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A Pretty Mouth by Molly Tanzer

8 Jan

A Pretty Mouth front cover final

British Fantasy Award nominee for Best Newcomer

Re-Animator meets The Secret History in this Tale of Sex and Science

Henry Milliner thinks his days of being the school pariah are over forever when he attracts the attention of Wadham College’s coolest Fellow Commoner, St John Clement, the Lord Calipash. St John is everything Henry isn’t: Brilliant, graceful, rich, universally respected. And as if that wasn’t enough, St John is also the leader of the Blithe Company, the clique of Natural Philosophy majors who rule Wadham with style. But when being St John’s protege ends up becoming a weirder experience than Henry anticipated — and the Blithe Company doesn’t quite turn out to be the decadent, debauched crew he dreamed of — Henry has some big decisons to make. Should he beg the forgiveness of his only friend, naive underclassman John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, or should he ride it out with St John and try to come out on top?

Tangling with a Calipash is an invariably risky endeavor. From antiquity to the modern era, few who have encountered members of that family have benefited from the acquaintance. If only Henry knew the that Calipashes are notorious for their history of sinister schemes, lewd larks, and eldritch experiments, he would realize there are way worse things than being unpopular…

Praise for A Pretty Mouth

“All too infrequently do I encounter a new voice as delightful, compelling, and intelligent as that of Molly Tanzer. Or, for that matter, an author with such a range. But here, in A Pretty Mouth, is that shining gem that keeps me sorting through the rubble. If this is only the beginning of her work, I can hardly wait to see where she’s headed!” – CAITLIN R. KIERNAN, author of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir

A Pretty Mouth is a fine and stylish collection that pays homage to the tradition of the weird while blazing its own sinister mark. Tanzer’s debut is as sharp and polished as any I’ve seen.” – LAIRD BARRON, author of The Croning

“If Hieronymus Bosch and William Hogarth had together designed a Fabergé egg, the final result could not be more beautifully and deliciously perverse than what awaits the readers of A Pretty Mouth. Molly Tanzer’s first novel is a witty history of the centuries-long exploits of one joyfully corrupt Calipash dynasty, a family both cursed and elevated by darkness of the most squamous sort. This is a sly and sparkling jewel of a book, and I can’t recommend it enough–get A Pretty Mouth in your hands or tentacles, post-haste, and prepare to be shocked, charmed, and (somewhat moistly) entertained!” – LIVIA LLEWELLYN, author of Engines of Desire

“Molly Tanzer is a prose Edward Gorey, decadent, delicious, and ever so slightly mad.” – NATHAN LONG, author of Jane Carver of Waar

“This is form and content and diction and tone and imagination all looking up at the exact same moment: When Molly Tanzer claps once at the front of the classroom.” – STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, author of The Last Final Girl

“Had the nineteenth century really been like this–with the flounces and corsets and blood and tentacles and whatnot–we’d all be dead by now. Un- lucky us, but lucky you, Dear Reader, as you are alive to read this book.” – NICK MAMATAS, author of Bullettime

“The stories and short novel in Molly Tanzer’s impressive debut collection move steadily backwards through English history, from an Edwardian resort to a Roman encampment, stopping on the way for the nineteenth, eighteenth, and seventeenth centuries, all in the interest of tracing the main trunk of the notorious Calipash family tree all the way to its roots. It’s a family linemarked by its excesses of sensuality, cruelty, and sorcery, and in excerpting the exploits of its storied members, Tanzer demonstrates her facility with a variety of voices and styles, from Wodehousian farce to Victorian erotica to Restoration class comedy. Each of the narratives collected here stands and succeeds on its own terms, but taken together, they add to a whole greater than the sum of its parts, in which the recurrence of key motifs in a diversity of settings creates the sense of a family living out its doom generation after generation. Tanzer is an ambitious writer, and she is talented enough for her ambition to matter.” – JOHN LANGAN, author of The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies

A Pretty Mouth is many things; erudite, hilarious, profane, moving, learned, engaging, horrific, terrifying, and profound. Molly moves through the multi-forms of prose like a shark in wine-dark seas, rife with allusion, deep in emotion, and sometimes giving you a little salty-mouth. A fantastic collection and not one to be missed.” – JOHN HORNOR JACOBS, author of This Dark Earth

“Molly Tanzer’s A Pretty Mouth is a spectacular book, rad and weird and fun. With winks to P. G. Wodehouse, Robert E. Howard and the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft, it showcases the work of a woman who delights in writing. She writes very well indeed! This is a book I will return to, for to read it is such a naughty pleasure.” – W. H. PUGMIRE, author of The Twisted Muse

