Unicorn Battle Squad, Jakarta

As you know, Unicorn Battle Squad is now available on amazon. In fact, it’s now available ANYWHERE on the world wide web that carries good books. ANYONE can now order a copy of the next great American novel. ANYONE. ANYWHERE. This is what we call freedom. The word is sure to spread to every single one of the world’s largest cities, garnering rave reviews and inciting flash mobs across the 50 states and beyond.

If you’ve already read Unicorn Battle Squad, you know how important it is for cities to be in contact. All major urban areas are open to attack if they don’t look out for each other.

That’s why I’m taking a look at which cities are at risk of missing out on Unicorn Battle Squad.

#1: TOKYO

Tokyo, the number one most populous city, is going to have no problem. 85% of the people in Tokyo have their finger on the pulse of the weird. The other 15% have, like, you know, Saline implants in their foreheads and stuff. 

#2: SEOUL

Seoul, South Korea, the third most populous city, is also going to be a cinch because in Seoul, fetuses begin learning how to use the internet in the third trimester.

#3: DELHI

Delhi, India, is infamous for its extensive knowledge of my pastimes and habits, due to most men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 working in the customer service centers for CenturyLink that I call almost every day. CenturyLink is the worst internet provider ever.

#4: MANILA

Manila, in the Philipines, will be a little bit harder. Chances are no one in Manila will be searching for Unicorn books in English, although they do have a really neat English Manila-celebrity newspaper that I might be able to crack. Fortunately, I can have my dad plant some copies of the book in hotels next time he’s there.

#5: SHANGHAI

Number six is of course, Shanghai. Well, let’s just say Shanghai knows what’s up. They practically invented the unicorn.

#6: JAKARTA

Unfortunately, if you are in Jakarta, the world’s second largest city by population, your chances of hearing about this ground breaking, sensational novel, let alone receiving a copy,  are slim to none. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that not even one of the 10,187,595 residents of Jakarta will order this novel from amazon.

That is why I would like to reach out to Jakarta and offer a free print copy of this epic, extremely well-packaged book to someone, in fact, anyone, in Jakarta. If you are in Jakarta and you like Unicorns…drop me a line. Or, you know, mail me a postcard, or…send me an email or…stop by the house…or whatever. I’m not trying to tell you how to live, Jakarta.

The point is I feel like everyone in Jakarta deserves to know. They deserve to experience this novel.

And you do too. Here you go: amazon.

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Other Things You Should Read: Last Final Girl and A Pretty Mouth

These two books just came out from Lazy Fascist Press a few days ago. Oh boy, they’re both so good. This might be the fiercest, weirdest pairing ever conceived of. But actually, this coupling of books is a really good example not only of Lazy Fascist’s diversity, but their sameness as well. What do these books have in common?

Offensive intelligence and titillating gore/graphic sexuality. Way to go, LFP.

READ LAST FINAL GIRL

This book will save you.

In this, the smartest slasher ever written, Stephen Graham Jones does what every self-conscious slasher flick so far created has failed to do: be intelligent and entertaining at the same time. Jones knows this genre better than anyone, it seems and he is going to tell you why slashers are the most important thing that humans do. And it will have nothing to do with pleasing ancient gods, thank goodness.

Written with urgency, intelligence, intensity and almost movie-script like brevity, Last Final Girl whizzes past and is over far too soon. Which may be my only complaint. Not that there’s a shortage of meat in the meantime. Bare breasts, collapsed skulls, pig fetuses, old farm machinery, multiple villain situations, decapitation, creepy out-of-towner’s and an abundance of high school snark made me pause every three or four pages just to laugh, bask in the overwhelming violence, or check that all of my doors were locked.

Though I’m a big fan of his writing, this may be the first Stephen Graham Jones book that I recommend to every single person I know regardless of age, personality, or reading habits.

READ A PRETTY MOUTH

This book will disgust you.

 

After reading this book a second time, my conclusion is the same: Molly Tanzer has that gift I always wanted, the ability to change her writerly voice at the drop of a hat. Somehow, no matter what I write, it all sounds like an awkward cross between Toni Morrison and JRR Tolkien. Tanzer obviously does not have this problem.

