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Wonderland Book Awards – Final Ballot 2018

Preliminary voting has ended and the final ballot has been determined. Here are the nominations for this year’s Wonderland Book Awards:

 

BEST NOVEL

The Unyielding by Gary J. Shipley

In the River by Jeremy Robert Johnson

Itzá by Rios de la Luz

The Big Meat by Carlton Mellick III

Sip by Brian Allen Carr

 

BEST COLLECTION

Angel Meat by Laura Lee Bahr

Moon Snake by Kirsten Alene

Now That We’re Alone by Nicholas Day

Is Winona Ryder Still with the Dude from Soul Asylum and Other Lurid Tales of Terror and Doom by Douglas Hackle

The Anarchist Kosher Cookbook by Maxwell Bauman

 

We’d like to give honorable mentions to the titles that came close to placing on the final ballot. These titles are: Deadly Lazer Explodathon by Vince Kramer, Spermjackers From Hell by Christine Morgan, The Long Night of the Eternal Korean War by G. Arthur Brown, Embry Hard-boiled by Michael Allen Rose, and Slices by Scott Cole.

Voting ends December 31st. Only BizarroCon attendees are eligible to vote. Send your votes (one per category) to bizarrocon@gmail.com.

The Wonderland Book Awards for excellence in Bizarro Fiction are presented annually at BizarroCon in Portland, OR.

To register for BizarroCon 2018 please visit http://bizarrocon.com/registration/

 

 

Wonderland Book Award Preliminary Voting Begins Now

The Wonderland Book Awards are a recognition presented annually at BizarroCon for superior achievement in bizarro fiction writing. Voting for the Wonderland Book Award preliminary ballot begins now for the Best Bizarro Novel and Best Bizarro Collection of 2017. Please send your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place votes in the Novel and Collection categories to bizarrocon@gmail.com with the subject line “Wonderland Book Award Preliminary Ballot.” Preliminary voting ends November 10, 2018.

NOTE TO AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Please do not solicit or campaign for votes.

BEST NOVEL
4 Rooms in a Semi-detached House by Madeleine Swann
A Confederacy of Hot Dogs by Christoph Paul
An Augmented Fourth by Tony McMillen
Bad Hotel by Dustin Reade
Beetle Brain by Kevin Strange
Die Empty by Kirk Jones
Deadly Lazer Explodathon by Vince Kramer
Death Metal Epic (Book Two: Goat Song Sacrifice) by Dean Swinford
Death Pacts and Left-Hand Paths by John Wayne Comunale
Drag Queen Dino Fighters by MP Johnson
Embry Hard-boiled by Michael Allen Rose
Exercise Bike by Carlton Mellick III
Girl in the Glass Planet by S.T. Cartledge
Hate From the Sky Sean M. Thompson
Home Is Where the Horror Is by C.V. Hunt
Human Trees by Matthew Revert
I Died in a Bed of Roses by Kevin Strange
In the River by Jeremy Robert Johnson
Itzá by Rios de la Luz
Liquid Status by Bradley Sands
Made For Love by Alissa Nutting
Mud Season by Justin Grimbol
Parasite Milk by Carlton Mellick III
Sip by Brian Allen Carr
Spermjackers From Hell by Christine Morgan
Spider Bunny by Carlton Mellick III
Tenderbear Goes Apeshit by Bix Skahill
The Big Meat by Carlton Mellick III
The Heartbeat Harvest by Mark Jaskowski
The Long Night of the Eternal Korean War by G. Arthur Brown
The Night Manager by Jeff O’Brien
The Orphanarium by S.T. Cartledge
The Warblers by Amber Fallon
Transgemination by Glenn Gray
This Town Needs a Monster by Andersen Prunty
The Unyielding by Gary J. Shipley
White Trash Gothic by Edward Lee

