The cult section of the literary world

Bizarro Fiction

Madeleine Swann & 4 Rooms in a Semi-Detached House

by Lee Widener

Madeleine Swann entered the Bizarro realm with her debut novella “Rainbows Suck,” released through Eraserhead Press’ New Bizarro Author Series in 2015.  Now her second novella “4 Rooms in a Semi-Detached House” is available from Strangehouse Books. I asked Maddy some questions and she answered them!

LEE:  Tell us about your new book.maddy

MADELEINE:  My new novella is about a girl, Aisha, who lives on a street where each room of each house leads to landscapes in an alternate dimension/the past/whichever you prefer. The front rooms lead to a cinema during the Depression, the bedrooms to a Parisian Salon, kitchens to a Georgian banquet hall in space and studies to a psychedelic book shop. Disturbing things take over the rooms and Aisha thinks a secret of hers might be the cause.

LEE:  I know you have a particular interest in avant-garde cinema and also the psychedelic experience. From the trailer for this book it seems these interests play a large part in the story. Is this true, and if so, what other interests of yours show up in this book?

MADELEINE: Avant-garde films and books are a huge inspiration to me. Also I love Pre-Code films, vintage cinemas and vaudeville so I set an area in the early thirties. I also enjoy writers and artists of the twenties, in New York and the expats in Paris mainly, so they’re in the bedroom. The Georgian period is an era I find fascinating, partly because of the lawlessness but also because they were getting to grips with science and life post-religion (mostly). Plus I love all the frills, they were so flouncy. Finally there’s a psychedelic book shop because I felt like I joined the hippie movement in spirit from the age of about 16. Not so much now but I was really into it.

LEE: Can you tell us something about how this book came to be? What was the spark that got you thinking about what came to be this book?

MADELEINE: I genuinely think it just came to me while I was watching Regular Show. It’s taken a lot of work from three editors to get it to a place where I’m really happy with it, but the idea itself just sort of popped in my head. I wanted to write a story involving different periods of history and something involving a street, and there it was!

LEE: I find your talk about using three editors fascinating. I have a piece I’m working on that I’ve sent to two editors and I still don’t know what to do with it. What was it like working with multiple editors? Did you pick and chose which feedback seemed more apt, or did you do a rewrite, felt like it still wasn’t right, so you sent it to another, or what?

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MADELEINE: Well, it’s a bit complicated. First off I sent it as a novelette to an anthology but nothing came of that. Then I asked Garrett (Cook) if he’d edit it, I got his notes back and worked on them. Then I asked the publisher if he’d consider releasing it as a novella, he said yes and ended up giving me notes too. I worked on those and then was told Rooster Republic didn’t have room that year but StrangeHouse did, and then they edited it too. I didn’t use every single note but I did most of them.

LEE: Let’s talk about Bizarro Fiction. Do you consider yourself primarily a Bizarro writer, or do you work in other genres as well?

MADELEINE: I think of myself more as a weird writer, but I suppose that fits under the blanket of bizarro. I just like exploring weird, dark things and wherever that takes me is fine.

LEE: What would make a good soundtrack while reading this book?

MADELEINE: Well, if I told you that Miley Cyrus’ Dead Petz was the actual soundtrack to my writing, it would probably put you off. I think anything jaunty and odd, like Mike and Rich or Tobacco.

LEE: You do a lot of outreach to your readers: blog posts, Twitter, youtube videos, personal appearances at festivals and such. What works best for you, and which do you most enjoy?

MADELEINE: I genuinely enjoy all of it. Probably Twitter and blogging the most because I blog about things I enjoy more than myself, and I like sharing the weird arty things I find. I’m very nervous about meeting and talking to people but I’ll certainly be working on that this year! I’m trying to get more used to it by reading my favourite stories to camera and talking on YouTube and it’s getting easier.

LEE: What’s up next for the Evil Pixie?

MADELEINE: Well, I’ve got a few short stories coming out at some point this year, and I’ve just finished a new novella/connected short story thing which is inspired by a section of The Red Tower by Thomas Ligotti, though it’s very different in tone. Also I’m reading from 4 Rooms at the Brighton Fringe Festival, The Big Green Book Shop with Laura Lee Bahr and others and I’ll be at Bizarrocon. See you there!

