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Posts tagged “cameron pierce

Farewell to Lazy Fascist Press

Lazy Fascist Press, purveyor of the very best in strange literature, has shut its doors. Everyone associated with bizarro fiction along with many others throughout the literary world owe a great deal to Lazy Fascist and its editor Cameron Pierce. Below you’ll find his parting words.

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I’m proud to announce the release of Nails by MP Johnson, a sad comedy about the lonely, messy business that happens on the way to understanding and accepting one’s true gender. It’s a bittersweet announcement because this is also the final release under the Lazy Fascist Press label. There couldn’t be a more perfect book to close out the press.

After seven years and over sixty books, this was among the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. The purpose of an independent press is to cultivate risky and challenging voices by providing an opportunity to be heard. I feel like time and again, books in the Lazy Fascist catalog were heard. Our reach far exceeded our meager beginnings as an experimental literary imprint with zero budget overseen by a twenty-two-year-old. But through persistence and hard work from everyone involved, along with a little dumb luck, Lazy Fascist grew into something bigger than I’d ever intended it to be.

I’ve chosen to close LF for a number of reasons:

  1. We reached that awkward level where it’s too late to scale back, but the resources for further growth are unavailable. The imprint is simultaneously too large and too small.
  2. One of my primary aims with the press was to help develop authors’ profiles to increase their appeal to larger presses. This year and next, authors who published early books with Lazy Fascist have titles coming out with HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin, Soho, Night Shade, Soft Skull, and other larger presses. This isn’t to take credit for their talent and hard work, but to say that many authors in the LF roster have left the nest.
  3. I’ve become increasingly disillusioned by Amazon’s strangehold on the publishing marketplace and, more personally, the changing availability of our books in recent years. Amazon has always been a necessary evil. For a number of years, we benefitted from their system. We no longer benefit much from Amazon.
  4. When I established the press, my long-term plan entailed shifting focus back to my own writing at some point. That shift is overdue. I’m ready to write again.
  5. Until this month, my writing and editing income has always covered my home mortgage at the very minimum. It’s a great feeling, but also a scary one. Pretty much every writer who has ever mentored me warns of market crashes and consequent financial fallouts. I’ve sensed for the past couple years that we’re heading toward one of those due to #3 on this list, and so last year I decided to pursue another dream career working in the craft beer industry. Almost two years in, I love my new career and look forward to going to work every day. Now, if or when there’s a publishing crash, I won’t have to worry if books can keep the lights on.
  6. The name of the press was always a humorous, hipsterish jab, but for me it was a jab at gentrification and the polite forms of control found in Portland, Oregon, where the press was founded. The name was meant to start conversations, and it did start some fruitful ones. But the political climate has changed, and what was once a funny name for a transgressive, left-leaning press is now simply inappropriate. I’ve considered changing the name for the past year, but I also knew the press had reached the end of the road in other ways.

I look back at the books in the Lazy Fascist catalog and think of the sweat, love, tears, and pain that went into each of those books. Middle of the night phone conversations with authors, twelve to fifteen hour work days, the near-constant chain of messages with Matthew Revert over cover design, witnessing our books pop up in an increasing number of bookstores across the country, working with idols and debut authors alike, seeing translation rights and audiobook rights and movie rights sell, hosting some kickass readings and parties, scheming with other likeminded publishers, connecting with readers, discovering rare gems in the daily onslaught of manuscript submissions. My years operating Lazy Fascist were basically a collage of greatest moments, with the occasional crisis thrown in because this is publishing and we’re all crazy.

Our titles will continue to be available and sold in all the usual places, and you’ll still find them at events where our parent company, Eraserhead Press, is representing. You’ll find me around at AWP, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow, and other events throughout the year. You may also see the press name shortened on book covers to the more apolitical “LFP” on several titles.

I want to thank everyone who made Lazy Fascist what it was. The authors, the readers, book reviewers, the interns, everyone at Eraserhead Press, my family. I’d name all of you individually, but the list would stretch to over a thousand long. Suffice to say, when I say thank you, I mean you. To everyone who ever contributed in any way, to everyone who demonstrated their supported, and even to those who told us to fuck off or said we’d never make it, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for seven great years.

Now go buy Nails by MP Johnson and In the River by Jeremy Robert Johnson. We may be sailing gently into the night, but we saved our best for last.


Celebrate SHARK WEEK with Bizarro Books

Shark Week is almost over, and instead of pretending that human Olympians are what you want to see, we here at Bizarro Central would like to remind the world that bizarro fiction is the premier place to see nature’s greatest killer in literary form. Don’t believe me? Open any one of these covers and witness as rows upon rows of gnashing imaginary teeth rip to shreds the thing you once called your brain… (click the titles for the opportunity to purchase!)

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SHARK HUNTING IN PARADISE GARDEN, by Cameron Pierce
The first book by the great Cameron Pierce and perhaps bizarro’s first tango with sharks as a weird trope. This novella features religious time travelers beset by swarms of sharks flying through the air, many of them mutated to look like bananas or Carlton Mellick III.

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FOSSIL LAKE IV: SHARKASAURUS, edited by Christine Morgan
A collection of thirty-seven weird works of fiction and poetry, humor and horror, sharks and dinosaurs and sharkasaurs. Sharkasaurus delves into ancient aquatic terror, biting into your fear centers, your sense of humor, and maybe even your erogenous zones.

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THE HOTTEST GAY MAN EVER KILLED IN A SHARK ATTACK, by Douglas Hackle
Ever since he was a young orphan, Hansel Higginzshire’s dream has been to break the long-held Guinness World Record for hottest gay man ever killed in a shark attack. Only he’s not hot, gay, and even worse, he’s a character created by one of bizarro fiction’s sharpest satirists.

