Archive for the Books Category

Review: HYSTERIA by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on August 22, 2013 by Scott Emerson

Hysteria

Stephanie M. Wytovich delivers a powerhouse knockout with this debut collection of dark verse. Deftly weaving Gothic sensibilities and pop culture savvy, HYSTERIA offers an unflinching glimpse into the disorienting, frightening, and often hellish worlds of the mentally unstable. Wytovich’s poems–or “patients,” as she frequently presents them here–are blunt and visceral, consistently breathtaking in their convincing portrayal of madness and macabre beauty, rendered vivid in Wytovich’s rich imagery and voice.

HYSTERIA is a collection of immense talent and promise. Highly recommended.

Order your copy from Raw Dog Screaming Press here.

Cover Reveal: HYSTERIA by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on June 26, 2013 by Scott Emerson

Hysteria

Today is the cover reveal of Stephanie M. Wytovich’s poetry collection HYSTERIA from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Introduction by Michael A. Arnzen. Cover art by Steven Archer.

“Asylums once used to confine those deemed mentally unfit linger, forgotten behind trees or urban development, beautiful yet desolate in their decay. Within them festers something far more unnerving than unlit corners or unexplained noises: the case files left to moulder out of sight, out of conscience. Stephanie M. Wytovich forces your hands upon these crumbling, warped binders and exposes your mind to every taboo misfortune experienced by the outcast, exiled, misbegotten monsters and victims who have walked among us. The poetry contained in Hysteria performs internal body modification on its readers in an unrelenting fashion, employing broad-spectrum brutality treatment that spans the physical to the societal, as noted in Stoker Award winner Michael A. Arnzen’s incisive introduction.”

Preorder your copy here.

Review: Vegan Zombie Apocalypse by Wol-vriey

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2013 by Scott Emerson

vegan-zombie-apocalypse

(Full disclosure: Wol-vriey is a fellow Burning Bulb author, having been published alongside me in the anthologies Westward Hoes and The Big Book of Bizarro, and BB editor Rich Bottles Jr. gave me a copy for review.)

Those looking for the standard Romero-esque “Lock the doors, the zombies are coming!” story will want to search elsewhere; you certainly will not find what you want here. But if you’re jonesing for a new, fiercely imaginative, and disturbingly erotic take on the living dead, Vegan Zombie Apocalypse will provide a rich feast.

In the future, zombies are unable to consume flesh, and must use human bodies to harvest blood potatoes for sustenance. That’s all the further I’ll describe the plot, as most of the fun in VZA is discovering the myriad twists and twisted concepts Wol-vriey whips out. Not content to merely turn well-worn zombie tropes on their head, Wol-vriey creates a staggeringly bizarre sf landscape peppered with memorable characters, breakneck action scenes, and enough deviant sex to stuff a dozen books. (Seriously, Wol-vriey devised some sick-erotica scenarios that boggled even my jaded mind; I loved it.)

A taste for bizarro is probably required (by the third act Wol-vriey’s throwing out so many insane developmentsnt that the book threatens to go off the rails), but adventurous readers with a fondness for weird sex will find Vegan Zombie Apocalypse a rare treat.

Amazon currently has this on sale. Get your copy here.

WESTWARD HOES Now Available

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2013 by Scott Emerson

Westward Hoes

Now available from Burning Bulb Publishing, the bizarro western anthology WESTWARD HOES. Edited by Gary Lee Vincent ad Rich Bottles, Jr. (who previously brought you THE BIG BOOK OF BIZARRO), it features nine decidedly demented tales of strange and unspeakable debauchery in the Old West. Most of the authors involved also appeared in BBoB–like Wol-vriey, who contributes the novella “Big Trouble in Little Ass”–so if you dug that one, you should enjoy this, too.

My story therein, “Succubi Sundown,” contains probably the most bizarre sex scene I’ve ever written.

Order yours from Amazon for $12.99 here: http://www.amazon.com/Westward-Hoes-Rich-Bottles-Jr/dp/0615759580/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361652793&sr=8-1&keywords=westward+hoes

Arnzstigation Days: “Longing”

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by Scott Emerson

arnzstigation

In honor of Arnzstigation Days, I’d like to share a flash fiction story, as well as a little bit about the book and its author, Michael Arnzen, who inspired it.

