Friday, December 28, 2012

Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 from Bizarro Press (REVIEW)

Like most short story collections in the Bizarro genre, Tall Tales with Short Cocks Vol. 2 is uneven, but always original. There are tales that are bizarrely told, which are generally my least favourite, and those that are more traditionally told, but about bizarre things, which is where I find the appeal.

The 'hits' for me in this collection included:

The Ballad of Billy the Squid by Eirik Gumeny merges two individually bizarre ideas - a boy with a squid for a head & the fetish oddity of tentacle porn - and fashions them into a story that's more complex and entertaining than you might expect.

A Hand Walks Into a Bar by John McNee is a darkly humorous tale of the macabre that reminded me of Clive Barker's The Body Politic in that not only manages to make a character of a dismembered hand, but actually makes it interesting.

Princess Di’s Mercedes and the Dead Man’s ASL Chimp by Jon Konrath is a story that never manages to be quite as controversial or in-your-face offensive as the title would suggest, but which thoroughly entertains with its truly inventive technological and sociological twists.

The Apple of My iPhone by Danger Slater is one of my favourites in the collection, a story of technological obsession and integration that's certainly been told before, but never quite like this, and never with quite such a satisfying twist ending.

Walkin’ After Midnight by Donald Armfield is a strangely inventive, almost surreally entertaining, tale of well-timed pop culture references, psudeo-mythological dreams, and the oddest hit-list in hired killer history.

Clear Skies Today, God Willing by Christy Leigh Stewart is an extremely short, satirical take on religion and instant-gratification that amused me to no end.

365 Yesterdays by Wol-vriey is one of the strangest end-of-the-world tales I've ever read, but completely entertaining in its cruel ingenuity regarding alien motives and human wish-fulfillment.

Bread Alone by David Raffin is a twisted tale of just how far (and how easily) isolation can drive one to madness, especially when surrounded by penguins!

Laser Tits by Justin Grimbol is almost as awesome as the title suggests, a story of personification, obsession, and sexual excesses that tries a bit too hard, but which manages to embed the surreal so deeply within the tale that it almost seems normal.

If you're a fan of the Bizarro genre, then there is plenty here to enjoy, much of it from authors you've likely sampled before. If you're new to the genre, then this is a great place to start, offering up small samples of the quirks and oddities found within it, at least one of which is certain to catch your interest.

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