A friend of yours shared something weird that caught your eye. Someone told you about it. You read an awesome blog post about the best chaos and creative mayhem in the history of ever. You only know it’s called BizarroCon, but you want to know more. I got you, boo. Here are the 5 Ws of the best time in the world (yeah, I shook them around a bit to better fit this post, but I’m a trained professional, so don’t worry about it):
BizarroCon. We’re talking about the largest gathering of bizarro fiction writers, publishers, editors, artists, performers, and fans in the universe. Four days of panels, learning, performances, superb food, readings, love, creativity, partying, hugs, dancing, music, awards, New Bizarro Author Series presentations, art, and fun. Between the Wonderland Book Awards dinner, the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, the hotel, the beer, the books, and the workshops, it’s impossible to do everything the convention has to offer, and yet we try every year because BizarroCon is like a four-day spa for your soul. And yes, we welcome all of you. Here’s where you can register: BIZARROCON REGISTRATION. The price of admission for the whole shebang gets you into the Friday night book celebration/performance mayhem, into, seated, and fed at the Saturday awards dinner, Saturday breakfast (the peppered bacon is no joke), and Sunday brunch.
November 17-20, 2016.
At the awesome, artistic, and haunted McMenamin’s Edgefield (2126 S.W. Halsey St. in Troutdale, OR). Call them to check on rooms because they usually go on the first two days. There are also plenty of hotels in the area. Reach out to any member of the Bizarro Family if you need help or have any questions. You can reach me at email@example.com if you need anything. You can also ask questions at the BizarroCon Facebook page HERE.
Like I said, BizarroCon is the go to place for bizarro fictions writers, artists, publishers, and fans. It’s also the best small press convention out there. Usually you’ll find folks in attendance from Eraserhead Press, Lazy Fascist Press, Deadite Press, Word Horde, Broken River Books, Ladybox Books, King Shot Press, Atlatl Press, Grindhouse Press, Sinister Grin Press, and many, many more. The bizarro community is welcoming and supporting and every BizarroCon rookie I’ve talked to expresses how comfortable they’ve felt. More than a convention, this is like a family reunion where you also learn from some of the best authors/publishers/editors in the game (i.e. John Skipp, Rose O’Keefe, Carlton Mellick III, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Laura Lee Bahr, Cody Goodfellow, Stephen Graham Jones, and many more). Here’s a list of those who have already registered.
Because we can. Because we need it. Because feeding off the creative energy at BizarroCon is sometimes enough to carry us through an entire year of bullshit. Because you can learn and exchange ideas while also partying and watching the craziest, more entertaining show ever (I’m talking about the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, not the costume parties Ross E. Lockhart and I do in our room).
There you have it, folks. I hope to see in you in Portland. Schedule me in for a hug and some book talk.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth, Hungry Darkness, Zero Saints, and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias
Besides having a cool name, William Pauley III is one of those writers whose books never fail to entertain because he takes full advantage of bizarro’s lack of rules in order to create narratives that are fun, wild, and unique (you know, and gory and creepy from time to time). Besides being a hell of a writer, Williez is also a really cool cat with a great sense of humor and, if the picture below is any indication, antlers. WPIII’s last book brings together known characters, the Taos Hum, the Toynbee tiles, and a delicious plethora of pop culture references. I decided to ask about it, along with some other very important things. Dig it.
Who are you and what role do books play in your life?
I wish you only asked me what role books play in my life, cause this whole ‘who are you’ business is freaking me out a bit. I’ve sat here staring at the screen for at least 15 minutes wondering just who the hell I am. You’ve got me thinking about things, heavy things, things that should have been kept deep in the darkest pits of my mind. Is the rest of the interview going to be like this? Christ.
I am a father first, writer second. Whenever I have time, I work on making my dream of opening the world’s first water-only (nothing else…at all) bar a reality.
Books play a significant role in my life. Without them, I wouldn’t need bookshelves. Without bookshelves, my room would be completely empty. They say your bedroom is a reflection of your mind and without bookshelves, it would appear that my mind is mostly empty space and echoes (which is an accurate representation of only part of my brain). Oh, and books tend to have amazing stories inside them.
