Tag: Carlton Mellick III

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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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: Zombies and Shit

FScoobieor an old English professor type, I enjoy sprinkling a few entertaining and decidedly non-literary books in with the more serious contemporary texts and those musty but time-honored classics. For years I considered William Goldman my go-to author for mindless entertainments. Starting in High School, I read everything Goldman wrote (with Soldier In the Rain being my hands-down favorite). Many years later we had a young lad at work in charge of the stock room and emptying waste baskets who convinced me I should be reading Science Fiction novels. So for a year or two I read Science Fiction novels but in the end, I would have been just as happy as if I hadn’t read Science Fiction novels. Oh, there were a few good ones (I got hooked on Larry Niven) but for the most part the best I can say about it is that Science Fiction is boring.

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XFX: Experimental Reading for the Fourth Quarter

Sausagey SantaThis last quarter of 2014 we will read a novel that begins a very interesting trilogy, a strange and often disturbing book (which has pictures to support the text), a themed collection of short stories by an often overlooked writer, and a dash of Bizarro from the master.

That’s four books but none are too long or difficult. Besides, think of sitting alone in the evening waiting for Santa to arrive and casually reading about a bizarre Hungry Bug (what was that noise in the corner behind the electric fireplace?).

So, read all four; read one or two; or read other experiment fiction that you might be planning to read. Note also that I avoided anything obvious for the holidays, but there is always Sausagey Santa if you’re so inclined. Carlton Mellick III and the Bizarro crowd have some strange alternatives to quench your Christmas cheer.

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