re: (spam: HIGH) Don’t Buy My Book!

– This event has passed. Thank you for participating. Sloth got all the way to below 10,000 sales rank, which is super-duper! My heart has the fondness for all of you. –

*This message has been flagged as SPAM.*

Hello,

stacheMy name is Steve and I have this thing for you that is great! Please continue to read down below, but first I will tell you some news that is true! In a short time to come will be releasing my new book of fun comedy named, YOU ARE SLOTH! from venerable purveyor of Bizarro fiction named Eraserhead Press!

That’s exciting!

It is my honor to request your compliance in making purchase of this publication with hard earned dollars unwound from your tight sweaty fists, BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE FOR YOUR INCENTIVE…

Don’t buy my book YET!!!1 First please read these things -

image

To be clear, I will be thrilled if you buy it at all, but maybe just wait a little bit. I’m thinking of a particular day, where as many people as possible are make the book purchasing happen at once. Just like Jennifer Beals in the FLASHDANCERS, I’m a girl with a DREAM: I have the goal to make my latest book, YOU ARE SLOTH!, an Amazon bestseller, even if for a day, or just a few hours. OH, WHAT A FEELING! Unlike Jennifer Beals, my glorious breasts and sexy water splashing dance moves are not get me there with my own merit. I need YOUR help to make IT!

Please don’t rush right out and click BUY on the day SLOTH! is available – PLEASE to wait for July 18. That is the day to do this. I don’t know why I am picking July 18. It was the first day I see when I looked at the desktop blotter/calendar under my keyboard. So OK! let’s make it July 18.

JULY 18 is officially, “Stop Having the Lazy and Buy YOU ARE SLOTH! Day”

WHISPERHelp me sneak onto the bestsellers list! Read a goofy book about being a sloth. For an added incentive, if you make buy the YOU ARE SLOTH! and Tom Piccirilli’s new novel THE LAST WHISPER IN THE DARK at the same time, and emails me a copy of your Amazon confirmation showing both books, I will send you a free paperback copy of one of my previously published books. These include such titles as: MUSCLE MEMORY and KING OF THE PERVERTS and SAMURAI VS. ROBO-DICK. Email the confirmation to lowe435@gmail.com and tell me which book you want! Buy two, get a third for FREE.

CAN IT BE THAT EASY? Holy crap yes it can! WHO DOES THIS CRAZY THINGS? me

Did I tell you what is YOU ARE SLOTH! about? NO??? Then have some of these:

“Why you are sloth? Because fuck you is why! HAHAHAHAHA!!1!”

That’s the last response you got from The Spammer, who’s developed an insidious computer virus that transforms people into their power animals. You never should have opened that email from the Philippino Sherriff’s Attaché to East Berlin. So many missed warning signs there, but you were drunk last night. Things have been rough lately – you can’t pay your rent, your neighbors are annoying, you keep getting strange calls from horny guys with unique and unsettling fetishes, you’re way behind with work, and your computer is suddenly crapping out on you. And now you’re a goddamn sloth. Nice going, genius. But there’s more at play here than simple animal hijinks. You’ve been added to the Homeland Security Terror Watch List, and the cops want to question you about the mysterious disappearances of several gay men, who all seem to have called your phone just before they vanished. Not only has this Spammer fuck turned you into a sloth, he’s framed your slow ass, too! You’ve had enough of this shit. With the help of your neighbors, Cross the Asshole and Randy the Retard, you form the SLOTH SQUAD. It’s time to track that Spammer down and reap some three-toed vengeance on his ass.
 
You are Sloth!

WOW, doesn’t that sound CRAZY? Alright!

How about a blurb from a living bestseller type? I really like this one:

Patrick Wensinks

“If Steve Lowe offers to sell you a watch, run. Lowe is a literary conman of the highest regard. He reels you in with a dizzying shell game of hilarious jokes and bathroom humor. But before you know it, he’s fled with your heart thanks to the sharply drawn, lovable lunatics inhabiting his writing.” – Patrick Wensink, author of BROKEN PIANO FOR PRESIDENT

How can you NOT stand to buy this thing? I DON’T KNOW! But remember, WAIT for July 18 and take part in “Stop Having the Lazy and Buy YOU ARE SLOTH! Day” for maximal enjoyment of these exciting times we are having.

