Perverts for Wonderland and the Guy I Hate

kingIn completely surprising and unexpected news, King of the Perverts is on the final ballot of the Wonderland Book Awards for Best Novel. KotP was published in 2012 by Grindhouse Press, which also has a book in the category for Best Collection with Andersen Prunty’s Hi I’m a Social Disease. Team Grindhouse tearin’ it up, y’all.

The best thing about this nomination for me is the cohort alongside my little Pervert. With names like Nick Antosca, Kevin Donihe, Pat Wensink, and Carlton Mellick III, I’m definitely the one people will look at and say, “Who?” And that’s cool with me. Because, you know, it’s just an honor to be nominated, and all. Winners will be announced in November at BizarroCon in Portland, which I will be attending again this year.

NEWS ITEM

From the world of free books, there’s a giveaway on Goodreads right now for my latest, You Are Sloth! If you want to enter to win a free copy of the Sloth, this is the place to do it.

NEWS ITEM

Speaking of Sloth!, book reviewer Bob Milne shared his thoughts over on his blog. Here’s a cherry-picked line from said review: “His story is deliberately offensive in many ways, but as a caricature or over-the-top parody, never as a mean-spirited attack. There are some Bizarro titles I skim through for scenes that catch my eye, and others that I read cover-to-cover . . . Lowe is definitely one of the latter, and a gentleman I need to read more of.”

HUMAN INTEREST ITEM

I’ve recently tried to get in the habit of running in the mornings. I’m no workout freak, and in reality, I hate the act of running. It’s tiresome, and painful on my increasingly cranky knees and hips. Sometimes there’s a searing pain along the inside of my left foot. I think it’s inflammation of the tendon there, possibly the posterior tibialis. That’s what the Internet suggested to me, anyway. The only time I don’t mind running is if I’m legging out a stand-up triple after hitting a softball into the gap. Any other time, running is just working out, and the key word in the phrase is WORK. Screw that, I work enough already.

But still, I’m trying. I need to be healthier. Get in better shape. I’m 38 and if I’m ever going to learn healthy habits, I better start now. But it feels like my body is assaulting itself when I run. Like my immune system is kicking in to combat myself for trying to injure it. My physical being defending itself from the mind with underhanded tactics, like inflammation of the posterior tibialis. I can only imagine what I must look like when I run. Face contorted in equal parts pain and anger, with a little fear mixed in. My every instinct screaming at me to stop, oh dear God, stop, what the hell am I thinking? I go early in the morning, and fortunately it’s dark and there are few cars on the road, otherwise, I suspect people would be calling 911 because I look like I’m either running from a murderer, or from the scene of a murder.

I bring this up because there’s a guy I see running almost every day on my drive into work. He’s around 6-foot-5, can’t possibly have more than 0.5% body fat. Long legs that attack the pavement and seemed to bounce off it. Effortless. Two springs that propel him along, shirtless and chiseled and defined and toned. The guy looks like a machine. A flawless assembly of strength and health and precision. Unwavering in his dedication to honing his body into a perfect specimen, and that this little run he’s taking (which is no doubt many miles long) is nothing but easy. Probably fun to him, even.

Fuck that guy.

The Versatile Blogger Award + Two Announcements

Let us begin this post with a disclaimer: I don’t normally do chain mails things. Not if it’s blogs or Facebook status updates that read “… I bet most of my friends won’t copy and paste this to their own status…” Even if it’s about cancer or kitties, or kitties with cancer, I don’t give a shit. I just don’t do them and generally despise reading them.

SAVE TUMOR CAT - Pass this along or you'll go to HELL!

However…

I’m going to break that vow right here, in the name of promoting fellow authors and other shit I like. All of that being prelude to this: my good friend A.J. Brown has bestowed upon me, for reasons that can only lead to a conclusion of brain damage on his part, the Versatile Blogger Award. If it had come from anyone else, I might have just ignored it as Internet nonsense, but I do love me some A.J. Brown, so the exception has been made. Now, let’s get it on.

What the fuck is the Versatile Blogger Award? Dude, click the link above for more info.

What does one do once they’ve won the award? Besides holding a party in their own honor, getting totally shitfaced, and passing out facedown in the bathtub, they’re supposed to do this shit:

* Thank the award-giver and link back to their blog in your post. (check)

* Include a link to the original blog, The Versatile Blogger Award. (checkerino)

* Share seven things about yourself. (I’ll always talk about myself. See below)

* Pass this award along to fifteen blogs you enjoy reading. (er, no)

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. (still undecided about this part as it seems pretty lame…)

* There is no deadline for responding, although I would imagine that being “fairly prompt” would be the polite thing to do. (DON’T YOU FUCKING TELL ME TO BE POLITE, I GOT POLITE RUNNING OUT OF MY ASS, I’M SO OVERSTUFFED WITH POLITE YOU SONOFABITCH!)

Before we go further, I already know I can’t name 15 blogs I enjoy reading, whom I would also pass this thing along to, nor would I do that anyway. That would be the chain-mail aspect about this that makes me break out in a rash. But I will contact the person whom I name as my Versatile Blogger (if I end up doing that) and let that person do with this as they wish. And besides, most of the blogs I like have a large readership and are probably inundated by similar stuff all the time, and I have no interest in spamming them with this. But I will link to them and spread the word and the love around like it was fucking peanut butter. Oh yeah, baby, peanut butter love…

First, I’ll share seven things about myself that you, Captain Reader, may not know:

1. I hate oranges. Hate those fuckers. Can’t stand the taste, can’t stand the smell, don’t like orange juice or orange soda or orange candy or orange julius. Add some vodka and make it a screwdriver? You just ruined perfectly good vodka. Nice going, ass.

2. In January, I self-published a novel under a pen name. I’ve been trying to decide how to market the thing since it’s, you know, published under a pen name, but I might as well announce it here. It’s most decidedly not bizarro, which is why I didn’t put it out under my own name, and I confess to being curious about the whole self-publishing deal. I thought I’d try it myself, if for no other reason, than to get a better idea of a different facet of the publishing world besides just the writing side. The novel is Mr. Flashback by Son Porter (and it’s $0.99 for the Kindle here on Amazon). Don’t ask where the name came from, there is no real significance to it. It’s just easy to remember.

3. Speaking of books, I will have a new one coming out soon. Grindhouse Press will publish my novella King of the Perverts sometime this summer. I can’t tell you how stoked I am about this book, and also about working with Grindhouse. They put out great pulp horror and bizarro and their books look, and are, utterly fantastic.

4. For you horror fans, I make this admission: I absolutely hated Richard Matheson’s book Hell House. Just hated it. I found it to be dumb, cheesy writing and not at all scary. I spent the whole book yelling at the idiot characters. Flame away.

5. That’s two things I hate, so I better list something I love: severe thunderstorms. It doesn’t matter if the tornado sirens are going off, branches are flying through the air, rain is pelting my face, lightning is exploding all around – I’m that dumbass who stands out in the middle of a thunderstorm, hoping to glimpse for myself a tornado. If I had the money, I would take one of those tornado chasing vacations in Kansas or Oklahoma.

6. The first thing I ever wrote was a fully-illustrated fanfic of my favorite cartoon when I was about 6 or 7, Battle of the Planets (G Force). I loved their spaceship, the Phoenix, and always wished I could have found a toy version of it. I never did, but it apparently does exist.

7. I spent nine months of my childhood inside an iron lung.

OK, that last one is not true. I’m actually just a big fat liar.

Now, on to the blogs I regularly check out:

1. AJ Brown’s Type AJ Negative: Lots if introspective stuff about writing and fatherhood, being a husband, and juggling all those things. And as I mentioned, AJ and I have a little long-distance bromance going on, so… (blush)

2. John Skipp is Yer Pal Skipp!: No, this has not been around long, but the few posts Skipp has up so far have been so inspiring and helpful over the past month that I find myself checking regularly to see if he has a new post up yet. That’s why it’s here.

3. John Scalzi’s Whatever: I can’t not read whatever Scalzi posts, because more often than not, he writes exactly what I’m thinking about a particular subject. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, SCALZI!

4. The Cubs-centric baseball blog Bleacher Nation: I’m gonna throw a change-up here (PUN!) and add a sports blog, because goddammit, I gots me some roots in sports writing. And this is my list, so blah.

5. The something of Andersen Prunty, Lowered Expectations: Not exactly updated regularly, but when it is, it is always interesting and entertaining. Currently, he’s holding a contest for readers to create a cover for his upcoming book, Fill the Grand Canyon and Live Forever.

6. Nathan Bransford: More of an occasional read for me, but regularly updated with interesting news and insights into publishing and writing. Worth the time.

7. JA Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: The always interesting but equally annoying Konrath expounds on sticking it to the man through self-publishing. I like his transparency and willingness to share numbers and info, but am equally enraged by his insistence on posting in the third person. That just bugs Lowe.

8. Caris O’Malley’s Hipster Librarian: There is never a time when Caris fails to make me laugh. A great majority of that time, I’m laughing at him, but still, you can’t argue the results!

9. Kirk Jones’s bizarrojones: Kirk likes to examine bizarro and horror art and literature through a scholarly, professorial lens. I like to read Kirk and pretend I’m smart like him.

10. Redneck bizarro robot genius, David W. Barbee: Goofy fun from a bizarro son of the south. God Save Us, George W. Foxworthy!

11. College football fun from EDSBS: OK, one more sports blog. If you’re not a college football fan or observer, you probably won’t get much of what’s here, but if you are, and you do, then this shit is gold, more often than not.

12. Um… hmmmmmmmmm… There are other blogs I occasionally read, but I think I’ll stop this list here. I will reserve the right to come back and add to this list when I inevitably remember the ones I forgot to include.

