Archive for November 24, 2009

Write-ups on the Bizarro Movement

Posted in Bizarro Fiction on November 24, 2009 by carltonmellick

Some of these were found online this week, people blogging about Bizarro. Check them out:

From the Ghostwoods blog, there is this:

A STORM IS COMING

Deep in the bowels of the Internet, something is stirring. It’s the red-headed bastard child of Punk, thanks to a wild and filthy night orgying with MTV, William Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson and Lewis Caroll. As culture has expanded and exploded in the computer age, we’ve become more and more comfortable and familiar with concepts and ideas that used to be niche. Spell-flinging wizards. Vampires. Cthulhu. Giant stompy robots. Aliens cutting ventilation ports in cows. What used to be hardcore geek niche is mainstream now, and the younger you are, the more natural all this stuff is.

At the same time, entertainment has become, well, burstier. MTV blips are the usual example, but in every area, stuff is being served up in smaller and smaller chunks, with brighter lights and louder bells and whistles.

The result is a new wave of absurdity. I’m not going to get all Lit Critic and start talking about Dadism or post-modern playfulness; they’re old boxes, and they’re unhelpful. The movement — and it _is_ a movement, one which is gathering steam — has decided to call itself Bizarro. The only real aim or rule of Bizarro is to be entertaining. It is almost always weird and absurd, frequently straddling lines between fantasy, horror and sci-fi. Their worlds are not predictable, and the narrative structures often lack form.

The Bizarro movement is centred on fiction, but its tendrils are extending out to art, animation, sculpture and music. Despite the lack of previously established norms, Bizarro work is usually easy to follow. It’s a sign of the quality of the pioneers involved that it is still good, because most of the old structures are there because they’re easy tools for creators to use.

Bizarro is not comfortable. Much of it is deliberately provocative, even offensive. It’s certainly unhinged, too. But if the chaotic juxtapositions and genuinely free creativity it can offer are to your tastes, then there’s a very rich vein of material waiting for you.

Bizarro Central is probably your best port of call if you want to know more.

Personally? I think I’m in love…

And on Jeff VanderMeer’s blog, there was a writeup on bizarro (written by Eden Robins), called “Bizarro Fiction: Stout Hearts and Strong Stomachs”

Here’s an excerpt:

At a time when everyone seems to be scrambling to find their place in the publishing world, it seems to me that the bizarro folks have got the right idea — do what you love, use what you have, and have a good time doing it. Because really, isn’t that what we all should be doing?

Eraserhead Press was also mentioned in this article: Independent Publishers Who Are Reinventing The Future