(Speaking of Arnzen, have you contributed to the Fridge of the Damned Kickstarter? It’s a wicked sweet magnetic poetry set coming from Raw Dog Screaming Press. For more info and to donate go here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nathanrosen/michael-a-arnzens-fridge-of-the-damned-magnetic-po. And may I mention that pledges at the “Audiovillain” level gets you, among other cool items, a CD recording of Arnzen reading at the Morgantown Poets/Raw Dog Screaming party from May 2012. It’s an awesome event; I know, I was there.)

What I wanted to share was a poem inspired by a piece of Arnzen’s digital art, but it appears the piece has been taken down from Arnzen’s site (and Twitter has since eaten the poem as well). So instead I’ll be offering my short-short “Longing.”

“Longing” wasn’t inspired by any one specific Instigation or Twisted Prompt; it’s part of the flash fiction flood unleashed in my brain after reading Arnzen’s excellent flash collection 100 JOLTS. I scribbled a TON of microfiction, much of it bad, after devouring the book. Yet the way Arnzen utilized clever wordplay, vivid and bizarre imagery, and pop culture deconstruction prodded my muse like few books have, and I continued to hone the shorts. Finally I got something I was happy with.

“Longing” was origially published in August 2004 in FLASHSHOT.

LONGING
by Scott Emerson

I long to sever your vocal chords.
That way, I couldn’t hear you say, Stop. Don’t. I don’t like when we play this game. I hate seeing you bleed.
But I wouldn’t. Like you’ve said, it’s not my style.
#
The awl slid effortlessly into my eardrums.
—-

In closing, let me add that Michael Arnzen has been more than an inspiration or favorite author. He’s been a valuable mentor and friend, one whose advice and wisdom has greatly benefitted my work in the near-decade I’ve been fortunate to know him. I would not be the writer I am today without his influence.

Whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen.

Reading List, 2012

Posted in Books on December 31, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Since 1991 I’ve kept a list of all the books I read during the year. 2012 was an especially fruitful time, thanks to a day job that gave me very little to do but read (and which I no longer have—sigh—such is the health care industry), enabling me to log 76 books. Some are re-reads of old favorites, some are written by friends. I thought I’d share the list.

Yes, there are a lot of novellas and poetry chapbooks to help pad out the list, but also two 1000-page doorstoppers (one which took nearly a month to plow through), nor did I read anything throughout November, which further skews the averages.

Looking over the titles it’s clear I should’ve read a bit more widely and out of my preferred genre, but all in all I’d say it’s a year’s worth of some pretty good reading.

They are, in chronological order:

