NBAS ’11: Gigantic Death Worm by Vince Kramer

Vince Kramer comes out of virtually nowhere with Gigantic Death Worm – a hilarious, brutal, violent, and important piece of genre fiction. Why is it important? Because it’s probably the first piece of fiction that features bears who shoot wolves out of their mouths like missiles; Mexican, sombrero-throwing ninjas in invisibility ponchos; a main character who can pull anything out of thin air; and giant fucking death worms.

Like the amazon synopsis says, this might just be the best book ever.

From Amazon:

HOLY SHIT! THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!

It’s kind of like that awesome movie, Frozen, you know where there’s those people stuck on a ski-lift while surrounded by wolves. But imagine if instead of wolves they were bears. And the bears spit wolves! Like they’re fucking grenade launchers or something! It’s awesome!!!

And then there’s these gigantic death worms that come out of the ground and kill and eat everyone. And they’re HUGE. Big enough to eat breweries and shit. And it’s all because of 2012! I KNOW! But, don’t worry, there’s a bunch of Mexican Ninjas with invisibility ponchos and throwing-sombreros that are going to save the day. They are so badass. And the main character Dave does some stuff, too. He can pull things out of the air, like burgers and Armani suits. (If I could do that I’d be eating McDouble cheeseburgers constantly!) He and his friend Worm-Head Girl, along with the Mexican Ninjas, and a veterinarian named LeAnn must try to save Phoenix from total annihilation. But they better hurry up because these gigantic death worms are going to utterly fucking destroy everything in like two seconds!!

CHECK OUT THE MOST AWESOME BOOK YOU COULD EVER POSSIBLY IMAGINE!! IT’S THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!

Now, where a first-time author gets off piling so many outlandish things into one short novel, I’ll never know. Only in the bizarro genre can someone get away with this kind of brazen confidence and hilarious craziness. There were points in this novel where I was actually laughing out loud on the subway, and that’s just damned embarrassing. Furthermore, the fact that I couldn’t share any of this with my co-workers was terrifying, but throughly awesome. I finally found something that can be my very own. Will any old horror fan appreciate this novel? No. Will anyone with a sense of humour find this as awesome as I did? No. And why is that? Because they suck and this book is awesome. End of story.

Like I said above, Kramer covers this story in thoroughly entertaining characters, set pieces, and one liners. There really are bears that shoot wolves out of their mouths, and I have to say that it’s one of the most hilarious experiences I’ve ever read. Dave, the main characters and our hero, has brain parasites that actually have a lot to do with the resulting terror and destruction that ensues later one. He can also pull things out of thin air, which Kramer uses subtly and comfortably enough to slip right past the reader. The comedic timing in this novel is seriously brilliant.

And Mexican Ninjas? YES PLEASE! These bad boys fly, wear invisibility ponchos, throw sombreros, and just generally kick ass. There’s nothing I can say that will make any of you completely ‘get’ hot killer these guys are. It’s a “you must read this” scenario, that’s for sure.

Kramer also has an uncanny ability to throw one-liners out there that are bordering on ridiculous, but brimming with hilarity. A few examples would be:

“Then the bear ate his face off, and he died from it.”

Which is a line that almost killed me, making me choke on my coffee and call every known person in the world to recite this to.

“Ramon threw a knife at the poor guy, which killed him in the head.”

Another example of me spitting my coffee every-fucking-where (Kramer, you owe me a new, clean iPhone)

I’ll give you this: Gigantic Death Worm is very much the most fun I’ve had in the past 6 or so months. If Kramer wants to continue writing incredible and insane stories like this, I’ll be first in line to buy.

You can take a look at the book I’m fawning over at Amazon in Paperback and for your Kindle. Also visit Vince Kramer online on Facebook, and check out Eraserhead Press for more Bizarro Fiction. If you’re interested in more Bizarro than you can shake a stick at, visit the online community known as Bizarro Central. That place is awesome.

C.

