality improves. If I ever write three books back to back in a three month period, the second book will always be better than the first and the third book will always be the best of the three. What does affect quality is stagnation. Never take too much time off between books. Trying to get back into writing after a long break is like trying to get back into shape after a two year fast food binge. It’s not a pretty sight.”

For his 40th book, Carlton chose to write a book about killer mermaids.

“I didn’t know it was going to be my 40th book when I wrote it, I just wanted to write a book about mermaids,” says Carlton. “Yeah, that’s right, I wrote a mermaid book. I wrote it because I think mermaids are awesome. I also think fairies and unicorns are awesome. You got a problem with that?”

Village of the Mermaids is now available at amazon.com

village of the mermaids

VILLAGE OF THE MERMAIDS

MERMAID [mur-meyd] noun — a rare species of fish evolved to resemble the appearance of a woman in order to attract male human prey.

Mermaids are protected by the government under the Endangered Species Act, which means you aren’t able to kill them even in self-defense. This is especially problematic if you happen to live in the isolated fishing village of Siren Cove, where there exists a healthy population of mermaids in the surrounding waters that view you as the main source of protein in their diet.

The only thing keeping these ravenous sea women at bay is the equally-dangerous supply of human livestock known as Food People. Normally, these “feeder humans” are enough to keep the mermaid population happy and well-fed. But in Siren Cove, the mermaids are avoiding the human livestock and have returned to hunting the frightened local fishermen. It is up to Doctor Black, an eccentric representative of the Food People Corporation, to investigate the matter and hopefully find a way to correct the mermaids’ new eating patterns before the remaining villagers end up as fish food. But the more he digs, the more he discovers there are far stranger and more dangerous things than mermaids hidden in this ancient village by the sea.

Like a Lovecraftian version of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Village of the Mermaids is a dystopian mystery that proves once again how cult author Carlton Mellick III brings the weird to a whole new level.

AVAILABLE AT WWW.AMAZON.COM


SHATNERQUEST by Jeff Burk – out now from Eraserhead Press

shatnerquest

After the apocalypse, three Star Trek fans and their morbidly obese cat embark on a quest to save their beloved idol, the one and only William Shatner, from the hostile world America has become.

But their journey will not be easy, for the wasteland is filled with cannibal cults, Klingon biker gangs, Zombie Borg, and all manner of mutant creatures. And once they arrive at their destination, they discover that William Shatner has been transformed into Shatzilla – a giant 100-story radioactive monster hell-bent on destroying all of Los Angeles.

Now instead of saving Shatner from this new apocalyptic world, these three fans must save the world from this new apocalyptic Shatner. If only there was another giant monster who could take him down…

From the author who brought you the cult hit Shatnerquake, comes another Shat-tastic sci-fi comedy that proves once and for all that there actually is something even bigger than William Shatner’s ego. And it is… William Shatner!

Click here to buy from Amazon.com


Eraserhead Press Winter 2013 Releases

cuddlyCuddly Holocaust by Carlton Mellick III

The war between humans and toys has come to an end. The toys won.

Teddy bears, dollies, and little green soldiers-they’ve all had enough of you. They’re sick of being treated like playthings for spoiled little brats. They have no rights, no property, no hope for a future of any kind. You’ve left them with no other option-in order to be free, they must exterminate the human race.

Julie is a human girl undergoing reconstructive surgery in order to become a stuffed animal. Her plan: to infiltrate enemy lines in order to save her family from the toy death camps. But when an army of plushy soldiers invade the underground bunker where she has taken refuge, Julie will be forced to move forward with her plan despite her transformation being not entirely complete.

Like a crazy cult movie in book form, Cuddly Holocaust is yet another tale that proves why Wonderland Book Award-winning author Carlton Mellick III is considered a master of the weird.

 

thunderpussybarbee1Thunderpussy by David W. Barbee

When it comes to high-tech global espionage, only one man has the balls to save humanity from the world’s most powerful bastards. His libido is legendary and his mustache once killed a man. He’s the cat’s pajamas and the dog’s bollocks. He’s Declan Magpie Bruce, Agent 00X.

And when every other spy is perforated, it’s up to him to stop a maniacal genius bent on destroying the planet. To do so, he’ll navigate a deadly gauntlet of kung fu Rastafarians, freakish henchmen, velociraptor ladies, and the most dangerous pussy in the world. There will be secrets and seduction, luxury and lunacy, and a beautiful French jewel thief who could kick Declan Bruce’s arse with her eyes closed.

Thunderpussy is a bizarro cyberspy thriller that’ll fry every microchip the government secretly implanted in your brain.

 

pmjPapier-mâché Jesus by Kevin L. Donihe

Kevin L Donihe is in the vanguard of a new type of brave and original writers that combine fun and childlike imagination with rich poignant themes. In his second collection, Papier Mache Jesus, Donihe’s surreal wit and beautiful mind-bending imagination is on full display with stories such as All Children Go to Hell, Happiness is a Warm Gun, The Vibrant Tools of Dr. Imago, The Boy Memorial, and Swimming in Endless Night.

