Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review: 2013 New Bizarro Author Series

I did it! When I first saw that all of the seven books from Eraserhead Press's 2013 New Bizarro Author Series were available for Kindle, I let out a loud cheer. I was waiting anxiously for this to happen ever since they originally came out. And I set the goal of reading and reviewing all of them before 2013 ended. I hope everyone who reads this post feels inspired by it to purchase the books, and to support this group of new authors.

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This was the first of the 2013 New Bizarro Author Series books I've read, and it kicked things off with a bang.

Jeremy works in a cemetery for appliances, and his head is slowly turning into a television. He meets a talking dog named Benjamin (not "Benny", or "Benji") and then they are kidnapped by a cult that calls itself "The Church of TV as God".

This book is that kind of small book that leaves you wanting for more information. It's like a cult movie, with all action depicted representing a slice of life. The reading is easy and very entertaining, the plot is solid, and altough there isn't much time for character development, all the action and plot makes up for that. Social commentary permeates this book, and forces us to look to ourselves, to our own obsession with TV.

Daniel Vlasaty is a name to watch out for in the future. His writing has what it takes to make it in the Bizarro community.

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This is a book for me.

A giant Atari cartridge attacks Denver, and it's up to Jimmy, a former child-prodigy video game contestant-turned Chuck E. Cheese employee, to get to the kill screen and save the world.

This is a solid book. It doesn't read like a first book by a young author. There's strong social commentary, on how we view tragedies in today's hyper-connected world. It's wildly entertaining and funny as hell. Jimmy is a sympathetic character, and we actualy feel bad about his sad existence.

The climax was a bit short for me, left me wanting more. But I guess this could be viewed as a compliment.

This is a great book, and Mrs. Billings will surely be a great addition to the Eraserhead Press's roster.

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Tom Clay is attacked in his home, with his wife and son, by a gang of vixens. They kill his son, kidnap his wife and leave him to die. An with this, Tom's journey begins. With a help of Mindy, a runaway vixen, he starts a quest for vengeance and to get his wife back.

This book is ultraviolent. It's like a Tarantino/Rodriguez movie. The narration is superb, an original voice found by the author, and the action is vivid, we can see it in front of us. It's like a noise rock album coming alive right in front of our eyes.

The super small sentences really work for me, permeating the text with an almost stream of consciousness-like feel.

Sensational book.

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Kid Phoenix is the baddest gangaster in all Marrowburg. Until one night, when he's ambushed by an unknown attacker, shot in the back and killed. But, after a stormy night at the hospital he was taken to, he reincarnates in the body of little Baby Jaydon, and there is where the fun begins.

This book reads like a noir-comedy, with Bizarro on top like a delicious gravy. The usual one-liners delivered by narrators in crime books are permeated with Bizarro and Surreal characteristics. It's funny as hell, and very entertaining.

And don't forget extra violent.

The scenes with the two cops are hilarious, and add depth to a otherwise linear tale of revenge.

All of the characters are different and surreal, including deranged travel agents, Progeria-inflicted cops, and of course the protagonist, the foul-mouthed gangster-turned-baby.

This is a very entertaining book, and the authors's surreal voice is one that will not die down in the Bizarro community, and beyond.

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This book is about a little old lady named Martha and her quest for revenge.

After losing a big high-school basketball game, Martha's grandson Charlie is blamed by the faculty. As a result, Charlie and his family are attacked and killed by the teachers, led by the evil principal Mr. Mayonnaise. Martha is injured in this attack, but she's saved by the Mascots, intelligent animals modeled after mascots for famous sports teams. In the Mascots's farm, Martha trains to became a lethal weapon and to exact vengeance on the people who killed her family.

This book is filthy and entertaining. And funny. Oh man, it is funny. Like "laughing out loud" funny. And it has all of the characteristics of a great Bizarro story: Violence, sex (yes... sex), gore, and funny moments.

A must read for all Bizarro fans, and a nice jumping point for someone looking to get into the Bizarro genre.

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A book about two geeks in a journey to save the Universe with a world-controlling video game? Sign me up for that!

Margy and Victor find a old video game with a disc stuck inside it. The disc is for a game called "Adamina", and there's a code scribbled on it. They punch in the code, and the God Mode is activated. They gain control of the OP (original player), and then find themselves caught in the center of a massive conspiracy.

This book is highly entertaining, and it raises some very intelligent questions about the nature of our existence. I can't say more, or else I'll enter spoiler territory. It's Intelligent Bizarro, and very well written by Andy de Fonseca. It doesn't read like a first book. I think Mrs. de Fonseca success will continue within the Bizarro community for years to come.

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Isobel and Dresden are lovers who are about to get married. The world around them is rotting away, some strange sickness that afflicts not only people, but even buildings and cars. Dresden's mother does not approve of the wedding, and goes to great lenghts to prevent it from happening. Now, separated from each other with a dying Earth in between, the two lovers must find each other before the end of all things.

"There's No Happy Ending" is a good description for this book, not just its title. We know right from the start that things will not end up well. But the love between Isobel and Dresden it's so strong (and so well-written by author Tiffany Scandal) that we can't help but root for them. We root for a Deus Ex Machina scenario, even though we know it's not coming. And it's love that drives this book, the infinite love one have for the other. All the violence and gore that follows are more of a filling, a way to make the apocalyptic quest more believable. The climax scene is scripted perfectly written, and we hope all through the end.

