Archive for books

Review: HYSTERIA by Stephanie M. Wytovich

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


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


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


(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.

Now Available: Too Obscene

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Now available from Nostrovia! Poetry, TOO OBSCENE is a one-shot zine featuring inappropriate but powerful flash fiction and poetry. Among the offerings you’ll find three of my poems–“Crucified for Cthulhu,” “Blowjob Queen” (ever wonder what oral sex with ALIEN’s Xenomorph is like?), and “Gang-Raped by Clowns–The Aftermath.” (You can even read “Crucified” for free on Nostrovia!’s preview page.)

Get yours here.


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:

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

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


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.

My Top Reads of 2012

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Just like the title says, my favorite books published in 2012, in alphabetical order.


Carnage Road by Gregory Lamberson

Zombie books, especially the end-of-the-world variety, are the proverbial dime a dozen these days, but in this bittersweet novella author/filmmaker Gregory Lamberson makes a worthwhile trip down this well-traveled road. As modern society collapses under an onslaught of the living dead, two bikers hit the highway for a farewell tour of America. It’s a poignant statement to life in the twenty-first century, and one of the few books I’ve read this year that I wished was longer.


The Gorelets Omnibus: Collected Poems 2001-2011 by Michael A. Arnzen

Kind of a cheat, as this volume collects Michael Arnzen’s delightfully weird web-based poetry and other assorted ephemera from the last decade, but what a collection it is. A wealth of strange, satirical, and clever poetry that packs an incredible amount of detail and power in their short line counts.


The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli writing at the top of his game, and he doesn’t make this list? As if.


Suipsalms by John Edward Lawson

Lawson’s collection of suicide poems is frequently bleak, beautiful, humorous, and challenging. An awe-inspiring offering of verse.


Working Stiffs by Lucy Leitner

Zombies again, this time in a corporate satire from debut novelist Lucy Leitner. Leitner not only deserves kudos for a workplace zombie comedy that’s actually funny, but she sets the action in Pittsburgh without invoking/fetishizing/dismissing the world of George Romero (it skewers ‘Burgh culture more than the living dead, and quite well).