Friday, August 7, 2009
Magazine review: The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction
So I just picked up the literary journal of the bizarro movement edited by Jeff Burk author of the new bizarro novel Shatnerquake. The bizarro movement already had an official journal by the name of “Bust Down the door and Eat all the Chickens.” I'm vegan enough that I can't stand the title but have enjoyed works of fiction by some of my favorite absurdist and Bizarro writers.
If you are not familiar with the Bizarro movement let me explain. It's a movement of writers (many of whom hail from right here in Portland) devoted to strange and out there fiction. There are four or five main bizarro publishers and about fifteen or so active and involved writers working within the genre. All different flavors of bizarro exist from the darker writers like Jeremy Robert Johnson to the comically absurd like Carlton Mellick III, D.Harlan Wilson and Bradley Sands.
The movement has been overdue for a flagship journal and now we have it. It looks fantastic and is a great deal for $5 bucks an issue. In the past author's collected their novellas in starter kits(two collections exist so far) but the magazine is to be a an even better idea. Not only does it contain excellent examples of bizarro fiction, this issue featuring stories by Anderson Prunty, Jordan Krall, Jeremy Schipp and more. It also features no fiction articles about self promotion, short story writing,the bizarro con report, book reviews and each issue will have an author spotlight.
This issue features a spotlight on my favorite bizarro writer Gina Ranalli. The fiction highlights include Garret Cook's detective noir that takes place in a Teddy Bear world, Jordan Krall's spagetti western prequel to his novel fistful of feet and the twisted story victim by Jeremy C. Shipp.
This is a great magazine off to a banging start. I'm sure it will get better with time. My only complaint is something that can't really helped. Bizarro is tight knit small community of writers and so the inbreeding of book reviewers is a little hard to avoid. Minor complaint, if you like strange fiction check out this journal.