Dreadful Tales Gets Weird

Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve read no less than 12 of the most insanely off-the-wall books I’ve ever seen. That’s a lot to digest in such a short amount of time – approximately something like 1200 (or more) pages of the weirdest shit you’ve ever laid your eyes on. And that’s also on top of the books I’ve checked out in the mean-time, and the 100 years of Horror articles.

And sleeping.

And eating.

Not books… eating food.

Though… I could eat books…

Never mind. Eating books is a bad idea right now.

Especially after the announcement I’m about to make, and mostly cause I’m nervous about this.

What’s the announcement? Well, I’m sure you can see that the site has taken on a bit of a… different… look today.

That’s because we’re trying something different with our design (which will be ongoing for a little while) and celebrating Bizarro Fiction for the next 9 days here on Dreadful Tales! (January 23rd to the 31st)

Now, one might ask what exactly Bizarro Fiction is:

According to the most informative website on the genre, Bizarro Central‘s ‘About Bizarro’ page:

What Is Bizarro?

  1. Bizarro, simply put, is the genre of the weird.
  2. Bizarro is literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store.
  3. Like cult movies, Bizarro is sometimes surreal, sometimes avant-garde, sometimes goofy, sometimes bloody, sometimes borderline pornographic, and almost always completely out there.
  4. Bizarro strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.
  5. Bizarro often contains a certain cartoon logic that, when applied to the real world, creates an unstable universe where the bizarre becomes the norm and absurdities are made flesh.
  6. Bizarro was created by a group of small press publishers in response to the increasing demand for (good) weird fiction and the increasing number of authors who specialize in it.
  7. Bizarro is like:
    • Franz Kafka meets John Waters
    • Dr. Suess of the post-apocalypse
    • Takashi Miike meets William S. Burroughs
    • Alice in Wonderland for adults
    • Japanese animation directed by David Lynch

Even though the Bizarros are underground cult outsiders they still have gained an incredible amount of respect in the publishing industry, having been praised by the likes of Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, William Gibson, Jonathan Lethem, Piers Anthony, Cory Doctorow, Poppy Z. Brite, Michael Moorcock, and Charles de Lint, to name a few, as well as the publications Asimov’s Science-fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science-fiction, Fangoria, Cemetery Dance, Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Details Magazine, Gothic Magazine, and The Face, among many others. They have also been finalists for the Philip K Dick Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Rhysling Award, the Wonderland Book Award, and the Pushcart Prize.

Bizarro isn’t just weird fiction, it is DAMN GOOD weird fiction. And it grows exponentially every single day, so, love it or hate it, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the years to come.

We’re excited to bring you a look at 8 new bizarro novels from Eraserhead Press, and specifically from the minds of the New Bizarro Authors Series folks who fill the 2011 lineup (henceforth known as the NBAS ’11). For those of you who don’t know, this is a series Eraserhead Press has started in order to bring some fresh blood to the genre.

Here’s the idea behind the NBAS:

You hold in your hands now a book from the New Bizarro Author Series. Normally, Eraserhead Press publishes twelve books a year. Of those, only one or two are by new writers. The NBAS alters this dynamic, thus giving more authors of weird fiction a chance at publication. For every book published in this series, the following will be true: This is the author’s first published book. We’re testing the waters to see if this author can find a readership, and whether or not you see more Eraserhead Press titles from this author is up to you. The success of this author is in your hands. If enough copies of this book aren’t sold within a year, there will be no future books from the author published by Eraserhead Press. So, if you enjoy this author’s work and want to see more in print, we encourage you to help him out by writing reviews of his book and telling your friends. In any event, hope you enjoy…

Given the guidelines there, and the fact that I was contacted to review one of the books, I wanted to lend a little more than a helping hand. I’m a huge fan of bizarre tales and upstart authors, and it’s no sweat off my back to read a few hundred pages and talk about it. So for the next bunch of days you’re going to be checking out the weirdest that the genre has to offer (with other stuff peppered in), and reading about some of the fresh blood bursting onto the scene.

With that, let’s welcome Justin Grimbol, Vince Kramer, Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Troy Chambers, Spike Marlowe, Michael Allen Rose, Eric Beeny, and S.D. Foster to the fold. This week is gonna be weird