A Comment on Bizarro

imgres.jpgA few years back I discovered the new genre advertised as Bizarro Fiction. It was very uneven but showed brief glimpses of true originality and exuberant fun. I suppose the ratio of good to bad writing in Bizarro are about the same as any other form of fiction so it’s really not fair to judge the entire genre by the amount of tedium it generates: after all, people still read Science Fiction (for whatever reason).

At one time there was a small enough base that I actually began to create an academic bibliography of Bizarro authors and Bizarro works. One of the things I ran into, however, was an inkling of doubt that Bizarro was really sufficiently different in its definition from other types of writing. For instance, could Tristram Shandy be considered Bizarro literature? The best “definition” of Bizarro I ran across was when Carlton Mellick III (Bizarro’s Optimus Prime) stated that no one was writing the stories he wanted to read so he decided to write them himself: the result … Bizarro fiction.

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Guerrilla Fiction

Don't PanicTacked on to the end of Moxie Mezcal’s novel, Concrete Underground, is the Guerrilla Manifesto. This introduces us to the field of guerrilla fiction. I thought it would be interesting to consider the ideas behind guerrilla fiction and the experimental or transgressive fiction that is championed at XFX.

First, the introduction to the Experimental Fiction (XFX) section of ACOR:

This group started on Yahoo. It was designed to concentrate on the types of fiction that we do not normally find on the front rounder at the local big-box bookstore. We call it experimental fiction but it might be considered imaginative fiction, surfiction, and the many other designations that have been applied to fiction throughout the years whenever it doesn’t follow the rules of the mainstream.

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Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland

McDonaldlandYou should know by now that Carlton Mellick III is seldom accused of writing pleasant, realistic fiction. Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland is certainly no exception. Like all Bizarro fiction, the fun is in reading it for yourself so I don’t want to spoil the pleasure, but imagine that the fundamentalist churches grabbed all the weapons of mass destruction and in their apocalyptic delusion blew up most of the world and its people.

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XFX: Bizarro Fiction for The Road

The Go-GosCormac McCarthy gave us a warm and fuzzy little peek into what might happen in a post-Apocalyptic America with his novel The Road. For many not experienced in the nuances of science fiction and post-apocalptic literature, The Road was both disturbing and revealing. I thought it was a mainstream author’s attempt to cash in on a market he had as yet ignored (taking a clue from Margaret Atwood?), well-written but trite. If you were not amazed by McCarthy’s novel, here’s a second chance. No, it’s not a retelling of The Road but it certainly has sufficient parallels to suggest the author of Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse (Victor Gischler) at least had a similar vision as Cormac McCarthy.

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