Friday, April 8, 2016

Emerging Voices in Genre Fiction

Today is a day I give back to the writing community for all the good things that have been done for me. I have chosen to write about three authors from three completely different social circles from the social media world; neither of these authors have been published with Bizarro Pulp Press, and they do not have books under contract with my press. There is no bias here except for the fact that I love their work. Would I publish them? Bizarro Pulp Press isn’t always the right venue for the type of work an artist wishes to produce, and many authors have specific goals in mind for their art; therefore, this blog post is not an attempt to recruit them. I have reviewed their work, and I don’t think they have reviewed mine, although I know Phil has looked at my stuff before and did not hate it, which is a grand compliment from him. This huge disclaimer is meant to explain that I genuinely want to introduce good fiction to a wider audience. 

I provided Amazon links to their stuff. It's the United States Amazon link. I didn't want to turn this into a bazaar or an advertisement, so I kept it simple. These authors have no idea what I wanted to write about them, but they agreed that it might be cool. In my grand crusade to spread awesome reading material to peoples of the universe, I give you...

Autumn Christian


I heard some buzz about Autumn in social media land about two years ago, and I saw one of her personal posts; it was poetic, so I was intrigued. Yeah, I’m one of those people who read a lot of the writing samples that are posted to Facebook, because you never know what you might discover. I’m glad I did. I haven’t only read two of Autumn Christian’s books so far: Crooked God Machine, and Wormwood. I feel like she is a heady mix of Poppy Z. Brite and David Lynch. I loved Crooked God Machine; some of the sentences “felt” like they were punching me in the stomach with their depth. It was truly beautiful. Autumn’s work seems very personal and authentic, despite the surreality of the worlds she produces on the page; the power of her emotion keeps the stories grounded and allow for readers to connect. I think a younger audience would love Autumn’s work, and I don’t say that often about a lot of authors I have discovered on Facebook; the teenagers I work with don’t have a Poppy Z. Brite or Anne Rice to connect to. If I recall correctly, Poppy Z. Brite didn't exactly write PG-13 stuff, and I don't think Autumn needs to change anything about her approach at all; I think the books she already has are perfect for a hyper-imaginative audience, and she could really inspire some people to write. Autumn Christian is charged with raw talent and potential, and I think she is going to find a mass audience, especially if she targets a younger demographic in the future (that’s my unprofessional opinion, and as a married man, I know that I am usually wrong about everything).  Autumn is going to be a hit, soon, no matter what she does. 

Philip LoPresti 


Phil represents the direction I think modernized horror should explore more often. I met Phil when his first book of poems, Haunted F***ing, was published, and there was a lot of buzz around it amongst the community that supports Dynatox Ministries. Caught up in the hype, I was able to get my hands on a copy and discovered a poet who wasn’t afraid to get away from candles, ravens, shadows, etc. I can relate to Philip, because his work is not for a mass audience and it is written for people who would love to be exposed to horror “art.” One of the biggest problems with the type of work Phil produces is that it can be frustrating to work with a medium that can never be mainstream; and that is part of the allure to the art that Phil creates. His photography is stunning, and he is quite opinionated on social media. Publishers who want to truly produce art that is different and challenging are looking for Philip; but therein lies the rub. I would love to create an imprint specifically for work like Phil’s. His work is going to be off-putting to many; I can admit that I struggle with some of the imagery and language, but that’s because Phil is willing to unsettle the audience with his work. Phil works with the element of horror that is supposed to actually be horrific; it’s like someone saying they want to find a horror movie that is “actually scary” but they don’t realize that true horror is personal. Good horror should make you feel uncomfortable, and I consider Philip Lopresti a true horrorist because he can make you squirm. I know he is an Edward Lee fan, so I think if you are a fan of Edward Lee and you want the poetic version, Lopresti is the man. 

John McNee

I was introduced to John McNee’s work through a more traditional avenue;  when I had discovered a press called Strangehouse Books, I saw the cover of a book called Grudge Punk. Instantly, I was reminded of an old cartoon I enjoyed called Aeon Flux. Even though the book was nothing close to Flux, I really enjoyed it. I was under the impression that McNee was a new writer, so I did not expect to read a book that was so professionally delivered. A full-realized world with great characters, I wanted a
second book right away, and have been begging him for it since. I respect that McNee transitioned from a science-fiction novel to classical horror; The Prince of Nightmares, his latest offering, is a haunted house story that is very enjoyable. I am currently attempting to get through it, but I have so little time and it’s very difficult to find the energy to read with three kids running around the house. Horror does not need buckets of gore to be interesting, and McNee’s approach is very old-school, reminding me of a book William Peter Blatty would have written after The Exorcist. The story relies more on psychological horror and character development, which is a welcome break from all the extremely graphic stuff I typically find. 

Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you found an author or three you might consider exploring.