The cult section of the literary world

Eraserhead Press

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!

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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!).


Why The NBAS Is The Place To Be

by Gabino Iglesias

When I was growing up, money was very tight. No one gave me anything. Ever. That kind of upbringing is great because it turns you into a hustler. If I wanted something, I went out and got it, built it or stole it. When I went to college, I paid my way tutoring English to first year students who had the IQ of a fence post. For my masters degree, being a research assistant, working construction and meddling in landscaping did the trick. When I moved to Austin, the story continued.

You’re probably asking yourself why I’m telling you all this. It’s simple. Tamara Romero, Joe W. Wargo, Shane Cartledge, Gary Arthur Brown, Andrew Wayne Adams and yours truly are part of the 2012 New Bizarro Author Series. This means we’re here and we’re ready, willing, and able to hustle in order to sell some books. Why? Again, the response is simple: the NBAS is the place to be.

Most folks are in denial about it, but the truth is breaking into the publishing industry is almost impossible nowadays. The NBAS gives new authors a chance to share their work with the world and prove themselves in the process. But that chance is all you get. You have to bust your ass to turn your book into an event. Some NBASers have failed. Some have slowly faded or simply moved away from the bizarro scene. Others, however, have hustled and fought and kicked and screamed like rabid motherfuckers with a chip on their shoulder. Those NBAS O.G.s are still around writing books and taking names. They have built an audience for the series and cracked some of the codes necessary to pimp your work in a saturated market. They are the ones that have turned the NBAS into the place to be, especially if you’re ready to be like Andre Williams: agile, mobile, and hostile.

Take Kevin Shamel. The guy started in the NBAS and now has two books under his belt (besides other things) and more on the way, works as an editor for Eraserhead Press, and is responsible for a large percentage of this year’s series. He’s not rolling around Portland in a pink polka dot Cadillac with spinning aquarium rims (yet!), but if you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s living the dream.

Another perfect example is the very sick Steve Lowe. He has not one but two new books out there right now, Mio Padre, il Tumore and Samurai vs. Robo-Dick. Also, King of the Perverts received a lot of love from both fans and critics. That’s three books in a year. We all hate you a bit, Steve, just keep that in mind.

Then there’s Kirsten Alene Pierce. Not only is Unicorn Battle Squad, her second book, out now and already creating a buzz, she has also established her voice in the bizarro genre with a unique, dinosaur and unicorn-infused style

You want more? One of my favorite bizarro titles of 2011 was A Town Called Suckhole. It’s author, sexy beast David W. Barbee, also got his start in the NBAS. He has another book coming in early 2013. And that surely won’t be his last.

Sure, I’ll keep going. Before he was Mr. Every-Fucking-Where, best-selling author Patrick Wensink was an NBASer. Not all NBAsers will get the pleasure of poking Fifty Shades of Grey in the ass with a cattle prod of bizarro awesomeness, but if it happened once, it can happen twice. Also, Patrick was a hell of a writer before he was a runaway success in sales. Besides being a talented author, he deserves every ounce of attention he gets simply because he did his thing and stuck to his bizarro guns.

Finally, there’s last year’s NBASers, the ridiculously talented folks that pushed the bar that much higher for us and some of whom shared their knowledge and hard-earned wisdom at BizarroCon. Spike Marlowe, Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Michael Allen Rose, Justin Grimbol and Vince Kramer all dropped some knowledge on us newbies. They all hustled their way into bright, weird-as-fuck literary futures. Now we follow in their footsteps and look for new lands to conquer with our books. And we will do it because opportunity doesn’t motherfucking knock! We’ve got books, we’re international, we’re hungry, and we’re goddamn ready to hustle. Be ready. Get drunk. Be afraid. Prepare to read. Get naked. Buy our books. The NBAS is the place to be and we know it. We’re here.


Now Available: The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Seven)

issue7The premier magazine of the bizarro genre.

Issue seven features the novella “Noah’s Arkopolis” by David W Barbee short fiction by David Agranoff, Molly Tanzer, Andrew Wayne Adams, Shane McKenzie and Dustin Reade, comics by Andrew Goldfarb and SCAR, articles by Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Carlton Mellick III, Kirsten Alene Pierce, Garrett Cook and Bradley Sands, a spotlight on author Jordan Krall, reviews, and more!

