There are so many good bizarro fiction novellas and collections out there and so little time and space on my blog to review all of them. So this week and next, I will cover eight great short books that I somehow missed in my reviews and lists.
THE HOUSE OF HOUSES by Kevin L. Donihe
For some reason, living houses that impose authoritarian rule on humans is a sub-genre of bizarro fiction. Yet both this novella and Andrew J. Stone’s All Hail the House Gods are two of my favorite bizarro books. Donihe, however, takes a different approach to this concept than Stone. Carlos loves his house and I mean “in love.” But when they are separated in the house holocaust, he searches for her in a world dominated by domiciles. Donihe weaves in humor as only he can, creating an immensely enjoyable–and weird–book.
You can find House of Houses on Amazon here
BODY BUILDING SPIDER RANGERS AND OTHER STORIES by Charles Austin Muir
When you read Muir, you know it’s Muir. This first collection of his only cements that. He never lingers in the safe and comfortable. Instead he pushes forward with every ounce of weird insanity he can muster—as one can assume from the collection’s title. It’s part comic book, part 90s B-movie, wrapped together with a bizarre comedic element. At times it can get too silly—even for me, but it’s still a damn good collection.
You can find Body Building Spider Rangers on Amazon here
THE KAIJU KID by Shane McKenzie
This novella is just straight fun. It’s the story of a timid young kaiju (giant monster à la Godzilla) who doesn’t like the rampaging and destruction of his parents and siblings. For this, he’s disowned by his father and must learn the destructive ways of a true kaiju. This is definitely a one sitting read. Within the first sentences, you’re pulled in and not released until the end.
You can find The Kaiju Kid on Amazon here
ECSTATIC INFERNO by Autumn Christian
This collection was the first book I read by Christian and I must admit that when I first started it, I was not a fan. I found the language pretentious, the imagery confusing. But I was no more than twenty pages in, when my opinion changed. Christian has a crazy gift with language and metaphor. Reading her is an experience. There are some great stories in this collection—many with a sci-fi bent and all gripping. It remains one of my favorite collections of the past several years.
You can find Ecstatic Inferno on Amazon here