If you made it all the way through to the end of this, then I now have one question: why? If you can answer that question in no fewer than 200 words, I will email you a free copy of Son Porter’s dynamic debut novel Mr. Flashback. Send your essays to: lowe435@gmail.com

OK, bye bye!

Book review: My Fake War, by Andersen Prunty

My Fake WarMy Fake War by Andersen Prunty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Fake Review

I found this book in the bargain bin at a Yonder Readin’ House in Pensacola, Fla. It was written in 1937 by a gypsy woman named Andersen Prunty, which was the most common name in that time for vagabonds and gypsies, according to Wikipedia. Miss Prunty was a poor girl suffering under the yoke of Communist aggression, forced daily to author tomes of propagandist literature for meager scraps. Hers was a life of toil and inhuman hardship. My Fake War was one of her many works.

Andersen Prunty

It tells the story of a beautician and wolfhound breeder named Saul Dressing, who refuses to fight in Lenin’s ‘Great Salt War’ of 1899. Dressing is whipped daily and forced to spread himself across beds of lettuce and vegetables, which seed within the grooves of his marred flesh and grow, rendering him a grotesque plant man. Dressing’s only respite from his tortured existence is through song – Dressing is also a world renowned accordion player. But soon this no longer offers solace, as his leafy arms snap under the weight of his instrument.

Dressing finally decides he can take no more of this torture and launches a one-man war (a FAKE WAR, dare I mention?) against his Communist captors, but he is thoroughly crushed by Lenin’s army of fork-wielding troops. He is served prior to the platoon’s meal that evening with a light vinaigrette.

Miss Prunty’s book contains a very important message, which is this …

SPOILER ALERT!!! STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON”T WANT THE STORY RUINED FOR YOU!!!

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I have never been to Pensacola, Fla.

View all my reviews

Muscle Memory for the Kindle only $0.99

Everybody loves a sale, right? For a limited time, the Kindle version of Muscle Memory will be available for only $0.99. I’ve marked it down for the rest of May at least, to hopefully kick start sales so I can make a nice donation to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (click here for the details of this promotion).

But while we’re on the subject, this is actually a great time to try some new fiction without spending much money at all. There are a number of outstanding titles available for $0.99 on the Kindle. And remember, you don’t need an actual Kindle to be able to read Kindle titles – if you have an iPhone or Droid, there are Kindle apps available. I’ve read several of these books on my iPhone and it’s not nearly as cumbersome or tough to see as I thought it would be. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Several of these books below are short, only around 100-page or less novellas, so it’s not like you’re trying to slog through a huge novel on your screen. (And again, at only $0.99, it’s more than worth it to give it a try.)

Also available for $0.99 are the following (click the cover art to go to Amazon):

The Egg Said Nothing, by Caris O’Malley (Eraserhead Press)

read my review of this book here

The Brothers Crunk, by William Pauley III (Grindhouse Press)

read my review here

The Sorrow King, by Andersen Prunty (Grindhouse Press)

read my review here

Fuckness, also by Andersen Prunty

Mother Puncher, by Gina Rinalli (Eraserhead)

(Gina has a bunch of $0.99 titles, check them all out)

Nightjack, by Tom Piccirilli (Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital)

Katja from the Punk Band, by Simon Logan (ChiZine)

An Occupation of Angels, by Lavie Tidhar (Apex)

A Russian Prostitute’s Guide to Pakistan and Other Tales of Grit and Valor, by S. Sommerville (House of Bizarro)

Vampires in Devil Town, by Wayne Hixon (Grindhouse)

Please note that this is, in no way, a complete list of all the great $0.99 Kindle books available. If you want to share more, leave a link in the comments.

Book review: The Sorrow King, by Andersen Prunty

To those who might read this review,

To make matters worse, Mr. Prunty is selling this for just $0.99 on the Kindle right now, cheaply spreading his madness across the globe!

This is not Steve, this is his widow. Yes, that is correct. Steve is dead. His last wish, which he pinned to himself before he took his own life, was for me to post this review for him. I do so begrudgingly.

And I lay the blame for my beloved husband’s death at your feet, Mr. Prunty. It was your book, The Sorrow King which drove him to this madness. Your skillfulness in capturing the mindset of downcast, suicidal teens and their daily angst so thoroughly depressed my husband that it sent him over the edge.

The depth given to your down-in-the-mouth main character, who I might also point out was named STEVEN, was so complete, and the sadness and depression of being a teenager again, experienced vicariously through this story, so intense, it was too much for my poor husband. Being from a smallish Midwestern town himself, he was intoxicated by your portrayal of a dying Gethsemane, Ohio, where the body count mounts as teens are driven to what appears to be a number of suicides. But then you piled on the awful, sinister truth of what was truly behind all of that sorrow and grief.

You, Mr. Prunty, you are the Sorrow King. I hope you feel the shame of a murderer, because that is what you are. You’ll be hearing from my attorney soon.

Signed,
The Grieving Widow of Steve Lowe