Click HERE to order The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Seven)!


21C Magazine Interview With Jeremy Robert Johnson

“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.


Now Available: THE BEST BIZARRO FICTION OF THE DECADE

A feeling has been tearing up the underground of the fiction world. It’s a nightmare reflection of the society you inhabit, a surreal explosion of pop, punk, and the post-apocalypse. Over the last decade, Bizarro Fiction has changed the definition of avant garde, it’s abolished the traditional prose of yesterday and established a new precedent for awesome. Collected in this anthology is some of the best weird fiction from the past decade. Award-winning writers, cult prodigies and burgeoning talents all collected together in one place. This is what you’ve done with the last ten years of your life.

With stories by:

D. Harlan Wilson, Alissa Nutting, Joe R. Lansdale, Carlton Mellick III, Kevin L. Donihe, Blake Butler, Ryan Boudinot, Vincent Sakowski, Cody Goodfellow, Amelia Gray, Robert Devereaux, Mykle Hansen, Athena Villaverde, Matthew Revert, Garrett Cook, Roy Kesey, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Aimee Bender, Ian Watson & Roberto Quaglia, Jeremy C. Shipp, Andersen Prunty, Jedediah Berry, Andrea Kneeland, Kurt Dinan, David Agranoff, Ben Loory, Kris Saknussemm, Stephen Graham Jones, Bentley Little, David W. Barbee, and Tom Piccirilli.

Published by Eraserhead Press. Edited by Cameron Pierce.

Order The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade today.


Coming in October from Eraserhead Press


TUMOR FRUIT by Carlton Mellick III – Out Now!

The latest book from Carlton Mellick III is available now. It is a “mysterious island” story for the bizarro audience.

tumor fruit

TUMOR FRUIT

If they don’t act fast, they’ll never get out alive…

Eight desperate castaways find themselves stranded on a mysterious deserted island. They are surrounded by poisonous blue plants and an ocean made of acid. Strange creatures lurk in the toxic jungle. The ghostly sound of crying babies can be heard on the wind.

Once they realize the rescue ships aren’t coming, the eight castaways must band together in order to survive in this inhospitable environment. But survival might not be possible. The air they breathe is toxic, there is no shelter from the elements, and the only food they have to consume is the squid-shaped tumors that grow from a mentally disturbed woman’s body.

From the crazy imagination of bizarro fiction master Carlton Mellick III comes Tumor Fruit–an intense survival story full of eccentric characters, nail-biting suspense, and unpredictable twists.

Like LOST on steroids, for the bizarro generation.

Available at amazon.com


The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction Issue Six Now Available!

The premier magazine of the bizarro genre. Issue six features the novella “Red World” by Carlton Mellick III, short fiction by Kevin Dole 2, Cameron Pierce, Andre Duza, Bradley Sands and Kevin Shamel, comics by Andrew Goldfarb and Richard Tingley, articles by Lloyd Kaufman, Carlton Mellick III, Christopher Reynaga and Spike Marlowe, a spotlight on author Kris Saknussemm, reviews, and more!

Now available on amazon.com! Click HERE to get yours!


Out Now: SPACE WALRUS by Kevin L. Donihe and WALRUS TALES edited by Kevin L. Donihe

Space: the final frontier… these are the voyages of… a walrus?

Forget about squid and put your flippers together for the new stars of weird fiction: walruses.

Eraserhead Press is proud to announce the simultaneous release of not one, but TWO Kevin L. Donihe walrus books. Nine years ago, Donihe set out to compile the first ever anthology of walrus stories. That book, Walrus Tales, is finally upon us. The anthology contains stories by Bentley Little, Carlton Mellick III, Mykle Hansen, John Skipp, Alan M. Clark, Nick Mamatas, Gina Ranalli, Violet LeVoit, Rhys Hughes, and many more.

Not content to bestow upon the world merely one walrus book,  Kevin L. Donihe set about writing a novel in the walrusian mode. Space Walrus is Kevin L. Donihe’s most compelling work since his Wonderland Book Award-winning novel, House of Houses.

 

 


Happy Birthday Rose!

