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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Join Me at the Bottom of the World

Here's an excerpt from Market Adjustment and Other Tales of Avarice:

New York—October 28, 1929

“A hotdog, mister?”

“Got any money?”

Myron Barnes patted his tattered overcoat, knowing he didn’t have any money. He caught the vendor’s eye and tossed his hands out to the side. “I ain’t had no money for days. Thought I might find somethin.” Myron turned away. “I understand. You got a business you’re tryin to run.”

“Hold up now. I think I can spare one.”

Myron turned back around to face him. Their eyes stayed locked and the vendor’s motions were mechanical, assembling and wrapping the hotdog, handing it across the cart to Myron.

“Jeez, thanks mister. When I make my fortune I’ll make sure to pay you. Consider this a loan.” He held up the hotdog before taking a big hungry bite of it.

“I wouldn’t count on that. Don’t think nobody’s makin money today. Head down to Wall Street, you’ll see a whole lotta panic. That is… unless you got somewhere else to go.”

“I think you and me both know I don’t.”

“Enjoy. I think a whole lotta people’s about to join you.”

Myron turned his back on the vendor with a dismissive wave. He took another bite of the hotdog and headed toward Wall Street. The vendor’s words stung him. Had it become that obvious he lived on the street?

Luckily, Myron thought, he still had his youth and some vestige of his looks. Maybe it was just his eyes. Somehow he was able to compel people to do things for him. Maybe they just saw poverty and desperation. So, yeah, he lived on the street, but it wasn’t hard to find some girl to take him in for the night. More often than not, he had a place to sleep. And he had the Enclave.

He crouched down in front of a sewer grate and took one last, longing look at the remainder of the hotdog before dropping it down. He rose and wiped his hands on his filthy pants, his stomach now gurgling pleasantly as it broke down the food.

He breathed in the crisp October air and turned onto Wall Street.

It was choked with panic. People shouting in disbelief. Running hands through their hair and clutching their pockets like something could reach in and take whatever was left right out. A palpable buzz binding everyone together.

Who were these captains of industry?

Materialistic money worshippers, Myron thought. No one knew which gods they worshipped anymore so these people had chosen to worship their bank accounts. They had built a house of cards and now, watching a man’s hat fly off as he kicked the tires of a nearby Nash with great fury, that house of cards had fallen. This was the fallout.

Myron did his best not to smile. Not that anyone would have noticed.

Join me, he thought. Join me here at the bottom of the world.

A rain of glass exploded from above, followed by a heavy wooden office chair. The crowd gathered on the sidewalk backed out into the street and craned their heads upward.

A collective gasp. A man flying through the air, framed against the gorgeous blue sky, his jacket and pants flapping as he clawed at the empty space around him.

He hit the ground in an explosion of bone fragments and gore. Myron crossed his arms to shield his eyes. A woman to his right screamed. An eyeball had slapped against the lapel of her jacket. She did a weird little dance as it sluggishly slid down before plopping onto the greasy asphalt.

Myron felt blood spattered against his palms. He held his hands out in front of him to examine them, the gesture of begging all too familiar.

A hundred dollar bill rested wetly in each palm.

He casually wrapped his hands around the bills and slid them into each of his pants pockets before disappearing down the nearest alley.


Preorder MARKET ADJUSTMENT AND OTHER TALES OF AVARICE

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008

This is the time of year I like to sit back in my chair, stroke my imaginary beard, and become reflective about the year that is nearly gone. It's been a pretty good year for me. Eraserhead Press released three of my books (THE OVERWHELMING URGE, ZEROSTRATA, and JACK AND MR. GRIN). I've been trying to kind of promote them and hope I haven't become annoying in the process. This is the small press, it isn't like we have a PR team or anything. I hope you can write it off as a newly published writer's excitement.

And on the writing front: I wrote a trilogy of novellas called SLAG ATTACK! Hopefully this appears sometime in 2009. I also wrote a novel called MORNING IS DEAD. I'm still not sure what's happening with that. MARKET ADJUSTMENT AND OTHER TALES OF AVARICE is a collection consisting of a novella and two short stories. Pre-orders for this will begin on December 26th. It will be published by Cargo Cult Press in limited/lettered edition hardcover. I also spent a good deal of time polishing a novel called THE BEARD (working title) and am currently in the process of shopping that around.

On the editing front, I've continued to very slowly read stories for The Harrow. I also read a ton of submissions for the BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK anthology. I had to make a lot of tough decisions in rejecting many stories. Look for this to appear in early 2009.

I attended my first convention in March and two more conventions thereafter. Each of them was a pretty good time. I got to meet a lot of writers I'd read and respected for a long time, a lot of up-and-coming writers who I hope to read more of in the future, and strike up some lasting relationships with a couple of fantastic publishers.

On the homefront, everyone seems to be happy and healthy, which is all I could really ask for.

I hope you stick around for 2009. MARKET ADJUSTMENT will be released in March. THE SORROW KING is set for release in late 2009 by Cargo Cult Press and I will be working on new stuff every day to try and make 2010 just as eventful.

All right, now it's back to work on THE SEX BEAST OF SCURVY ISLAND!

May you and yours have a very good holiday season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Review of ZEROSTRATA

Here's a new review of ZEROSTRATA from Jason Pettus for The Chicago Center of Literature and Photography... CLICK!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BizarroCon Follow-up

For some other convention reports and photos galore (!) go HERE...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Books and Order Info

The Sorrow King

A Limited Edition Hardcover Available Exclusively from Horror Mall
Pre-order Now
Click Here to Order from Horror Mall (while supplies last)

Description: The papers call it “The Suicide Virus.” The teenagers of Gethsemane, Ohio, are killing themselves at an alarming rate.

