Monthly Archives: July 2022

Born to Be Weird: Demented Fantasy & Bizarro Horror

Absurdist, comedic horror animates these stories. A public restroom even more horrific than most, with a stained toilet that can swallow a man whole, sending him to a sewage-filled hell. A riverbank lined with swaying mops given faces and philosophies. A secondary school that seems to waver in and out of reality not only in dreams, but also upon wakeful visitation. An isolated grotto, home to trolls and the posthumous shadow form of Elvis Presley. These are all settings of the peculiar, often unnerving events in Set Sytes’s collection of short bizarro fiction. By the author of How Not to Kill Yourself, this second edition of Born to Be Weird features hordes of new terrors and otherworldly adventures to make your stomach turn and skin crawl.

How to bypass publishing gatekeepers (with Ariel Gore!)

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly are joined by Ariel Gore, author of many books including The Wayward Writer, which comes out this fall and offers encouragement and wisdom for writing with the goal of publication. (You can back it on Kickstarter right now!)

In this extra-long episode we dig into the question of gatekeeping in publishing. What is it, is it all bad, how do you get past it or work around it?

Want even more on the topic of gatekeepers? Here’s an older episode Joe and Elly recorded last year covering similar ground.

Self Taught

Outsider artist and punk musician Tim Kerr brings his unique view of the world and the people around him to life in this new painting and photography collection from Don Giovanni Records, distributed by Microcosm. The raw feeling and wry outlook in these images will appeal to fans of Mostly True and anyone who’s wondered what the spirit of DIY punk would look like through the lens of a camera.

Hello Cleveland

Hello Cleveland unlocks the hidden, larger-than life history and culture of Cleveland, Ohio, possibly the country’s most misunderstood city. Locals, visitors, transplants, and people—who moved away as soon as they could—will gain a well-rounded picture of the city’s passionate pursuits, dark corners, dubious claims to fame, and disarmingly friendly culture. Nick Perry, who grew up in Cleveland and then moved back as an adult, invites you to join him in taking a loving, brutally honest look under the hood. Develop an appreciation for local celebrities like Devo, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Lil’ John and Big Chuck, and Dick Goddard the weather guy. Marvel at landmarks like the Great Lakes, the Metroparks, and the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. There are plenty of downsides and none are sugarcoated. You’ll discover why Cleveland is the reason for the creation of the Environmental Protection Act and how it’s largely to blame for the widespread adoption of suburban city planning. But you can still find a heartwarming pride in rooting for sports teams that seem cursed to lose every championship. As the city’s unofficial slogan says, “You’ve got to be tough,” but there’s a lot to love—especially when the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra wanders into the dive bar you’re sitting in and starts to play an impromptu concert.