You read across the board; what were the last five books that made you go “Holy mackerel, this is certainly some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious shit that maybe I wish I’d written, Sammy!”?
The first one that comes to mind is The Alligators of Abraham by Robert Kloss. It’s a phenomenal book about a child’s experience during the American Civil War. His father goes off to fight, his mother dies, and the landscape is painted in such a way that it feels grounded in reality, yet somehow also completely surreal. Kloss’ voice is McCarthy/Faulkner-esque, but in 2nd person. Good stuff.
The second super-cali-docious book would have to be Burn Down the House and Everyone In It by Zachary T Owen. It’s a phenomenal collection of horror stories – some funny, some completely fucked up and scary. I get bored reading horror pretty easily, but that wasn’t the case at all here. Owen has a unique voice that I feel horror desperately needs. It’s difficult to find original ideas in that genre anymore, but Owen has a whole book of them. Hopefully he’ll one day have many books of them.
The third…David Cronenberg’s Consumed. I loved it. I’ve been a longtime fan of his films and this novel is everything I expected it to be and more. Deformed penis!
Fourth would have to be Pincher Martin by William Golding. I adore Golding’s writing. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Lord of the Flies. I’m surprised I don’t hear more people talking about this book. It’s wild, surreal, and had me flipping pages until there were no more left to flip. There is a second title to this book, and it’s a nice little tease: The Two Deaths of Christopher Martin. Keep it in mind while reading the book.
Last one: Child of God by Cormac McCarthy (or really any book by Cormac McCarthy). This one is brutal, man. For those of you that have read it, you know why this book is incredible. For those of you that haven’t read it, there are no words, other than McCarthy’s, that can accurately describe what’s in store for you when you read this novel. You’re going to feel all kinds of feels and think all kinds of thinks. A brilliant piece of literature.
I think there’s a WP3 mythos already out there. Do you agree? (Note: if you disagree, you’re wrong.)
Really? There are plenty of stories to tell, I’ll admit that, but I’m not so sure what travels from ear to ear. I’d love to hear this mythos if it does indeed exist. Oh wait, are you talking about my dick?
4. Answer three of the following five questions: A- What the hell is wrong with Joseph Bouthiette Jr.?
I admire that guy. He is 100% himself all the time, no apologies and no regrets. Yes, he ate a copy of HEARERS OF THE CONSTANT HUM, but he did it because he wanted to. He set his mind to it and he accomplished his goals. We should all aspire to be like Junior. I want to see more people eating my book.
B- When was the last time you murdered someone?
C- When are we having some beers?
The only reason why we haven’t yet is because I am trying to save enough money to buy you all the beers I owe you. Every time I get close, you do something else and I owe you more beers. So…soon. And so many beers…
D- What’s it like working with Mr. Andersen Prunty?
I do all the work while he sleeps on the couch and farts.
E- Who cut the cheese?
I only had to answer three, but I think you can figure the answer to this out if you’ve been paying attention.
What’s your latest book about and why should everyone get to clicking and grab a copy right now?
My latest book is called HEARERS OF THE CONSTANT HUM. It’s about a man who hears insects speaking, repeating the same phrase over and over again. He becomes obsessed with creating a way for other people to hear it and he quickly discovers the further he goes on his journey, the more his body collapses. He is determined to finish his work before his inevitable death…the future of the world depends on it. The book is also about a young woman who aspires to be uniquely individual and completely independent, but finds herself being held back due to various internal and external struggles. It’s also about a problematic relationship between two brothers, and also commitment, and loyalty, and human interaction, and technology, and the fact that we are all losing something precious as we progress. Are the sacrifices worth it? I’d like to think the book makes a strong argument for both sides, leaving the decision up to the reader. That said, I’d love to hear your thoughts after reading.
Everyone should get to clicking and grab a copy right now because you are all humans and this book was intended to be read by humans.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias