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Posts tagged “Steve Lowe

Rereleased: Muscle Memory

Once released under the New Bizarro Authors Series, Steve Lowe’s body-swapping bizarro classic has returned, its comic absurdity stretched to new lengths.

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More Muscle, More Memory…

Billy Gillespie wakes up one morning to discover his junk is gone. In its place is his wife’s junk. Billy is now Tina, and Tina is probably dead. That’s because Billy’s dead. His lifeless body is still in bed and empty beer bottles and a container of antifreeze litter the kitchen counter. Did Tina really poison Billy? Can he and his neighbors, all experiencing their own bouts of body switcheroo, fix this before the Feds find Billy’s body? Was it aliens, or God, or the government? What was Edgar Winter really doing with his sheep? Is pro football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw the key to everything? What Would Kirk Cameron Do? In the expanded edition of this New Bizarro Author Series original, all will be revealed. Maybe.

“It’s always a risky proposition: to take a well-known trope (especially one that peaked in the films of the 80s) and try to find a new way to spin it. In Muscle Memory, Steve Lowe takes his cue from movies like Freaky Friday and Like Father, Like Son, presenting a tale of bodies switched and swapped all over a small community. Using some clever writing however, Lowe transcends the typical structure of those stories and takes it to a whole new level of absurd and hilarious wonder.”  —Michael Allen Rose, author of Embry: Hard-boiled

Get it here!


You are Sloth: A book review


So, I just finished reading You are Sloth, by author Steve Lowe. It was a great read. I will say first, though, that we as readers need to know what a sloth really is. And when it comes down to it, the sloth is slow. And based on the pace of the first few chapters of the book I was beginning to think that the book was going to be a cliché of coincidence. A slow book about a slow character. After a few chapters the book really picked up though.

The thing that stuck out the most for me is the way in which it was written: The title is ‘You’ are sloth, and that’s how it reads. The book is written in 2nd person,  as if you’re the main character. I liked that. It sucked me in. The longer I read the book, I thought that it was just going to be a weird story about what life would be like as this animal. But just when I was getting my hopes up the book shifted in an unexpected direction. And from there on out the pace became frantic and the twists and turns were constant. I really enjoyed this book a lot. The characters were strong, and who better to write this book than a guy that actually looks… well, slothy.

Also, talking snakes and homosexual robots. To the slothmobile!

But enough of that. Go read this book!

One last note: my favorite part about the book cover is the unfinished embroidery on the wall. How lazy is that?

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


Live Bizarro Event: Iris Book Cafe Cincinnati, OH

Join seven authors right in the middle of Cincinnati’s Fringe Fest for two hours of weird storytelling. We’ve been given a green light for profanity and content. You’ve been warned!
WHERE:
Iris Book Cafe
1331 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH
WHEN:
June 2nd
6:30 to 8:30
Reading to take place in the courtyard located at the back of the shop.

-Meet the readers –

Andersen Prunty
Andersen Prunty is the author of FUCKNESS and HI I’M A SOCIAL DISEASE, among other books. He lives in Dayton, Ohio. http://www.andersenprunty.com/

Justin Grimbol
Justin Grimbol grew up in Sag Harbor New York. His parents were both Presbyterian ministers. He attended Green Mountain College, and majored in partying. He is the author of DRINKING UNTIL MORNING and THE CRUD MASTERS. http://buttsharkuniversity.blogspot.com/

William Pauley III
William Pauley III is the author of the DOOM MAGNETIC! trilogy, DEMOLITION YA-YA, and THE BROTHERS CRUNK – which FANGORIA magazine called “A perfect example of bizarro fiction… every line is littered with wild and imaginative ideas.” http://doomfiction.com/

C.V. Hunt
C.V. Hunt is the author of the ENDLESSLY trilogy, HOW TO KILL YOURSELF, and ZOMBIEVILLE. She lives somewhere in Ohio.
Steve Lowe
Steve Lowe is the author of a handful of Bizarro books, including MUSCLE MEMORY, KING OF THE PERVERTS, and SAMURAI VS. ROBO-DICK. His next book, YOU ARE SLOTH! is forthcoming in 2013 from Eraserhead Press. He is not a good dancer, but makes delicious fried chicken. People generally like him until they get to know him. http://steve-lowe.com/

Jake Wilson
Jake Wilson is a new media journalist & wordplay’er based in New York City. A collection of his short stories titled PSYCHEMYSTIC METAFICTION is scheduled for release fall 2013. A selection of his work can be seen at Metawordz.com.

Michael Kazepis
Michael Kazepis lives in Cincinnati when he doesn’t live somewhere else. His first novel, TOMB CITY BLITZKRIEG, will be out later this year. http://wizenedyouth.wordpress.com/

How Lowe Can You Go: Interview with Steve Lowe

By S.T. Cartledge

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Steve was in with the first bunch of Bizarros I interacted with online. What I know of Steve I have observed through his online presence and interactions through social media. Late 2010, I started reading Bizarro fiction, and I had come across this thing called the ‘New Bizarro Author Series’, where, each year, a group of first-time authors would publish their first books with Eraserhead Press, and over the course of the next year they would try to prove their ability to sell books and make a name for themselves in the publishing industry.

It was in this proving period that I got to know Steve. My ambition at this point was to join the NBAS at some point over the next couple of years, so I was excited to get to know the 2010 NBAS authors and read their books. Steve was very approachable. I read his book, Muscle Memory, and another book he had published simultaneously; Wolves Dressed as Men. Since then, Steve has more than proven his worth, writing up a shitstorm and publishing a bunch of new books. And on top of that, he is a family man and a sports writer. He’s got his fair share of commitments, yet he still makes time for pesky folks on the internet.

S.T. Cartledge: Steve, what was the first Bizarro book that you read?

Steve Lowe: SHATNERQUAKE by Jeff Burk

STC: How did you come across the Bizarro genre?

SL: I was searching for a publisher that might be interested in this weird little story I wrote. Someone suggested Eraserhead Press, which I looked up and discovered the New Bizarro Author Series. So I submitted, and about a year later, MUSCLE MEMORY was published.

STC: Tell me about your New Bizarro Author Series year. What was that experience like for you?

SL: It was a long, at times difficult, but extremely rewarding year. I learned as much about what not to do as what to do when you try to market and sell yourself and your work. And I’ve made a ton of friends like Caris O’Malley, Kirk Jones and Andy Prunty thanks to that experience, so I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

STC: You had two books out in 2010, Muscle Memory for the NBAS, and another book called Wolves Dressed as Men. Can you tell us a bit about those books, and how they came about?

SL: Muscle Memory was originally a short story I wrote for a contest between friends over on Zoetrope. I believe one Shane McKenzie was part of that group as well. Once that was over, I knew I had to do more with MM, and I’ve since gone on to write a sequel/continuation of the story which is still available for free on Smashwords.

WDaM was my first attempt at writing a story longer than about 3,000 words. My first real go at a novel. It ended up being nowhere near novel length, and it’s not Bizarro at all, but it was a great learning experience and showed me I could tackle longer works.

STC: You followed up with three books in 2012, two through Grindhouse Press, and one through Bucket ‘o Guts. I read, and loved, King of the Perverts. To those that don’t know, what is the story about? And what compelled you to write King of the Perverts?

SL: KotP is the story of a guy who’s down on his luck after losing pretty much everything in an ugly divorce. He needs money and agrees to take part in a reality show produced by a porn company. The premise is a sexcathlon – the first contestant to complete 10 increasingly disturbing sexual acts wins $1 million. I wrote this book, partly, to see how far I would go. It’s certainly nowhere near some of the extreme books out there, but when I got to the final act, called “A World of Shit”, I had a few moments of pause, to say the least. Readers always say how they love the part describing the Alligator Fuckhouse, but no one has mentioned the Alabama Hot Pocket yet. Like me, they might be trying to scrub it from their brain.

STC: Grindhouse Press only publishes a small handful of books each year. What was it like working with them on two books in the one year?

SL: I love Grindhouse. Everything about working with them has been exactly what I could hope for from a publisher. Timely responses to questions, excellent editing and layout, knockout book covers by Matthew Revert. Plus, they publish great reads, and have since the beginning, so I’m proud to be part of their lineup.

STC: You also write sports articles from time to time. What does that involve, how often do you do it, and how do you balance your time between reporting on sports and writing fiction?

SL: I’ve been covering sports for newspapers and the Associated Press since 1999. I’m currently covering a college hockey team for the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, and covering a regular beat definitely takes up much more time than just doing games on a job-by-job basis. But covering sports is where I really learned how to write properly, the bare bones of what a story is. From your lead to grab attention, to your conclusion to tie everything up, I learned how to get in and get out in an economy of words, and still tell the story that needs to be told. You can see this influence in my fiction as well. I have yet to write anything longer than 45,000 words, which wouldn’t be considered a full novel length. But I’m working my way up to that, eventually.

STC: Do you have any writing habits (good/bad) that you’d like to share?

SL: I usually listen to music when I write, but mainly as background noise because lyrics distract me, so I prefer classical. Other than that, nothing specific. Usually, I write whenever I can find the time, so it’s more about losing myself in that zone and being as productive as possible when I’m there.

STC: What are your favourite books, and who are your favourite authors?

SL: I’ve been into crime fiction a lot lately, and my current favorites are Tom Piccirilli and Donald Ray Pollock (The Devil All the Time is a hell of book).

STC: Would you like to offer any tips for aspiring writers?

SL: Sure: write. Don’t aspire to write, just write. Even if it sucks at first, don’t stop. You’ll never learn things along the way if you don’t do it as much as possible.

—————-

Steve Lowe is the author of Muscle Memory, Wolves Dressed As Men, King of the Perverts, Samurai Vs. Robo-Dick, and Mio Padre, il Tumore. Expect to see more of this guy in the near future.

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Free Fiction Roundup!

The following is a listing of free weird/bizarro fiction made availble in the last week:

Varmits by Steve Lowe

A rad tale from the guy that brought you MUSCLE MEMORY. Published on Unicorn Knife Fight.

Lion in My Bed by James Steele

A weird little tale from the author of FELIX AND THE SACRED THOR. Published on The New Flesh.


A Letter of Warning to the Smutzarro Community

Greetings Smutzarros, I’m Cam Kirkeron. No, you don’t recognize me, I’m not someone famous. I am but a simple man on a crusade. You’ve clearly landed on this webpage because you got distracted from your daily pornography searches. I’m here on this digital den of sin and vice because I am in possession of certain photographical evidence depicting the administrators of this website in compromising positions. Hence, my appearance in this most unlikely of pulpits.

I had the misfortune of becoming aware of this “genre” of “literature” through the work of one Steve Lowe, whose quote-unquote book “Muscle Memory” goes to great lengths to slander several well-known and morally-astute celebrities with lies, innuendo and crude toilet humor. Normally, I let this sort of thing slide off my back and pray that the hearts and minds of such wayward sheep will one day be shepherded back into His Heavenly fold.

But this egregious affront to decency and wholesomeness known as Bizarro fiction simply cannot stand any longer. Of particular note is this offshoot of Smutzarro that calls itself “The New Bizarro Author Series”. What twisted mind thought up this crude form of hazing, unleashing desperate losers into the world to harass and harangue decent folk into sullying their hearths and hearts with the mere presence of such distasteful, disgusting, damaging material, all for the sake of earning a contract to create even more filth? According to my detailed investigation of the matter, one Kevin Donihe can be held most accountable.

Take this current batch of NBAS swill. They have the nerve to call themselves the Magnificent Seven, though I’d be shocked to learn if any of them can count that high. Seven books of such atrocious subject matter, such that I can hardly describe. But for the good of decency on the Internet, I will soldier forward and do just that, detailing the lowlights of these filth-filled tomes.

First you have Eric Hendrixson’s “Bucket of Face”. This piece of pseudo fiction glorifies the life of a known sex offender and explicitly depicts an act of sexual congress between a man and a Kiwi fruit. Imagine your children getting their hands on this “Bucket of Sin”. This Hendrixson character has also gone so far as to offer cheap swag on Facebook to anyone who will “Like” his trash. So add bribery to his long list of flaws.

Then there’s Nicole Cushing’s “How to Eat Fried Furries”. Religion-hating, British-Comedy-imitating, hack-television-script-writing, indecipherable noise slapped onto paper. Trees died to make this thing come to life. And all this from a seemingly nice woman. Shocking to see members of the fairer sex involved in this depravity.

But not as shocking as this next entry, from fresh-faced youngster, Kirsten Alene. “Love in the Time of Dinosaurs” is about evil dinosaurs (devil lizards? OK, I can see that), indestructible monks (members of the clergy with super powers bestowed upon them by a higher authority? Yeah, I can get behind that!), and a forbidden love affair betwixt the two. Wait, what? Oh, Ms. Alene, what a shame. You were actually going somewhere, but then you fell on the crutch of the weak: violence, vulgar language and forbidden relations between species. What must your mother think?

When it comes to Caris O’Malley, I am of the opinion that he was not born to a proper mother – clearly he is the spawn of the Dark Lord, hatched from an egg just like in his book “The Egg Said Nothing”. Time-traveling loser repeatedly beats himself to death with a shovel, all the while cursing a blue streak and fornicating with a tramp? The O’Malley clearly says nothing of substance or value to humanity with this hot garbage.

But he’s not even the worst one. This Kirk Jones guy wrote a story about couches having… well, I just can’t bring myself to type such a thing. Reading “Uncle Sam’s Carnival of Copulating Inanimals” is like riding a bullet train straight to Hell. And Jones is in the engineer’s seat, using a noble charity to help disseminate his furniture fornication (I hereby dub the term DavenPorn) to the world.

Of course, DavenPorn pales in comparison to the unholy tripe authored by James Steele. “Felix and the Sacred Thor” is the most disgusting, demented and disturbed offering of the lot, glorifying the use of huge animal (I shudder to even consider this word) dildos as weapons, and the ritual sodomizing of America’s retail workforce (haven’t those people suffered enough?). A tenth circle of Hell awaits you, Mr. Steele.

And that brings us back to the beginning, and in my opinion, the worst of the lot. Steve Lowe’s Muscle Memory does not go to the extremes of James “the Damned” Steele, or Kirk “The Devil is in Mr.” Jones. And that’s what makes it so insidious and dangerous. I’ll confess that I snicker at the occasional fart joke like anyone else, but hear this: No one makes fun of Kirk Cameron and Terry Bradshaw on my watch! Help me rid the world of this trash. Burn it and light the night sky with our cleansing flames. Fire shall make you new again.

Now, go be productive and stop surfing for porn, or you’ll end up like one of these Smutzarros.

-CK