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The New Bizarro Author Series Seeks Book Submissions

Want to become a part of Eraserhead Press’s New Bizarro Author Series? We are actively seeking submissions and time is quickly running out for this year. The books will make their debut at BizarroCon in mid-November. You can read the detailed submission guidelines here.

We’ve asked our 3 series editors about the kinds of books that they are looking for. This is what they said:

Bradley Sands:

I’m only interested in novellas, so no story collections please. Please keep the books under 30,000 words. Although it specifies that in the guidelines, most of the submissions that I receive are longer.

I like books that focus on language, meaning the author put a lot of effort into writing each sentence. But I don’t like style over substance. Form and content are of equal importance to me.

I have a weakness for books that are related to pop culture and are gimmicky. But a mediocre book with a good gimmick isn’t going to work for me. It needs to be a great book with a great gimmick.

I’m looking for books that use a central high-concept idea: books that can be summed up in a sentence or two. Also, the sentence (or two) should make a potential reader excited about your book and make them want to buy it.

I prefer pitches for unwritten books over full-manuscript submissions. Send me a whole bunch. If I end up liking one, I’ll ask you for a sample of your best writing. I know there isn’t much time left to write an entire book for this year’s series, so if that’s not possible, there’s always next year.

Spike Marlowe:

I’m looking for smart, entertaining, creative stories with strong plots and emotional cores. I want stories that are unique and personal to the author, stories that couldn’t have been written by anyone else. I’m open to looking at all types of bizarro, and am excited about expanding what fits under the bizarro umbrella. I’m especially interested in authors who represent diversity in their identity and within their stories.

Kevin Donihe:

I’m looking for character-driven work in which the oddity feels natural to the story, rather than forced and unnatural to the narrative.

Bizarro News Roundup!

Gollums, Neverending Story dragon-slaying, alien sightings, cannibalism, and yet another step towards the robot apocalypse. It’s time for a Bizarro News Roundup kids! Yee-haw!

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pan

  • UFO sighting in Montana:

  • In more alien news, a retired marine has admitted to dedicating 17 years to defending 5 human colonies against Martians. He even enjoyed a nice retirement ceremony on the moon. The 30-minute video at the source link is worth a watch.

mads

peanut

The student waits to be rescued from the giant vagina sculpture

  • “Adelaide man Guy Albon, who had his four guns confiscated due to fears over his ‘mental competency’ brought about by him wearing a colander on his head in his gun licence photo, has been given the all clear after he insisted the utensil was crucial to his religion, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

Source

colliander

  • In robot apocalypse news, Japan has unveiled a new robot newscaster among other android prototypes who will plot to destroy all humans in due time! Even with the uncanny valley shit going on, robot technology is finally reaching our Asimov expectations. Enjoy the video!

falkor

Why anyone would kill a flying luck dragon who goes after school bullies is beyond me. My thoughts are with everyone in Fantasia. This is a sad day indeed.
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Credit to  for the above pic and for breaking the news and my childhood.
Never forget…
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Dilation Exercise 106

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If the artwork inspires an idea, please use the comment feature to tell us something about it. Need a further explanation? Go to Imagination Workout—The Dilation Exercises.

Alister understood enough Morse code to know he was hearing only half a conversation.

Each time the old wisteria branch paused, he wondered who was responding to its tapping.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

If you like Alan M. Clark’s artwork, please try his writing in both short fiction and novels.

Artwork: “Branch in the Wind” copyright © 2000 Alan M. Clark. Interior illustration for Flaming Arrows by Bruce Holland Rogers – IFD Publishing.

Flash Fiction Friday: Atmospheres (Excerpts)

by Jon Konrath

3

He committed suicide with a nail gun on the day before Christmas, a quick 120-psi burst from a Hitachi two and a half-inch coil sliding nailer held to his head. With a death grip on the trigger, two dozen rounds of roofing nails went straight into his skull. Everyone assumed self-destructive rage from chronic anger management issues, and that was pretty much the deal. The new mandatory NASCAR restraints and braces angered him into a constant white-hot rage, because it made it almost impossible to jerk off during the race. “Dick Trickle never had to deal with a god damned HANS restraint system when he wanted to rub one out at Talladega,” he told me at the company Christmas party. “It’s fucking communism. Next thing you know, a man won’t be able to fuck his secretary without going to prison, no matter how much she asks for it.”