“I am a bit bashful about being titillated by Molly Tanzer’s naughty debut, A Pretty Mouth, but I must admit it in order to write this blurb. While having segments that are hot and sexy, it is also a dark and disturbing tale with a wicked sense of humor and compelling chracaters. I blush just thinking about it and might have to go read it again!” – ALAN M. CLARK, author of A Parliament of Crows and Of Thimble and Threat: The Life of a Ripper Victim

“It’s been repeatedly said we’re enjoying in a new golden age of weird and fantastic fiction. We are, and this lady is one the gifted magicians whose literary creations are keeping the bonfire burning brightly!” – JOSEPH S. PULVER, SR., author of The Orphan Palace

“Tanzer lifts the skirts of Victorian hypocrisy for a full Monty view of perverted hijinks and fun.” – MARIO ACEVEDO, author of Werewolf Smackdown

Reviews and Additional Coverage

The Guardian
The British Fantasy Society

Seattle P-I
Vol. 1 Brooklyn
The Arkham Digest
Innsmouth Free Press
Nightmare Magazine Author Spotlight
Lovecraft eZine Author Spotlight
LitReactor: Best Books of the Year
Black Heart Magazine: Best Books of the Year

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The Laughter of Strangers by Michael J. Seidlinger

8 Jan

the laughter of strangers


That’s a name I built from the ground up. I wasn’t the first to systematically climb the ranks, beating the sugar out of everyone I had known to be inferior, leaving only the sour taste of defeat, my claim forever being:

“I am the greatest!”

I can still hear it now. In the silence of this locker room, blood drying on my face, I can still hear those words.

And I was. I was the greatest.














And then a voice says, “‘Sugar’… you are no longer sweet with the science.”

Praise for The Laughter of Strangers

The Laughter of Strangers delivers a combination of psychological horror and strangeness that would not be out of place in a David Lynch film. Seidlinger’s weird new fight fiction suggests that perhaps the best place for boxing contests isn’t in the ring but between the pages of a book.” The Los Angeles Times

“Like a ghost fretting over its lost body (or is it bodies? – in this book whatever you think of as ‘you’ might simply float like a butterfly right into someone else’s body) a boxer attests to his presence, damaged and shimmery though it may be. That this fractured first person narrator feels the need to put the word ‘me’ in quotes speaks volumes. Terrifying volumes. This elastic, hurtling narrative pivots (and pivots again) on a recurring image of almost unimaginable dread – that of being laughed at in your hour of need by an audience of strangers.” – Grace Krilanovich, author of The Orange Eats Creeps

“The bare-bones prose within The Laughter of Strangers is heartbreaking, bleak, and stays with you long after finishing the book. This one should not be ignored.” – Frank Bill, author of Donnybrook

“Michael J. Seidlinger’s The Laughter of Strangers is vicious and unforgettable. Willem Floures’ search for meaning in a world that keeps knocking him off his feet is as gritty and enthralling as a fight. The Laughter of Strangers destroyed my expectations of what a boxing novel can be. Seidlinger is charting new narrative territory, and we should follow him wherever he goes.” – Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth  

“The last time I got punched in the face (by someone I wasn’t married to or dating) I was 16 years old. What began as an exchange of witty banter, turned into a pummeling. Never make jokes about a man’s mother enjoying the erotic companionship of goats, or you’ll find out about this world. The Laughter of Strangers is like that beating. I never trust people who use a middle initial, but Michael J Seidlinger is different. If the Laughter of Strangers had a middle initial it would be an F. And that F would stand for ‘Fuck yes.’ I’m on my back. I’m having my behavior corrected. It’s teaching me a lesson. And I can see stars.” – Scott McClanahan, author of Crapalachia

“Steeped in noir, Michael J Seidlinger’s superb boxing novel delivers 12 rounds of sweet science and shifting identities. Both physical and philosophical, it’ll leave the reader with a complicated bruise – the closer you examine it, the more it resembles your own face.” – Jeff Jackson, author of Mira Corpora

“Michael J. Seidlinger has given us the boxing novel of the year. The Laughter of Strangers is a tough and gritty book that will challenge you page after page, but it is oh so worth it.” Flavorwire

“Seidlinger’s stripped down prose resembles a boxer that possesses both graceful footwork and devastating power: it’s rough and fast, but given to bursts of eloquence, humor, and philosophy.” Bookslut

“Seidlinger does odd and marvelous things in making abstract aspects of identity concrete at the same time that he makes concrete aspects of identity abstract.” Tweed’s Magazine

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Motherfucking Sharks by Brian Allen Carr

8 Jan


Winner of the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel

Where I come from, the children sing a song:

Oh the motherfucking sharks Oh they’re gonna come to town Oh they’re gonna kill the babies Oh they’re gonna make you drowned in your blood

Oh the motherfucking sharks Oh they’re gonna mince the flesh They’re gonna swim up and surround you Don’t you know you’ll never pass the test it’s over

Oh the motherfucking sharks Oh they don’t care about the gods And they don’t care about the families And they don’t care about the cries or tears they’re killers.