1) UNDER THE DOME, Stephen King
2) BABY’S FIRST BOOK OF SERIOUSLY FUCKED-UP SHIT, Robert Devereaux
3) HELLHOLE, WEST VIRGINIA, Rich Bottles Jr.
4) BACK STORY, Robert E. Parker
5) DEMONS: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DEVIL AND HIS MINIONS, FALLEN ANGELS, AND THE POSSESSED, John Skipp (editor)
6) CHRISTINE, Stephen King
7) MR. X, Peter Straub
8) ASS GOBLINS OF AUSCHWICZ, Cameron C. Pierce
9) ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR NINJA AND OTHER AXIOMS OF THE CLINICALLY ABSURD, Jeremy C. Shipp
10) DOMINION, Bentley Little
11) BRAIN DAMAGE: A TRIP THROUGH HELL, Robert Martin
12) PHANTOM ENERGY: (VERY) SHORT STORIES, Robert Swartwood
13) SENSATION, Nick Mamatas
14) GOD, NO! SIGNS YOU MAY ALREADY BE AN ATHEIST AND OTHER MAGICAL TALES, Penn Jillette
15) SACRIFICE, Richard Kinion (aka Edward Lee)
16) LOST ECHOES, Joe R. Lansdale
17) EVERY SHALLOW CUT, Tom Piccirilli
18) SORRY I RUINED YOUR ORGY, Bradley Sands
19) GOD IS NOT GREAT: HOW RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING, Christopher Hitchens
20) LIKE DEATH, Tim Waggoner
21) BOY’S LIFE, Robert R. McCammon
22) LIKE PORNO FOR PSYCHOS, Wrath James White
23) THE GOD ENGINES, John Scalzi
24) FAR DARK FIELDS, Gary A. Braunbeck
25) BREEDER, Douglas Clegg
26) NIGHT VISIONS: THE HELLBOUND HEART, George R.R. Martin (editor)
27) JUST LIKE HELL, Nate Southard
28) TROLLEY NO. 1852, Edward Lee
29) THE HUNGER GAMES, Suzanne Collins
30) HOMEPLACE: POEMS FROM THE MOUNTAINS, Susanna Holstein
31) THE KEEPER, Sarah Langan
32) 100 BULLETS: FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL, Brian Azzarella, Eduardo Risso
33) FULL BONE MOON, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller
34) THE GORELETS OMNIBUS: COLLECTED POEMS 2001-2011, Michael A. Arnzen
35) DEVIL’S MARIONETTE, Maurice Broaddus
36) SURVIVOR, Chuck Palahniuk
37) THE TROUBLESOME AMPUTEE, John Edward Lawson
38) HELLBENDER, Jason Jack Miller
39) TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS, Bizarro Press (editor)
40) THE BABY JESUS BUTT PLUG, Carlton Mellick III
41) IT, Stephen King
42) CARNAGE ROAD, Gregory Lamberson
43) PSLAMS OF THE MONSTER RIVER CULT, William F. DeVault, Daniel S. McTaggart
44) RABBITS IN THE GARDEN, Jessica McHugh
45) WORKING STIFFS, Lucy Leitner
46) WILD HAIRS, David J. Schow
47) THE MORGANTOWN SUITE POEMS, William F. DeVault
48) TRASHLAND-A-GO-GO, Constance Ann Fitzgerald
49) LIVE GIRLS, Ray Garton
50) GARDENS OF EARTHLY DELIGHT, George Williams
51) WAR SLUT, Carlton Mellick III
52) LADIES AND OTHER VICIOUS CREATURES, Donna Lynch
53) BRAIN CHEESE BUFFET, Edward Lee
54) THE PLAGUE FACTORY, John Edward Lawson
55) WIDOW’S WALK, Robert E. Parker
56) THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, James M. Cain
57) THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY?, Horace McCoy
58) NIGHTMARE ALLEY, William Lindsay Gresham
59) WEREWOLVES AND SHAPESHIFTERS: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE BEAST WITHIN, John Skipp (editor)
60) SUIPSALMS, John Edward Lawson
61) DEADWEIGHT, Robert Devereaux
62) MOTHER PUNCHER, Gina Rinalli
63) THE DAMNATION GAME, Clive Barker
64) FULL DARK, NO STARS, Stephen King
65) CUM FOR BIGFOOT, Virginia Wade
66) DIARY, Chuck Palahniuk
67) FUCKIN’ LIE DOWN ALREADY, Tom Piccirilli
68) GOON, Edward Lee and John Pelan
69) THE HOLY TERROR, Wayne Allen Sallee
70) CUM FOR BIGFOOT 2, Virginia Wade
71) KEEPERS, Gary A. Braunbeck
72) SIBS, F. Paul Wilson
73) SEE NO EVIL, SAY NO EVIL, Matt Betts
74) THE STARLING CONNECTION PART 1: LIFELINE, Theodore Webb
75) TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS VOL. 2, Arthur Gelsinger (editor)
76) BARBED WIRE KISSES, Scott Colbert

Review: Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 edited by Arthur Gelsinger

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by Scott Emerson

ttsc2

Not satisfied with its first offering of the weird and irreverent, TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS returns with a sloppy, slimy vengeance. Bizarro Press’ second anthology assembles 15 oddball tales chock-full of strange humor, off-the-wall imagery, and singularly bizarre concepts.

Like many multi-author collections (especially in the bizarro genre), the results are mixed, but TTaSC2’s hit-to-miss ratio is commendably solid. Highlights include Eirik Gumeny’s “The Ballad of Billy the Squid” (chronicling an octopus-headed boy’s foray into the Japanese adult film industry), Danger Slater’s “The Apple of my iPhone” (you know those people hopelessly attached to their Apple products? What if the feelings were reversed?), Vincent K. Sakowski’s “The Legend of a Ho Named Walrus Sounds,” and Nick Cato’s “Necrocandy,” a sort-of zombie tale as gross as it is funny.

As with the previous volume of TALL TALES, most of the stories rely on humor—particularly of the crude and vulgar variety—so readers on the lookout for serious or cerebral writing may be disappointed. (Though with a title like that, would they be surprised?) Those who like their fiction gross and giddy will have much to feast upon.