Maddie’s bizarre book club 4: including Bad Mags, fiction inspired by David Lynch, Anais Nin and Under the Skin teaser footage

Welcome to another round of literary oddities. Come in, sit down, pull up a chair and start crying.

Me at a party flicking through The Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography
Me at a party flicking through The Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography

1. Under the Skin by Michael Faber. Michael Faber is the author of Crimson Petal and the White (which was brilliantly adapted by the BBC, very unlike your usual TV period romp).

I don’t want to say too much about this dark sci-fi else I give it away, but I read it in summer and truly felt the cold of the lonely Scottish highlands and was enthralled by the ideas behind it. The only other thing I’ll tell you is that it almost made me turn vegetarian again…

It’s apparently being adapted as a film by Jonathan Glazer (of Sexy Beast and Birth) with the very lovely Scarlett Johansson. Here’s a disturbing piece of teaser footage:

2. In Heaven Everything is Fine by Various. I love David Lynch and I love the fact that he inspires other people to be creative. I found some of the stories in this book pretty and thought provoking but others somewhat… impenetrable.

However that’s my own opinion and everyone will get something different from it. Just be aware that linear narrative isn’t always something Mr Lynch is strictly concerned with and neither should you be if you’re going to give this a try.

3. Incest by Anais Nin. One of the most famous diarists other than Samuel Pepys, Anais Nin was a creative bohemian who wrote of her affair with both Henry Miller and his wife June which later became the basis of her first ‘unexpergated’ diary Henry and June.

The next book released with all the exciting bits left in, Incest, includes a bizarre affair with her own father, possibly a result of the now recognised ‘disorder’ known as Genetic Sexual Attraction as they hadn’t seen each other for twenty years.

Though I was at first put off by her over-wrought style and inflamed passions I was soon drawn into her beautiful and poetic vision of the world, and came to love her writing for those very things.

4. Extra-Terrestrial Sex Fetish by Supervert. Partly a wry take on scientific musings of how a person may cope with a fetish for aliens – a fantasy that can never be realised due to their absence from this planet – and partly one man’s erotic journey through an alien world laced with philosophical pondering evoking the Marquis De Sade. The main character is even called Mercury De Sade.

There’s a lot of intelligence behind the daft humour and I liked this book very much. Plus there’s a video clip of porn star Stoya reading from his/her other book Necrophiliac Variations whilst something is going on under the table.

5. Bad Mags Volume 1: The Strangest, Sleaziest and Most Unusual Periodicals Ever Published! by Tom Brinkmann. I’m not sure how many volumes there actually are of Bad Mags, but I’m fairly confident that there are enough strange magazines out there to fill several copies of these reference books and Tom Brinkmann appears to know a lot about them.

Bad Mags focuses on the same places in pop culture that midnight movies live, featuring such publications as Official UFO, Mobs and Gangs, Bizarre Life, Shocker, Love-In, Horror Fantasy, Wildest Films, Freakout, Biker Orgy and literally tons more. How can there be more? You ask. Read it and find out.

Well, there we are, I hope your eyes have remained clean and your mind untroubled. Read them and try not to weep. Au revoir!

14 Science-Fiction Fashions That Are Now Reality

Have a look at these futuristic designs which are available right now, from a dress that comes from a spray can to outfits that charge your phone.  enhanced-buzz-31301-1372193795-53

Now have a peek at this clip from the 30s predicting what we might be wearing in the year 2000. Ooh, swish!

Do you write stories of the strange? This publisher may be for you

RDS Press are publishers on the fringes of society. They have to be fed in special cages so they don’t go for your hand or attack you with grammer. Their website describes them thusly:

“Raw Dog Screaming Press is dedicated to putting into print the highest quality literature from the fringe. If it’s dark, deviant, off-kilter and thought provoking we will sniff it out.”

So if you write weird things they might be the ones for you. Unless it’s just pages and pages of potential murder victims’s names. Well, maybe that too. I don’t know, ask them

Monster cakes, rainbow cakes and some evil shoe cakes

I thought I’d share these exciting cakes by artist Scott Hove. He does other varieties of art too, have a quick look at his website. scott-hove-shoe-cakeHove_LG_Snapa1-dolljaws2

For anyone wanting to make their own spookily brilliant food stuffs the obvious choice is the Food and Drink section in blog Halloween Culture.

Pop over to evilcakehead to sample scariness.

Have a peek at this earlier post with a recipe on how to make rainbow cake.

Maddie’s bizarre book club

I like to feast my brain and eyes with things that are rather unusual, as you may have guessed. Since winter began – my official hibernation and reading time – I’ve had the joy of finding some right good ‘uns which I shall share with you now. Ooh, and on a lovely snowy night too (unless you’re…somewhere it’s not snowing). I can almost hear the ghosts outside wailing about unpaid bills and the ten pence Johnny still owes.