Today is Rose O’Keefe’s birthday!

If you don’t know who Rose is, you have some explaining to do.

She’s the  Publisher and Owner of Eraserhead Press, and basically the reason that you all get to enjoy Bizarro Fiction!

We wish her a fabulous day filled with magic, dancing, and delicious cake!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSE! And thanks for all that you do!

Feel free to leave her some birthday love in the comments below.


AVAILABLE NOW: Tentacle Death Trip

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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.

BUY IT HERE.


OUT NOW: “The Handsome Squirm” by Carlton Mellick III

THE HANDSOME SQUIRM

A tale of marriage, child-rearing, and vaginas that eat people.

A man is arrested in the middle of the night. He doesn’t know why. He doesn’t remember committing any crime. The cops drop him off in a small community in the middle of the woods where a wedding is about to begin. It is his wedding. He doesn’t recognize the bride, but she’s allegedly pregnant with his children. All twelve of them. And by law, he must marry her or go to prison for the next two decades.

But who is this strange woman he is to spend the rest of his life with? She doesn’t seem quite human. Her expressions are cold and emotionless. Her movements are like that of a spider. She is Usagi, a creature who feeds on her human mate during pregnancy. Now this man has to find a way to terminate the marriage if he is to survive. But it’s not going to be easy. His friends, his family, and his country are all against him. They believe a father should be willing to give up anything for the sake of his family. Even his life.

Like Franz Kafka’s The Trial meets an erotic body horror version of The Blob, this darkly absurd tale is classic Mellick.

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM


“Mamma Mia, That’s a Spicy Anthology!” A Review of Amazing Stories of The Flying Spaghetti Monster

by Steve Shroyer

In 2005 a young man sent a message to the state school board in Kansas, and inadvertently created a cult icon. Bobby Henderson’s letter to the Kansas Board of Education was in response to the board’s plan to teach the scientifically unfounded theory of “Intelligent Design” alongside the more scientific Evolution theory brought to us by Charles Darwin. Henderson’s logic is that if these intelligent design folks say an unknown being created the universe, why can’t this being be a floating mass of pasta. Thus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster was born, and a cult of followers who called themselves “Pastafarians” began spreading his tasty word around the internet and anywhere intelligent design was being debated.

While I am not a devout Pastafarian (I am happy being a Methodist, do it please ya) I like the idea of FSM and what he stands for which is basically pointing out right wing loons and their falsehoods. That is something I get a kick out of quite intensely, and being someone who has at least a few books on the religious right on his shelf, right next to F.A Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and Hunter S. Thompson’s Generation of Swine, I find that this kind of humor is also well founded. The only problem was is that we had no works of fiction that could capture FSM’s giddy mixture of religion and Monty Python silliness without being contrived(look at the star ratings for the book God Speaks and the reviews inside to see what I mean.) until now. Cameron Pierce, whom I consider the Bizarro offspring of Tim Burton and Lloyd Kaufman, has created, alongside 23 of his equally loony contemporaries, what amounts to the mother of all FSM books. That book is Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Creating a collection is not easy, some stories are juicier and more tender cuts and some stories are gristly, tough, and dry. Like a master chef crafting the ultimate pasta dish Pierce has blended perfectly savory bits of humor with spicy and flavorful darkness in every story he has included in this collection. Among the highlights are Steve Lowe’s take on a young man’s encounter with god and one Olive Garden employee that just doesn’t believe, S.G Browne’s take on James Lipton’s interview of his “Noodly Goodness” on a spin-off of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” And Adam Bolivar’s take on FSM’s attempt to become a god that features the odd pairing of Charlie Sheen and Cthulhu in one story.

I loved this book, it’s not only a good read it is also a good showcase for the talent of the writers included. Right away I began seeking out some of the author’s stuff more recently completing Spore which was written by two authors in this book, John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow.
This book is a perfect gateway to the Bizarro genre for those who can’t see themselves reading the genre’s more offbeat titles.

So what are you waiting for? Get this book and be touched by his Noodly Appendage!

Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster featuring stories by John Skipp, Stephen Graham Jones, Kate Bernheimer, S.G. Browne, Cody Goodfellow, Mykle Hansen, Kevin L. Donihe, Bradley Sands, Jeffrey Thomas, Kelli Owen, and many more, is available now on Amazon!