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REPO SHARK, by Cody Goodfellow
A South African repo ninja heads to the mean streets of Hawaii to steal a world famous chopper from Donnie Punani, who might just be the living incarnation of an ancient pacific shark god. Goodfellow’s balls-to-the-wall prose, hyperkinetic action, (un)savory characters, and dark mysticism combine into a weird crime novel that cannot be missed.

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MOTHERFUCKING SHARKS, by Brian Allen Carr
A tour de force of grit and weirdness that trounced the competition and won the coveted Wonderland Book Award in 2014. This novella presents itself as a weird western reminiscent of “Terror in a Texas Town,” only with flying sharks. Carr unleashes a godawful bloodbath with intense, muscular prose. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity. The execution is beautiful in its brutality.


Fantastic Earth Destroyer Ultra Plus by Cameron Pierce & Jim Agpalza

frontcover-194x300An apocalyptic nightmare in the tradition of UzumakiThe Epic of Gilgamesh, and Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
In the mining town of Itchy Zoo lives a boy with pumpkin flesh. His name is Tetsuo, and he’d like to tell you about the terrible things that brought ruin to his town. How he shot his brother, how the people of Itchy Zoo became puppets, how he fell in love for the first and last time, and how Satan watched it all go down.
Written by Wonderland Book Award-winning author Cameron Piece and fully illustrated by Jim Agpalza, Fantastic Earth Destroyer Ultra Plus is a bizarro epic that’s as beautiful as it is bleak.
CLICK HERE to get yours today!

Dilation Exercise 103

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. Special thanks to Karl Fischer and Cameron Pierce for their assistence with this exercise.

At the 2093 Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, everyone thought the aliens would have the upper hand because they were by definition bizarre to us.

But to win first place, all Alister had to do was to stand before the judges and read the epitaph from Karl Fischer’s tomb while feeding a swarm of tiny, tiny blackbirds.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

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

Artwork: “Fat Power” copyright © 1995 Alan M. Clark. Illustration for “Fat Power” by Sherry Briggs – Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Mid-Dec 1995.


The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade: A Book Review

By Pat Douglas

I just finished reading The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade, edited by Cameron Pierce. It took me a little while to get through this book because I was reading other books at the same time. Here is the thing… it is kind of hard to write a review on an anthology, because it showcases more than one author. More than one writing style. More than one good story. And more than one not so good story. All anthologies are like this. I have read several anthologies in my time and have yet to find one that didn’t have at least one story in it that was bad. Not every story in an anthology is going to be the life changing story you were meant to read. Although this is true for this anthology, I enjoyed this one the most.

The one thing that I noticed different about this anthology from all the others is the story lengths. Most anthologies have word count guidelines with their submissions. As a result all of the stories are about the same length. With this one you had some full novella length stories and some that were so short they only covered half the page. I enjoyed this. In fact some of my favorite stories were the short ones.

Anthologies are a lot of work when it comes to editing, and I just wanted to also note that Cameron did a really awesome job editing it. Throughout the entire book I think I only noticed one ‘oops’. And even then it was not a big one. A round of applause to Cameron. His hard work shows in this collection.

In this book there is something for everyone!

With that, I loved the artwork and studied the art for a while… wondering if any of the stories in the book were somehow tied into the cover art. Who cares! That cover art was freaking awesome.

So, to sum up my thoughts on this anthology: Loved the diversity in story lengths. Cover art is great. Edits are very clean. Although a few of the stories weren’t to my liking, this collection kept my interest more so than any other anthology I have read. There is something for everyone is this book, fan of bizarro or not!

Note: Why did I post these two strange photos with the cover art? Because there were stories in there that made feel both of those emotions. If you have ever felt like that, chances are it was while reading Bizarro of the Decade!

Have a book you want reviewed?
My name is Pat and I frequently stop in with bizarro book reviews. The types of reviews I do are simple, short, and to the point. If you want me to review your book just shoot me a message. My goal is to do at least one Bizarro Central Review a month. If I can get around to more than that, awesome. But no promises. You can check me out at http://indie-inside.com


Dilation Exercise 72

In an effort to promote my new novel, A PARLIAMENT OF CROWS, released on Halloween by Lazy Fascist Press, I’ve created a Dilation Exercise to help promote the book. The historical fiction novel is inspired by the life and crimes of the three infamous Wardlaw sisters. This Dilation Exercise is inspired by a courtroom scene in the novel.

The prosecutor turned to Vertiline and said, “Are you asking us to believe, Miss Mortlow, that the additional suicide notes, seemingly one for every occasion, apparently written in your handwriting and found among your effects in a house devoid of writing implements and ink, were in fact penned by the deceased who was at the time bedridden in your care?”

Vertiline took a quick, panicked breath before responding, knowing the jury would never believe her answer.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

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

Artwork: “Original Sin” copyright © 1992 Alan M. Clark. Revised version of an interior illustration for Asimov’s Science Fiction, appearing with the novelette, “Original Sin,” by Phillip C. Jennings.

Captions are original to this post and have nothing to do with the literary project with which the artwork first appeared.


Dilation Exercise 63

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 regretted his decision to turn his imagination into a laundry hamper since his socks were all stretched out of shape and growing insect elephant heads.

Still, he enjoyed reading the prehensile nasal passages while on the toilet, and because they were filled with mucus, they slipped onto his tiny feet more easily.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

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

Artwork: “Hot Head Lends a Hand” copyright © 2008 Alan M. Clark and Steven C. Gilberts. Cover illustration for Lost in Cat Brain Land by Cameron Pierce, published by Eraserhead Press.

Captions are original to this post and have nothing to do with the literary project with which the artwork first appeared.