Motherfucking sharks Motherfucking sharks Motherfucking sharks Motherfucking sharks

Praise for Motherfucking Sharks

“One of the greatest things I have put in my brain.” – BOOK RIOT

Motherfucking Sharks reads like it was carved into the floor of a sun-baked desert by an old testament prophet with a thirsty knife.” – BEN LOORY, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

“Delightfully subversive.” – Barnes & Noble Book Blog

“Motherfucking Sharks sucks you in and, like the shark’s razor sharp teeth, digs deeply inside your flesh and leaves you gasping in panic and fear till the very end.” – The Next Best Book Blog

“Brian Allen Carr’s Motherfucking Sharks drops on us like the fin of God.” – Sundog Lit

Additional Reviews and Information

Heavy Feather Review
An excerpt from Motherfucking Sharks at Juked
An interview with Brian Allen Carr at Hobart

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Hurt Others by Sam Pink

8 Jan

hurt others frontOh man, it just had to happen. Someone had to be a bagger at a grocery store and fantasize about hitting children in the head with wine bottles. Someone had to fear a puddle floating at him from across the street. Someone had to celebrate beating up a pregnant woman. Someone just HAD to be a nanny, and stare at giant motorized spiders.

Jeez oh man!

Don’t ask why a teenager in a Chicago Bulls overcoat is feeding baby rabbits to a toad. Don’t ask why someone had to run around the backyard with a bedsheet cape after drinking moonshine. And don’t ask why jumping down stairs feels like success.

Just sit back, drink a piss-infused Bloody Mary, and learn to hurt others.

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Broken Piano for President by Patrick Wensink

8 Jan

BrokenPianofinalnewcover (2)

The international bestseller at the center of the “World’s Nicest Cease-and-Desist” from Jack Daniel’s. 

Second edition cover designed in collaboration with Portland, Oregon’s Bull Run Distilling Company.

Featured in the New Yorker, New York Times, Forbes, London Telegraph, Esquire, The Atlantic, NPR’s Weekend Edition and more.

Ever drank too much and forgot what happened? Don’t be embarrassed. Deshler Dean faces this problem every day of his life.

Dean is far more brilliant and productive when he’s blackout drunk. In the last few months alone, he has invented a hamburger more addictive than crystal meth, scored a six-figure record contract for his terrible art rock band, and started dating a woman he doesn’t even recognize. Worse yet, he has become entangled in the biggest war since the Allies took on Germany.

When rival fast food chains duke it out for control over Dean’s burger-inventing genius, Dean and his band mates plunge into the absurd world of corporate paranoia and greed. As the violence of the burger wars spills out onto the streets, it’s up to them to win over the hearts (and stomachs) of the American people and save the country from the equivalent of a deep-fried nuclear warhead.

With the humor of Christopher Moore and the madcap sprawl of Thomas Pynchon, Broken Piano for President is a comic masterpiece about the fast food industry, booze, and the necessity to choose happiness over work and security.

Praise for Broken Piano for President

“I like Patrick Wensink’s work so much my heart had to issue its own cease-and-desist order.” – Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

“Patrick Wensink reads like Christopher Moore on very strong acid. In Broken Piano For President, he’s created a Pynchonesque universe of blackout drinkers, burger-chain magnates, Oswald accomplices, starving Russian cosmonauts, valet parking attendants named for short French generals, Japanese punkers, and the various and sundry members of a rock band so lousy they make the Butthole Surfers sound like Abbey Road—a world that ranges so far beyond the bounds of absurdity that it all makes perfect sense. A rollicking good time of a novel.” – Greg Olear, author of Fathermucker

“[Wensink] commits to his stories and his vision of the world, from book to book and breath and breath, and with Broken Piano for President he not only continues to break fresh Wensinkian ground, he continues to find his voice, a warped voice surely, but one uniquely his own. And yes, I just dropped the phrase Wensinkian there, which I now here by officially claim as my own. Trademark pending of course. And Pat Riley be damned.” – Ben Tanzer, author of My Father’s House and You Can Make Him Like You

“[A] psychedelic trip of a novel.” – Publishers Weekly

“A laugh out loud, thought-provoking novel.” – JMWW

“A D.I.Y. Frankenstein’s monster that uses parts pulled off Kurt Vonnegut and David Cronenberg, drunkenly stitched together while a Stooges bootleg plays at 110 decibels.” – Louisville Courier-Journal

“Broken Piano often reminds me in ways of [Nick] Cave’s last novel, The Death of Bunny Munro.” – The Fanzine

“Chok-full of sharp wit and punk irreverence and is a guaranteed treat for all enemies of Jonathan Franzen.” – Esoterrorist

Additional Praise and Coverage

The Fun We’ve Had by Michael J. Seidlinger

8 Jan


Two lovers are adrift in a coffin on an endless sea. Who are they? They are him and her. They are you and me. They are rowing to salvage what remains of themselves. They are rowing to remember the fun we’ve had.