BEST COLLECTION
Angel Meat by Laura Lee Bahr
Chupacabra Vengeance by David Bowles
Come Home, We Love You Still by Justin Grimbol
Gravity by Michael Kazepis
Help Me Find My Car Keys and We Can Drive Out! by Jon Konrath
Is Winona Ryder Still with the Dude from Soul Asylum and Other Lurid Tales of Terror and Doom by Douglas Hackle
Love For Slaughter by Sara Tantlinger
Moon Snake by Kirsten Alene
Now That We’re Alone by Nicholas Day
Slices by Scott Cole
The Anarchist Kosher Cookbook by Maxwell Bauman
The Raven’s Table by Christine Morgan
Under the Shanghai Tunnels and Other Weird Tales by Lee Widener

Flash Fiction Friday: A Bag With Handles

by: Bert Stanton

All he wanted was a bag with handles. Just one large bag with two handles. Paper or plastic, didn’t matter. Big enough to fit the contents of the brown bag sitting on the checkout counter, almost filled to the top with enough food and assorted sundries to get a modern person through another week. The same brown bag that, if not put into a bag with handles, would prove too difficult to carry in one arm, while the other did God’s work; if God fumbled with house keys, showed transit passes to bus drivers, swiped right, and discretely scratched himself in public. That bag would dip and slip and dance and spill. Maybe even burst. Maybe at the bus stop, maybe on the bus itself. Maybe as he was sprinting towards the blinking walk sign on the other side of the dark, rainy, intersection filled with agitated and impatient honking. None of them would care. They just wanted to get home.

And he just wanted a bag with handles.

The cashier stared him down, smacked her gum, shot jaundiced rays of impatient disgust and heavy disdain at him through narrow eyes unable to care. Each smack smack smack of her gum became louder and louder and louder, her lips wetter and wetter and wetter. Every time he blinked, both the top and bottom lip swelled, as if someone stabbed them with a basketball pump and started furiously pumping away. Her breasts swelled too. So did her hips. And so did the cocked angle which she rested one hand on her hips, and continued to smack her gum at him.

“I would like a bag with handles.” he said, calm and flat. It wasn’t a difficult request.

“Ain’t got none.” she replied, each word enunciated with wet, smacking lips.

“Certainly you have to have at least one.” he replied.

“Nope.” she said, and for a brief moment, he wanted to grab the pen holding her piss poor dye job in place and stab her lips, her breasts, her hips, her thorax. Not in any mean or misogynistic way. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Put her out of her misery.

“Can I look around at the other registers?” the man asked. There were eleven other registers. None were open, but surely must be stocked. Surely one of them would have a two handled bag.

She shook her swelling head, and turned back to the register, to whatever occupied her thoughts when there were no other customers. Particularly nasty ones like him who would never take a no for an answer. Who thought they were gods of all creation over price labels, clearance items, and expired coupons.

“Can I speak to a manger?” he asked. The cashier didn’t turn around, just pointed one long, gnarled, overly manicured finger towards a young man with green hair standing at the end of the line of registers.

He looked too young and too frail to have any authority, yet his name tag read ASSISTANT CASHIER MANAGER. It also read BRAD.

“We are out of bags with handles.” Brad said, his words moldy with repetition.

“I need one, though. I need it for my groceries and sundries. I need it or I may not make it all the way home.”

“We are out of bags with handles.” Assistant Cashier Manager Brad repeated.

“Are there any in the back?” the man asked.

Brad’s head started to turn, then spin, around and around and around. 360 degrees to 720 to 1440, and on and on. With each turn, Brad’s head spiraled upwards, his neck an elongated screw, until the top of his head touched the high ceiling. His eyes bulged to the size of basketballs.

“WE ARE OUT OF BAGS WITH HANDLES” his dull, metallic voice boomed from the roof.

“This is not a difficult request.” The man who wanted nothing more than a bag with handles said. “I just need a bag with handles.”

But it was useless, and he knew it. Still, he pushed on.

“Give me a bag with handles.” he said, and then said it again. It quickly became a droning chant, each repetition blowing his body outward, as if someone stuck the hose of an air compressor into his left ear and let it rip. His body ballooned up and out, up and out, up and over the cash registers and any merchandise or people that got in his way. Soon he was face to face with Brad, both madder than the heat of a thousand suns.

