Alan M. Clark is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, finalist for the Bram Stoker Award, and one of the greatest artists alive today. This guy is a legend. What some people don’t realize is that his fiction is just as fantastic and vividly surreal as his art, as evidenced by his latest book, Boneyard Babies. Here are Alan’s holiday reading recommendations.
- PERFUME by Patrick Suskind: This is my favorite novel. It explores in the grittiest way a 16th century sociopathic murderer who is so incredibly “other,” so much a product of his time and circumstances as to be almost alien to us now, yet still we sympathize with him and easily identify his humanity.
- GEEK LOVE by Katherine Dunn: The outwardly public, but inwardly insular quality of the carnival world in this book is a great window onto the weirdo in all of us. It is a world that allows for the use of drug poisoning and incestuous breeding to create the finest of freaks. The characters are not unlike your neighbors, but their extreme motivations are something entirely different.
- THE EGG MAN by Carlton Mellick III: The corporate controlled civilization in this book is the perfect backdrop for a world in which humans are born and raised with no attachment to others and must merely endure one another to get along in society. Despite the grim atmosphere, the characters fight to live their lives as individuals and when all hope fails, they fly.
- LOST IN CAT BRAIN LAND by Cameron Pierce: This is the strangest collection I’ve ever read. It seems to have come from some other place. While reading it, it was like I’d stepped through a wormhole into another world where everything is different, even the laws of the physics. It is a refreshing form of inspiration, a vacation from the same old #$%^&. Great book!
- BODY SNATCHERS, STIFFS AND OTHER GHOULISH DELIGHTS by Frederick Drimmer: This nonfiction book chronicles the lives and deaths of sideshow freaks and all the dark and bizarre nooks and crannies of the history of bodysnatching. Absolutely dreadful!