A fantastic, solid book.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How I Got Bizarroized

I read from a young age. I started with Agatha Christe, then I passed on to Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke followed. Bizarrely, I just got into the Harry Potter books at a later age, and fell in love with the series. The Lord of the Rings I read in three days as part of a bet (I know that today this don't seem like a big deal, but I was sixteen, and reading that colossus of a book was a big achievement for me).
I was getting older and continued reading books by renowned authors. William Golding, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin. Whatever caught my eye, I would read it.
When I was seventeen, I began writing.
Correction: When I was seventeen, I began trying to write.
I had infinite story ideas. Whole worlds bloosomed right in front of me, weird characters seemed to born from some uterus in my head.
I participated in a online writer's workshop, which made me friends I still have to this day. But I never produced nothing of quality, except for a story or two.
I had MS Word panic. That black cursor on the screen seemed more like crosshairs aiming at me. Things came out wrong, they hit the paper differently. The beautiful babies I spawned in my Mind's Uterus came out deformed. John Merricks in literary pieces.
There was a time I began thinking that I had no talent at all. This is common, different people had different talents. I played bass guitar, in bands, and I always thought of myself as a good musician, maybe my talent was that one. But then why did those ideas popped up so profusely in my head?
This year, I discovered Bizarro.
My God.
The things I read, they made me smile.
How did I not know about this? How could I lose time like this? Suddenly, it made sense: All the ideas I've ever had went through some sort of cultural filter between the uterus and the paper. I was trying to fit in some (let's say "mainstream") style or genre, and this was sullying my thoughts. This was the radiation that was deforming my beautiful, chubby, pink-cheeked babies.
Today I can sit down and write something I will not hate afterwards. I'm writing a novella, something that was unthinkable for me. I couldn't see me writing anything longer than short fiction. I'm trying to be part of a community that is, unfortunately, a continent away, but I still try. I friended a shitload of people on Facebook, just for being writers or people involved in the genre.
Please don't worry, I'm not some creepy psycho stalker.
I'm just trying to be a part of this wonderful community, that I just now found.
Thanks for reading


Friday, November 1, 2013

Introductions + The Michael Bay (Prologue)


This is the first part of my first novella, "The Michael Bay", which I'm currently writing. It's the very first draft, but I wanted to share it with the Bizarro community, and I also wanted to use it to mark my first blog post. I hope you'll like it.


"A town with a warehouse filled with Michael Bay clones, ready to go out into the world and make awful movies. But their excrement, dumped into the bay, is eaten by tiny sea lice, and the lice become parasites that turn the people they infect into characters from Bay's movies."


It’s sad, the life of a Michael Bay. Living in a warehouse, surrounded by individuals identical to you, eating some artificial paste from a filthy vat, having to eat it with your hands and fighting with other Michael Bays to not end up without nothing, shitting in a hole in the ground, bathing only once a week. The list goes on.
         The worst of it all is this void in my mind. Since I woke up twenty days ago, I remember only that my name is Michael Bay. And I also remember a bizarre quantity of knowledge on how to make melodrama-filled action films with poorly constructed characters. This will probably be useful to me, since I feel a enourmous urge to go out into the world and make such films. I’m thinking of a love story set in a space station that is being invaded by aliens. Or, a love story between a sailor and a female lieutenant set in a soviet nuclear submarine during the Cold War. I’m not sure that there were any female lieutenants in soviet submarines during the Cold War, but that’s just a minor detail.
New idea: A love story between two Michael Bays in a warehouse full of Michael Bays while the Earth is being threatened by a fatal asteroid. Though they were all identical, the two Michael Bays of the story can recognize one another only with a glance, strong as it is their love. I can include a tasteful sex scene, their naked bodies griding in the gray, shapeless eating paste.
Sometimes I want to die.
We can’t even see the sunrise. There are no windows here. The only possible way out is the hole where we piss and shit, in one of the corners. One Michael Bay tried to escape by crawling through it, and he came back all covered in filth, saying that there was a grid on the end, blocking the way. The food vat is filled automatically, by small pipes that dump the food there, and our bathing is nothing more than the flooding of the warehouse, which occurs through the pipes on the walls. The shitting hole is closed by a sliding lid, and after the bathing time is over, the lid slides open and the water is drained. Apparently, we don’t need oxigen, since we’re kept submerged for at least one hour.
New idea: A love story between a Spanish Civil War soldier and a tango dancer set during a elephant stampede in her village. This may have some geographical prolems, but that’s for the writers to worry about.
What matters is the story.
The days go by in glacial speed around here. Tectonic plates movement speed. We wake up, we stumble around for a while, we try to pitch movie ideas to each other, we remember we’re not big Hollywood producers, we get depressed, we eat violently, we stumble around a little more, we shit and piss and jerk off with everyone looking. And then we finally lay down on the floor, cuddled up with each other, dreaming of our multi-million dollar movies and all the adulation and acknowledgment we deserve. When we close our eyes, we dream of a wonderful life. Wonderful, because it’s not the one we have now.
Being a Michael Bay sucks.