What a lot of FUN!

Book review: Thunderpussy by David W. Barbee

ThunderpussyThunderpussy by David W. Barbee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

David Barbee showed us what he’s got with A TOWN CALLED SUCKHOLE, but his next book, THUNDERPUSSY, confirms it – Barbee is one of the best authors of weird fiction out there right now.

THUNDERPUSSY is a consistently funny, perfectly over-the-top Bizarro update of the super spy adventure. Declan Magpie Bruce, Agent 00X, is everything you’d want in a spy. He’s hypersexual, majestically mustachioed, and armed to the teeth with fun spy gear like a suitbot that transforms his clothing to whatever environment or situation he’s in. Ever wonder how James Bond always shows up in nice new threads all the time, despite never carting luggage around with him? Had to be a suitbot.

That’s one example of dozens of great, weird ideas that pepper the pages of THUNDERPUSSY. While James Bond continues to be re-imagined as Jason Bourne, Barbee goes the other direction and puts a shitload of fun back into the spy genre.

Get it on Amazon: click here

View all my reviews

Book Review: A Town Called Suckhole, by David W. Barbee

A Town Called SuckholeA Town Called Suckhole by David W. Barbee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love is a strong word. I’ve met David W. Barbee in real, non-Internet life. I’ve quaffed beers shoulder to shoulder with the man and his wonderful wife. I’ve marveled at the awesome vision of David reading from his masterpiece, A TOWN CALLED SUCKHOLE, and how people lined up afterwards to get their hands on this book.

I mention all this for transparency’s sake, but I also want you to know that I love David W. Barbee. I love him in the bromantic way that two men can love each other without the risk or promise of orificial penetration. And I love this book he has written.

Love it.

You’ve read a million times in reviews where an author has “rendered a rich world filled with depth and layers” and all that sort of jazz, right? Well, David Barbee’s world of SUCKHOLE is deep-fried in a batter of bizarro ingenuity and served up on a stick of post-apocalyptic Southern gothic weirdness that you won’t be able to resist sucking down. (I swear, I’m not gay for David Barbee.)

Barbee fully imagines SUCKHOLE, which makes it so easy to get lost in that world of nuclear fallout mutated rednecks and swamp monsters. But then he does what so many authors of the fantastic struggle to do, and he peoples SUCKHOLE with actual characters who have depth, emotion, dimension, and story arcs that we want to follow through to the end and screech out a rebel yee-haw for.

Did I mention I loved this book? Because I do. And I love David Barbee’s sweet, Southern, robot-bizarro-writin’ ass. Still no homo here, just some good ol fashion man love.

View all my reviews

Book for a Buck, and other newsy things

Some of this is very recent and some of it is old news, but rather than tossing out a bunch of separate posts, I decided to combine things.

Commence ADHD-style update of a blog post written as a handy numbered list … now:

1. Until further notice, Muscle Memory will be $0.99 on the Kindle. (CLICK HERE, YO) I think maybe I’ll keep it there until I publish my next book. What that book will be and when it will happen is still unknown at this time, but stay tuned…

2. The sequel to Muscle Memory, which is very aptly title “Muscle Memory 2: More Muscle More Memory” is abso-fucking-lutely free and can be downloaded RIGHT HERE ON SMASHWORDS in a number of ebook formats. I posted it online right here as well in four parts, but then I realized I never updated this site about where to get the whole story in one place. Duh.

This is neither Short Gary, nor a real cow.

3. Here’s some flash fiction for you, from me, courtesy of Bizarro Central: Short Gary Takes a Cow to California, along with another Gary-centric short story by Daniel Vlasaty.

