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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Hatred and desire collide when the girl next door is a giant spider

Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. H
Paperback, 88 pages
Published October 5th 2015 by Eraserhead Press
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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro, 2015
Alex and his wife are having problems. When Alex falls in love with the woman next door, things escalate. Did I mention the woman next door is a giant spider?

That magical time of year when the New Bizarro Author series launches is upon us and I will soon have all the books in my clutches. While deciding which one to pick first. I noticed this one was about giant spiders living alongside humans. Sold! After all, I take spider photos at every opportunity.

While I expected this to be a cool book, I
Holy giant spiders and humans living side by side, batman!

I have been afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember. When I see one, in real life or in a photograph, I feel my heart begin to race and I have to swallow the urge to vomit. I won't attempt to squish one because, god forbid I miss it and it escapes, I'd die from the anxiety of trying to find it again, though I also can't just let it live because WHAT IF IT GETS ON ME or MAKES BAAAAAABIES??!

So you gotta know that picking up this bo
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A love story like no other!

Taking place in a world in which spiders (as in normal, find-em-in-your-garden type spiders, albeit, much larger) are granted full citizenship, Arachnophile merely touches on the “bizarro” dystopia of its universe writ large. Instead the true story is much more myopic in scope. And while this novel subverts the notions of a traditional relationship - cutting them up and splaying them out in all their gory glory - what really shines through is the protagonist dilemma,
The Grim Reader
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NBAS Rocks.

Every year Eraserhead Press gives us the chance to experience a host of new talent with the NBAS books. Betty Rocksteady is one of this years writers. She has written a brilliant tale about discrimination, lust and fear. I love how Bizarro fiction quite often starts out in a normal way. As the stories progress, things begin to get more absurd. However, it's not just weird for weird sake. Their is deep meaning behind many Bizarro tales. This particular tale tells the story of Alex and
Tiffany Morris
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, horror
Arachnophile is an unlikely story - but that's the point of Bizarro, right? - about a man who lives in a world where giant spiders live alongside humans. The man's initial revulsion, in time, becomes a curious and consuming fascination with unexpected results.

This novella is humid, sweaty, and uncomfortable, but in all of the best ways. It makes us question how we define monsters, and, in turn, how we define ourselves against the binaries of fascination and revulsion.

Plus, I mean, it has giant s
Ben Arzate
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full Review

4.5 stars

Arachnophile is a masterfully written story that's beautiful, disgusting, romantic, and tragic. I highly recommend this book. It's Betty Rocksteady's first, and I have great hope for what she'll put out in the future.

Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro, review-copy
I love the NBAS and have read some excellent work, this is again one of those times. I still get surprised, pleasantly so by how great and original some authors are. Arachnophile is a story that had me enthralled and also emotionally invested. Touching, sad and curious it was like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a world so similar to ours and yet so different. Bugs and humans living side by side with discrimination of species, mind numbing work and relationships that are unique to say th ...more
Pedro Proença
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the better written (in terms of pure literary style) New Bizarro Author Series books I've read. Betty uses the right words to create a mood (like using spider-like expressions like "caugh in a web", etc, to describe non-spider related feelings, but conveying the spiderness(?) of the book even so) and it's so effective. I just think it should either be longer, to develop the very interest world that's just hinted at, or smaller (but then it wouldn't be a NBAS book).

Betty and I (along with
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I began this book with zero intention of reading the entire thing any time soon. I just wanted a taste and then would get back to my currently very busy life. I’ve been in the middle of reading a constant flow of submissions for an anthology I am compiling, so any extra reading time was strictly devoted to those…okay, and I got Stephen King’s new anthology Bazaar of Bad Dreams that I’ve been having a fling with. But certainly no time right now to devote to anything else.

However, when I stepped
Michael Adams
I've heard the genre of bizarro defined as a genre in which books are capable of "being (their) own planet" and this certainly fits that definition. The setting is home to an apartment building where it apparently rains, has both dirt floors and carpet, where insects serve functional roles like being living blankets, people consume emotional states like we consume meals, can watch advertising as their 9-to-5 job, and where apparently recent legislation has desegregated spiders and humans from li ...more
Chrissy Sandoval
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's a crazy bizzaro love story between a man and a spider. Once I started it I sat and didn't get up until I was finished..
In the short time I've been introduced to this amazing and uniquely talented author (I've read a total of three stories by her) she has made it to that rare list of authors whom I will one click with zero second thoughts. She definitely has the magic. If I could describe it better, well I'd be the writer and not just a lowly reviewer, barely managing to capture and properly describe her skills. :)
Rick Powell
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I was really glued to this story (pun not intended). Picture if an arachnologist got together with William S. Burroughs, David Lynch, and Martin Scorcese to remake Fatal Attraction. You may have a close idea how it would be. A story that is as much fun as it is disturbing. This story has a Shakespearean tragedy feel to it that you would not expect to find in Bizarro fiction. Kudos to Betty for this!
Jesse Guillon
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