The roof broke apart, as their metamorphosis into A CHEAP LO-FI KNOCK OFF OF 1970S RODAN and ASSISTANT CASHIER MANAGER BRAD ONLY NOW MUCH LARGER neared completion. They hovered over the building in the light of a clear, full moon, each trying to remember which secret Japanese government laboratory originally spawned their embryos.

NORAD mobilized the Air National Guard, but the pilots stopped off en route for a pool party at a secret government laboratory atop Mount Hood. This one was a United States government laboratory, and unlike the Japanese they learned long ago to not fuck around with dinosaur DNA, to just leave it alone. After all the United States has Lt. Colonel Jeff Goldblum on their side to warn them of such irresponsible dangers. Just stick to chemical and electronic warfare, ya dinguses. It’s a lot less likely your country will be trampled by an annoying lizard god. The pilots drank and laughed and tried to remember how much sexual assault was allowed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

When A CHEAP LO-FI KNOCK OFF OF 1970S RODAN and ASSISTANT CASHIER MANAGER BRAD ONLY NOW MUCH LARGER finally collided, the ensuing mushroom cloud could be seen as far as Tacoma, Washington, and leveled the ten blocks surrounding the store, which was super convenient for the city planners who were trying to hurry up gentrification in the area.

Anywho, that’s why the Freddie’s on 82nd and Foster is now closed.

________

Bert Stanton lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.

________

Send your weird little stories to flashfictionfridaysubmissions@gmail.com.

Flash Fiction Friday: The Friend We Made

by: James Burr

He danced in the dry ice, his limbs staccato-jerking in the strobes. He’d cleared a space for himself and was dancing on the spot, breathing heavily through his nose and mouth, his eyes glazed and staring blankly ahead. “I’m dancing, I’m dancing,” he kept repeating as he danced and danced. Around him, sweating clubbers pointed and whooped and high-fived him, this consummate dancer, as the beat rattled and the bass wobbled and dropped.

The next time I saw him was at a Rugby Club Ball, standing on a table, Harlequins jersey stained with curry, leading a drunken rendition of Father Abraham, Stella Artois spilling and splashing those who stood around him, laughing and cheering. At the end of each line he thrust his hips with a powerful snap, his cheering, ruddy-faced compatriots doing the same, following this seeming best friend to all, as they slapped him on the back and cheered and roared their drunken approval.

I spoke to one of his friends later at the end of the evening, after the lights had come up and the bar had mostly emptied save for some stragglers trying to stay awake as they drank in small groups or a couple trying to finger new girl friends in the shadows. He could barely focus and was slumped on a table, the sleeves of his blazer sodden with beer, but despite my describing the man in detail and saying what he had been doing all evening, one of this man’s seeming core group of friends had no idea who I was talking about, my questions only prompting vague recollection of someone being there but nothing more.

But then I saw more of him after that. At demonstrations outside the Student Union, his hair dyed purple, surrounded by cheering social justice warriors who applauded his railing against the patriarchy, and at poetry evenings, clad in tweed and thick-rimmed specs, his verse received with standing ovations before he then retired to the café where he held court to the assembled poets and performance artists and spoke of the merits of repetition, word play and the importance of oral storytelling. Occasionally, I’d see him out of the corner of my eye, walking around a corner surrounded by an adoring group of chavs, baseball cap on his head and can of White Lightning in hand or entering a Metal club, all in black, illegible band logo on his T-Shirt, and always, always the centre of attention, effortlessly the leader of the group, clearly the best friend to all.

Sometimes, I’d speak to these people about him, sometimes only moments after he’d left, but they could only vaguely recall him, just remembering a few details, a tinge of an accent, a mannerism, an odd recollection that someone had indeed been there. No-one seemed to know him; no-one knew who he was yet whenever I saw him, he was always the centre of attention, the focal point of that social group.