A Pretty Mouth proves that Molly Tanzer is no novice at the fiction craft. With a voice that only gets stronger as she delves back into the Calipash lineage, she uses the twisted tale of a cursed gene which manifests in a diabolical twin-set every few decades to showcase her many literary talents.

The result is a book that could be called historical, romantic, Wodehousian, Lovecraftian, Victorian, Brontian, pornographic, bizarre or just plain Tanzerian.

An unprecedented success, a delightful nightmare, a spectacular debut.

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Unicorn Battle Squad

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Unicorn Battle Squad. It’s my next book. It’s coming out in October from Eraserhead Press. Don’t freak out. The cover is amazing. I know. I’ve been looking at it for 24 hours now and I’m pretty convinced it’s the best cover I’ve ever seen. Between the unicorn, the crab claws, the foggy encampment and the sinister color scheme, you know what you’re getting when you buy this book.

Which you will.

Buy this book, that is. It’s hard to resist such a spectacular promise. Because a cover is a promise. Everyone knows that.

In case you’re not sold right now, here’s some stuff from the back:

“Imagine Terry Gilliam directing from a script written by Jack Vance channeling the ghosts of Kafka and Calvino, and you’re closing in on the essence of Alene’s latest novel. A bold fusion of grounded surrealism, unfettered filth, and wit as dry and dark as a strip of unicorn jerky.” – Jesse Bullington, author of The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart

Mutant unicorns. A palace with a thousand human legs. The most powerful army on the planet. A first world city on the verge of collapse.

In a city where teetering skyscrapers block out the sky, a city populated by lowly clerks, rumors have been circulating of a terror in the east. When Carl, the lowliest clerk on the negative twelfth floor, discovers that the city is indeed in grave danger, he sets out to warn the city’s protectors: the Unicorn Riders.

Although Carl’s missing father has left him a unicorn of his own, it is a small and sickly creature. Even worse, there is a crab claw growing from its side. But the Unicorn Riders need as much help as they can get, and soon every able rider sets out for the city’s flooded perimeter in a steam-powered Spanish galleon.

An epic journey that spans desert and sea, through the bedchambers of a fearsome Eastern queen, and into the devastation of a conquered city, Unicorn Battle Squad is the story of a boy and his unicorn at the end of the world.

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Other Things You Should Read: Jesse Bullington

Sometimes I think that I am the most original author ever and that no one has ever written anything so strange and lovely as I have.

But then someone buys me a book like this:

and  I realize I am lame.

I read The Sad Tales of the Brothers Grossbart a while ago and I loved it. It has a lot in common with those books that shift perspectives and locations too frequently for you to get attached to any of the subjects. Only instead of being alienated from the characters for this reason, you are alienated from the characters because they were horrible.

Each story, each adventure, each perspective, is more interesting and intriguing than the last. The book is a huge scenic masterpiece, with all the richness and flavor of the medieval era and all of the filthy humor of Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I appreciated it as someone who read the majority of “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People” for light reading in middle school, and also someone who likes Bizarro Fiction and vulgar sex scenes.

The book is disgusting. I highly recommend it.

I had severe doubts about Jesse Bullington’s ability to replicate the powerful weirdness of Brothers Grossbart, all of which he most definitely assuaged in the first four chapters of The Enterprise of Death.

In the following chapters, he has broken my soul and made me realize that I am lame. And also that I might benefit from subtle titles. And also that necrophilic child pornography can be arousing.

Thanks, Jesse Bullington, for bringing foulness and verbosity back into style.

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Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy

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I really don’t like children. With very few exceptions, I find them dirty, sticky, loud, rude, small, and highly frenetic. All of these attributes disturb me.

But yesterday I felt so sorry for a small child that I almost kidnapped him to save him from the terror of being reared by his mother.

This poor little whelp was standing at the sample counter at Trader Joe’s, staring longingly at a bowl full of organic, gluten-free black bean and quinoa chips. With large eyes, he asked his mother if he could try one. The mother snatched up the bag irritably and read the package. The following exchange went something like this:

Mother: “Excuse me. This says that no gluten ingredients are used, but are they gluten free? Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that they are manufactured in a facility that does not also produce products which contain gluten?”

