I don’t hate bizarro fiction, regardless of what others might say. I love bizarro fiction. I’ve put more time, effort and creativity into writing bizarro books than I did making films, which is saying something.
I never had to quit filmmaking. I chose to. I never had to write bizarro fiction. I chose to. I’m not bitter. I haven’t been rejected. I don’t think I’m better than other bizarro writers. I don’t misunderstand what bizarro is.
I’ve sat on and hosted writing panels at Bizarrocon and am the ONLY bizarro fiction writer to be nominated twice in the same Wonderland Award category in the same year. I founded a publishing house listed on Bizarrocentral.com as a bizarro press. Helped kick start the careers of many beginning bizarro authors and cover artists.
I’ve been published on Bizarro Central numerous times. I’ve been featured in numerous bizarro anthologies. Appeared multiple times as a featured guest on the most popular bizarro podcasts. I’m probably among the most successful indie bizarro authors never published by Eraserhead Press or one of her imprints.
I’m a new type of bizarro fiction hater. I’m the 8th type.
Back in 2012, my friend Carlton Mellick wrote an essay on Bizarrocentral.com outlined the 7 types of bizarro fiction haters. Back then, bizarro was still riding a transgressive wave. It had built its reputation off of books like Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Cripple Wolf and Adolph in Wonderland.
Books like The Baby Jesus Buttplug and Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Entire Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere. Bizarro was punk rock. Bizarro was rebellion. Bizarro took heat from all the other literary communities. In other words, bizarro was cool as fuck.
Then a funny thing happened. Bizarro authors who’d found success writing subversive, fuck-the-mainstream badass books suddenly went soft. Maybe it was the criticism of the literary community at large. Maybe their egos couldn’t handle being seen as juvenile one trick ponies. Shock jocks with a pen. A one note joke.
Whatever it was, it happened. The same guys writing joke Nazi books became fly fishermen and literary authors. They turned into Carlton’s first type of bizarro fiction hater, the “2 literary 4 U” hater, without ever coming out publicly in condemnation of the genre. They just slowly backed away.
Most people didn’t notice. Most people STILL haven’t noticed how dull and boring bizarro fiction has become. How neutered. How toothless. But I’ve noticed. And I’ve been on the front lines fighting for our ability to be punk rock. To say fuck the establishment and be OFFENSIVE again. That’s what brought me here in the first place. That’s what brought a LOT of us here in the first place.
And for that, I’ve been labeled a hater. See, you can’t actually have a relevant criticism in the social justice age. Now, in today’s social and political climate, you’re either with the regressive left, or you’re literally a Nazi. Ironic, since some of the best bizarro fiction is Nazi satire.
Hell, bizarro fiction has a literary tribute to GG Allin. If he was alive today, GG Allin wouldn’t get one FOOT in the door at a Bizarrocon. The so-called genre police would excommunicate him before he had a chance to get a single book published. I’ve seen them do it to people like him many times.
Art NEEDS to be controversial. Needs to find the limits of cultural acceptability and smash past them. The regressive left bizarro leaders pretend we still live in the 1990s. They’ve grown complacent as the status quo, firing arrows at religion and republicans long out of power and out of control of society. Worse, they’re actively trying to hold others back from creating truly provocative art.
Bizarro writers come to me in private and tell me they’re afraid to write about certain topics or discus their political points of view publicly for fear of being ostracized by the political zealots with power in our community. This is REAL. This is HAPPENING.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that we’re living in scary, scary times and that my favorite genre of fiction is suffering because the loudest voices in its ranks are hysterical alt-left liberals who push their social and political ideology down the entire community’s throat.
It’s time to be louder than them. Fuck what you heard. I love bizarro fiction.