Bizarro Fiction discussion

Bizarro > What is Bizarro fiction?

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message 1: by Gretchen (last edited Aug 27, 2008 07:27PM) (new)

Gretchen (Naos_Ben-David) I'm going to be honest, I have never read any bizarro fiction. I am here mostly because I have some suspitions that I may be writting bizarro fiction. Are they're any traits that bizarro has, like how weird is bizarro supposed to be?
I'd appreciate any help on this.

message 3: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeffburk) | 14 comments I don't agree with comparing Bizarro to experimental fiction. Jeremy Robert Johnson said at BizarroCon "Bizarro is no experimental in its presentation but in its content."

People focus on the high art aspect of Bizarro but don't forget that Lloyd Kaufman and John Waters are major influences.

Transgressive doesn't really work because not all the books are transgressive.

Bizarro is a marketing term and there's nothing to be ashamed of with that. Bizarro is the equivalent to the cult section at your video store. It's everything that doesn't fit in anywhere else.

message 4: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 12 comments I havent read it yet. But am intrigued. Any recommendations to start?

message 5: by Garrett Cook (new)

Garrett Cook | 82 comments Mod
The Bizarro Starter Kit: Orange would be a good place. I like Blue, but I don't feel it's as good for people who haven't read Bizarro. As you are a true crime buff, perhaps my book Murderland part 1:h8 would be a good start as well, since its Bizarro elements are kind of light and it might not be as jarring as starting off with hardcore Bizarro stuff.Andersen Prunty's Jack and Mr. Grin has one foot in the horror genre and is very good, D. Harlan Wilson's Dr. Identity owes a lot to Douglas Adams and postmodernism and is a weird, fun sci fi actioner.

message 6: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 12 comments okay I went to amazon, ordered Orange, your book and Dr. Identity for now. Thanks!

message 7: by Garrett Cook (new)

Garrett Cook | 82 comments Mod
Great! Hope you like it! Dr. Identity is a smart, fun adventure and the stories in BSK Orange go all over the place.

message 8: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Stafford (bardsfingertips) | 6 comments I can tell you what it isn't: it is not boring, that is for sure.

message 9: by Garrett Cook (new)

Garrett Cook | 82 comments Mod
That's one thing that's true. Not boring is surprisingly important in determining whether a story is Bizarro or not.

message 10: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Stafford (bardsfingertips) | 6 comments I read the Orange book and loved nearly all of the stories but one or two of them. But none of them were ever boring.

message 11: by Garrett Cook (new)

Garrett Cook | 82 comments Mod
You should check out Blue and Purple.

message 12: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Stafford (bardsfingertips) | 6 comments I have Blue (bought is as a combo pack from Amazon). Purple I'll most likely buy myself for Christmas.

message 13: by Eric (new)

Eric Hendrixson | 1 comments I queried this mag for a review, but they were more interested in finding out what Bizarro is than my book in particular. It turned into an interview addressing the thread topic. Link below.

message 14: by Gray (new)

Gray Kane | 3 comments Eric wrote: "I queried this mag for a review ...."

That's an awesome interview, Eric.

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Bizarro book titles take desperate elements and combine them. I have the perfect title and whoever wants to use it go ahead and use it. It is my gift to you. It is the strangest title of them all. I dare anyone to top it. Here it is:
"Mainstream Bizarro"

message 16: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) | 179 comments Mod
Since your books aren't bizarro I'm moving your plugs into the general section.

message 17: by Athanasios (new)

Athanasios (athanos) No need I'll do it. Sorry to have bothered anyone

message 18: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) | 179 comments Mod
I already did it. No problem.

message 19: by Randy (new)

Randy Attwood (randyatwood) | 2 comments Seems like the first work of mine in 3 Very Quirky Tales, and perhaps the other two, might qualify as Bizarro.

message 20: by Davis (new)

Davis  (jdearmond) | 1 comments What is it? F-ing awesome that's what!

message 21: by Randy (new)

Randy Attwood (randyatwood) | 2 comments Okay, here's the start of Tell Us Everything, in 3 Very Quirky Tales. Is this enough to know if it's Bizarro?

Cricket carefully backed her crummy car, which needed a motor mount bolt replaced, down her cousin’s driveway. She was driving extra cautiously these days because her license was suspended and she had two weeks to go on her probation before she could pay the bastards another $90 to get reinstated, which was beyond bullshit because that last DUI was totally fucking unfair. She hit the breaks when she heard Samantha’s voice on the car radio.

"Cricket, can you hear me broadcasting? I told you I was. And I’m going to start telling truths, Cricket, truths about our family and you and everyone. How will you all like that? The highs today are expected to reach the mid 90s. In sports, the Royals lost their tenth straight."

message 22: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Wright I'm really really intrigued. I went on the Bizarro central website... and saw the cover Santa Claus takes over the Homophobes... holy cow! What is that? I must read this!!

I thought my book feel in bizarro but I'm not sure... However I do think I've found an entirely new genre... last year I discovered cyberpunk... this year Bizarro fiction!

Let the games begin!

message 23: by Bob (new)

Bob Page | 2 comments Is this Bizarro? I think it's short enough to put in a thread.

The Beer Run

Trapped inside a sea of parked running cars. On some freeway in a large city somewhere. Sits an old boxy beast that spews burned oil fumes and lots of carbon monoxide. The exhaust smells like the rest of the city. In the beast sits a mid aged balding wreck. Overweight with a big gut that drupes over his crotch and rest on the man's thighs. The man has a thick mustache and hasn't shaved in what appears to be weeks. Dried bits of yellow crust cling to the hairs on his upper lip. While translucent fluid runs from his nose to form more crust. He wears a dirty cotton undershirt that is stained with whiskey, beer and grease from assorted fast food snacks. The man moves his hips from left to right. Smashing his asshole into the seat trying to clear the shit berries that itch and have gathered. They smear and rub off onto the inside of his jeans as he "free balls it". The man keeps flailing his arms and shaking his fist at the other parked cars. Yelling and screaming expletives into the smoky air. Ashes fall from his cigar and burn new holes in his Wife Beater. Not removing his smoke. He takes a swig of cheap whiskey that's bottled in plastic. Inside we can hear the man's slurred demands…..