Trailer for 4 Rooms in a Semi-Detached House:

You can find out more about Maddy and her work, complete with links to buy her books at her website:

MadeleineSwann.com

Read her weekly column at CLASH Media:

Memoirs of a Professional Weirdo

Read her blog here:

Madeleine Swann Blog

Follow her on Twitter: @MadeleineSwann

Subscribe to her Youtube channel:

Madeleine Swann on Youtube


Lee Widener is the author of “David Bowie is Trying to Kill Me!” and “Rock N Roll Head Case” published in October 2015 by Eraserhead Press. His collection “Under the Shanghai Tunnel & Other Weird Tales” will be published in 2017.


Flash Fiction Friday: I Am Tigre de los Bravo

by: Andrew Novak

The people see me dance and they can’t believe. They compliment my wooden mask, its bright saffron and blackened stripes. They stare into my reflective eyes and touch my mouth lined with rotting teeth of creature.

Only, it’s no mask.

It’s my face.

It’s real.

And the people, they love me.

Burning yellow and black-spotted, I run around town kicking up dust at the base of the mountain. I’ve twice trashed the offices of the major political parties. First with cinder stones, then with fire.

I run faster than cops can drive.

At the strip club, ladies tug my tail and stroke my fur under dim purple lights. I purr to the sounds of reggaetón. The owner of this place knows me well.

I blast dumpy rock music at unreasonable volumes in the zócalo. When people come to stop me, to shut me down, I spit cheap beer onto their clothes. When they spit back, I catch it in my mouth and laugh.

I eat tobacco leaves and dance the danza.

I smoke a pipe and drink mezcal.

Yes, I’m the wiseguy who buys up all the books at the bookshop. And after I’ve read each one, I eat the pages. I chew paper to pulp and swallow.

The mayor hates me and prays for my death. He knows: I secretly run this town and, if pushed, I’ll run it right into the ground.

The people erected a statue in my honor, right downtown. But someone spray-painted a hooked phallus ejaculating over the bronze face of my likeness. That someone was me.

The mayor, he hates me because I was wearing one of those trick handshake-buzzers the first time I met him. He looked so foolish yelping on stage, pulling back his soft palm, and flailing in front of thousands of respected city denizens. I burned his house down later that week.

My email address is tubadick69@hotmail.com. I spend hours each day sending obscene spam emails to every person I hate.

I care for stray dogs and cats. I feed them the food I cook for myself. I also keep a green bird as a friend that I teach to swear at passersby.

I spray-piss poems onto walls and prolapse my ass squeezing coiling shits into rich people’s pools.

Yes, I live on peanut butter sandwiches.

And still I run faster than cops can drive.

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Andrew Novak is a journalist and news editor in Washington, DC. He likes to read. He likes to write. He likes to take pictures with his camera. His fiction has appeared in Shotgun Honey, the Robbed of Sleep anthology series, Dark Moon Digest, and Out of the Gutter Online. His bloggings can be found at Neon Grisly.

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See your name up in pixels! Submit your bizarro flash fiction to FlashFictionFridaySubmissions@gmail.com.


My favorite BizarroCon images: a retrospective

When people say “my favorite time of the year,” I always think about BizarroCon. When it comes to fun, inspiration, friendship, learning, performances, booze, and love, nothing compares to that second week in November where weirdos from all over the world get together in Portland to ensure that bizarro literature and art keep taking over the world. In any case, now that November is almost here (and yes, I’m counting down the days to BizarroCon), I thought it’d be cool to revisit my favorite images from the past four years and share them with you. I’m a photographer, so I usually come home with about 500 pics from the con. These are not the best shots, just the ones that, for some reason, are closer to my heart or remind of some of the best moments from that year.

2012

This was the year of flying noodles and meeting Gutmouth for the first time. Also, with Shane McKenzie, Robert Devereaux, Carlton Mellick III, and Brian Keene around, to name a few, it was the year many folks realized that bizarro and horror walked hand in hand and, when together, couldn’t be beat.

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2013

This was the year that I kissed Steve Lowe, hung out with Rios de la Luz and J David Osborne, got some advice from Stephen Graham Jones, and  watched Karl Fisher, Jeremy Robert Johnson, and Bix Skahill make out. I also realized that bizarros are some of the prettiest people in the world.20131201322013320135201344

2014

This was the year Brian Allen Carr did a reading that changed the way I read in public forever. Also, Violeet LeVoit celebrating was awesome, and so jamming with Andrew Goldfarb, Michael Allen Rose, and John Skipp while Sauda Namir danced20141201422014320144

2015

This was the year the Bizarro Showdown broke down any remaining barriers of creativity, craziness, hilarity, and good taste. It was also another great year for Malort. I finally got to hang out with CV Hunt and Andersen Prunty, look up Christoph Paul’s skirt, and watched meu irmao Pedrinho Proenca work his weird magic on a crowd. Oh, and we all learned that electric shocks don’t affect Kevin Donihe. 2015120152201532015420155

2016

This is the year…that’s coming up. I’m fucking excited. See you there, sweet things!