Review: Lost In Cat Brain Land

By S.T. Cartledge

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review, so I figured I’d go right back to when I first started reading bizarro fiction. The book that started it all for me was Cameron Pierce’s “Lost in Cat Brain Land.”

It turns out that I actually wrote a review for this book way back then, and posted it to the book depository. So, to save me some time, I’ll copy and paste the review and then add my thoughts on the book now.

“This book is a quick read. At a glance it’s just a cluster of quirky short stories. The blurb on its own is just plain bizarre, however, what got me with this book, what really makes me adore it so, is how it works in its subtleties. Yes, it’s weird, but it takes a certain skill to build a connection between characters and reader, and I found numerous times that I actually cared about the little blue tea-thieving creature, or the thing that crawled up from the shower drain. It’s not weird for the sake of being weird. It’s weird pretending that everything is perfectly normal. And I guess that’s a strong metaphor in itself. Some of the short stories are better than others, but the overall quality is brilliant. As a first impression to Pierce’s work, and as a first impression to the bizarro genre, I’m thoroughly pleased with the book. If you like weird and if you like going somewhere entirely unexpected from one page to the next, and you don’t mind being disturbed (or in fact thrive on the awkward pleasure it brings) then I strongly recommend this book. I’ll probably order Pierce’s novel “Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden” very soon, as, quite simply, Lost in Cat Brain Land just wasn’t enough. I finished it and felt the need to read more of this guy.”

Now that I’ve read “Shark Hunting“, as well as a couple of his other books; “Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island“, and “Abortion Arcade“, I can quite safely say that my confidences in Cameron Pierce were well placed. I’ve even grown to respect him as an editor, putting out some fantastic books under the Eraserhead Press imprint, Lazy Fascist. Since writing that review, I’ve read a lot of bizarro in general, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my summary of the book is probably oversimplifying things a bit much. It’s not just weird pretending to be normal, it’s often of a different world altogether. No pretending. It has its own warped logic to live by. I still believe that the strength of this book, and some of Pierce’s other books, comes from his ability to make his strange foreign worlds feel close to home. We become attached to the characters. I would say his best work that I’ve read has been either “Pickled Apocalypse” or “Abortion Arcade” (and in particular from Arcade, the novella “No Children”). I have his latest book “Cthulhu Comes to the Vampire Kingdom” on order and I can’t wait. It seems he gets better with each book. Ever since I read this book, the one that introduced me to the bizarro genre, I haven’t looked back.


Now Available: Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, edited by Cameron Pierce

On the seventh day, the Flying Spaghetti Monster said, “Read me, for I am good.”

In Amazing Stories, the Flying Spaghetti Monster goes on trial to earn his godhood among a council of deities that includes Jehovah, the Buddha, Ganesh, Cthulhu, and Charlie Sheen. He is interviewed for an exclusive episode of the celebrity talk show In the Monster’s Studio to discuss his relationship with Godzilla and other famous monsters. He rears his head at an archeological dig in a desert wasteland and dines with a horde of food demons in Hell. He rescues pirates, authors, and prisoners from the cold hand of death while banishing children to suffering and starvation. He is a just god, but only if you compliment his vodka sauce.

Like an all-spaghetti evening of Adult Swim, Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will show you the many realms of His Noodly Appendage. Learn of those who worship him and the lives he touches in distant, mysterious ways.

Enjoy with Italian food and a side of Darwinism.

Featuring stories by John Skipp, Stephen Graham Jones, Kate Bernheimer, S.G. Browne, Mykle Hansen, Cody Goodfellow, Kevin L. Donihe, Bradley Sands, Kelli Owen, Jeffrey Thomas, Andersen Prunty, Bruce Taylor, David W. Barbee, Marc Levinthal, J. David Osborne, Poncho Peligroso, Kirk Jones, Steve Lowe, Kirsten Alene, Jess Gulbranson, Len Kuntz, Edmund Colell, and Adam Bolivar. Also featuring an illustration by Gwar lead singer Dave Brockie.

Click here to order Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Published by Eraserhead Press.