I’m also very excited about two new anthologies that include my work: a humorous short story called “Praise the Lord and Pass the Parmesan” is in the Eraserhead Press anthology Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which also includes pieces by John Skipp, Stephen Graham Jones, S.G. Browne, and a lot of other big names. I also sold a dark, extreme horror story called “Every Day a Holiday” which appears in the Pill Hill Press book “A Hacked Up Holiday Massacre“. That one boasts an amazing lineup that includes stuff from Jack Ketchum, Joe Lansdale, Bentley Little, Wrath James White, Lee Thomas, and a bunch more.

These books are both extremely cool and a lot of fun to read.

4. Some friends and acquaintances outside of the Bizarro world have seen new books come out recently and I wholeheartedly recommend them to you:

- AJ Brown’s Along the Splintered Path is a collection of three dark, short novellas, including the outstanding story “The Woodshed”.

- How about werewolves? You like werewolves? Dig you some Graeme Reynolds then: High Moor

- While we’re talking pulp, this is a must-read based on the dedication alone. Vernon D. Burns writes at the beginning of his pulp-tastic romp Gods of the Jungle Planet: For Diane – I hope his dick falls off, you cheating whore.

That’s fucking beautiful right there.

5. My most recent Amazon purchase, which takes full advantage of the 4-for-3 deal that’s still happening (is this newsworthy? Maybe it’s nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt at pointing out the 4-for-3 deal from Amazon once again, but this is seriously a cool thing and I got four books that aren’t available in my library for the price of three, which to me is quite newsworthy): A Town Called Suckhole by David W. Barbee; Gargoyle Girls of Spider Island by Cameron Pierce; A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space, by S.D. Foster; and A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli.

Now, to quit my job and just write and read books all day long.

What? Bad idea?

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: Crab Town, by Carlton Mellick III

Some writers, you can just tell, are brimming with ideas and creativity. Prolific bizarro veteran Carlton Mellick III is one of those writers, and his long short story Crab Town is evidence of this. After writing a couple 300+ page novels (veritable epics in the bizarro genre), he put out this 85-page novella earlier this year. It’s a short, entertaining ride through the weird world of Freedom City, and its adjoining slum, known as Crab Town.

This is the story of a bank heist gone bad, in a world where two nuclear wars have left the city in shambles and the economy in a mess. In Freedom City, if you lose your job and can’t pay your bills, your only choice is to move to Crab Town. Once you’re in Crab Town, you’re stuck, because no one will hire you again, no landlord will rent to you again, and you’re essentially a social pariah. It reminds me in a lot of ways of our national welfare system, where once you’re in, it’s difficult to get back out. Some denizens of Crab Town form the House of Cards, a group dedicated to improving life in Crab Town and getting a fair shake from the folks in charge of Freedom City. They don’t want a handout, they simply want equal opportunity for jobs and such – a little life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So, yeah, I like the message behind this story.

As Mellick writes in the book’s introduction, this story started with the cover image. Mellick liked it so much, he decided to write a story around the picture of the babe on the bomb, basically working backwards with the actual writing of the story being the last part of the process. In other words, he didn’t begin with a premise and a set of characters, he saw a picture, came up with a title and a cover blurb, then wrote the story from there. What results is almost too much for such a short story.

We’re introduced to no less than six different characters who all play a role in the heist. There are other peripheral characters as well, and over the course of the story, sandwiched between the events of one day, we learn a little bit about each character. We’re stilling learning about these main players in the heist, right up until and during the final act. This could have easily been filled out into another 300-page epic if he had the time and desire. So many ideas and so much creativity pack each page that there’s scarcely enough space to mention it all.

But such is the issue with the novella. Often times, they leave you wanting more, which I think is a good thing. And at $7.95, you get a good story with some very cool artwork. To be honest, I’ve been trying to decide for a long time which Mellick book I would read next, and the cover art from this one sold me from the beginning. Like Mellick, I was intrigued to learn about the babe on the bomb and what made her tick (yes, terrible pun, but I don’t care!). I came away wanting more of what was here, and not just a little bit jealous of how much creatvity this guy’s got bursting out of every story he writes.