As the individual who read all our corporate lawyer’s email on the server, I knew HR was assembling a sexual harassment case against him, so it’s probably good he countersunk those galvanized steel ring shank nails through his thick skull. He still had a few bucks left in the bank, enough that his family could clean up the shit, piss, and blood from his studio apartment and get a third of the deposit back. But the victims he tormented would never see one thin dime from his estate, and all of them would get fired when the company sent 90% of its jobs overseas, the domestic workforce replaced by child labor in some former Soviet satellite state.

When the NASCAR enthusiast-slash-rapist was a kid, he believed the sandman would rape him in the ass. As a kid, his pedophile uncle who listened to that Metallica black album way too much spent nights and weekends giving him molesting him after drunken listenings of “Enter Sandman.” He developed an unnatural fear of falling asleep and as an adult, consumed maddening amounts of raw coffee beans and processed sugar every evening. This was before the days of energy drinks, high-quality crystal meth, or other chemical methods to plod forward with the high of life. Sure, if you went to the right doctor, you’d get a fistful of Ritalin or some high-test amphetamines to stay sharp and make your company money. But for him, there was nothing but NASCAR obsession, Mexican pornography, and drinking large amounts of RC Cola as he stared at the ceiling fan slowly spinning in circles, mocking his insanity.

I got roped into going to his funeral, a prepaid Dale Earnhardt-themed ceremony with a nacho fountain at the graveside, and a worn cardboard cutout of The Great Intimidator standing shirtless in a drunken stupor on the South Carolina coastline. One of the dead dude’s buddies showed up in a sandman costume, and said, “Each man creates his own Heaven, his own Hell. Death has no life,” over and over, not knowing what movie he was quoting. Another guy threw a copy of the Neil Gaiman comic book from Vertigo into the casket, and mumbled about his theory on dreams, which nobody understood. Then twelve of the women he harassed at his job showed up and pissed on his corpse, stole all of his jewelry, and shoved him into a cremation oven while doing bong hits and listening to the first Deicide album at full volume, chanting “Dead by dawn! Dead by dawn!”

3

Ultrasonic modulation motherfuckers, toying with the mixtures of time and temperature. Fighting the fury, the viking abduction conspiracy. I eat the cheese from the pizza and fuck the rest, a warm rolled dough and tomato sauce womb to chafe my manhood, chunks of ham and pepperoni for your pleasure. The forgotten acupuncture needles in my forehead picked up interference from my Bluetooth keyboard as I typed forgotten cantos in pirate language (Somalian, not Captain Hook) and every line made me remember the time in fourth grade when Fat Mike shit his pants on the tilt-a-whirl and sprayed geysers of brown gold on the hillbilly county fair patrons. Solid.

Drink the blood, drink the blood, screamed the crazed shop teacher, severing his hands with the table saw and spraying down the fourth period industrial arts class with his arterial jism. “Vampires suck blood not cocks!” he yelled, right before collapsing from shock. They took up a collection and bought him a coffin at Target, with ironic sans-serif motivational slogans and a UPC code on the bottom. No assembly required. Biodegradable. Designed in Minnesota, manufactured in China. Before throwing in the dirt, a custodial worker named Boris carved the Slayer logo into the corpse’s arm and sprayed that pink industrial toilet cleaner in his eyes, just to make sure he was really dead.

Two men in front of me at Arby’s got in an endless argument about the use of the word “titular” versus “titulary.” They looked like the kind of guys that spent most of 1995 trying to convince women they were feminists because they owned a copy of the Reality Bites soundtrack and were the target demographic for Saab auto sales in the US before they went bankrupt. I flipped through one of those free newspapers filled mostly with ads for hookers and semi-legal weed clinics. This whorehouse named Ass City always ran full-page ads, with the slogan “199 tight assholes and one loose one,” and their name always reminded me of ascites, the gastroenterological term for an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, which is usually caused by cirrhosis of the liver. Always an odd association for a house of ill repute specializing in anal sex, but my inner monologue tends to wander.