Piers Anthony on Writing The Sopaths

This year, one of my greatest pleasures as an editor has been working with bestselling author Piers Anthony on a novel for Fantastic Planet, the cult science fiction/fantasy imprint of Eraserhead Press. The Sopaths, which was deemed too extreme and controversial for Anthony’s commercial publishers, is a vast departure from his usual light fantasy fare. After nearly three decades of compiling notes for this novel, he finally started writing it in 2009, when his daughter died of melanoma. It’s a powerful, troubling work, and the most disturbing novel I’ve encountered in my time as an editor. The following article by Piers, included in The Sopaths as an author’s note, offers a lot of insight into his life, creative process, and the writing of this novel.

-Cameron Pierce

ON WRITING THE SOPATHS

by Piers Anthony

I have been trying to tie up loose ends as I get older, so as not to leave any projects unfinished. I am 75 at this writing, and while there is as yet no clear indication of my termination, chances are it will occur in the next decade or three. The Sopaths is the last one of any magnitude. Another reason I scheduled it for this time is that the death of my elder daughter from cancer—melanoma—in 2009 put me in the depressed mood for horror, which is not normally to my taste. That seems to have been effective.

The project dates way back. My earliest penciled note is dated 9-11-80: “Notion: when the souls run out. World population burgeons so much that the supply of new souls is exhausted, and so babies start being born without souls. This could be a horror story.” The underlying assumption being that the soul is the source of empathy, conscience, remorse, and emotional appreciation for the arts, which I see as deriving from empathy. In science, these things may derive from mirror neurons, which echo our feelings as events happen, enabling us to relive the associated feelings and to relate them to others, feeling their feelings. Empathy may be the foundation of what makes us human. Perhaps, for this novel, we could assume that it is the soul that activates the mirror neurons.

I started collecting newspaper clippings relating to man’s inhumanity to man, to serve as inspiration and relevance, and the earliest ones date from that time on. In the course of a decade there were so many I just had to stop. Here’s a random sample: in 1979 a Milwaukee waitress and her boyfriend picked up a pair of hitchhikers, who then killed him and beat and raped her and left her for dead. Her skull was fractured with a tire iron, but she survived and identified them. At the trial they showed no emotion, being blank and staring. They smirked and giggled to themselves, as if it were a big joke. The legal maneuvers dragged on for years, with the brothers constantly escaping and being caught, showing no remorse. They were essentially sopaths, creatures without conscience. That was just one of hundreds of similarly sickening items.

I made more pencil notes in 1981, the project now titled Angst. Somewhere in the world a woman owed two men money, so she denounced them as guerrillas, and the police killed them. There were two more men at the bus stop, so the woman denounced them too, and the police killed them. All the men were innocent. I saw how that could apply to my story: denounce people as sopaths and get them killed. There were items of mass starvation in Africa, where resources went instead to making further war. That could be considered a sopath government. There was a TV program on mercenary soldiers: ideal employment for sopaths who don’t care whom they hurt as long as they get theirs. Penciled note in 1985 about prison rape and public indifference to it. Sopaths in and out of prison, no? I made a note: “A girl could attack a man sexually, and blame him for attacking her. Sopaths can cause innocent people to be condemned by others.”

In 1986 I retitled the project The Sopaths, but it remained too ugly to write. The news items continued. In 1991 was one about a twelve-year-old boy raping a four-year-old girl. There was reference to eight- and nine-year-old boys sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl at a playground. I realized that sexual abuse isn’t limited to adults. Also that the sopath problem would manifest long before the soulless children reached adulthood, and would have to be dealt with then. So most of my huge collection of horrors became irrelevant. My last clippings are dated 1998; that aspect seemed pointless to continue.

Still I did not write the novel. It was simply too horrible for my taste. The project languished.

Finally I realized that I didn’t have to have the story as ugly as the clippings showed. I could lighten up on the detail and address the underlying problem: overpopulation and the exhaustion of the supply of souls. In fact, at times during the writing I discovered that it wasn’t horrible enough, as I moved the ugliness off-stage, and I had to restore some of it to maintain a proper balance.

