S.G. Browne

Fiction Friday: Bizarro Edition

If you haven’t read any Bizarro fiction or even heard of it, chances are you’re not alone, but it’s a genre that’s been gaining a solid foothold in the publishing world over the past decade.

I have to admit, I’ve only recently been indoctrinated, having read Cursed by Jeremy Shipp and Naked Metamorphosis by Eric Mays last year, both of which were fun, imaginative, and, well, bizarre.

To quote Wikipedia, which we all know is gospel, Bizarro fiction has been described as “literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store” and a genre that “strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.”

And with titles like The Haunted Vagina, Shatner Quake, and Meat Puppet Cabaret, you know you’re in for a story that’s a little bit different than what you’re going to get in the literature section at Barnes & Noble.

Which brings us to Cameron Pierce’s Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island (Eraserhead Press), a most definite fractured fairy tale.  (And my favorite book title of all time.)

Gaston Glew, a young pickle living on the moribund Pickled Planet, is celebrating his sixteenth Sad Day – the sixteenth anniversary of the saddest day of his life. His birth. But his parents go and one up him by committing suicide, so he decides to build a rocket ship (using his dead parents as fuel) and leave the sadness of Pickled Planet behind to go in search of happiness.

Meanwhile on Pancake Island, which is inhabited by happy pancakes who have never known sadness, lives Fanny Fod, the most beautiful pancake girl in the universe and the epitome of happiness. But Fanny nurses a secret sadness as she guards the origin of all happiness: the mysterious Cuddlywumpus.

When Gaston crash lands on Pancake Island, he starts to spread his briny sadness around in his search for happiness until he meets Fanny Fod and they fall in love. I won’t give away any spoilers, but considering the title, you pretty much know it’s not going to have a happy ending.

If you’re interested in reading more about Bizarro fiction or discovering some additional titles, check out Wikipedia and Eraserhead Press.