Steven Wrigley is trying to survive his senior year of high school, still reeling from the death of his mother and adjusting to life with his father. While sleeping, Steven writes names in a notebook-- the names of dead teenagers before he can possibly know they’re dead. These messages fill him with dread, clues to some mystery he must try to unravel. Along the way, he meets a girl who becomes another kind of obsession: Elise Devon.

Elise’s secrets keep her distanced from everyone. She has a special place she calls the Obscura. She goes there when she is depressed or angry. The Obscura makes her feel like nothing she’s ever felt before. She soon realizes the Obscura may be partially to blame for the suicides. When she loses herself to the Obscura, she fears she also gives herself to something much darker, something much more powerful. Something calling itself the Sorrow King.

Who is the Sorrow King?

He is carved from wood and bone.

He smells like wax, dead leaves, and memories.

He travels by moonlight and drinks the sorrow of others.

And, drunk from this sorrow, he must always create more.

Can love exact vengeance on a monster made from madness, depression, and misery? Or will the Sorrow King bleed the town dry before satiating himself and moving on?



The Beard

READ THE FREE ONLINE VERSION HERE!
Order A Signed Copy:








Description: David Glum decides to quit everything, move back home, and grow a beard before embarking on a surreal cross-country trip that might have something to do with saving the world.


The Night the Moon Made a Sound

A Digital Chapbook available exclusively from Horror Mall.

Description: Walt Ferryman drinks because of the pain. Walt Ferryman drinks because of the squeaky things. Walt Ferryman drinks because the moon makes terrible sounds. On a night by the sea, Janey will show Walt how to escape the moon and all the other horrors eating him from the inside.






Market Adjustment and Other Tales of Avarice

A Limited Edition Hardcover Available Exclusively from Horror Mall
Preorder Now
Click Here to Preorder MARKET ADJUSTMENT from Horror Mall (while copies last)

Description: Life at the bottom. The life of the financially ruined. The emotionally ruined. How does one seek revenge on greed? How does one seek revenge for a life that has been destroyed and has no hope of being rebuilt? Sometimes it takes a man who has nothing to answer these questions, to seek this revenge.

Meet Myron Barnes...

Myron is a man with sadly convincing eyes. He begs food and people give it to him and he offers it to the gods he's chosen to believe in. He finds sleep in the beds of disreputable women. But he finds no comfort there. He will not find the comfort he needs until bank president Robert Chambers is dead. Myron knows that, sometimes, in order to drag people to the bottom you have to go to the top. What he finds there is not what he expects. Collapsing chaos, a disturbing reality, women who have become sacrifices and men who are more animal than human...

Cargo Cult Press
Limited Edition Hardcover
April 4, 2009
Approximately 100 pages
150 Numbered Editions/26 Lettered Editions


Jack and Mr. Grin

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Horror Mall
Signed copy from the author:








Description: Jack Orange is a twentysomething guy who works at a place called The Tent packing dirt in boxes and shipping them off to exotic, unheard of locales. He thinks about his girlfriend, Gina Black, and the ring he hopes to surprise her with. But when he returns home one day, Gina isn't there. He receives a strange call from a man who sounds like he is smiling- Mr. Grin. He says he has Gina. He gives Jack twenty-four hours to find her.

What follows is Jack's bizarre journey through an increasingly warped and surreal landscape where an otherworldly force burns brands into those he comes in contact with, trains appear out of thin air, rooms turn themselves inside out and computers are powered by birds. And if he does find Gina, how will he ever survive a grueling battle to the death with Mr. Grin?

Eraserhead Press
Trade Paperback
December 2008
ISBN: 978-1933929712
212 Pages




Zerostrata

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Horror Mall
Signed copy from the author:








Description: After ten years, Hansel Nothing returns to his boyhood home, unable to remember anything that has happened to him since he left. Back home, he
stays in Zerostrata, a tree house in the backyard. The nothing family is
as dysfunctional and depressed as ever. His mother keeps a cat on her
head and incessantly munches prescription medication. His father has
left the house to pursue a career as a superhero. His brother has
become a shut-in, brooding in the darkened basement. Hansel realizes,
after a life of sadness, a life only half-remembered, the only thing he
wants is for himself and his family to be happy. But what type of
bizarre world must he enter to obtain this happiness?

Eraserhead Press
Trade Paperback
September 2008
ISBN: 978-1933929750
144 Pages



The Overwhelming Urge

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Borders
Horror Mall
Signed copy from the author:








Description: It is a world where men wake up with laser beams for eyes and wives play sadistic practical jokes. It is a world where body parts randomly fall off and fathers turn into antelopes. In this world, vampires and spontaneous combustions are a constant threat. THE OVERWHELMING URGE is a collection of bizarro flash fiction, containing ridiculous characters and absurd stories reminiscent of David Lynch and Franz Kafka. Written at knifepoint in a burning room, this book will make you think of a dirty comedian raving from Freud's couch.

Eraserhead Press
Trade Paperback
Febrary 2008
ISBN: 978-1933929651
140 Pages


The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue)

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Horror Mall

Description: There's a new genre rising from the underground. Its name: BIZARRO. For years, readers have been asking for a category of fiction dedicated to the weird, crazy, cult side of storytelling that has become a staple in the film industry (with directors such as David Lynch, Takashi Miike, Tim Burton, and even Lloyd Kaufman) but has been largely ignored in the literary world, until now. The Bizarro Starter Kit features short novels and story collections by ten of the leading authors in the bizarro genre: Ray Fracalossy, Jeremy C. Shipp, Jordan Krall, Mykle Hansen, Andersen Prunty, Eckhard Gerdes, Bradley Sands, Steve Aylett, Christian TeBordo, and Tony Rauch.