So I wasn’t that surprised when the next time I saw him was when I went to a friend’s house for a quiet smoke. As I opened the door to the living room, through a hashish haze I saw him holding court, expertly skinning up as he mumbled about his travels to Tibet and his experiences of various drugs, my friends relaxed with his company and enraptured with his conversation. And I watched him through the evening, this consummate Head, as he expertly selected the music, Floyd then Orb then ambient trance, as my friends mumbled their approval at his selections. But as the night progressed, my limbs grew heavy and my head filled with warm cotton wool, the others slowly went home or shuffled upstairs until I was finally left alone with him, the first time I’d seen him outside of a group.

We sat slumped on the floor as the ambient wash pulsed and throbbed around us and as for a moment I think I saw a look of panic pass across his face as he realized we were alone. Then he turned to me, his face an exact mirror of my own. I wanted to ask him who he was, how he seemed to know everyone, be liked by everyone. But my mouth was dry and I could feel myself sinking into unconsciousness. As I closed my eyes, I thought I heard him say, “I’m not sure I want to find myself….”

 

When I woke up the next day, I found his “body”, if you want to call it that, on the floor where I had last seen him. Lying on the carpet amidst the full ashtrays and fragments of discarded cardboard was a man-shaped transparent vessel, a brittle glass container, empty and dead.

His hollow frame shattered into a thousand fragments when I threw it into the bin outside, and when my friends slowly surfaced, rubbing their eyes and shuffling to the kitchen to make mugs of hot tea, like everyone else, none could remember him or even recall his name.

________

An English writer of dark, humorous, paranoiac fiction, James Burr is the author of Ugly Stories for Beautiful People and is working on a novel titled Razor Moccasins. You can follow him on Twitter and find more of his stories here.

________

Send your weird little stories to flashfictionfridaysubmissions@gmail.com.

Available for Pre-Order: ZOMBIE PUNKS FUCK OFF

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We’ve been hearing forever that Punk is Dead. And zombie stories are even deader. ZOMBIE PUNKS FUCK OFF is here to show that is bullshit. This antho is loaded with 14 stories of gnawing teeth, shredded entrails, rotting masses, punk as fuck fury, post-punk weirdness, and beautiful decay. Within these pages are a touring Christian Punk band run afoul of a horde of living dead, a group of zombie-infected anarcho-punks staging a revolution in London, Hank William’s far-distant great-grandson struggling against the restraints of universal fame, and guitars that gently eat.

“This is my dream book, I can’t believe it exists!”

–Jeff Burk, author of Shatnerquake and The Very Ineffective Haunted House

Zombie Punks Fuck Off will be officially released on October 9, 2018, and can be pre-ordered HERE

Madeleine Swann wants you to FREAK HER OUT!

It’s October and Madeleine Swann wants weird stuff for Halloween! Send her links, videos, or other strange, spooky things via email (evilpixie.madeleine@gmail.com) and she’ll react to it in an upcoming video on her YouTube channel! See her video request below. This is a lady who wants to be weirded out! Help her out, bizarros!

New Release: Walkin’ After Midnight

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*THE (LIMITED) KILLER CASSETTE EDITION!* A lovely little bludgeoner-book, perfect for concealing in your pockets… An adult-diaper wearing Casanova discovers a potent ability to actualize wild, gonzo porn fantasies. An Unsolved Mystery episode equipped with mind-reading tech takes a seriously wrong turn. A particularly repulsive coworker finds himself in a wrestling match made of equal parts dream and nightmare… and we’re just getting warmed up. Armfield’s collection is a treasure-trove of treasures best left buried. Throughout this collection, sex meets filth, and the two embark on misadventures more than twisted enough to leave your psyche permanently crippled. Weak stomachs need not apply. If you’re made of the right stuff, Armfield’s humor and energy will amply reward you. If not, find a vantage point close to the nearest stall – don’t worry, you’ll thank me later. More fun than a barrel of maggots, you’re guaranteed to depart from this wellspring of bizarro flavored gross-out a changed human, assuming you’re still human at all. And while we’re on the topic of change, you should pack a change of clothes. Things tend to get messy in here.

Get it here