This is my reading face
This is my reading face

1. Wisconsin Death Trip. This collection of news stories and unnervingly beautiful photography made it’s first appearance in the 70s. At the turn of the century (the Victorian one, not the other one) small towns in snowy Wisconsin were a tough place to live, inducing some pretty bizarre activity from the locals. Flick through the articles of the time and be drawn into a very spooky – but true – world.

Incidentally the events of the time are used as the backdrop for another book I enjoyed, twisty historic thriller A Reliable Wife.

2. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. A humorously clever cross between Se7en and Old Mother Hubbard, the back of the book explains it better than I can:

Once upon a time Jack set out to find his fortune in the big city. But the big city is Toy City, formerly known as Toy Town, and it has grown considerably since the good old days and isn’t all that jolly any more. And there is a serial killer loose on the streets.

The old, rich nursery rhyme characters are being slaughtered one by one and the Toy better hauntedCity police are getting nowhere in their investigations. Meanwhile, Private Eye Bill Winkie has gone missing, leaving behind his sidekick Eddie Bear to take care of things. Eddie may be a battered teddy with an identity crisis, but someone’s got to stop the killer.

When he teams up with Jack, the two are ready for the challenge. Not to mention the heavy drinking, bad behaviour, car chases, gratuitous sex and violence, toy fetishism and all-round grossness along the way.

3. The Best Bizarro of the Decade. I couldn’t really have a list of weird books without it. Everyone has preferences on their choice of out-there reading material and some of these short stories will not be your cup of tea (trust me I even hated a couple. I’m not saying which). However there are others which I found brilliant and very funny. If you can keep an open mind you will be rewarded. Maybe.

4. Better Haunted Homes and Gardens. This picture book is very sweet and pretty and future goth children will love it. If you can find a reasonably priced copy I recommend it, I know it brought out the kid who still loves Halloween in me.

5. Red Velvet and Absinthe. What can I say, I love (very) risque paranormal Stiff-coverstories. These gothic tales are some of the best I’ve found and most have a different (and rude) way of looking at classic spookiness.

6. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Mary Roach is a funny lady. This book is an entertaining read about the different and unexpected ways a human body is used (crash research, nose jobs etc) and I was particularly fascinated when it came to learning about the minutiae of rotting.

However I must admit to skipping a few chapters in the middle – I just didn’t find the bits about planes crashes etc as entertaining. Weird as that sounds. But…the majority is well written and very humorous. Enjoy!

Well, there we have it. So many words, so little time, and so little human brains to ingest while doing it. Oh, no, I found another box. Farewell till next time!

Surreal short story published: ‘A Piece Worth Millions’

Well hello there, never thought I’d see you again. Are you still doing those paintings? Yes, I’ve met someone much better than you. Oh, who am I kidding, come back to me! The nights are so lonely…

Anyway…I’ve had a short story published in issue 10 of Polluto Magazine, which describes itself thusly:

Polluto is the award-winning literary magazine from Dog Horn Publishing. Since 2008 we have been scouring the dark, twisted and just plain weird corners of the world for the kind of writing that we love.”

Can’t say fairer than that eh, and as it’s a lovely foggy day in England (hopefully it is everywhere, but somehow the law of averages says I’m wrong) I suggest you pop over here to have a look. My story is the one about a ‘human life claimed for art.’

All you need for an oddball Christmas

Want your Christmas to be the ultimate in odd? Feast your face on these DIY projects and present ideas. You still have time before the last post day tomorrow!

Firstly is this selection from Year of Halloween, Needful Things (13 things to get horror fans). Pop over and roll your eyeballs on this lovely selection. I’m weirdly drawn to the Taxidermy Art Diorama…diorama

Next up is this Weeping Angel (from Dr Who) Christmas Tree topper tutorial from blog The Creative Crossing. Joy to the world!

Follow the link here to peruse RDSPress’ book suggestions for every kind of strange person you know. Though I’m no goth, I myself am the proud owner of illustrated book Haunted Homes and Gardens, it’s very pretty.

Visit Squidoo for these creepy Christmas decorations amongst others: halloween-christmas

The site Ophelia’s Art sells gifts, spooky holiday cards and t-shirts as well as art, all spooky and pretty. I believe the shop is currently under maintanence but it looked worth waiting for so I’m adding it here and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. Except perhaps threaten me or something. But I probably won’t listen cause I’m a right nutbag.

Artist Beth Robinson’s custom made Strange Dolls are very pretty in a very disturbing way. Not really recommended for children, unless your child is unlikely to weep at the very sight of it. She also does brooches and pendants: doll

Well, there we are. Have a merry Christmas and remember, Santa’s watching every move you make…