Bizarro Books
Trade Paperback
December 2007
ISBN: 978-1933929620
244 Pages

Friday, December 5, 2008

MARKET ADJUSTMENT and Other Tales of Avarice

This is my super special announcement. This will be my first book with Cargo Cult Press. Pre-orders will begin after Christmas and the book will be released in March in super nice limited/lettered editions. I've included a description of it:

Wall Street screams with panic. The market is crashing and the forecast is bleak. People are losing their homes, their jobs, their families. Myron Barnes has one goal: to kill the President of the Chambers National Bank. Only as he enters the Chambers Building does he realize he may encounter something far more ancient and dangerous. Employees gone savage. Shifting realities. Blood sacrifice. But Myron will not turn back. He is at the bottom of humanity. And he has absolutely nothing left to lose.

Market Adjustment and Other Tales of Avarice reveals men at the edge, struggling against the harsh realities of greed, lust and betrayal.

I will keep you posted as to when it becomes available. All previous Cargo Cult Press titles have sold out so you may have to act quickly.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for a special surprise announcement in the next week (or so)...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Favorite Reads 2008

These are some books I really enjoyed this year. They weren't all necessarily published in 2008 but I don't really pay a lot of attention to publication dates. Without further adieu:

1. The Motorman Trilogy by David Ohle (Motorman, The Age of Sinatra, The Pisstown Chaos)
2. House of Houses by Kevin L. Donihe
3. Blankety Blank: A Novel of Vulgaria by D. Harlan Wilson
4. Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler
5. The Fever Kill by Tom Piccirilli
6. The Academy by Bentley Little
7. Mother Puncher by Gina Ranalli
8. Super Cell Anemia by duncan b. barlow
9. Adolf in Wonderland by Carlton Mellick III
10. Money Shot by Christa Faust

Monday, November 17, 2008

BizarroCon 2008

My wife, Gretchen, and I descended on Portland Thursday to partake of the first ever BizarroCon. We gave Forrest Armstrong a lift from the airport and met up with Carlton Mellick, Rose O'Keefe, Jeff Burk, Gina Ranalli and Garrett Cook at Powell's bookstore. They had copies of my books on the shelf at Powell's. I was kind of blown away. It had a little tag and everything like one of the employees had actually read the book. From there we went to the Edgefield in Troutdale, a beautifully scenic hotel/brewery. We were met with others including but not limited to: Bradley Sands, Eckhard Gerdes, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Cameron Pierce, Molly and Kevin Donihe. I was happy to see Kevin was as weird, sleep deprived and road weary as ever. I was also glad to finally meet Jeremy Robert Johnson and I will now offer this brief digression:

I have attended a couple of cons this year and this is how many conversations go:
Them: Hi, I'm So-and-so.
Me: Andersen Prunty. Andy.
Them: You have anything out?
Me: I have a couple of books with Eraserhead Press.
Them: Oh, bizarro, huh?
Me: Yep.
Them: Bizarro... That's like mustaches flying off people's faces and fucking things until there's an explosion of blood and possibly other mustaches, right?
Me: In a nutshell.
Them: I have read Jeremy Robert Johnson. What's he been working on?
Me: I don't know Jeremy. I've never met Jeremy.

Until now... and I can gladly unveil that he has been working on Prince Lemon. I won't even begin to describe it. It might be written. It might be audio. It might be performance art. I do know this: Prince Lemon is awesome. You will laugh until you melt and then you will seep into the ground with a sonic scream.
Digression over.

The next morning began with Jeremy blowing the conch (not a metaphor, the guy actually has a functioning conch shell). After the conch we went to various panels and workshops and had another exciting evening of hanging out at the Eraserhead Press release party (Apeshit by Carlton Mellick III, The Kissing Bug by Daniel Scott Buck, Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere by Mykle Hansen and Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden by Cameron Pierce). Afterward, Cameron Pierce challenged everyone to an arm wrestling contest. I don't know if you've ever met Cameron Pierce but he is an awesomely intimidating figure, with arm diameters only matched by the fabulosity of his hair. Needless to say, Pierce beat everyone. Then we loaded him into a car and took him to a local redneck bar where he defeated and beheaded 38 truckers, loggers and alpaca fuckers. Gretchen, Gina, Kevin and I escaped briefly to go to Voodoo Donuts, a really great donut shop in downtown Portland. We stole a local bus, filled it with homeless people and took them all back to the book release party to slurp up some of Rose's homebrewed beer. The evening ended in a haze of blood, exhaustion and regret.

The next day was filled with readings. Fruit flies invaded the reading room. The air was thick with them. I'm pretty sure I now have flies laying eggs in my brain. Such is life. The Wonderland Award ceremony was held later in the day. Congratulations to D. Harlan Wilson for winning in the category of Best Bizarro Novel for Dr. Identity and Gina Ranalli and Gus Fink for winning in the category of Best Bizarro Story Collection for 13 Thorns. It was worth it just to see the reclusive Gina Ranalli have to speak in front of all those people. Aided by her posse, she did a wonderful job. The Wonderland Awards were followed by the Bizarro Contest where entrants competed to see who was the most bizarro. I offered the crowd a taste of the vocal stylings of Jennifer Love Hewitt but they weren't biting. I guess I will just have to listen to her in the comforts of my home and cry softly for the victory that never was. Congratulations to Garrett Cook, however, who won the contest with his extremely bizarre stream-of-consciousness rantings.

We concluded the evening by burning down the hotel and taking Eckard Gerdes and Bradley Sands back to the airport. I hope everyone else survived. May there be a next year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jack and Mr. Grin on Vacation

No, you will not yet find copies of Jack and Mr. Grin to purchase but, if you go to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, you might find him lurking around.