That made it viable, and on February 7, 2001 I typed formal notes for the story. It was to be in three stages: first the babies born without souls and the horror one family experiences, and the reconstitution of a family of survivors. Second realization by society of the sopath menace and the need to kill sopaths. Third, the horror of the discovery that it didn’t matter if some souled people were killed, because their souls would be returned to the pool and be reborn. Thus there could be wholesale slaughter, in the name of saving the world. Still plenty ugly.

I used it as a trial project to test the word processor Word Perfect in the Linux operating system, which I was then switching to. I wrote the first chapter, but the word processor was difficult and balky. My note for February 14, 2001 says, “WordPerfect locked up, costing me my last 60 words of notes, but not any text, I think.” By the end of the month I was satisfied that I did not want that word processor, and that repulsion spread to the novel I had been using it on, and I set it aside.

In February 2010 I returned to it, this time trying out the Ubuntu Linux distribution with a word processor I liked and had been using for years, OpenOffice. Heavy reading piled in—I don’t read so much for pleasure as for business—soaking up my working time, and then my wife tripped, fell, and fractured her left elbow and right knee. She was in the emergency room, in the hospital, then at a rehabilitation center, and it was most of a month before I got her back. When she returned she was still in recovery, restricted to the house, using wheelchair and walker. I ran the house, making meals, doing laundry, shopping and so on, and managed to keep it on an even keel, but my working time was only a fraction what it had been. Thus it took four months to write the 65,000 word novel, when in prior times I had written 60,000 words a month. Fortunately I had no other projects at that time, and could take the time I needed. I am well into retirement age, but I will never retire alive. I will always be writing something, and speed is not of the essence. My next project will be another funny fantasy Xanth novel, a considerable contrast to The Sopaths.

I have written more than 140 books in my career so far, and each has its separate cast of characters. I try to avoid repeating names, but having used thousands, I find it an increasing challenge to come up with new ones. I have books of first names, and turn the pages looking for ones I haven’t used before. I don’t think I have used Abner before; it reminds me of the famous comic strip Li’l Abner. Similarly Clark; I have known people with that name but never used it. Similarly Dreda, once common, now out of fashion, the name reminding me of the spinning toy dreidel. And Bunty. When I was a baby my parents were doing relief work in Spain during the Spanish Civil War of 1937-40 and left my sister and me with our maternal grandparents in England, who hired a nanny, who I believe was a teenaged Scottish girl named Bunty. It was I think only for a couple of years, but my earliest memories are of being cared for by Bunty, who seemed like my mother. In fact I was severely disappointed when my real mother took us back and we traveled to Spain and then to America, barely escaping World War Two in Europe. That emotional disruption may account for my later emergence as a fiction writer; that sort of thing is typical of the breed, who it seems need to be jolted out of their comfortable tracks and thrown into limbo for a period to evoke their imaginative creativity. It was not a pleasant experience, and for a time I felt I would have been better off never to have existed. I never saw Bunty again, and don’t know what became of her, but the experience remains as my memory of happiness before the darkness claimed me. That name seemed fitting for the role in this novel, a woman who became an effective mother to two unrelated children in need.

This was conceived as a horror novel, and it is that, but I found that it has also an environmental and perhaps a theological theme of a sort. In this case it’s not the viability of air, earth, and sea that mankind’s overpopulation is despoiling, but the supply of souls. I am agnostic and have no belief in the supernatural, and I regard souls as fantasy. But I should think those who do believe should have a care not to exhaust this resource too. So far they don’t seem to care, though the world is horribly hostage to the consequence. As Nefer asks in the novel: is religion really serving God or Satan? I think that’s a damn good question. If the intention is to serve God and preserve and protect the world God gave us, this business about procreation at any price has to go. Since sex can’t be abolished, or people’s desire for it—after all, God made these things too—there needs to be effective contraception. If not—then maybe we do know which side is being served.

I suspect this may be a traditionally unpublishable novel, not because of its occasional gore or the horror of its thesis, but because it recognizes the sexuality of children, which would be unleashed by those without conscience, as they are in real life. The horror and erotic markets are girt about by as many taboos as are other genres, and certain aspects of reality are avoided. So be it. I showed the sopaths the way I believe they really would be. Though I write fantasy, without believing in it, I do believe that the concept of souls being the key to conscience and human empathy is a useful way to address the problem that mankind’s unfettered exploitation of the planet is causing. We need to clean up our act soon, or we will all suffer a horrendous crash. Desperation and hunger will make people become indistinguishable from sopaths, their mischief magnified because they won’t be children.