“…one of bizarro’s most notoriously original and entertaining writers.” –MICHAEL ARNZEN, author of 100 Jolts

“Kevin L. Donihe is brilliant. One of the most creative, most original authors out there, Donihe is in my top five list of sure things. When I need a little surrealism, a little thought to my scare and tear, it’s him I sprint to.” –HORROR WEB

 

hammerwivesHammer Wives by Carlton Mellick III

Fish-eyed mutants, oceans of insects, and flesh-eating women with hammers for heads.

Like a real world Kilgore Trout, cult author Carlton Mellick III has been pumping out dozens of the weirdest, trashiest, most imaginative books you’ve probably never heard of… even though you definitely should. Hammer Wives collects six of his most popular novelettes and short stories, including:

SIMPLE MACHINES
A man discovers that his body is actually a machine run by dozens of miniature clones of himself.

RED WORLD
A recovering junky must save his 8-year-old brother from a life of prostitution in a surreal version of New York City… a place where street kids mutate into fish-like creatures, the homeless stilt-walk through oceans of insects, and the only colors left visible to the human eye are shades of red.

HAMMER WIVES
A young man inherits ten eternally youthful wives from an estranged uncle he never knew he had… which wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if they didn’t have giant hammers for heads or a tendency of bludgeoning people to death for fun, food, or sexual pleasure.

LEMON KNIVES ‘N’ COCKROACHES
Cockroach-like children survive the zombie apocalypse by hiding between the walls of on old school building.

WAR PIG
In a steam-powered underworld, a bloodthirsty pig-man boxer will sacrifice everything to prevent his son from following in his footsteps.

THE MAN WITH THE STYROFOAM BRAIN
The recently departed reflect on the stupid reasons why they sold their souls to the devil.


Latest Kindle Releases

all monster action

All-Monster Action by Cody Goodfellow

This digital edition includes bonus short story “Wet Nurse” as well as “We Need to Make Things More Repulsive: The Early Sketches of Nick Gucker“! And as an added bonus, it STILL INCLUDES all of the original content, which means you’ve also got mind-melting art from maestro Mike Dubisch as well as the craziest Cody stories ever put to print!

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…

COMING ATTRACTIONS!

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!

Extinction-Journals-Johnson-Jeremy-9781933929019

Extinction Journals by Jeremy “Stabby” Johnson

Newly revised 2012 digital edition includes “The Sharp-Dressed Man at the End of the Line,” the classic short story explaining the origin of the world’s weirdest post-nuke survivor.

“Jeremy Robert Johnson’s novella of the apocalypse is a supremely weird reading experience, sitting somewhere between Chuck Palahniuk and John Wyndham. Extinction Journals is a hybrid, a mutant child of 1950′s paranoia and contemporary dystopia. Bleak, funny, apocalyptic and affecting, it stays with you long after you’ve finished it.”–THE ZONE (UK)

unicorn-battle-squad

Unicorn Battle Squad by Kirsten Alene

Mutant unicorns. A palace with a thousand human legs. The most powerful army on the planet. A first world city on the verge of collapse.

In a city where teetering skyscrapers block out the sky, a city populated by lowly clerks, rumors have been circulating of a terror in the east. When Carl, the lowliest clerk on the negative twelfth floor, discovers that the city is indeed in grave danger, he sets out to warn the city’s protectors: the Unicorn Riders.
Although Carl’s missing father has left him a unicorn of his own, it is a small and sickly creature. Even worse, there is a crab claw growing from its side. But the Unicorn Riders need as much help as they can get, and soon every able rider sets out for the city’s flooded perimeter in a steam-powered Spanish galleon.
An epic journey that spans desert and sea, through the bedchambers of a fearsome Eastern queen, and into the devastation of a conquered city, Unicorn Battle Squad is the story of a boy and his unicorn at the end of the world.

Die You Doughnut Bastards by Cameron Pierce

In Die You Doughnut Bastards, amputees, lonely young people, and talking animals struggle for survival against the freakish whims of nature. A typewriter made of fetuses is the source of woe for an expecting couple. Tao Lin rewrites The Human Centipede 2. A girl with a glass jaw hides an otherworldly secret. A demonic loner goes to a birthday party in Hell. You’ll encounter a killer in a marsupial mask, a prison for anorexics, haunted pancakes, and a songwriter with a cult following.

Surreal prose poems give way to personal accounts of alienation and modern love. Vegetarian narwhals are sold at the supermarket. And in a city that might be your own, zombie doughnuts are rising up. Kill yourself before they kill you. Or just kill yourself.

Featuring original illustrations in the style of Daniel Johnston, Die You Doughnut Bastards is the latest way to drown, brought to you by Wonderland Book Award-winning author Cameron Pierce.

artisthedevil

Art is the Devil by John Skipp

When two young badass women stop by an insane Charlie Sheen-based art exhibit, their night of mind-warping horror is only beginning. Splatterpunk legend John Skipp delivers the high-voltage hardcore thrills in this outrageous, bodacious short story.


OUT NOW: Thunderpussy

Hi, kids. Do you like the seedy underground world of international treachery? Do you wish your shoes were phones and your inkpen shot lasers? Are you dangling from a ceiling somewhere trying to steal famous jewels? Well even this doesn’t apply to you, you’ll still be happy to know that my new book THUNDERPUSSY is now available from Eraserhead Press.

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So before a squad of sexy ninjas burst into your room to thwart you, head to Amazon and show Agent 00X some love. This blog post will self-destruct in five seconds (so hurry!).


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