As an arachnophobe, I’ve never found myself asking the question “If I lived in a world of giant, sapient spiders, would I be a bigot?” That is, not until I read this book. And any book that can make you ask such a question must be doing something right.

Connoisseurs of bizarro fiction would no doubt pick this book up expecting to get something odd, and despite it being the story of a man’s temptation to cheat on his wife with a large female arachnid, I found the weirdness of this book pleasingly
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Only in the world of the talented Betty Rocksteady is it possible to be more attracted to a giant spider than a human female.
This book is entirely unique, creating a league of it's very own.
I could not put this book down, I read it all in one sitting.
I highly suggest that you read this novella.
( You know you want to. )


-Devin M.
Dave Anderson
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When spiders are allowed to live with humans, Alex has a tough time adjusting to this. He simply doesn't believe in the concept. However, his wife Heather strongly disagrees with his stance, so much so that if Alex doesnt accept spiders and doesnt show acceptance to his new neighbor spider it could ruin his marriage. Well written, strange and short, everything I want a book to be. Read this
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Arachnophile – Betty Rocksteady

Oh, Betty, Betty – what did you do, Betty?

Often, when you open a NBSA book, you're taking a risk. Does the author know what they're doing? Can they finish the story properly? Are all the good things they do at the beginning going to peter out into an unsatisfying ending? In short, is the writer in control? Betty Rocksteady is in control.

From her subtle use of language, to her poise of character development, Betty is always in control. The story is great – I immedia
Wesley Thomas
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well, I can say with all certainty that I have never read a book like this before.

It was unsettling, bizarre, shocking, but ultimately addictive.

In a world where humans are forced to cohabit with spiders, things are bound to get tangled up.
Especially for a young couple whose relationship is on rocky grounds. The man loathes these critters and having to put up with them living in existing in their world. And I don't just mean in the ordinary sense, I mean spiders have apartments, houses, have t
Adan Ramie
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bizarro fans
Alex wasn't a likable character, but he was one I understood. I saw who Alex was: small-minded, confused, and afraid of things he didn't understand. He wasn't necessarily a terrible guy, but one who simply couldn't understand sharing the world with creatures he deemed inferior to him.

His girlfriend, on the other hand, was a nag and kind of a bore. She wanted him to accept the spiders as equals, but... not really. You see it in the way she talks about the laws regarding spider webbing. She's kind
Christopher  Nelson
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A perfect example of the type of bizarro I prefer to read. Subtle world-building makes it believable, yet with just enough of the dreamy bizarro insanity to stand it apart. I've read Betty Rocksteady's work before and one thing you can always count on: She will take you into a dark place based on the fantastic, only to find a much darker, and true-to-life story at the center. ARACHNOPHILE does just that, navigating us through layers of very real alienation and prejudice anchored in the absurd an ...more
Jenna Malcolm
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Arachnophile was a journey! Betty's writing flowed so well and painted the scenes in my head so vividly, which was wonderfully creepy. I really enjoyed how the story unravelled and how with each chapter you seem to learn something new about this unlikely world.

The sudden erotica hits hard but is surprisingly tastefully done, especially considering the players involved.

Alex is a character you get to love and hate. I highly recommend this story!
Jon James
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It starts with an absurd premise, but Arachnophile allows itself to delve into the torn motivations of a man who has come to love that which he has always hated: giant spider people. This is provided with a backdrop of a strange, alien world where jobs are watching ads and the furniture is alive, yet the world also feels so real and familiar.
Andrew Stone
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Review coming soon... I had two big issues with this book, though I certainly enjoyed reading it.
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“My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that's what the world is like.” -Edward Gorey

Betty Rocksteady is an eclectic author and illustrator from Canada. Her early exposure to Stephen King, The Weekly World News, and EC horror comics shaped her into the woman she is today. With art and fiction, she explores personal fea
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