I have absolutely no idea who this guy is but he looks really into it.



Click HERE to read a very, very brief excerpt.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Dream People

Issue 30 of The Dream People is now live. One of my favorite online journals, this issue features an outstanding lineup of fiction and reviews for The Overwhelming Urge and The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue). Check it out!

ZEROSTRATA and The Tattooed Belgian

Recently, ZEROSTRATA went to Cancun and shared some beverages with this man. I think the pictures speak for themselves.




Monday, October 13, 2008

ZEROSTRATA Reviewed

Nick Cato has some very nice things to say about Zerostrata on his blog. Thanks Nick!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Troll

Here is a picture I stole from D. Harlan Wilson's blog. This is us at the Shroud party at Context 21. Dr. Wilson is very tall. I am a troll.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Overwhelming Urge Goes on Vacation

I'm way too poor to take my books on vacation but The Overwhelming Urge was fortunate enough to travel to the Dominican Republic with one of my friends. He took some pictures...


I think he threatened to body slam this bartender if she didn't hold the book. You can hardly notice the look of fear in her eyes.



The Overwhelming Urge is just like any other really good drinking companion. It has 66 stories to tell you over and over again.

A Rain of Leaves

A few weeks ago, the ass end of Hurricane Ike swept through Ohio bringing with it 6000 mph winds, knocking down trees, knocking out power and just generally fucking things up. There wasn't any rain or flooding, which is what I (foolish boy that I am) always associated with hurricanes. Just a rain of leaves blowing from trees and covering the roads, choking the gutters. And a haze of grit blown from places that normally don't see a lot of wind. We were without power for 8 days. It was like being involuntarily Amish. I wasn't able to write with the computer so I finished about the last 60 pages of a book called Morning is Dead longhand and spent last week typing that up. Unfortunately, the windstorm also knocked the power out at my work for a week so the following week was kind of like cramming two weeks into one. Joy!

Of course, I'm not complaining. I realize this was nothing compared to an actual hurricane. Complaining about being without power and having to throw some food out is nothing compared to people who lose their houses and entire histories to these kinds of things.

Last weekend, I attended Context 21 in Columbus. Overall, it was pretty blah. I think I'm way too introverted and awkward to have a very good time at these things unless I kind of sort of know a few people who are there. I attended a reading by Brian Keene on Friday night. It was a story called "Johnstown" and it was pretty good. He's an awesome public reader. I also met Tim Waggoner. We practically live in the same town and I blurbed his Squid Salad Press book Skull Cathedral, but we'd never had the chance to meet each other before. D. Harlan Wilson arrived on Saturday so my wife and I spent the better part of Saturday evening hanging out at the bar with him. He's a great guy and a fantastic writer. If you haven't checked out any of his stuff, you definitely should. I'd recommend starting with his latest, Blankety Blank: A Memoir of Vulgaria. It was also great meeting many others for the first time: Alathea, Nick, Douglas, Kyle, Scott, Lon, Michael... I'm sure my mind has gone blank and I'm leaving out a whole lot of people. Sunday we woke up, went to a bookstore and then went back home and napped.

This past week I began editing two novels and a three novella collection, which will hopefully see publication in the next couple of years. I did write a new story called "The Melancholy Room," which will appear in Olympus Found, probably later this month.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

THE SORROW KING

COMING SUMMER 2009
CARGO CULT PRESS

A very early review can be found HERE.

Thanks, Gaffa!

Bizarro Con

In November, a bunch of us bizarro types will descend upon a godforsaken manor somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Stop by and visit its MySpace page. It lives!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jack and Mr. Grin


NOW AVAILABLE

AMAZON

From the author:






JACK AND MR. GRIN
Description: Jack Orange is a twentysomething guy who works at a place called The Tent packing dirt in boxes and shipping them off to exotic, unheard of locales. He thinks about his girlfriend, Gina Black, and the ring he hopes to surprise her with. But when he returns home one day, Gina isn’t there. He receives a strange call from a man who sounds like he is smiling—Mr. Grin. He says he has Gina. He gives Jack twenty- four hours to find her.

What follows is Jack’s bizarre journey through an increasingly warped and surreal landscape where an otherworldy force burns brands into those he comes in contact with, trains appear out of thin air, rooms turn themselves inside out and computers are powered by birds. And if he does find Gina, how will he ever survive a grueling battle to the death with Mr. Grin?

ADVANCE PRAISE:

"When Mr. Grin calls you can hear a smile in his voice. Not a warm and friendly smile, but the kind that seizes your spine in fear. You don't need to pay your phone bill to hear it. That smile is in every line of Prunty's prose." Tom Bradley, author of Lemur

Monday, September 1, 2008

Context 21

I'll be attending Context 21 in Columbus (Sept. 26-28). I'll be there all day Saturday and part of Sunday.

For those who have been waiting for Zerostrata and Jack and Mr. Grin, no, you're not hallucinating or missing it, they haven't come out yet. No real worries or reasons for the delays. The books are finished and with the publisher. This is the small press, sometimes there will be delays. But they should be out soon. Zerostrata will actually be out before Jack and Mr. Grin. If you're a reviewer and you're interested in reading a PDF of either of these, send me an email at andersenprunty@yahoo.com and I'll hook you up.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jack and Mr. Grin Excerpts

"Some men are born to shake the walls of temples. Other men are meant to crawl through shit. Some men aren't men at all."

"Where are you?"

"I am the one who shakes the walls of temples. You are a shit crawler. Or maybe you're not a man at all. Listen to this..."

He heard a scream pierce through his phone. Loud enough to cause him to hold it away from his ear.

"You fucking bastard."