“What happens in Kabul stays in Kabul,” he said. He remembered the shop teacher incident as he stabbed the butcher knife into the courtroom bench, over and over, doing the stab-the-spaces-between-your-fingers-without-looking knife game as he stared straight at the judge, unflinching, fearless, not listening to the prosecutor attempting to ask him questions, like exactly why he stood on Dick Clark’s grave with a machete in each hand, screaming “47% OF THE CRANES IN THE WORLD ARE CURRENTLY IN DUBAI AND NOBODY CARES” over and over until the police tackled and arrested him on aggravated landscaping charges, now a class B felony in Los Angeles County after that incident when the paparazzi kept spraying Agent Orange on the trees outside of Angelina Jolie’s house to get a look at her ass-crack through a telephoto lens. The judge would give him ten years in pound-you-in-the-ass federal prison for the trumped-up charges, which was fine anyway, because hey, taco tuesday for free, and the library had laminated copies of the Lord of the Rings books, for your jerking pleasure.

———

Jon Konrath is a writer, technologist, and recovering hoarder. He runs Paragraph Line Books (www.paragraphline.com) and has been blogging at rumored.com since 1997. He divides his time between Oakland and a compound in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, where he is trying to start a UFO cult.

His latest book, Atmospheres is available in print and ebook versions.

Also, the “each man creates” quote as stated is a sample on the Entombed album Clandestine, from the song “Living Dead.” It’s taken from the 1964 movie The Masque of the Red Death, based on the Edgar Allan Poe story of the same name. The sample is actually an amalgam of two lines said by the personification of The Red Death, played by Vincent Price. Oddly enough, another line by the same character (“Death has no master”) was the inspiration for the title of Konrath’s eighth book, Sleep Has No Master

Dilation Exercise 105

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If the artwork inspires an idea, please use the comment feature to tell us something about it. Need a further explanation? Go to Imagination Workout—The Dilation Exercises.

Unseen, silently encouraging mistakes, they congregated in the surgical theatre when the surgeons were busy.

The passed patients would have their parts back.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

If you like Alan M. Clark’s artwork, please try his writing in both short fiction and novels.

Artwork: “Spares” copyright © 1997 Alan M. Clark. Cover illustration for Spares by Michael Marshall Smith – The Overlook Connection.

New Bizarro Author Series Review #32: 8-Bit Apocalypse by Amanda Billings

by J.W. Wargo
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Id Says:
BWEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!! Toss in another quarter, don’t let the bastard die! Who the fuck thought to bury all those Atari cartridges in New “No Lives Here So Let’s Test Another Nuke” Mexico? Don’t they know what happens when anything is introduced to radioactivity?? Haven’t they seen GODZILLA???

No and no. No they don’t and no they didn’t. Plastic shit mixes underground with isotopes, and before too long there’s a giant video game cartridge attacking Denver. It wants to play, but it plays hard and to the death. Who among the masses of Coloradans can challenge this 6507 processing monstrosity!?

As a boy, he dominated these games. But that was then and this is now. A critical loss at a big tournament has left him a shell of his former self, sweating for shit pay in a cheesy costume and fantasizing about whispering Russian women or Korean massage specialists. Today, he might be the last hope for humanity.

Ego Says:
All Jimmy Toledo really wants, I think, is to meet a nice girl he can talk with and occasionally maybe make body contact with. He never had the chance in his younger years, he was too busy winning arcade tournaments in the early 80′s under the guidance of a domineering father.

Hiding himself behind a mask at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, Jimmy had effectively given up on any sort Read the rest of this page »

Flash Fiction Friday: The Coyote, The Witch, and The Ugly Woman

by Bill Berry

OPENING

Three artists: a poet, a singer, and a painter. They each moved to a village. In the village, the singer sang songs. In the village, the painter painted. In the village, the poet was poetic.

One day, the poet spoke: I hate writing about these things.

One day, the singer spoke: You can’t say that.

One day, the painter spoke: Because of politics.

A coyote came into town the next night. The coyote was hungry. He was looking for food. He thought to himself: When the emperor has no clothes, everyone is none the wiser. Nothing more is anything less.

COYOTE

These were the words of the coyote.

One night, the painter took a walk. He met the coyote. The coyote was eating a dead bird. The coyote was bloody.

What are you doing? The painter asked.

I am eating because I am hungry. The coyote said.

You are beautiful when you eat. The painter said.

I am always beautiful. The coyote said.