Leftovers = Freebies!

I recently enjoyed my first book signing, last Friday night at Idle Hours Bookshop in South Bend, Ind. Despite the crappy, cold weather, we had a good turnout and I want to thank everyone who made it downtown. Unfortunately, not everyone could get out to the signing, and some folks have expressed remorse at missing a chance to get a signed book. Therefore…

Me, signing.

I have an offer for you: left over from the signing are a few copies of Wolves Dressed as Men bearing my signature. If you would like a signed copy, I’ll send you one FOR FREE, if you head over to Amazon and purchase a paperback copy of Muscle Memory.

I need all the sales through Amazon that I can get for Muscle Memory because I’m part of the New Bizarro Author Series. If I sell at least 200 copies of my book through Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com in a year’s time, I could receive a contract from Eraserhead Press to write more books. And since that’s my ultimate goal, you would be doing me a huge solid by buying the paperback version from one of those two sites (though I personally prefer Amazon since it’s more user friendly).

Thus… go here: Amazon or here: Barnes & Noble and buy a pulpy-paper copy of Muscle Memory, then email me here: lowe435@gmail.com and let me know you did so, and I will send your signed (and totally free) copy of my other book, Wolves Dressed as Men, to you. Plus, I still have some bookmarks left, and maybe some cheese from the signing. I’ll definitely throw in a bookmark. The cheese will have to be a surprise.

Book review: Night of the Assholes, by Kevin L. Donihe

If this were to actually happen, a plague of assholes overrunning the world (a la Night of the Living Dead), I would be their king, or at least a Lt. Colonel. I’d have some kind of rank.

In Kevin Donihe’s Night of the Assholes, assholes are everywhere, as you might imagine. If you’re an asshole to an asshole, then you become an asshole as well. The only way to stop an asshole is to ram a pole up said asshole’s asshole. But aim carefully, for if you miss the asshole’s asshole, then you will become an asshole.

This book is a parody of George Romero’s zombie classic, but this is not the kind of parody that would feature Leslie Nielsen in the film adaption. Beyond the humorous premise and outstanding cover art, there is little humor to be found in this story, which wonders if, in the face of a worldwide epidemic of douchebaggery, is it possible to remain civil? If the entire world was overrun by assholes, would there be any chance for kindness to survive?

I won’t spoil Donihe’s vision here, but I know one thing – I wouldn’t last five minutes in that world. In fact, I fear I have already turned. So you better Like this post right now, or I’ll come to your tiny little shithole apartment and superglue your locks shut and dump sugar in the gas tanks of your ’94 Hyundai Excels. What are you waiting for, nimrod? CLICK THAT FUCKING LIKE BUTTON RIGHT NOW!!!!

(oh god… four exclamation points… I really am an asshole… please help me…)

2-Minute Drill: Caris O’Malley

What would you do if, one morning, you awoke naked with an egg between your legs? Let me rephrase that… What would you do if that happened, again? (We hate it when it happens.) Caris O’Malley wondered just that, and then he did what thousands of others have only attempted to do. He spent the better part of a November writing a novel about it. And when professional editors with actual talent read this manuscript and honed it down to the lean piece of fiction it is today, a star was born.

That star was, of course, Kevin Donihe. But in an act of selflessness rarely witnessed in today’s entertainment world, Donihe took no credit for repairing that damaged mess of a story about a man and his egg. Instead, he allowed the name O’Malley to appear across the front cover. The rest, they say, is history. We don’t know why they continue to say that, but they do. We hate they for it. And as we’re wont to do here on the 2-Minute Drill, today we shall try to expose the true Caris O’Malley, in all his flaws and failings. Hopefully, the Internet doesn’t run out of room.

The 2-Minute Drill is 5 quick questions and 5 quick answers from someone you probably haven’t heard of, but should hear from. This isn’t some rambling, long-winded author interview here. We dispense with the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks. We ask the tough questions and get the tough answers that you need to know. And if not, we’ll just make them up.