"Careful, shit crawler. I think your bitch has a lot more screams left. Bye now."

Zerostrata Excerpts

The Amazing Dr. Blast

The following morning I went to see Dr. Blast. I was not impressed. It seemed dehumanizing to drag myself from the beautiful day that had risen over Grayson to come and sit in this drab office. The office was very sterile and clean in its various shades of cream and light brown. Sitting on Dr. Blast’s couch, I felt like a stain.

I had plenty of time to look around because Dr. Blast didn’t say anything to me at all when I first came into his office. I sat on his beige armless couch and stared around. First, up at the acoustic-tiled ceiling. To the right, at the bookshelf taking up the entire wall, filled with books that were all the same brown color and uniform in size and thickness. They couldn’t be real, I told myself. Nobody could have reading tastes that singularly focused. All of this was to avoid making eye contact with the doctor himself. But eventually I had to. I stared forward at his blonde oak desk and tried desperately to look past him at the cream blinds hanging over the large picture window.

For the first time since returning home, I desperately wanted a cigarette. It didn’t help matters that Dr. Blast was enjoying a cigarette himself. I glanced at him. My fear of eye contact was totally irrelevant. He wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to me.

He leaned back in his chair, holding his cigarette in his right hand and occasionally scratching his woolly gray beard with his left. After scratching his beard, he pushed his round glasses up on his nose.

I didn’t like this man at all. What kind of therapy was this? I didn’t even feel like I was getting my mother’s money’s worth.

I tried to find other things to stare at, wondering why he wasn’t saying anything. The more time that passed, the more paralyzed I became. At that point, even saying a simple ‘Hello’ would have been impossible.

So when I finally started to stare at Dr. Blast it was more out of anger than anything. I was determined to make him say something first.

Casually, slowly, he crushed his cigarette out on his empty desk. What a functionless desk this was, without a single pen or piece of paper or computer on it. There wasn’t an ashtray there either and the fact that he was crushing his cigarette out on a very expensive piece of furniture also angered me. Once the cigarette was snuffed, Dr. Blast inserted it carefully into his left ear. Then he swiveled around in his chair, rested his arms on the desk and looked at me. We stared at each other for several minutes, neither of us looking away or speaking.

He sighed and pushed his chair back from the desk. Then he stood up and came around to the front of the desk. Astonished, I noticed he wasn’t wearing any pants. Only a pair of very skimpy black underwear. He crossed to the front of the desk, turned around and put his hands on it, bending slightly and pushing his buttocks toward me. Then he started flexing his buttocks, the underwear lodging in the crack of his hairy ass as he did so. I wanted to laugh but was too angered by his flagrant disregard for doctoral conduct. But I knew he wasn’t a doctor to begin with.

“Okay, that’s just stupid,” I said.

“I win,” he said, immediately ceasing his vulgar display and retreating back behind his desk.

“What did you win?”

“The talking game. We were both going to see how long it took before the other one said something and you said something first so... I win.”

“Fine, you win. That’s great.”

I think so. I never hardly win. You were a worthy opponent. When I first saw you come in here, I didn’t think you had it in you.”

“Didn’t have what in me?”

“I don’t know… the stamina, I guess. Why are you here anyway? Do you have an appointment or are you selling something?”

“I had an appointment.”

“What’s your name?”

“Hansel Nothing.”

“Stupid name.”

“Thanks, Dr. Blast.”

“Well, we can’t all be winners, I guess. And some of us are sore losers.”

“Is there a point to any of this?”

“Sure. There’s a point to everything, isn’t there?”

“Wow, that’s philosophical.”

“I’m not a philosopher. I’m a therapist. Now are we going to talk about your stupid problems or not?”

“I could just leave.”

“Or you could stay. I don’t really care anymore. I’m just here so people can listen to themselves talk. There’s not really much of a point to it. No one actually listens to me anyway. I just tell them what they want to hear and then send them on their merry way.”

“That doesn’t seem like a very good attitude. Besides, you just said there’s a point to everything.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes you did.”

“Your mother tells me you don’t have a very good attitude.”

“You know my mother?”

“Of course I know your mother. She’s good friends with a colleague of mine.”

“The one who gives her all the pills?”

“That’s what she wants. That’s what he gives her. If she didn’t want pills, she would still be my patient.”

“Well, I don’t want you to tell me what I want to hear.”

“Fine then. Go home and kill yourself. There’s no point in living. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.”

“I think I already tried that once.”

“You don’t remember?”

“I don’t remember much of anything.”

“Is that why you’re here?”

“I’m here because my mother wanted me to come. I guess she thinks there’s something wrong with me.”

“You know, in every suicidalist, there is a murderer. Here, you don’t even need to go home. Take this. We’ll have a duel.”

Dr. Blast opened up one of the drawers in his desk and pulled out a pistol, tossing it haphazardly across the room at me. He pulled out another for himself.

I caught the gun so it didn’t hit me on the shoulder, but then I put it down on the floor. I had always hated guns.

“I can’t use that,” I said.

“So you are afraid of dying?”

“I don’t want to die right now.”

“There must be a reason you don’t want to die right now. I mean, is there a point to living?”

“I think there has to be a point to living.”

“Oh, so now who’s the philosopher?”

“I was just making a statement.”

“And what do you think this point to living is?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I hope you’re not counting on me to give you any of the answers.”

“No, I stopped looking for answers.”

“So why do you want to keep living?”

“Because, well, right now, living feels good.”

“Really, why is that?”

“Well, last night, I saw this girl.”

“Really? So you think you’re living for love?”

“No. I don’t love her. I just saw her. She was running in the neighborhood but I have, ever since seeing her, been filled with the desire to know her. To sit down and talk to her. To touch her. Ever since seeing her, I haven’t been able to think of anything else.”

