Sunday, April 01, 2012

Bizzaro Month Day 1: The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange)

I believe the best way to start off my bizarro fiction month is with a book that's designed as an introduction to bizarro fiction. This is precisely what The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange) is. It's a collection of novellas and short stories by some of the top writers in the genre. I will say that I generally enjoyed the novella length works better than the short stories, but even the short stories were pretty good.

The collection starts off with a selection of short stories by D. Harlan Wilson. I thought these were all cool, but my favorite had to be "Classroom Dynamics," which is a strange college tale. These were all great.

Next up was Carlton Mellick III's Baby Jesus Butt Plug. Mellick is one of the best writers in bizarro, and while I don't think this novella length story is his best, I did think it was still pretty enjoyable.(Since it has been published individually, I wrote a more in depth review of it here.)

Following Mellick's work, we have the novella length Extinction Journals by Jeremy Robert Johnson. This was a really cool story of a man in a cockroach suit surviving in a post-nuclear-holocaust world. I enjoyed this one. (As This too is available individually, I did a full review here.)

Up next was Kevin L. Donihe's The Greatest Fucking Moment In Sports. As the title suggests, this is indeed a sports story, and it is indeed the greatest fucking moment in sports. A great read (Also available individually, so a full review here.)

Then comes Gina Ranalli's Suicide Girls in the Afterlife, which I had actually read previously and was going to give it's own bizarro month entry before I picked up the Starter Kit. This is a very peculiar version of the afterlife with some really weird characters. (As you may have guessed, there is a full review of this here.)

Then next is Andre Duza's Don't F(beep)k With The Coloureds which is a novella about rampaging cartoon characters.  Another cool story.

That's followed by a selection of short stories by Vincent W. Sakowski. These were some weird and entertaining stories.

Up next is Steve Beard's Survivor's Dream, which, while good, was probably my least favorite of the novellas. It's about a girl called Dead Girl who has to track down the Witch Doctor for her Fairy Sugardaddy. It was strange enough, but I found it a bit tedious.

Then comes John Edward Lawson's Truth In Ruins, which is a strange apocalyptic novella set in a world where everyone is either a serial killer or a profiler.

The book ends with a collection of short stories by Bruce Taylor, which I found to be a bit of a mixed bag. I really enjoyed his "The Breath Amidst The Stones," but didn't care for the other stories as much.

Overall, this is a great collection, and since buying the individual works contained in it would probably cost more than three times as much as the Starter Kit, it's a great value too. This is a great but not just for people who are new to bizarro, but for people who want to expand their bizarro libraries without paying to much, too.

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