Saturday, July 7, 2018

Zine Review: A Beginner’s Guide To Bizarro Fiction by Dave Wolff

A Beginner’s Guide To Bizarro Fiction: A Zine by Ben Fitts issue #1
Released June 2018
Free ($1 USD shipping and handling)
This is a new print zine published by reviewer and fiction writer Ben Fitts, whose work is appearing in several online zines including Bushwhacker and The Sludge Lord (he has also recently contributed a short fiction piece to this zine). For a stapled, photocopied ten page debut issue, it contains information you’ll find beneficial if you’re looking for obscure authors on the fringes of pulp and genre. Iy came as a surprise that zines of this kind are still coming out, but I still think it’s a good thing. There is a brief editorial explaining the definition and origins of bizarro fiction, naming a handful of writers you may be familiar with (such as HP Lovecraft and Clive Barker). We can gather that this genre has roots dating back to the early twentieth century and a long period of development, and this zine suggests the fledgling authors spotlighted on each page are worth your time and attention, even if the field in which they work is deeply buried in secrecy and seclusion. The narratives for each scribe is backed with a few published titles, and in some cases references to the word slingers who inspired them. I could name some of them but, for the sake of sustaining the mystery surrounding these authors it might be better to discover them on your own. At the end of this issue are lists of independent publishing companies and additional books Fitts deemed creditable. Altogether it’s a promising zine if the strange and macabre appeals to you. -Dave Wolff

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