Archive for fiction

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.



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:

“10 Things Writing Has Taught Me” at Pen, Paper, Pad

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on February 7, 2013 by Scott Emerson


Guest blogging today at T.A. Woods’ Pen, Paper, Pad blog. And since I’m probably the last person who should dispense writing advice, I made a list of ten things I’ve learned about the craft.

Check it out 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).

Review: The Starling Connection Part 1: Lifeline by Theodore Webb

Posted in Books, Morgantown Poets, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by Scott Emerson


In the first installment of his Starling Connection series Theodore Webb presents a chilling dystopian future not too far removed from our current society, an Orwellian backdrop of constant surveillance, immersive, ubiquitous social media, and manufactured realities that soothe and distract from harsher truths. Thrust into a high school environment of carefully controlled thought expression and mandatory school spirit, a small cadre of free-thinking students struggle to break the norm of “Work, Consume, Conform, Repeat.”

Extrapolating current anxieties to frightening but plausible extremes, Webb has much to say about privacy in the digital age, our dependency on prescription medicine and technology, and the state of the working class, filtered through the unique voices of his non-conformist protagonists. While LIFELINE mostly sets the scene and plants the seeds of conflicts to come, it’s an intriguing beginning that whets the appetite for future stories.

(LIFELNE will be available as a free download via Amazon on December 25 and 26. If you don’t want to wait you can order it now here:

Review: Fuckin’ Lie Down Already by Tom Piccirilli

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by Scott Emerson

A deceptively simple and straight-forward revenge tale, Tom Piccirilli’s FUCKIN’ LIE DOWN ALREADY draws its strength not from its matter-of-fact plot (an honest cop with a gangrenous stomach wound from the attempted hit that claimed his wife and son settles the score with the mobster that wanted him dead), but rather its raw, unflinching look at death, loss, and retribution.

Clay, the protagonist (“our hero” just doesn’t sound right in this context), should by all rights be dead–he’s leaking important fluids and his insides are scrambled from his assassin’s bullet–but with grim determination he fights through the agony, both physical and emotional, to avenge his family. And with his keen sense of detail and deft characterization Piccirilli makes us feel it, too, submerging us into Clay’s pain until we’re ready to pick up our own throwaway .38.

A bracing slice of noir grimness, FUCKIN’ LIE DOWN ALREADY is short, not at all sweet, but damn fine reading.