Click the Egg, buy the Egg.

The Drill returns with the third installment of our interviews with New Bizarro Author Series authors. Mr. O’Malley’s fantastic little book called The Egg Said Nothing (click here for our review of it) is the story of Manny, a shut-in who wakes up one morning to discover he has laid an egg. Then he falls in love, battles future versions of himself, and… well, we’ll leave the rest for you to discover when you read the book. For now, let’s just pester young Caris with our stupidity.

2-MD: Hypothetically speaking, if the Egg actually did say something (and I’m betting dollars to donuts it did), what would It say?

CO’M: When you’re the only egg in a roomful of assholes, the only thing you want to do is leave. I imagine the egg would scream and plead to be taken somewhere else. It’d be kind of like the dragon eggs in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where it would just be annoying and hurt everyone’s ears. Kind of like you, Steve. (2-MD: Starting with a shot across the bow, eh? Looks like we’ll have to step it up a notch…)

2-MD: Hypodermically speaking, what are the best (worst?) fluids that have ever entered your body intravenously?

CO’M: Well, shit. I got bit by a ferret once. Does that count? Yes, I’d say ferret spit. It was much better than all of that dirty heroin I did as a youngster.

2-MD: Hypochondriacally speaking, have you always been such a germophobe, or was it just when you were around us? (We didn’t appreciate your request to “double-bag it” by the way.)

CO’M: In my home environment, I wallow in filth and share drinks with the homeless. But, for the first time in my life, the bizarro crowd made me start to think of the dangers inherent in such behavior. Y’all seem like the kind of folks a body could catch somethin’ from.

2-MD: Hypoallergenically speaking, if we actually laid an Egg from betwixt out loinses, what sorts of infections might we be infectioned with? And part deux of this query, would the Sacred Thor help cleanse us, or simply exacerbate our conundrum?

CO’M: I think sepsis could be a serious issue. Since gentlemen aren’t really built with the equipment to lay eggs, we’ve got to use what the Good Lord gave us- our assholes. It seems to me that expelling something as significant as an egg would come with a certain amount of tearing and would, by the fault of the Lord, expose us to a tremendous amount of bacteria. It would, I think, be virtually impossible to keep the area properly cleaned without round-the-clock care and, honestly, who has time for that? There is hope, though. I feel confident that the Thor, in its infinite wisdom, would help in two significant ways.

1) Stretching out the area in question for more comfortable egg laying.
2) Acting as a cork of sorts to keep harmful bacteria at bay until we’re ready to deal with it.

Not the Sacred Thor.

2-MD: Enough with this hypononsense! How about a real question: How many times did your main character, Manny, kill himself in “The Egg Said Nothing”?

CO’M: Six, I think. Of course, there’s that whole time loop to contend with, so he’s probably killing himself right now. On a related note, there is a point where, as a writer, you grow to hate your characters, their stupid motivations, and their whiny inner dialogues. The only solution I have found to deal with that is to kill the character, resurrect him, then kill him again. In my original draft, there was actually a chapter where I, Caris “The Shit” O’Malley, made a guest appearance and killed Manny no less than fifteen times. (2-MD: Author, slay thy self. No really, we’ve had several requests from loyal readers that you do this.)

2-MD: Congratulations, Caris “Is Shit” O’Malley, with that answer, you have unlocked the SUPER FANTASTIC EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION!!! Here it is: On a scale of Red to Purple, what was the name of the clown that scarred you in this terrible way so, so long ago. (Please show your work, or you’ll only get half credit.)

CO’M: Like everyone else on the planet, it was Pennywise from Stephen King’s It. That clown scared the shit out of me when I was a child. Just the idea of losing my paper boat AND getting killed to death in the depths of a sewer was just too much for me. While writing Clownhunter, I had a picture of that bastard on my computer desktop to remind me of what I was dealing with.

So that’s magenta, I think. (2-MD: Wrong! The answer we were looking for was 19. They must not teach librarians how to divide.)