“Sounds like you’re smitten.”

“Maybe so.”

“Is this girl of legal age?”

“I don’t know.”

“You might want to find out before touching her too much… Otherwise…”

“No, I know that… I doubt I’ll ever get to touch her…”

“No, you won’t get to touch her if things continue the way they have been.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well, brace yourself, here’s the part where the real therapy comes in: Over the past ten years, you have done nothing but try to escape from the reality of the world, a reality you were already tired of before trying to escape. You came back home because you were hoping to catch some faint glimmer of your shredded boyhood because that was the last time your brain would allow you to think of anything magical or fantastical. Again, this is because you are tired of the real world, blah blah blah. So now you see this girl and she certainly seems fantastic and you have this desire to simply come into contact with her but she is, at this point, just as much of a nonreality as your castles and dragons of childhood. You have to stop thinking like yourself, Hansel. You might even have to stop being yourself. Things have to change. Things have to change in your brain before you can come out of whatever shell it is you’ve wrapped around yourself. You left to see the world, the real world, and what have you come away with?”

“Nothing?”

“That’s right.”

“But I want to change.”

“Well, if you want to change I have a choice for you to make.” Dr. Blast stood up again. Amazingly, he now wore pants. “If you want to go back to your reality, the same grim sad reality that infects your entire family, you will walk out that door and turn your back on this office. Now, understand that I can’t promise you all of the fantasies of your childhood, but if you want to change, if you want to see things how you have never seen them before, if you want to see things that you have never seen before, you will jump out this window behind me.”

“But I don’t even know what’s back there.”

“Maybe it’s just another room. Maybe it’s a pretty good fall. I’m certainly not asking you to trust me. I, for one, do not see anything wrong with a little pain. I’m just asking you to make a choice. The door or the window.”

“Will she be out there?”

“I can’t possibly answer that.”

I sat there for a second and thought about it. But thinking wasn’t the answer. Standing up from the couch, I charged at the window, all at the advice of a man who had thrown a loaded gun at me and asked me to use it on him. When I drew a step away from the window, Dr. Blast threw open the blinds and I screamed through the glass.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bigfoot!

Rest easy, it's actually just a collection of Burt Reynolds' old mustache clippings.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cargo Cult Press

Visit the Cargo Cult Press website. Subscribe to their newsletter and you will get a very pleasant surpise.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sandwich Free Updates

I have no sandwiches for you today. But I have updates!

1. I am currently back in editing hell. I think I now do more editing than writing.

2. Jeff Burk has reviewed JACK AND MR. GRIN for his Literary Strange Digest. He does not have an "e" at the end of his name.

3. I recently reviewed Eckhard Gerdes' latest book, MY LANDLADY THE LOBOTOMIST. It was cool as hell. You should check it out.

4. I also have a blurb on Tony Rauch's latest book, LAREDO. It is a short story collection comprised of funny and surreal stories. If you like THE OVERWHELMING URGE, you will probably like it.

5. Bad Moon Books will no longer be publishing THE SORROW KING.

6. D. Harlan Wilson's latest, BLANKETY BLANK: A MEMOIR OF VULGARIA is up for pre-order at a discounted price. You should take advantage of this.

Later!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Storming the Free Story

I have a story called "Storming" on the Crossing Chaos website. This is a new venture and the story will be manipulated and wrangled onto a CD sometime in July 2009. Give them your support!

Brandon Duncan has...

...turned me into an illustrated villain.



www.corporatedemon.com/

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Kingdom

Today, at lunch, I went through the Burger King drive-thru and the speaker lady said, "Welcome to The Kingdom." I wondered what she meant. Did she mean that Burger King was The Kingdom? But she welcomed me to it and I was just sitting in my car. Maybe the parking lot was The Kingdom? I thought about this all the way home and wondered if, maybe, everywhere was The Kingdom. This thought made me happy so I put on my weird Iron Man sunglasses that I got complimentary with the Big Kids Meal and drove back to work.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK

BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK strives to be the most ill-conceived, poorly planned e-anthology out there. Please send your stories to me, Andersen Prunty, at andersenprunty@yahoo.com. Include “Bradley Sands is a Dick” in the subject line. I will send you an email letting you know it has been received. I will kind of edit the anthology. Every story will be titled “Bradley Sands is a Dick.” I should come away from your submissions feeling that Bradley Sands is a dick. How you make me feel this way is entirely up to you. Submissions should be 1000 words or less. They should be bizarro, weird, funny, angry, or a combination. You are welcome to submit them to me whenever but I will not begin reading them until September 1, 2008. I will stop reading them December 1, 2008. In January 2009, the selected stories will appear as a free .pdf e-anthology published by BUST DOWN THE DOOR AND EAT ALL THE CHICKENS and assistant edited by Bradley Sands. Readers will vote on the selected stories. The author of the winning story will be paid 100 American dollars and the much sought after title of Bradley Sands’ arch-nemesis.

***On a side note: does anyone else see those weird rating things at the bottom of the posts or am I hallucinating?

How to Make Myself More Annoying

I live in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Dayton; a mid-size, mostly moribund city. I'm a quiet person. I go to work, come home, take a nap, make dinner, read, eat, sleep, shit, write. I do not usually disturb other people. This is not so with my neighbors. They seem to have incorporated some highly irritating thing into their daily routines. Mostly, it involves dogs. They like to have a lot of dogs and the dogs like to bark. One family has a dog that barks constantly. I'm not exaggerating. Like breathing or something. And it's a kind of whiny bark too. Not normal. Another neighbor has a dog that barks at me through the window when I'm getting in and out of my car. Yet another neighbor has two giant dogs that spend a lot of time in the front yard even though they have a fenced in back yard. This, I've determined, is solely to irritate me. There's a duplex. One side is vacant and the people who just moved in on the other side like to leave the door open and blare rap music. I hate what passes for rap music these days. It's crap and it hurts my soul. Then there's a guy who lives behind me who comes out every night to beat on his trashcan for about ten minutes. It always makes me think someone is pounding on our door and then I remember, "No, just the asshole beating on his trashcan." I've watched him do this. It's like he's emptying something but I can't figure out what it is or what needs emptied every day.