One night, the singer took a walk. He met the coyote. The coyote was not a coyote but a beautiful boy. The boy had a large cock. The boy’s cock was erect. The boy was pulling his balls and making his cock bounce. The singer watched the boy. The singer did not know that the boy was a coyote. The coyote saw the singer. The coyote smiled. The singer smiled back. The boy turned into a coyote and the singer shrieked. The coyote was hungry. He was looking for food.

One night, the poet took a walk. He met the singer and they started to talk. The singer told the poet of the magical coyote. The coyote hid in the bushes and listened to the singer and the poet. The coyote turned into the painter. The painter approached the singer and the poet. They stood in silence. The painter turned into the coyote and ate the poet. He stole the singer and took him to a cave. In the cave, the coyote turned into the poet and made the singer write him a song. While the singer was writing, the coyote turned into the boy with the large cock and danced. The coyote danced so hard that he ejaculated all over the cave. He ejaculated so much, that the singer was drowned in the salty abyss of the coyote. Then the coyote swam away. He was never seen in the village again.

AN UGLY WOMAN

An ugly woman bought a mirror. In this mirror she saw the world.

An ugly woman came to a witch one day. The ugly woman wanted a mirror. The witch gave her a chainsaw. The woman took the chainsaw and hung it on her wall. That night, the chainsaw turned into a mirror. In this mirror, the ugly woman saw the world.

The world in the mirror was different. In the mirror, everything was the opposite. In the mirror, the woman was beautiful. In the mirror, the woman was not ugly.

An ugly woman came to a witch one day. The witch told the ugly woman that she was ugly. The ugly woman said she wanted to be beautiful. The witch told the woman it was impossible. The witch sold the woman a chainsaw. The ugly woman left the witch and went home.

The next day the ugly woman spoke: The liberty of first person. I can speak my mind. I can be free. How can I express myself if I cannot say that it is I who am expressing myself? I know when I look in the mirror that what I see is a lie. I know that what I see in the mirror is only a reflection of my desire. The polished metal of liberty cannot express what I feel. This is what I feel: I am not free. I am tortured by what I want and what I am capable of being. I think I am more than I am. I think the things I’m not allowed to say. I say the things I’m not allowed to think. Language is a regulator. Thought is the control pattern of language. The rest is static.

The next day the ugly woman took the chainsaw back to the witch.

An ugly woman came to a witch with a chainsaw. The witch saw the chainsaw and turned it into a mirror. In the mirror the witch saw the ugly woman. The witch was horrified. The witch turned the mirror into a painting and the ugly woman was trapped. The witch turned back into the coyote and ate the painting. He was hungry. He was looking for food.

MAGICIAN

The witch was a magician. The witch would turn into a coyote and search for food. The coyote would turn into desires and aspirations. The witch was the only art.

As a magician, the witch would put on a weekly show. She would take members of her audience on the stage, turn into the coyote, and eat them alive. It looked something like this:

An ugly woman would hold a chainsaw and sing songs that were happy but sounded sad. The witch would sink her fangs into her victim’s neck and suckle its life. The red death would ooze onto the stage. The ugly woman would stop singing and lap at the fallen rose petals. There was no sound. It was beautiful.

POLITICS

Three artists: a poet, a singer, and a painter. They each moved to a village. In the village, the singer sang songs. In the village, the painter painted. In the village, the poet was poetic.

One day, the poet spoke: I hate writing about these things.

One day, the singer spoke: You can’t say that.

One day, the painter spoke: Because of politics.

This story is not about those things. This story is not about politics. This story is not about art. This story never was.

________

Bill Berry was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He started writing in the 4th grade, and produced his first novella, which was a haunted house story, at the age of 13. As a young teenager, he wrote mostly horror, but dabbled in science fiction, mystery, play-writing, and erotica. Years later he became entrenched in the “Post-Movements,” and his fiction took on some of the more post-structural aspects of language and story. Berry has presented his work at Wayne State University in Detroit, The Bowery Poetry Club in New York, Boston University in Boston, AMP (Art Market Provincetown), and other venues. He has been published in several small literary magazines, as well as online through Unlikely Stories, Ignavia Press, and Pulp Bits. His work has also appeared in several anthologies. As a professor, he has given presentations on writing, facilitated discussions and workshops, and published scholarly works on identity and language in writing. His creative work can be found for sale online through Amazon.

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