Praise for The Fun We’ve Had

“Michael Seidlinger is a homegrown Calvino, a humanist, and wise and darkly whimsical. His invisible cities are the spires of the sea where we all sail our coffins in search of our stories.” – Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville

“Melding the static, high-concept premise of two humans floating alone on a coffin in a sea devoid of all else with stark and meditative prose, The Fun We’ve Had evokes a highly unexpected experience, somewhere between Beckett’s most hopeless solipsists and the mysterious energy of a child’s Choose Your Own Adventure-era dream.” – Blake Butler, author of There Is No Year and Three Hundred Million

“Michael J Seidlinger writes with the kind of weird, wonderful, joyful abandon that reminds the reader that world is still the great unknown. In The Fun We’ve Had, he examines the long blank space between life and death, fills it with love and loss and boats made of coffins, with people clinging to life and using the weight of the past as ballast. This is a fun read, true; but it’s also a true read, and that’s what makes it so beautifully sad.” – Amber Sparks, author of The Desert Places and May We Shed These Human Bodies

“Seidlinger’s imagination is a sea unto itself, the reader riding these rollicking waves. This book will have you clutching pages as though they’re life vests. Fans of Calvino and Shelley Jackson will dig the slow submerge into this crazy romp.” – Joshua Mohr, author of Damascus

“The best poets are writing poetry no matter what they are writing, creating entirely new and weird spaces. There is no doubt Seidlinger has made one of the weirdest spaces we will ever inhabit. In The Fun We’ve Had, every visible thing is a love of disturbing tremors, keeping ahead of our ever-curious eyes, hoping to savor every line. What a magnificent book.” – CA Conrad, author of The Book of Frank

“It is obvious that Michael J Seidlinger had a great deal of fun writing The Fun We’ve Had. What more could a reader ask for?” – Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray

“Ready for an analogy? Here goes: When you need to give a dog a pill, you don’t just jam it down his throat, you wrap that pill in something yummy, like, say, ham. Michael J Seidlinger understands that this principle extends to people and books. So he’s got this pill he wants you to swallow, right? That pill is the truth about love and death and strife and, more generally, the messy mysterious business of being human, and also of being nothingness. Pretty heavy, right? Big old horse pill. But then Seidlinger, no fool, wraps it in the yummy slow-smoked maple goodness of his humor. He obviously had a fine time writing this book, which is precisely the reason you’ll have a fine time reading it.” – Ron Currie Jr., author of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

“All I know is that Seidlinger is consistently enjoyable to read, and whatever world he’s created here will be engaging, colorful, and, as the title says, most definitely fun.” – The Barnes & Noble Blog

The Fun We’ve Had is a smart novel that inhabits the interstitial spaces between reality and fantasy, life and death, love and hate. It also dares to explore that strange nonspace that lies between death and oblivion.” – Full Stop

“Like a modern Camus, nothing less than existence is at stake in Seidlinger’s latest voyage.” – The McNeese Review

The Fun We’ve Had is a quick reading experience … an easy world to get lost in … it carefully moves in various directions, even if one is floating in an open coffin.” – The Fanzine

“The proven range of Seidlinger’s imagination restat[es] itself here, and of his ability to take something like slipping the murky depths of eternity and turn it into an apocalyptic, poetic, and existential fairytale.” – Drunk Monkeys

“By alternating perspectives between these two lonely characters Michael J Seidlinger engages in a compelling minimalism. What better way to show love than floating endlessly on the sea in a coffin?” – Beach Sloth

Additional Reviews and Coverage

HTML Giant
Largehearted Boy
Electric Literature
Interview with Michael J. Seidlinger at Flavorwire

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The Shape of Every Monster Yet to Come by Brian Allen Carr

8 Jan

The Shape of Every Monster Yet to Come_cover

The darkest, most harrowing work yet from the award-winning author of The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World.

Listen to the Shape of Every Monster mixtape at Electric Literature.
The Shape of Every Monster Yet to Come reviewed in The Monitor.

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