Hereafter, the serious material covered, I will return to writing light fantasy. I enjoy that, and it is easy to do, as this present novel was not.

*

Click here to order The Sopaths.


Review-Bucket of Face

by Steve Shroyer

I remember when I heard Michael Jackson died; I was coming home from my job as a telemarketer when my mom told me the news. Personally I felt indifferent, as at this point I was experimenting with electronic music and classic rock and to me MJ’s music was too commercial. But for those of us who grew up during his heyday he was the next best thing since sliced bread. It is probably why when I read Eric Hendrixxon’s “Bucket of Face” I found myself laughing and also understanding I was in on a joke that few would get.

“Bucket” Tells the story of Charles, a doughnut shop night clerk who dreams of better cigarettes and a better life for his girlfriend (a sentient kiwi fruit).  It is when he witnesses a shootout between two Mafia members (who also happen to be sentient fruit, in this case, a banana and an apple) who leave behind a briefcase of money and the titular bucket that he finds his ticket to a better (and flavor country filled) life. There is a catch though. There is a Tomato hit-man who wants what he has and will stop at nothing to get it.

Right off the bat Hendrixson does not spend a lot of time giving you a backstory on how the fruit in the story became able to walk and talk. Instead he pushes us headlong into the universe he has created and does not pull the brakes until the final page has rolled. The book is also laugh out loud funny in a Douglas Adams, Robert Rankin, Terry Pratchett sort of way.  It is this off kilter sense of storytelling, that makes this book a must read for all Bizarro fans.

For a first effort, Hendrixson does not show a single iota of worthlessness. His prose is quick, snappy and quirky. My only complaint is that it ended.  So, if you want a fun read for that short break between classes or that bus ride to that convention, get this book. Bravo, Eric, and here’s hope for a sequel!


TOP TEN SHORT STORIES FROM JRJ!

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.

Best wishes,

JRJ

* Your mileage, of course, may vary, but trust me; this is a really solid list.


Metamorphosis Blues by Bruce Taylor

Welcome to the monstrous mind of Mr. Magic Realism

Enter a land of love beasts, intergalactic cowboys, and rock ‘n roll. A land where Sears Catalogs are doorways to insanity and men keep mysterious black boxes. In a playful, quirky style, Bruce Taylor lays out his personal pains alongside his greatest dreams, blurring the line between the real and the fantastic, and showing us what it means to sing the Metamorphosis Blues.

Absurd Encounters: A man discovers Kafka working at the local Starbucks.

Unsettling Truths: Two boys obsessed with horror movies discover the real monsters of the world.

Devilish Greetings: Satan Claus is taking over this Christmas, with a sack full of darkness and misery to share.

Visionary Dreams: A talking panther takes you to the edge of tomorrow.

PRAISE FOR BRUCE TAYLOR:

“A writer of imagination and insight, Bruce Taylor…amazed and intrigues.” -New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks

“It’s important to realize that Bruce’s stories are not strange; the world is, and he’s separated himself from it in order to show us new realities, with remarkable clarity and insight. I am one of his admirers, and I am not alone.” -Brian Herbert, co-author of the Dune series

“Bruce Taylor’s writing is always unexpected, even extraordinary. He certainly earns his title of ‘Mr. Magic Realism.’” -Kevin J. Anderson, author of the Saga of Seven Suns series

“The specialty of Bruce Taylor is brief, playful, bizarre stories that occupy the mysterious middle ground somewhere between fantasy and the surreal.” -Robert Silverberg, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Dying Inside and Starman’s Quest

“Bruce Taylor has always owned an imagination capable of jarring the most jaded reader into a state of fascination. His tales grab me by the scruff, and I wait in suspense wondering not if he will shake me, but how. Best of all, he cares for his reader more than he cares for himself, and that’s the mark of a true writer.” -Jack Cady, World Fantasy Award-winning author

Click here to get your Metamorphosis Blues today!


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