Anyway, I've decided my annoying habit is going to be scraping the sidewalk with a metal shovel everyday for fifteen minutes or so. This will serve absolutely no purpose but to make noise and irritate those around me. I will either be shot at or feel such a gratifying sense of pleasure in knowing that, finally, I fit in. Of course, if my theory of me being invisible is correct, then no one will even notice. Then I will feel very defeated.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

JACK AND MR. GRIN's First Review

From Nick Cato, for The Horror Fiction Review!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

GOODREADS?

Hi. I just became a member of Goodreads. If you're also a member and would be interested in learning more about my writing, please visit/befriend me HERE.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Talking Back to the Clouds

Hello. I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the people who have scored THE OVERWHELMING URGE. I was pretty sure my mom was the only person who would buy it and, come to think of it, I GAVE her a copy. Without readers, writing things is kind of like that tree that fell in the forest without anyone around. Yeah, you know what I'm trying to say. So, thanks!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Andy vs. Tree or, Put Your Arms Down Tree Or You Will Fall Like The Rest Of Them

This weekend, I decided to saw down a tree limb because it was loud. It extends from the backyard all the way to the house where it scrapes on the eave right outside the office window. It’s hard enough to concentrate over the sirens, booming bass, gunshots, screams of terror, barking of 1000 dogs, fireworks, and motorcycles. The tree limb had to go. So I set out with an antique wooden ladder, an electric chainsaw (yeah, I know, it’s the pansy chainsaw, okay), a fear of heights, and a questionable sense of balance. Gretchen, my wife, was my spotter, the assumption being that if I gored myself she could hopefully call 911 before I bled to death. I’ve never used a chainsaw before.

The limb loomed over a phone line (I think it was the phone line. It didn’t shock me when I touched it.) and people had mentioned things like ropes, preplanning and various other frills that hold no luster for me. I immediately began chainsawing at the limb. I’m a weak, pathetic man so this was hard work. The limb began to fall on the phone line. I know the phone company, as all major corporations will, would leap at the chance to fuck me in the ass and, as the limb descended to rest on the line, I could already feel them probing my rectum. This part of the limb had previously been too high for me to reach even with the ladder. Now that was not so. My intention was to run over to this section of the limb with the ladder and the chainsaw and saw it away before it could drag everything down. But the chainsaw was stuck. I think it has something to do with physics. I’m a halfwit and know very little about physics. I was left with a toothless hacksaw and a pair of hedge clippers. These would have to do. I made Gretchen hold up the limb despite her protestations about "sore arms" and "losing feeling."

Meanwhile, various thugs and deadbeats drove/skulked by, laughing it up. Fuck you all. If we were Amish, you would be so fucking shunned.

I was furious and hot. I had to doff my sweater in a fit of rage. I sawed/hacked for about an hour. Finally, I was able to saw it enough to get the hedge clippers around it and chop it before the phone line could come snaking down. Then we managed to tear the main limb away and free the chainsaw. The day was saved. No one was gored although Gretchen still cannot feel her arms. I wish we had taken pictures.

--

In other news, I have recently reviewed Tom Bradley’s book LEMUR. Bradley Sands and I have been discussing a tentative project to be called BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK. You can read more about it here. I just realized I need to meet more people with "Bradley" somewhere in their name. Oh, also, I’ve been thinking about changing this blog from its eye searing blue color scheme to the ever popular black. What do you think?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Photos From WHC

Go HERE.

WHC 2008

Hello all! I just got back from the World Horror Convention 2008, held in Salt Lake City. This will probably be a gruesomely long post and I apologize in advance. I also have not slept very much. Went to bed after six this morning and had to catch a cab back to the airport at 8:30. I slept the entire flight. I’m pretty sure I was asleep before it even left the ground. It made the three hour flight seem very short. I had a great time and want to thank Charlie and the rest of the folks who put the convention together and made it run as smoothly as a band of debauched horror enthusiasts in Salt Lake City could possibly run.

Wednesday

My wife, Gretchen, and I met with Bradley Sands and his friend Eric Blair (I think that’s his name. I called him Wes. I’m confused.) at the airport and took a cab back to the hotel. We got there the same time as Carlton Mellick III and Rose O’Keefe. Bradley and Wes wandered away. I think Bradley fell asleep somewhere. We spent the night hanging out with Carlton, Rose, and Brian Cartwright in the hotel lobby, waiting for Kevin Donihe to arrive from his woesome 3000 hour train ride from the darkest heart of Tennessee. He didn’t make it until sometime the next day. There was apparently a rockslide in some godforsaken town in Colorado and all the passengers were given pickaxes and forced to chisel their way through a mountain.

Thursday

This was the only day we really got to sleep in. Kevin finally made it in shortly before it was time to help set up the Eraserhead Press table in the dealer’s room. He doesn’t sleep on public transportation so he was sleep deprived and hilarious, confronted with visions of goblins or something. We spent a good portion of the day in the dealers’ room. Later, many other people arrived: Gina Ranalli, Jordan Krall, Cameron Pierce. And Bradley came back. We went to dinner, had an arm wrestling tournament, took in the panel on punk horror and hung out for the rest of the evening.