"I want a sharp bayonet, lots of ammo and heaps of meat before my sights god damn it! I am only human, competition is in my blood! Violence is how I get things done. Done for good. I am a beast with wanton fangs! I want to stomp out the anti ambitious journeys of those around me with big heavy boots. I am an animal…no better yet…I am a manimal and I serve myself as Job served God! Out of my way! I am my own god! Out of my way! I'm God and I damn you. You wretched little bottom feeders…OUT OF MY WAY!!!"

He honks his horn again and again.

"Can't those around me recognize my sovereignty? They don't? They don't see it! They don't see my rights. My right of way! They're blind. They're all blind. They must be taught, they must be taught to see. THEY MUST LEARN TO SEE!!!"

The man honks, revs his engine and drops the clutch… smoking his tires while staying nearly parked.

"They must discern that bright, burning ball of energy behind them is me. They must learn to get out of my way…or die. GET OUT OF MY WAY!!! Fuck…get outta my way…please…pleeeease…get out of my way…"
The man with all his pleading, cursing and angst. Still remains stuck in traffic. For all his rush. For all of his drama. For all his boiling blood. He remains in traffic. All he wants is some more beer. That is all

"Just a few more drops. A sixer is not enough. My thirst never seems quenched"

This scene is repeated over and over throughout the cities of our world. Impatient people in cars. Stuck and angry. Angry for whatever reason. Some reasons small, some reasons big….and some are just on beer runs.

message 24: by Giovanni (new)

Giovanni Russano | 1 comments I had a hunch that I was writing bizzaro fiction when I saw this group and now seeing that Lloyd Kaufman is an influence source, I guess my odds are even greater. You could say I was a student of his having directly worked under him for years.

message 25: by Scott (new)

Scott Andrews | 2 comments I suspect that I may be writing a kind of bizarro-lite. The reason I think I may fit is that I keep stumbling upon the same quote that says that Bizarro "strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read."

The reason why I am not completely convinced is the fact that so much of Bizarro contains a great deal of gore for shock value. So my question to the experts - is shock and/or gore a prerequisite for Bizarro fiction?

message 26: by Donald (new)

Donald Armfield | 157 comments Mod
its kinda in the air, I have read a few that did not have a strong gore shock. Read some titles check out my bizarro shelf.

message 27: by Danger (new)

Danger (danger_slater) | 20 comments "The reason why I am not completely convinced is the fact that so much of Bizarro contains a great deal of gore for shock value. So my question to the experts - is shock and/or gore a prerequisite for Bizarro fiction?"


But I'm not an expert. Just a dude who masturbates a lot.

message 28: by Danger (new)

Danger (danger_slater) | 20 comments And I mean A LOT!

message 29: by Donald (new)

Donald Armfield | 157 comments Mod
Perfect example above^
someone said his real name is Urcle. I just finished Danger rama

message 30: by Danger (new)

Danger (danger_slater) | 20 comments My real name WAS Urkle until that Steve Urkle chap came along and ruined that for me. Now I gotta call myself Danger like some sort of clown.

To answer the 'what is bizarro' question from before, in earnest this time, I can only tell you what it means to me personally. But bizarro, to me, is about freedom, expression and imagination. It's about using the absurd, the horrific, the crazy, to illuminate the "real" world around us a different color. Now some authors might delve into "gore" thing for probably a few reasons:

1. It's fun.

Actually, that's the only reason I can think of right now. But that's my point. I was raised on Troma movies. I equate over-the-top gore and guts with silliness and campy fun. And a lot of what drew me to those movies is what drew me to bizarro, as I'm sure it did a lot of the other readers and writers out there. So certain trends are going to crop up time and again because a lot of people share the same influences. But I'm going to say it is in no way a requisite. If your writing demands some shock gore scenes, then by all means, put them in. If it doesn't, then don't add them. It's more up to the story itself than it is to the genre.

AGAIN, this is just my own opinion here. I in no way speak for a single person outside of myself and the little demon baby named Scratchy who lives in my ballsack.

message 31: by Scott (new)

Scott Andrews | 2 comments Thanks for your answers. I am starting to feel like I have found my home. And not just because of the masturbation jokes (My Grandmother was a sailor)I have order the Bizarro Starter Kit - Blue, and am about to order Cursed by Jeremy Shipp.

I spent my early teens trying to find horror movies that terrified me and only ever found myself laughing. I cannot think of a single late 80's/early 90's horror film which didn't come across as silly fun. My favourite from that period was Critters.

And thank you Donald. I suspect your bizarro shelf will be a great research tool. In the mean time don't tug to hard. It might just fall off. Then you'd look like a Roman statue. Which probably wouldn't be much good. Unless you are in Rome.

message 32: by Remesh (new)

Remesh R. | 2 comments Is fear and loathing bizarro?

message 33: by Lee (new)

Lee Widener | 8 comments No- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is classified as Gonzo Journalism, or to be even more strict, a memoir. It's a non-fiction work, and Bizarro is fiction. Sure, weird things happen in FALILV, but they can be chalked up to drug fueled hallucinations, and one of the basic tenants of Bizarro is that what is happening, no matter how strange, they're all real, not drug hallucinations, not the ravings of an insane mind, or products of dreams.

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