Server, Baffled, “Er, I don’t see…”

Mother, snatching away small child: “See, they’re not gluten free. You can’t have any.”

Sad child: “Please, can’t I have just one?”

Mother: “No.”

Server, seeing child in distress: “You’re good, they’re gluten-free.”

Mother, reluctantly: “Fine. Use the tongs.”

This mother quite obviously suffers from the disorder “Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.”

This is how Wikipedia describes the disorder: “… a controversial label for a behavior pattern in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, and/or induces physical, psychological, behavioral, and/or mental health problems in those who are in their care.”

This poor child has a young life of ulcers and hospitalization ahead of him.

Besides, if I had a small child and it was excited to try something as shady and bull-shitty as Organic, Gluten-Free Black Bean and Quinoa Chips, I would buy it a truck load and hope it never discovered Frito-Lay.

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An Update

It has been quite some time since I posted anything. I have been in the midst of new job training, writing and editing my next book, publishing beautiful selections of flash fiction for Bizarro Central, and copy-editing massive feats of literary genius for Lazy Fascist Press.

JOBISM

My new job involves selling ice cream to ice cream truck drivers in Portland for five hours a day and designing promotional materials for the company. It’s really great because I get to use a little of my creative juices and talk to a bunch of people who don’t speak a single word of English. Hopefully by the end of the year they will have unintentionally taught me how to speak Spanish.

UNICORNICOPIANISM

I am doing final editing work on Unicorn Battle Squad (I have a thing for fighting unicorns, I know this about myself). I’m in the “why did I write a 47,000 word book” stage right now. I think it’ll pass. Hopefully the book will be out this summer. I’m PRETTY excited. I’m thinking this for the cover:

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FLASH FICTIONISM

ImageIn the past two months, I’ve published three of my all-time favorite Flash Fiction pieces on Bizarro Central. Alex M. Pruteanu’s “Grab It, The Bucket” blew me away. I’m still recovering from its weird, sad nostalgia. “Brainwaterfamilyillusion” by Gary Shipley was an odd, nightmarish 600 word, single-sentence jumble. Here’s a little sample: “…when the structure of his hands seem in jeopardy, fingers bending and guttering in flexuous monkeyings at self-rule, none of us are taken in, but instead chew on the evening dimness, our jaw’s rocking-chairs flattening air, and wait for more to come out…” And my favorite line of the month award goes to Andy Adam’s story, “Umbrella” for the sentence: “It is raining fish.”

 

FASCISMImage

I’m very excited for everyone to see what’s coming out from Lazy Fascist this year. It might be the best year ever. Already, Patrick Wensink’s Broken Piano For President, Zombie Bake-Off by Stephen Graham Jones, The Obese by Nick Antosca, and Blake Butler and Sean Kilpatrick’s unsettling curio Anatomy Courses, are out and about in the world, collecting reviews and good facial expressions from everyone who encounters them. 

 

READINGISM

In other news, yours truly will be reading on April 23rd at The Lovecraft Bar in Portland with Jeff Burk, Cameron Pierce, Bradley Sands, and Patrick Wensink himself.

I have a very special surprise planned for everyone who attends. Basically, there are going to be a lot of unicorns. And maybe also some sex.

We’ll see.

You can see the event page here.

It’s going to be fantastic.

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Reading in Seattle

In just two short days, Wonderland Book Award winner, Cameron Pierce, dapper master of magic realism, Bruce Taylor and my little old self will be reading here:

At the University Bookstore in Seattle.

I know it’s a little late to buy a plane ticket, but if you start biking/driving/swimming now, you still stand a good chance at getting here in time. So get a move on!

Legendary artist, Nick Gucker, will be illustrating our stories as we read them aloud to you. The reading starts at seven pm.

I look forward to seeing you all there. No excuses, you’ll be buying us beer afterward. We need as many of you as possible.

My limbs are tingling with anticipation.

 

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