Friday

I woke up around 8 to do my first ever public reading. It was attended by the other bizarro writers and I think it went reasonably well. I developed a nervous palsy and cotton mouth. At one point, the papers in my hand were shaking so badly I had to steady them with my other hand. I was glad that other hand wasn’t a hook. I didn’t throw up or pass out but, I’ve seen pictures, and I’m pretty sure I look like a douchebag. I’ll post those later for your amusement. Then we stuck around to watch Jason Gehlert and Jordan Krall read. Jordan’s reading had me laughing quite a bit. You should check out his book, Piecemeal June. He read from his to be released novella collection, Squid Pulp Blues. It promises to be excellent. Then there was general ambling around and we probably ate something. Gretchen and I took a tour of the Great Salt Lake. It kind of smells like a toilet. I plunged my hand into it. I was glad it didn’t give me poop hand. Later that afternoon, I went to a Cody Goodfellow reading. He is an energetic whirlwind of creativity. He’s also, as his name suggests, a good fellow. You should buy his books. After his reading, CM3 performed. There was an inverted pentagram on the wall and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s that started in his pocket but ended up on the floor. I have no idea how that happened. I definitely didn’t see anything. If you ever get the chance to see this guy read, you should go. You will laugh and enjoy. It’s fiendish, sinister, probably satanic. Then you should buy his books if you don’t already own them. This man can make paper pentagrams explode with his mind.

That night I attended the mass autograph signing with all of the other bizarro authors. They didn’t make us any name cards so Rose had to do that. Ours were white. Everyone else’s were yellow. I signed some books that I gave away and a free tote bag. I drank a lot of water, sweated, and laughed. Then many people gathered themselves into a room for the Leisure book party. I sweated there, too. Leisure generously provided much food and drink and free books. The Gross Out Contest was in there somewhere. Congratulations Whitney Lakin! Afterward we hung out in Rose and Carlton’s room along with, I’m pretty sure, everyone else in the hotel. A good time was had by all and I throw many thanks in their direction for providing a place for people to convene. Mitch Maraude materialized during the course of the evening.

Saturday

I pitched a book to Don D’Auria, the editor of Leisure Books. Then I pitched another book to an agent. Then I had a meeting with Rose. Ideas and pizza were shared. There was more ambling around the hotel. I drank a lot of coffee. Then we had a bizarro board meeting. We all wore suits and decided we were going to sue each other. We talked stocks and golf. We compared hair density and devoloped new ways of walking. We talked about a Bizarro Convention. We decided bizarro was never going away. Then we destroyed the board room table, set it on fire, circled up around it, and sang Mormon hymns. We all went to dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was kind of like the bizarro mafiosa. I was invisible to the waiter. Everyone else got water and Limoncello. I got olive oil with a pepper in it. All bloated up on Italian food and olive oil, I followed everyone else back to the hotel where someone discovered a really fun game. For this game you need: 1. The Book of Mormon 2. The Bizarro Starter Kit (you could use either one but we used the Blue Edition) 3. A roomful of people. Now pass the two books around and read alternating passages. Let the hilarity ensue.

Then we went to a pajama party hosted by the VERY generous people from Dark Arts Books. I did not wear pajamas. This party went on into the wee hours of the morning. Outside, after 6 o’clock in the morning, Bradley decided to walk home to his friends’ apartment. It was snowing. I hope he didn’t freeze to death. Thankfully, he was equipped with a razor blade, and that gave him choices. Unable to stay awake any longer, I had to say goodnight to Carlton, Kevin, and Cody, thus concluding my convention experience.

This was my first convention and I want to thank all the people I met for making it a pleasing and comforting experience. I also have to say thanks to Gretchen. She helped out a lot in the dealer’s room while we all had to go do our snooty bizarro things. I would thank her in person but she’s asleep, all tuckered out from the plane ride.

Here are some random topics/realizations from my convention experience:

Fingerbanging
Snorting squid powder
Bradley Sands is a dick (I don’t really think Bradley Sands is a dick. I actually like Bradley quite a bit... but he’s a dick. If you don’t believe me you should order his book, It Came From Below the Belt. It’s all about penises... and sentience... and many other things.)
3.2
Wide circumferences
Lamanite
Whoredom
Chapped lips
M.U.S.C.L.E. (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere)
High fives are hilarious

Things left behind:

Super Cell Anemia by Duncan Barlow
Gretchen’s scarf (or, gift to Gina)
My sweet, unused foam cooler (but it still made my weekend complete)
A razor blade in a bag with the phrase, “Think Romeo and Juliet.” (This was a party favor provided by Wes/Eric Blair. It was a really funny, creative party favor and I’m sad I left it behind. I don’t know what happened to it. I think I was showing it to someone and forgot to get it back from them. Oh well. These things happen.)
A box of Cracker Jack (intentional)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Asphyxiation

We are currently self-cleaning our oven. I was sure to remove the heads and various body parts from it but it still smells really really strong like I'd just started a fire in the house or something. I hope I don't die.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

3 Things

Over the past couple of days I have learned 3 things:

1. I do not like snow.

2. Looking at the mailman wandering around with snow up to his chin, the postal service means what they say about through rain and snow and zombie apocalypses and plague and all that.

3. You can determine the quality of your neighborhood by how many of your neighbors openly piss outside. Two more and I'll have what I affectionately refer to as the "Golden Circle."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

THE OVERWHELMING URGE GETS SKEWERED

Well, not really... Actually, Nick Cato, editor of the highly amusing 'zine Horror Fiction Review, has some pretty nice things to say about it at his Live Journal (or, I guess, for those in the know-- LJ) page. You can read it HERE. Should this review (my first ever, by the way) move you to purchase a copy of the book, you can do so by clicking HERE.