Available for Pre-Order: All the Toxic Waste From My Heart

The latest collection by Kevin Strange is here! All the Toxic Waste From My Heart will be available for purchase on September 17th, but it can be pre-ordered at Amazon today!

Since 2012 Kevin Strange has been smashing medulla oblongatas with his unique brand of horror and bizarro fiction. He returns here with a brand new collection of short stories sure to leave readers recreationally deranged or at the very least psychotically inclined.

All The Toxic Waste From My Heart features ten brain-bending tales ranging from the whimsical fantasy of a boy who falls in love with a whale fart to an apocalyptic wasteland full of cannibalistic sludge monsters.

Fans of Strange know that he only gets better and weirder with time. And ALL THE TOXIC WASTE FROM MY HEART proves to be no different.

BONUS: This collection includes four erotic spider microfiction stories. What’s an erotic spider microfiction? Read on to find out!


Out Now: A Brutal Chill in August

Word Horde is proud to present the latest book from author and illustrator Alan M. Clarke. A Brutal Chill in August is a fictionalized historical account of Polly Nichols, the first victim of Jack the Ripper.

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We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?

Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper’s first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.

With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.

Head to Amazon to get your copy!


Book Trailer: Ecstatic Inferno

John Skipp, the head of Fungasm Press, has put together a trailer for Autumn Christian’s book, Ecstatic Inferno. And just like the book, it’s a trip.


Show Me Your Shelves: Mandy De Sandra

Sometimes you do an interview and then life happens and the interview never sees the light of day. That happened to me with this interview you’re reading right now. Luckily, it’s never too late to take a look at the shelves of the queen of bizarro erotica, the great Mandy De Sandra.

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

MDS: In my mind I am still working for the Dept of Labor and in an open relationship with my boyfriend Trevor. He is very into cuckolding and watches me have sex with alpha studs while we party on his yacht.

Books are everything to me. At my Department of Labor job we don’t do much actual work so I read to pass the time. I read so I can write. I love Bizarro Fiction, horror, and literary novels. People are surprised to learn I only read one erotica author, Tiffany Reisz. I love her writing and The Siren series.

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GI: As an erotica writer, how do you deal with every guy out there thinking you’re just begging for dick pics?

I actually welcome dick pics. I got the idea from the terrific show You’re The Worst. Basically, I save all my dick picks and sell them to SmallPenisHumilation.net. Small penis humiliation fetish is on the rise and most of these guys aren’t packing. The site pays 5 dollars for under 5 inches and $7.99 if it is really thin, too!

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GI: There seems to be an emerging genre that blends satire, politics, and sex. As a pioneer in this area, why do you think we crave this type of literature? How and why does bizarro come into the equation? How hard is it to stay on top of current events? How does our short memory for news affect your writing?

MDS: Someone said I am South Park of erotica. I like that and love Matt & Trey so much, even though they are not hot but I’d let them DVDA with Trevor and Henry Price.

I love Bizarro Fiction. To paraphrase that sexy fucker Brian Keene, Bizarro Fiction is all about being genre fuckers. Why not give weird erotica a good genre fucking?

I want to do stuff besides the news tho. I want to write more about publishing. I am working on something now titled “I Was Published in An Anthology for Exposure, But All I Got Was Fucked in the Ass & A PDF.” Also academia, as I get very excited about the idea “My MFA Teacher Made Me Gay.”

I get requests now to write about people in the news. That is why I did the one about British Prime Minister getting head from a pig.

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GI: If you could have one of your books turned into a movie, which one would it be and how would you cast it?

MDS: My favorite book of mine is Ravished by Reagansaurus. I must admit that I see this book as more Bizarro than erotica even though there is a lot of dinosaur bukkake. It is also my only novella. I would love to see the cast behind Wet Hot American Summer play all the roles.

GI: What’s your latest sexy tale about and why should folks go dip their eyeballs in it right now?

My latest sexy tale is Fox News Fuckest published by New Kink Books. I am a big fan of comic books, I have Trevor collect and then masturbate to the pictures. My favorite is The Age of Apocalypse and this book is part of series I am calling The Age of Trumpocalypse. The second book will be Donald Trump & The Alpha Billionaire Buttrons.

Thanks for having me, you sexy stud.

Love Mandy

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Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Zero Saints (Broken River Books),  Gutmouth (Eraserhead Press), Hungry Darkness (Severed Press), and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias