Category Archives: Bizarro

Battering The Stem by Bob Freville #review

Title : Battering The Stem
Author: Bob Freville
Published: 2016
Pages:: 133
Format:: ebook

I thank the author for a review copy. I enjoyed this books grim, violent tale and I appreciate what in the span of just over 100 pages the author has managed to create. Characters well defined, story well crafted though I confess to feeling very white while reading this book. The narrative style was quite frankly beyond me and took some getting used to. There were some parts that I simply couldn’t figure out what the street vernacular was attempted to say. I personally feel it detracted from the story as it then made it hard to keep track of who and what. Overall an entertaining though brutal read.

It’s going to be a long, hellish day on Utica Ave. The employees of Brooklyn’s seediest soul food joint, Clayvon’s King Prawn Chicken N’ Biscuit, have a mysterious new patron: Edgerin. Called a “vagrant” and a “beggar”, he’s got a thing or two to learn them in the delicate art of begging…

Within twenty four tense, bloody hours, all the filthy secrets buried under the nail beds of the Clayvon staff are revealed in this darkly comic urban crime story from author Bob Freville.

Superghost by Scott Cole #review

Scott Cole

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Title : Superghost
Author: Scott Cole
Published: 2014
Pages:: 85
Format:: ebook

 

Mad science, giant monsters, and a whole lot of severed limbs…

Things were bad when Darren lost his arm to a drunken farmer driving a stolen bulldozer the wrong way down a one-way city street. All he had left was the strange tingling sensation where his arm had been and a life that was no longer there. Now, even that is about to be stolen from him.

The foulest mad scientist the world has ever seen has plans for Darren’s phantom limb, and the limbs of all the other amputees he can attack. He is gathering them to build the greatest Frankenstein ghost ever made from phantom body parts – a SuperGhost designed to destroy the world! And it will take Darren and a ragtag band of amputation survivors to bring down the creature and save mankind from total destruction!

 

A disgruntled mad scientist creates a monster with the ghost limbs of amputees. That right there is the story in a nutshell. It was fun, quirky, and entertaining. A short read as are all NBAS reads so this is a good taste of what one would have in store if trying bizarro for the first time. My fave part was the inclusion of an octopus and its limbs which while highly inaccurate as octopi will regrow limbs, not that this story is factual but non the less phantom octopus limbs don’t happen. Be that as it may I enjoyed Sexy the Sexopus and his little wiggly ghost appendage. < That sounded wrong.

Interview with author @bettyrocksteady

Rocksteady

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Hatred and desire collide when the girl next door is a giant spider

Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. His attraction to the spider affects all areas of his life, and changes everything he thought he knew.

 

I read and reviewed Arachnophile last year in November when the latest books in the new bizarro author series had been released. I loved it, seriously this series makes me so happy. For a start it gives new authors a helping hand to get out there and find a readership, second it gives people like me who like a bit or a lot of strange with their reading a very satisfying go to place. Arachnophile was a beautiful strange entertaining read that I highly recommend checking out. If you are a bizarro fan you’ll love it and if you are new to bizarro its a great place to start.

Thank you to Betty for the review copy and for taking part in the interview.

 

 

Please tell me about yourself

I’m an author and illustrator from Canada and my interests lie in mostly the horror and weird realm of things. I grew up reading Weekly World News and old horror comics. My favorite stories are ones where terrible things happen and my favorite art is unsettling. This quote by Edward Gorey sums up my creative process pretty well “My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that’s what the world is like.”

Can you share something about yourself that no one knows

I’m a pretty open book, but any of my social media friends and followers probably don’t know that I used to read A LOT of the Babysitter’s Club.

What are you reading now?

I just finished an extreme horror collection called DOA II and it was fantastic. Slowly getting through The Ritual by David Pinner – beautifully written but I’ve been taking my time with it.

Some favourite books and authors

Alice in Wonderland, forever. Stephen King has been a constant favorite over the years. I’ve been reading Kealan Patrick Burke’s novellas lately and really enjoying them. Joe Hill’s books and comics are fantastic.

What is your work space and writing routine like

Full of cats and clutter. My writing routine hasn’t settled into a real routine yet, it seems to change month to month and depending on what I’m working on. I try to write FAST though, get the rough draft out as quickly as possible. I usually do at least a general outline so I know how to get from point A to point B, or at least what point B is.

How did you discover the bizarro genre and become one of the NBAS?

I had read a bit of bizarro (mostly Joe R. Lansdale) before I really knew what bizarro was, but I’ve always loved weird horror and things that take you in a new direction. I got to know Garrett Cook, this year’s NBAS editor on facebook and took a few of his workshops. He liked my stuff and helped warp it. I had been writing kinda predictable horror before that, but he was able to show me how to bring the true weird outta my soul. He invited me to participate in NBAS and it was (and is) an awesome experience.

Your debut novella Arachnophile is an awesome read, please tell everyone about your new books

Arachnophile is surreal and wet and buggy. I tried to put myself in a Lynchian Eraserhead frame of mind while I was writing it. Alex is a conservative guy who is just trying to live a normal life. The problem is, he’s afraid of spiders. Maybe not such a huge problem, but giant spiders are firmly intermeshed in the society in which he lives and its impossible to avoid them. Against his will, a neighbor spider weaves her way into his life in a way he never expected. You can pick it up here.http://www.amazon.com/Arachnophile-Betty-Rocksteady-ebook/dp/B0172MQ4RQ/

I’ve just finished writing a novella inspired by a nightmare. A girl is saved from some thugs by her grandfather. The thing is, her grandfather has been dead for years. When he brings her back to his new apartment to explain, he doesn’t seem quite himself, and she finds it impossible to leave. I’m hoping to have it released this year, so keep an eye on my website athttp://www.bettyrocksteady.com or my facebook https://www.facebook.com/bettyrocksteadyart

Did you do any arachnid and entomology research for your book?

I did! Even though my book is strange and obviously fantastical, I wanted it to have a flavor of realism and an understanding of spiders apparent. The thing is, before writing it, I was actually a bit of an arachnophobe myself! I watched quite a few spider documentaries and read a lot of articles about how their bodies and reproductive system work. By the time I was done with that and with writing my book, I found myself undergoing a change of heart similar to Alex. I think spiders are pretty cool now and they don’t gross me out nearly as much.

 

Rocksteady“My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that’s what the world is like.” -Edward Gorey

Betty Rocksteady is an eclectic author and illustrator from Canada. Her early exposure to Stephen King, The Weekly World News, and EC horror comics shaped her into the woman she is today. With art and fiction, she explores personal fears and resonances.

My debut novella, Arachnophile, is part of this year’s Eraserhead Press New Bizarro Author Series. Release date November 5, 2015!

Betty can be found online at Web | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook |

I do monthly illustrations at Theme of Absence

Here’s some short fiction available online:
Devil’s Night

The Clown Society

In The Deep Web

Arachnophile by Betty Rocksteady #review @bettyrocksteady

Rocksteady

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Title : Arachnophile
AuthorBetty Rocksteady
Published: 2015
Pages:: 63
Format:: Ebook

 

Hatred and desire collide when the girl next door is a giant spider

Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. His attraction to the spider affects all areas of his life, and changes everything he thought he knew.

I love the NBAS and have read some excellent work, this is again one of those times. I still get surprised, pleasantly so by how great and original some authors are. Arachnophile is a story that had me enthralled and also emotionally invested. Touching, sad and curious it was like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a world so similar to ours and yet so different. Bugs and humans living side by side with discrimination of species, mind numbing work and relationships that are unique to say the least. Relatable and yet curious and curiouser.

Well written and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Thank you to the author for the review copy.

Interview with SuperGhost author Scott Cole #bizarro #NBAS

Always pleased to feature a member of the New Bizarro Author Series, and when the proceeds from that authors book goes to charity well you can’t not share. I hope you’ll all check out the interview and give SuperGhost a try as all proceeds from the month of September goes to an excellent cause. Thank you to Scott for taking part.

 

SuperGhost

Dr. Griffin Rains is a mad scientist masquerading as a phantom limb therapist. When his patients realize that he’s stolen their phantom limbs and assembled them into a giant ghost-monster, they must band together to save the city from Rains and his latest abominable creation – the SuperGhost!

Part of the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press.

Available now in paperback and ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

• Please tell me about yourself

Hello! My name is Scott. I’m fairly tall, unless I’m standing next to an extremely tall person. I have a pointy beard. I drink a lot of water, and I enjoy books.

• Please share if you would something about you that no one knows

Most people are surprised to find out that I hate bananas. HATE them. If something has even the slightest trace of banana in it, I gag, or at least, become very unpleasant to be around. Plantains are slightly better, but still deserve at least a percentage of my wrath.

• What are you reading now?

I just finished Violet LeVoit’s latest collection, I’ll Fuck Anything That Moves And Stephen Hawking, which was great. Now I’m finally digging into Jeremy Robert Johnson’s Skullcrack City, a little later than the cool kids did. So far, the hype is all true. It’s fantastic.

• Some favourite books and authors?

Pixel Juice by Jeff Noon, Eyeheart Everything by Mykle Hansen, Fantastic Orgy by Carlton Mellick III, Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, any collection of Thomas Ligotti’s work (although Teatro Grottesco immediately comes to mind), any collection of Ray Bradbury stories (maybe The October Country if I’m forced to choose), Uzumaki by Junji Ito, anything by comics creator Al Columbia.

Obviously I’m a fan of short stories.

• What is your work space and writing routine like?

Well, “routine” is a strong word…

Many writers will say you need one, and that it’s best to write every day, no matter what. But in reality – at least, in my reality – that’s just not feasible. So I write when I can, usually in spurts. I tend to focus on one thing, or a few things, for a while, then take a short break. That’s just the way things seem to work out. I hope to have more of a standard routine one day. I suppose I could do it if I quit my day job – but then I’d have to also quit eating and living under a roof. But we’ll see what happens down the line.

When I am writing, it’s usually on a laptop at my dining room table, which I know sounds very exciting. Occasionally it’s on a couch, or, even more rarely, in a coffee shop. I usually have music going, and it’s usually something electronic and instrumental. SuperGhost was written largely to the sounds of Aphex Twin and Ulrich Schnauss.

• How did you discover bizarro and why do you enjoy this genre?

I found bizarro (by that name, at least) back around 2006 or 2007. A friend had come across the term, and asked if I knew anything about it, since he knew I was into weird stuff. A few hours of internet time later, I had ordered a stack of books by CM3, Kevin L. Donihe, D. Harlan Wilson, and others.

I love bizarro simply for its lack of limitations. Anything can happen in bizarro, and usually does. Then things tend to get even weirder.

• How did you become one of the NBAS?

I had been interested in the NBAS for a while, and set a goal to submit something. I had actually planned to submit the year before I did, but things didn’t quite come together in time. I traveled to BizarroCon that year, though, and met tons of amazing people – writers, editors, and fans. And I kind of inadvertently soft-pitched SuperGhost to Spike Marlowe. A few months and a few revisions later, I officially submitted the book, and before too long, it was a real thing, out in the world.

• Please tell us about your book

SuperGhost is the story of a mad scientist who invents a way to steal phantom limbs from amputees, and then assemble them into a giant ghost-monster. The amputees then have to find a way to band together and defeat this phantom kaiju before the city is destroyed. It’s sort of like Frankenstein, by way of Cronenberg, Godzilla, and Monty Python.

• You are donating all proceeds from the book sale this month, please tell us about where the proceeds are going.

Yes, it’s SuperGhost September! I decided to donate 100% of my author royalties for the month to an organization that works to get prosthetic limbs for amputees who cannot otherwise afford them. In addition to that, I’ve got a bunch of fun prizes that people can win for purchasing and/or reviewing SuperGhost. All the details can be found right here: http://www.13visions.com/2015/09/superghost-september.html